Let's be honest, Twitter can be a little intimidating when you first start. Followers, Lists, Tweets, ReTweets (RT's) etc. sound like a a whole bunch of foreign words initially. However, they ARE easy to understand and the basics of Twitter are straight forward to grasp, even for a 'still in shorts' beginner.
I am not going to go through explaining how to use Twitter (although maybe I should!) here, but I want to highlight some things I experience every day when recruiters and recruitment agency Twitter accounts follow me - @andyheadworth - on Twitter.
After my inclusion on a Top 100 Twitter User list this week in The Huffington Post, I have picked up a fair number of new followers - many of them in recruitment and HR (well it was an industry list!). As always when people follow me I look at every Twitter profile that has followed me, to make a decision whether to follow them back. My criteria is as follows (you will have your own I am sure):
- There must be a photo - a head shot for an individual; a logo for a company account. No dogs, cats, animals etc
- A descriptive and interesting bio - not just full of #hashtags.
- A link to blog, LinkedIn profile, Google Plus, website or other (fuller) online profile.
- I look at the three tweets that Twitter shows you (by default) on their profile and this helps me make a decision. If I am not sure I will click on their Timeline and examine them more. If it is full of jobs, I don't bother to follow - primarily because I am not interested.
If all these look interesting I follow the person back. Simple. [And before you ask this takes me less than a minute to go through for each one.]
So, back to the point of my blog. Recruiters and recruitment companies use Twitter - some very well indeed, and include it as part of their social recruiting strategy. But still a large number are missing the point of how they are using Twitter. Some basics:
- A recruiter is trying to grow a following on Twitter with the hope that at some stage they are going to be interested in talking to the recruiter for a job, or referring them to someone.
- People follow you back on Twitter for different reasons - usually (in my experiences), if the person that follows you is interesting, relevant and has shares interesting content and information.
- This following should be targeted to the industry/sector they work in for relevancy of content they plan to share.
- Using tools like Bullhorn Reach or Broadbean solely to auto-post jobs to your company Twitter feed is only OK if you actually make people aware what that Twitter account actually is - a jobs feed. And if you have just one feed but have multiple industry sectors you are posting through it, you are doomed to fail due to lack of relevance and targeting. [They are great tools by the way if used correctly]
- Most people won't have come into contact with these recruiters before so the first thing they will see is their Twitter profile.
- It is worth remembering that not everyone is looking for a job at anyone time (LinkedIn have a stat that says only 20% of people are active job seekers, for example).
- Social media is 100% transparent - don't try and be something you are not.
- You usually have one crack at getting someone to follow you, connect with you etc. as they will make a decision and not go back at a later date based on that first interaction. [That is my opinion by the way, not a scientific proven study, before you ask]
With all of the above in mind, I go back to the recruitment agencies and recruiters that followed me this week. Here are some of the things I found frustrating:
- Stupid bio pictures - if you are going to use it to 'try' and connect with professionals then stop being a muppet and put a proper picture up there.
- Don't mislead people - your bio sounded great, it told me that you were a recruiter (great) and what you recruited and where (great). I'm in so far...... but then all you do is post jobs, jobs and more jobs. If you had told me that this was just a jobs feed in the bio, it would have saved me time. As I said earlier, I have no problem with that, but it just wouldn't be for me. Change your bio and tell people it is just a jobs feed - you will get less followers, but likely more relevant ones for you.
- Your following strategy is therefore wrong (in ref to the above point) - that's if you have one. Why are you following me? Have you just gone down the list of 100 people on that list and followed them all for the hell of it? Why? Are they all relevant? No. Just take a little time to understand who you want to follow, why and how you then plan to interact/engage with them.
- What keywords are you even using to find people to follow? I know a number of people use these auto-follow tools based on keywords in bio's (or tweets) - some of you seriously need to review your keywords!! Madness.
Of course there were a bunch of really good recruiters and recruitment companies using Twitter and I have now seen them (many for the first time) and followed them back, which has been excellent. These all had the traits I mention at the beginning, and they all did the same thing - they engaged with people on Twitter - they were having Twitter conversations with people, sharing interesting content and embracing this superb social network.
Twitter is a brilliant tool and can be used within recruitment many ways. But without a relevant following, you could be spending many hours waiting for Twitter to deliver that elusive candidate - many, many hours!!
So if you want to follow me on Twitter - @andyheadworth - make sure you meet my criteria ;-)
And remember, if your company is still not getting a successful return out of Twitter, maybe I can help!
I work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them helping them understand and leverage the different social media networks to improve their recruitment strategy, recruitment process, candidate attraction, employer branding and content marketing strategy. If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.