Are You Making These 5 Twitter Recruiting Mistakes?

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According to a Jobvite survey, over 8 million Americans used Twitter to find their current job.

In fact, a full 23% of all job seekers have used Twitter in their job hunt.


Now, I know, “social media recruiting” is shaping up to be one of those buzzwords that’s more bark than bite. And I know that LinkedIn gets all the social recruiting love from hiring managers these days.

But that doesn’t mean you should avoid new hiring platforms, especially when the numbers are so compelling.

Twitter can be a great addition to your social media recruiting efforts, but not if you muck it up.

Here are the five biggest mistakes to avoid when trolling for job candidates on Twitter:

1. Not reaching your target market

target market twitter

Before you jump, gung-ho, into the Twitter recruiting deep end, you should probably make sure your target applicant pool is actually on the micro-messaging service in the first place.

Is your target candidate 18-29, living in an urban/suburban (not rural) area, and tech-savvy? Then they’re likely on Twitter. If not, you may have more success with other social networks, or sticking with good old-fashioned offline recruiting.

But even if your perfect applicant is on Twitter, are you actually reaching them?

  • Are your tweets private or protected?  (Hint: they shouldn’t be)
  • Is your profile designed to appeal to your target demographic?
  • Do you actually have any followers, or are you tweeting into thin air?
  • Are you using the right hashtags to make discovery of your tweets easier? You should try to include the following in each job tweet: industry + location + #job/#jobs/#hiring/#jobpost/#employment/#recruiting/#career/#staffing/#salesjob//#awesomejob/#NAJ (Twitter lingo for ‘Need A Job?’) etc.

2. Using the default profile picture

twitter pic

This may seem minor, but people judge books by their covers, and people will judge you based on your profile picture.

Twitter’s default profile picture is a big, bald egg.  It screams “I am new to Twitter and to social media and am naïve and inexperienced and probably buy things from late-night infomercials!”

This might be fine if your target job candidate is someone to test infomercial products, but is less so if you’re trying to hire tech savvy programmers or Millennials.

Pick a picture that both shows who you are (as a recruiter or an organization) and that is similar to those your target applicant pool uses.  Don’t post a duck-face selfie if you’re trying to hire C-level executives in the chemicals industry, for example.

(Actually, don’t post a duck-face selfie at all.  Ever.)

3. Not having the right info in your bio

twitter bio

Like the profile picture, not completing your Twitter bio will make you look like a dweeb (and if you combine a default picture with an empty profile, well, that’s verging on “why even bother” territory).

Because applicants want to know that you’re a real a person, your profile should include more than just what you do professionally. A tidbit or two about who you are personally will go a long way towards making candidates feel at ease.

Obviously, you need to target your language to the right people as well. Does your bio, and the personal information you include, reflect the sensibilities of your target demographic?

4. Only tweeting job postings

twitter only jobs

Don’t be the spammer. No one likes the spammer.

Not only will an unrelenting stream of job postings cause your followers to flee, it will undermine the main advantage of recruiting through social media: the social part.

You need to use Twitter to engage your target applicant pool. You can’t just hit them with a series of job posts and hope they bite.  Conversations are not one-sided advertising-fests.

Ask questions, post industry news, link to videos that illustrate the office culture. Showcase a little personality. Candidates these days like to know there’s a real person behind the corporate social media account.

5. Not asking people to retweet your job openings

twitter retweet ask

When you do tweet job openings, you should make sure that they get as much visibility as possible.

This means not only using the right hashtags, having engaged followers who actually look at your tweets because you have real conversations with them, and sending tweets to the right audience, but also asking your followers to spread the word themselves.

This is how your job opening will get out to a wider audience, and it’s as simple as adding a “Please RT” at the end of your tweet.

It’s the tactic that allowed one senior recruiter to make three hires in six weeks, even with only a couple dozen followers on a new Twitter account. Tapping into your network and the networks of your followers is a force multiplier that gets your job opening in front of the right people.


What mistakes have you made or seen other hiring managers make when trying to attract quality applicants on Twitter? Add them in the comments below!

Looking for Recruiting software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Recruiting software solutions.

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About the Author


JP Medved

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J.P. was formerly content director at Capterra.


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