By Jim Wong, CPA | November 8, 2013

A recruiting trend we’ve seen this year is incorporating social media into your candidate searching process. This isn’t news if you’ve been paying attention. In fact, according to a new survey released by Software Advice, social media is ranked third as a source of job candidates by volume, second in delivering the best quality candidates, and when asked, almost half of the participating recruiters said they plan to invest more in social media for recruiting purposes.

Needless to say, using social media to recruit is here to stay, and accounting, finance, and IT hiring managers need to take advantage of these tools to stay ahead of the game.

How you use social media for your hiring purposes, and which platform you choose, will vary company to company. But for the purposes of this piece, let’s explore Twitter.

Holly Aker, Editorial Coordinator at Software Advice and contributor to, talked with recruiting programs officer at Twitter, Anitra Collins, and she shares some tips on how you can use Twitter to recruit candidates.

Encourage Employee Participation
Ask your current employees to participate. In order for your job opportunities to be seen by the highest number of people, you need to increase the number of tweets and shares they receive. For example, Collins manages the @JoinTheFlock Twitter handle and she retweets what employees and hiring managers share about job openings. “By sharing tweets that don’t come straight from an authority figure, Collins makes @JoinTheFlock feel more like a friendly community, rather than a cold, recruiting machine,” says Aker.

Showcase Your Company Culture
Candidates want to know about company culture as well as what the job entails, so encourage employee participation. Have them tweet about company events, interesting projects, and successes they’ve experienced on the job. “The best advocate for your company is an employee who enjoys coming to work everyday,” says Aker.

Don’t Post Only Open Positions
If you are using a recruiting handle, don’t just post open positions. “If potential candidates have gone directly to your Twitter page, chances are they already know something about you and they’re looking to learn more,” says Erin Osterhaus, managing editor of The New Talent Times, a Software Advice blog.

Instead, use Twitter to showcase what it’s like to work at your company by retweeting your employees’ tweets and by sharing video and ‘behind the scenes’ photos of office life or social gatherings. Also, be sure to take the time to respond to potential candidates — you might just get to know them a little better.

Use Relevant Hashtags
Use relevant hashtags when tweeting about job openings. Hashtags categorize tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter search. “By using relevant and commonly searched for hashtags, you get your message to a larger audience,” says Aker. She provides the example of searching for a job in software development. Popular hashtags for that particular group are #hadoop, #CMS, #UX, or #TechTalent. Candidates can find you a lot easier when you incorporate these hashtags into your tweets.

Connect With Candidates
It’s important to get the message out that you are hiring, but of equal importance is connecting with potential candidates. For example, Collins will tweet candidates directly if she thinks they would be a good, potential candidate and point them to Twitter’s job listings. You can check out their profiles for a glimpse into their personality and interests, as well as getting a sense of the person as a whole.

“Twitter is a great way to expose new people to what your company has to offer,” says Aker. At the end of the day, your goal is to find the right people for your company, so learn to leverage social media and turn talented prospects into team members.

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