A Hiring Manager’s Starting Guide to Twitter

One of the things that's so hard about hiring these days is that it's so dependent on your personal network. LinkedIn is part of your network. Twitter has to be a part of your network.

As part of the updated hiring book, I have a section devoted to networking with Twitter. I thought I'd test it with you. So, here is what I'm telling hiring managers to do about Twitter. This is just a start of what you can do with Twitter, not all you can do with Twitter.

Be Professional on Twitter

Make sure you have a professional Twitter name. SusiesDad doesn't cut it when you are looking for people. And, having a picture of an adorable child, Susie, as your Twitter picture is not appropriate either.

It's fine if you want to be SusiesDad when you want to tweet about Susie to your friends and family. But not when you are looking for the best knowledge workers for your organization.

Along with your name, make sure you have a link to your company or your LinkedIn profile or your blog or something else that looks professional. You are representing your organization when you post jobs or links to jobs.

Post Jobs Using Your Main Attractor and Hashtags

When you post your open positions, start with your main attractor. (Don't know what a main attractor is? You'll have to read the book, won't you?)

Now, add a hashtag that represents the job well. #jobopening or #joblisting says you have a job available. If you are in a specialty field such as pharmaceuticals, use #pharma. If you are in finance, use #finance. Are you in healthcare? Use #healthcare. You get the picture. The more specific you are, the more candidates can screen themselves in, if you need them to do so.

Add your city or major metropolitan area, such as #Boston or #NYC for Boston or New York, especially if you are not going to pay for relocation. Are you agile? Use #agile. Looking for developers? Use #programmer or #developer. If you are looking for a tester, use #tester. If you are looking for a mechanical engineer, try #mechanical #engineer. You will probably want to use several hashtags.

For a list of hastags, start with hashtags.org. Start with one hashtag in the search box and see what other people are doing. Now, decide how to describe your job as you compose a tweet.

Decide How Interactive You Want to Be on Twitter

Now comes the hard part. You can spend a ton of time on Twitter. You have to decide if you will post the jobs and ignore Twitter the rest of the day. You can. Or, you can let the Twitterverse peek a little into your organization and post a little every day or every other day. You can post pithy observations. You can take pictures of your organization at work. If you blog, you can let people know when you have written a new blog post.

Every so often there are chats on Twitter you might decide to monitor. If you see a hashtag you like that ends in “chat,” go to tweetchat.com and join in the chat.

One thing you cannot do is avoid Twitter. Not if you want the best technical candidates. Not if you want people who use social media. But you can keep your Twitter use to 15 minutes a day while you are sourcing candidates. That, you can do.

Follow People and Become Followed

Twitter is a social network. That means you follow people and become followed. You don't have to build your network in the same way as you might build your LinkedIn network. But you do want to have a Twitter presence. You do want to acknowledge people.

As you tweet, people will retweet you, especially if you have interesting positions, or if you say interesting things. That's why it's worth your time to follow people and become followed.

Do you want to follow everyone back who follows you? That's a great question. You will have to answer that one for yourself. I don't know how to keep up with the people who tweet every 20 minutes. I especially don't know how to keep up with people who tell me what they eat every day and when they leave for work and when they wake up and when they go to sleep, and when they do whatever. I tend to not follow those people.

There is More You Can Do With Twitter

As with all online tools, you can do more that what I have explained with Twitter. You can schedule and back up your tweets. There are any number of apps that work with smart phones, tablet, and desktop. You will need to decide how you want to use the application.

Start using Twitter as part of your sourcing. You cannot afford to leave Twitter out of your sourcing strategy as a hiring manager.

If you do nothing else, consider following John Sumser, @JohnSumser. He tracks the trends from the employer side and hiring strategy. I retweeted one of his tweets that someone else had retweeted this morning. There are tons of other very interesting recruiting people to follow and learn from. Gotta share that tweet love.

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