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How Twitter can help you recruit tech talent

Sarah K. White | June 26, 2015
You might not think of Twitter as a recruitment tool, but companies are integrating it into their hiring strategies. Here’s how Twitter helps hiring managers and recruiters find talent -- particularly passive job seekers.

twitter as a recruitment tool

Twitter conjures up images of funny celebrity tweets and corporate PR gaffes rather than job searching and recruiting. However, there is an emerging pool of job candidates on Twitter. In fact, 45 percent of job seekers report that they use Twitter, compared to 40 percent who use LinkedIn, according to 2014 research from JobVite. The same research also points to an increased interest in Twitter for recruitment, with 73 percent of companies reporting a focus on increasing social network recruitment.

Passive Job Seekers

There's a highly sought-after demographic on Twitter -- the passive job seeker. These are people who aren't actively seeking a new position, but wouldn't turn down an interesting opportunity if it presented itself. "I think it's the point of inception often times in the relationship that grows from a passive job seeker to an active job seeker to a candidate and, eventually, an employee at your company," says Matt Singer, CMO of JobVite.

And there is a large market of passive job seekers that companies can tap into, with a whopping 45 percent of workers reporting that they will switch jobs if the right position comes along, according to a 2015 study by JobVite.

Progressive Insurance, for example, has found success reaching passive job seekers through Twitter chats. "We got some people who started following us, following the hashtag and engaging in the conversation, and one of them actually has just recently applied for a position," says Mary Foley, IT hiring manager at the company.

It's more about branding

Using Twitter in recruitment isn't necessarily about reaching out directly to potential candidates. In fact, only 17 percent of employers report using Twitter specifically to search for candidates. Rather, companies are more focused on planting the seed for future job seekers; 44 percent of companies report using Twitter to build a company's brand, 39 percent report using it to post jobs and 32 percent to generate employee referrals, according to a survey from JobVite.

In today's always-on culture, people expect transparency from companies, especially because they can quickly find tons of information with a quick Google search. Companies that engage with prospective candidates on Twitter can help give potential employees a better idea of what it's like to work at their company.

While a company may not reach out directly to you, or vice versa, it's a way for companies to focus on their brand and get their message out to people who maybe haven't considered their company for job opportunities. "It's really about getting followers to take an interest in our company. So we do that for both employment branding, as well as for specific positions we're hiring for," says Foley.


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