1-2-3: Taking the First Steps to Using Social Media for Recruiting

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs. Friends, followers and fans. Social media is ubiquitous and has rapidly reshaped the way people connect, communicate and share information online.

What started as a way to make new friends and reconnect with old ones is now an important tool for businesses that want to build their brands, gain awareness and sell products and services. HR managers and tech recruiters are also using social media tools to source candidates for current job openings and build a pipeline of prospects for future hiring needs.

While social media tools can’t replace expertise, hard work, true recruiting know-how, and specialized job boards, they are a valuable addition to your recruiting toolbox.

But how do you get started? With all the options and jargon, taking the first steps into the social media world is daunting. This white paper walks you through the first steps in getting started with top social media tools and provides valuable “Tips” to help you save time and be more effective.

1-2-3: Twitter
Twitter is a social networking “micro blog” that lets you share your news and thoughts, gather information and build connections with other people on the network. You have 140 characters in each post – or “tweet” – to let people know what you’re doing, what you’re thinking and, in the case of recruiting, who you’re looking for.

People interested in what you have to say will “follow” you. You can also follow other people’s tweets to see what they’re doing and build your network. The conversation between you and your followers is cataloged in chronological timeline on your home page.

Step 1. Set up a Twitter account
Go to https://twitter.com and click on “Sign Up.” Follow the simple steps to create your own user name, password and location.

Tip: As a recruiter or staffing manager be sure that you select a user name, or “handle,” that easily identifies you and isn’t too catchy.

  • After signing up, set up your account and profile.
  • Click on “Settings” in the upper right corner.
  • Click on “Account” in the sub-menu and complete the form.
    – At the bottom of the Account page, when asked whether you want to protect your updates, leave the box unchecked. If you check the box, you’ll be excluded from Twitter’s public timeline and your visibility on the site will be lowered dramatically.
    – Click “Save” to update your settings.
  • Then set up your profile. Your profile gives your followers some information about you and a link to a website so they can learn more if they’re interested.
    – Click “Profile” in the sub-menu.
    – Complete the Profile form.
    – Add a picture. Follow the steps to upload a photo of yourself.
    – Add a link to your website, careers page or job listings for more information.
    – In the Bio section, write two short sentences about your role as a recruiter or staffing manager. You’re limited to 160 characters so make your message concise and compelling.
    – Click “Save” to update your profile.
    – Click “Design” from the sub-menu.
    – Follow the steps to personalize your home page background.
    – Click “Save Changes” to update your background.

Tip: If you’re in HR for a company, consider adding information about he company in the Bio section.

Tip: Companies often upload a custom Twitter background to provide additional contact information to followers.

Step 2. Follow, search and tweet
With your account and profile complete, it’s time to build your network on Twitter.

  • Start following. To build your network on Twitter you need to “follow” people – in other words sign up to read their posts – and you need people to follow you.
    – Start by reaching out to colleagues and people you know on Twitter already. Search for their name using the basic “search” feature in the right-hand column of your home page.
    – If you find someone you’re interested in following, click the “Follow” button that appears near the top of their profile page. Their tweets will appear in your Twitter home page. They’ll likely return the favor and start following you and your network will start to grow.

Tip: People following you will receive your posts on their Twitter page and their followers will see your posts as well.

  • Conduct a search
    – Searching for connections on Twitter is another way to build your following. The search functionality on the Twitter home page is limited. Instead, visit www.search.twitter.com for a separate search tool owned by Twitter that offers advanced search options.
    – Click on “Advanced Search” and it will take you to http://search.twitter.com/advanced
    – Create a search by entering keywords or phrases based on the candidates you’re trying to hire, for example: “C++” or “Java developer.”
    – You can also search general phrases – “looking for new job” or “job searching” – to find tweets from people in the market for work.
    – Limit your search geographically by adding a city, metro area or zip code in the “Places” section.
    – Hit “Search” and the tool will pull up all current tweets that match your search parameters.
    – Review the list and if you find someone who looks like a good prospect, check their bio and then consider following them to start building a relationship. Click their “Follow” button if you like to begin following someone.
  • Start “tweeting” at https://twitter.com
  • Tweeting updates your followers on what you’re doing, what type
    of candidates you’re looking for and what’s new at your company.
    – Introduce yourself to the Twitter community by typing a comment in the “What’s happening?” box at the top of your Twitter home page. Click the “Tweet” button to post it.
    – Then continue tweeting by sharing interesting information and insight to build the conversation between you and your followers.
    – Use keywords as much as possible when using Twitter for recruiting. Your tweets appear in Twitter’s Search Results so adding keywords – specific tech skills, job titles or locations – makes it easier for people to connect with you.
    – Try adding hashtags to your tweets. A hashtag is a word or phrase proceeded by the # sign (i.e. #TechRecruiting) used in a tweet to group tweets on a particular subject or event. Hashtags make it easy to search for tweets on a topic. Create your own hashtag or use an existing one to comment on a trend or topic being discussed on Twitter.

Tip: Keep it short and interesting – a counter in the upper right corner of the “What’s happening?” box will let you know when you’ve used all 140 characters.

Step 3. Try other Twitter tools

Retweet — Sharing ideas, information and resources from people who follow you is called “retweeting.” It’s a powerful, easy way to share information, give someone kudos for a good idea and extend your network. Retweets are indicated in the timeline with “RT.”

Direct Message — You can direct message, or “DM” a follower using the “Direct Message” link in the right-hand column of your home page. DMs are only seen by the recipient and aren’t cataloged in the timeline.

@YourName — When you see a message including @(YourUserName) in your timeline that means someone wrote a message to you or referred to you in a message.

Tip: Once you’ve connected with a prospective candidate, DM them with info about a specific opportunity or to arrange a call.

Tip: As a recruiter, it’s important to keep up with these mentions and reply back accordingly.