Twitter: A Practical, How-to Starter Guide for HR Leaders & Corporate Recruiters

Mastering Twitter for Recruiting

Tweet, tweet, tweet! Did you know that more than one billion tweets are sent every two to three days? Twitter is a leading social network through which companies and recruiters advertise jobs, source and engage candidates, and elevate their employment brands.

This microblogging site challenges users to share content via140 characters. When utilized properly, it can be a very powerful tool … one that more and more companies are encouraging their recruiters to use.


For those of you working for mid to large size companies, I am going out on limb by assuming that most likely your organizations have a social media policy. I strongly recommend reviewing the policy before rolling out Twitter to recruiters, and having proactive conversations with your legal and/or marketing teams to ensure “the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.”

It’s also important to understand what HR is hoping to gain by using Twitter. What are your objectives? What do you expect from your recruiters? Will they need training? How will you know if you’re moving in the right direction? How will you track and measure results? Do you need standardized reporting around Twitter?


When developing your Twitter presence, it’s important to note that Twitter is not simply about broadcasting jobs. It’s about engaging talent and participating in conversations. It’s my professional opinion that Twitter will not replace other recruiting efforts anytime soon. It will, however, enhance your recruitment activities, extend your reach and add value to the job seeker community on Twitter.

When you first set up your Twitter account, it’s a best practice to have a complete profile — picture, bio, location and website. You can add hashtags to your bio making your profile more relevant during searches. Many new tweeps start proactively following other people. One word of caution: I’ve had friends follow too many people too quickly and Twitter suspended their accounts thinking they were spammers. Proceed with care.

For more information on getting started, you can take a tour of Twitter.


Twitter is THE social platform in which people actively follow thousands of other people, so it’s important to provide meaningful content to your network. This will help you attract and retain a strong follower base.

You can build your followers by following people who follow you, and by conducting searches based upon your interests and location. The BEST way that I have found to gain followers and build influence is to participate in chats. Tweeting along during webinars has been somewhat effective, too.


When using Twitter, consistency and content are king! If you only tweet once a week, chances are you will not garner many followers. People use Twitter to learn new things, gain quick access to a lot of content and to engage in conversations. I try to share at least five meaningful tweets per day and participate in at least one chat per week. Here’s a great list of Twitter of chats.

There are paid services available to assist you in “auto-posting” your companies’ jobs from your ATS to your Twitter profile. This “set it and forget it” approach may be something worth considering. You could also schedule posts via third-party sites to regularly publish your job postings.


By using hashtags, you increase the chances of your postings being seen or re-tweeted and they are indexed by search engines. A rule of thumb that’s been shared with me is to include up to three hashtags. Any more than that is overkill and could annoy your followers. You can access a larger list of job seeker hashtags here.


It’s important to establish a presence before engaging job seekers. As a corporate recruiting ambassador, it’s critical that you professionally extend your employment brand in ways that are not spam or pushy.

  • Be smart, use common sense
  • Make sure your bio is complete
  • Grow your audience organically
  • Be consistent with your Twitter presence
  • Learn to use hashtags appropriately
  • Join chats to get your name and company out there


There is a lot of great information right here on Blogging4Jobs on using Twitter in recruiting! What other strategies, tactics and tips do you have to share?


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Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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