How Companies Are Using Twitter as a Recruitment Tool

By 2016, most of us understand the value of social media in the job search.

Although LinkedIn is still the front runner for professional networking, Twitter is quickly proving itself a leading tool for hiring talent. Fortune 500 companies and those following their lead are increasingly using Twitter as a recruitment tool. Because Twitter has seen an increase in the number of people using the platform for job search and recruiting, a number of Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T and Disney have created separate accounts specifically for recruitment purposes (@attJOBS@TWDCjobs for example).

A 2015 study by recruiting software buyer resource Software Advice looked at 50 of these handles to see how Fortune 500 companies are using Twitter for recruiting. They then paired their findings with a survey of current job seekers, in order to find out the most effective ways to engage talent on social media.

In addition, 45% of job seekers report that they use Twitter, compared to 40% who use LinkedIn, according to 2014 research from Job Vite. The same research also points to an increased interest in Twitter for recruitment even two years ago, with 73% of companies reporting a focus on increasing social network recruitment.

There is a large market of job seekers that companies can tap into, with 45% of workers reporting that they will switch jobs if the right position comes along, according to a 2015 study by Job Vite. That doesn’t even include those already looking for their next opportunity.

Progressive Insurance, for example, has found success reaching 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,” Mary Foley, IT hiring manager at the company, told Job Vite.

As noted above, a rising number of companies have made the decision to create standalone Twitter handles for recruitment purposes, in response to the growing number of Twitter users logging in to check out job openings. In some cases, companies also recruit through their primary accounts. By June 2015, 174 of the 500 companies on Fortune’s list (35%) had an active company-level Twitter account dedicated to recruiting.

One of Twitters most useful features for expanding reach and engagement is the hashtag, and it would appear that Fortune 500 are engaged here as well, with 78% of sample tweets from the Software Advice study including a hashtag, 46% of which were brand specific (e.g. #GEjobs).

Although only 34% of job seekers say they use Twitter to search for job-related hashtags, it is still good practice for companies to include them and job seekers to use them. Using generic hashtags (e.g. #marketingjobs) means that a company’s content will be discovered by users searching for that term or phrase, and as a job seeker you won’t miss anything.

Twitter is an ideal platform for job search and professional networking, and results from the Software Advice survey found that 58% of respondents have used Twitter for job-seeking purposes in the last six months. As a job seeker, if you are not using Twitter, you are potentially missing a lot of opportunities.

Not only is Twitter useful for seeking job opportunities from companies and recruitment agencies sharing their current vacancies with their networks, but it also allows individuals to check out a company of interest ahead of applying for a job with them. You should use Twitter a part of your job search; 76% said that they look at company profiles, while 55 % follow companies they want to work for.