Does Twitter actually help your recruitment process?

How many recruiters and candidates out there use Twitter as a job hunting tool? The answer is surprisingly few. Many Twittter users see it primarily as a tool to market themselves, rather than a way to link with a vast pool of untapped candidates.

Part of this is down to the profile that Twitter has within the media and the perception of many that it’s just used by celebrities for more negative purposes than positive. The knock-on effect I gather from the candidates that I speak to is that a lot of them are just getting to grips with LinkedIn and cannot yet see the value that Twitter can bring to their job search.

This is a shame, as Twitter like any other job hunting tool that you use, can be really productive both for the jobseeker and the employer. I run an employment coaching and CV writing business alongside my recruitment business and, without fail, every candidate I deal with falls into one of three categories, either they don’t have an account and will never see the value of Twitter, or they have set up an account out of curiosity and have let it lie dormant, or they use Twitter, but only to follow hobbies and interests.

Twitter, without a doubt, is a great job hunting tool providing some brilliant information and links to blogs and websites. One of my favourite Twitter stories is of a client of mine who had just embraced LinkedIn but was adamant that Twitter could add little value to his career search. After some arm twisting, we opened an account for him and followed some industry job boards, which were an interesting source of information. But the light bulb moment for my client was when we started to follow companies’ recruitment accounts. We followed one of the big 4 supermarket accounts and right at that moment a role was posted in his chosen field, we followed the link to the recruiters’ site, where he applied for the position, went through the selection process and has now been part of the business for nearly 12 months.

The interesting part to this story is that the recruiter had not posted the vacancy anywhere else apart from Facebook and Twitter and on their own website, so no cost was involved in recruiting the individual involved.

However, a lot of recruiters in some well-known brands are yet to maximise Twitter as a recruitment tool. They without doubt understand the impact, but it is mainly down to a lack of resources that they are struggling to stay on top of their Twitter accounts and as a result, are not having much success hiring through Twitter, so continue to direct their resources elsewhere.

Before I went self-employed, I worked for an American owned firm for whom 30% of their appointments within the States came from social media and 10% of these were through Twitter. But somehow this is still yet to translate to the same figures two years on within other companies in the US.

I still believe that the slow take up of Twitter as a recruitment or job hunting tool in the UK, is maybe down to the media image of it as a gossip tool and as a consequence, job seekers are not picking up on its benefits and neither are employers. But this is changing.

So if you’re a jobseeker reading this, open a Twitter account today and follow potential employers, as the likelihood is that sooner or later you could spot that a dream opportunity!

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