You're not stupid--when you have a job opening, you make sure to tweet about it. But unless you're doing it right, your tweets may not be effective.
Joe Budzienski learned the power of Twitter a few years ago when the company he worked for needed to hire a marketing person. The usual mix of advertising wasn't bringing in appropriate candidates, so he put out an announcement on Twitter. Three qualified candidates replied to Budzienski's tweets, and he quickly made a hire. That led him to found Gozaik, which indexed more than 500,000 unique job offers on Twitter before being acquired by Monster late last month.
Budzienski is now vice president, product and technology at Monster. Last week, he took time out to share his expert tips on Twitter recruiting, including some bonehead moves that can render your Twitter recruiting efforts ineffective.
1. You forget to use hashtags.
"We see lots of job tweets without hashtags," Budzienski reports. This is an especially dumb move for a small company that doesn't have many thousands of followers. "Nobody will see your job," he says. "Adding hashtags makes it searchable by all Twitter users beyond your followers."
Which hashtags should you use? "The most common ones are #careers, #jobs, and #werehiring," Budzienski says. Beyond that, he suggests, "Define what you're looking for. If you're looking for a Java developer in Boston, make sure to hashtag #Java and #Boston."
2. All you ever tweet is jobs.
Reading a social media timeline should not be like reading a classified employment listing, Budzienski says. "The last thing you want is a feed that just pounds out jobs all day. No one's going to be able to stand it."
He recommends mixing in items about life in your company and other things such as industry news to build engagement both with job-seekers and with people in your industry who may not be job-hunting at the moment, but could be some time in the future. "Even if they're not ready to make that career jump right now, they'll remember that you had content and drew them in," he says.
3. No one's minding the store.
You tweet about a job. Someone who's interested sends an @ reply with a question about the specifics. If no one responds to that question for days on end, that job-seeker will move on. "If it was me trying to leverage social media to recruit talent, I would have someone ready to engage on the platform, as companies such as Google and Disney do," Budzienski says. A smaller company may have more limited resources, he concedes, but responding promptly to tweets is still important. "If you're going to recruit on social media, do it right. Don't do it halfway."
4. You use software to generate tweets.
Your Twitter account or accounts should engage both potential hires and others on a human level. "I'm not a big fan of automating content," Budzienski says. "There should be a Wizard of Oz behind every social media curtain. If you're trying to pretend to be social and you're really not, social users will figure it out and that will make it more difficult for you to recruit. And every time a bot tweets, a unicorn dies."
Instead, he suggests empowering people in your company to engage with Twitter on your behalf. "You'll have ambassadors listening to what fans say and calling out to followers," Budzienski says. "Every little thing they do will only improve your recruiting results."
5. You forget to check out candidates' timelines.
If someone's using Twitter to hunt for a job, chances are that person is active on Twitter and on other social media as well. So don't skip the opportunity to learn more about candidates by checking out their social media presence.
"Different social networks can tell you a lot about someone," Budzienski says. "LinkedIn is great for seeing a candidate's experience and education, while Facebook helps demonstrate the person's interests and hobbies. Twitter is a great tool to get insight into a candidate's interests, as they'll often follow specific industry leaders and share content about certain topics. There's no better place to get a window into someone's personality than social media."
6. You don't let them respond via Twitter.
If a candidate found your job listing on Twitter, it's a good bet he or she is comfortable there, Budzienski says. So why force that person to leave and go visit your website in order to start the application process, or even ask a simple question about the job? "Encouraging talent to reply and/or apply via social media shows them your company is innovative," he adds. "You're only going to make things better if you let them start a dialogue with you."
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