According to this report, 54% of companies now recruit through Twitter, although only 15% of them successfully hired through that medium. However, there is enormous opportunity for businesses to increase their Twitter hire rate. After all, Twitter is now the third most popular search engine after Google and YouTube – and its users send out more than 400 million tweets every day, according to Twitter.
We recently discussed 6 Ways to Innovate the Candidate Search, and its importance in finding the right employees. Likewise, using hashtags specifically for sourcing candidates can help recruiters make their job posts stand out, but also get seen by the right people.
What Are Hashtags?
Hashtags are a word or phrase (with no spaces or special characters) preceded by the # sign. The # and word combination makes that word easier to search and find within Twitter’s database. If you were to search “jobs” within Twitter, you would then see every tweet that includes #jobs within its 140-character limit, starting with the most recent tweet.
Hashtags can be used to take part in an overall conversation, to tag posts with specific subject indicators, and to identify participants in a group chat.
Hashtags are functional on several social media platforms, including Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, but not Facebook. [ update: Facebook too has hastags now, info on how to use it here ]
How Are Hashtags Useful?
Hashtags open up your Twitter content to the masses – not just your followers. Anyone can search for the hashtag and find your tweet, even if they aren’t specifically following you (yet). Being found by job seekers within Twitter’s search can increase the number of followers you have.
By making your posts more accessible, hashtags can also increase your likelihood of being retweeted – which expands your tweet’s exposure exponentially.
Conversely, you can also take action to seek out potential followers. By following specific industry- or business-related hashtags, you can find potential business partners, job candidates, or interesting people to follow and build an online community with.
How Can Hashtags Help in Recruitment?
Utilizing the right hashtags within your tweets can broaden your influence on Twitter, increase your retweets, and ultimately help you connect with potential job candidates. Hashtags expand your reach to get the attention and involvement of people in your industry, people looking for jobs, and people who are connected to people who are looking for jobs.
Again – by adding a hashtag, your tweets are visible to more than just your followers or those viewing your specific Twitter feed – but anyone following or searching for that particular hashtag.
Just as there are established best practices for Twitter in general, there are also rules for how you use hashtags. When you begin using hashtags in your recruitment tweets, keep these guidelines in mind:
- Limit yourself to one or two hashtags within each tweet. Any more than that looks like spam, and leaves you with fewer characters to get your actual message across.
- Always check the history and meaning of a trending tag before you use it. It may have unknown negative connotations that will throw your business in the middle of a conversation with which it plays no part. To prevent a social faux pas, make sure the tag means what you think it means.
- If you make up a new hashtag for your business, make sure that it’s intuitive for your followers and easy to understand. Since your posts are limited to 140 characters, the shorter the tag is, the better.
You can make tags with your business name, your industry keywords, or your city name. Be sure to use hashtag standards when applicable; Reading, Pennsylvania is tagged as #rdg, not to be confused with the books people are #reading.
Popular tags for recruitment include: #job, #jobpost, #employment, #recruiting, #hiring, #career, #interview, #resume, and #staffing.
The average tweet has a half-life of less than 3 hours – the amount of time that it will receive half the clicks it will ever get. Create multiple versions of your job post tweet, with different, related recruitment hashtags, and send them out regularly to make sure that you’re reaching the most people in the right audience.
Remember that consistent engagement over social media is the key to gaining followers, attention, and, ultimately, successful job candidates. Even with effective hashtag usage, your recruitment efforts over Twitter will fail if you don’t populate your account with more than just job postings.
Engage in conversations with your business community, post interesting industry-related content and respond to messages from your followers. Potential applicants who find your job posting through hashtag search will consider your Twitter presence in their decision whether to apply. A disingenuous presence could drive them away – no matter how compelling the job offer.
How are you using Twitter hashtags for increased exposure? What hashtags are working for you? Share it all in the comments below.