Social Recruiting

Social Media Recruiting: Using Twitter to Find Diverse Professionals

After surveying eight thousand recruiters, we found that 81 percent of firms will spend 2014 hiring diverse candidates. Is this on your To-Do list? If so, try utilizing social media for your talent search. More than half (54%) of recruiters now utilize Twitter for hiring purposes.

Still on the fence?

In a recent article published by the Wall Street Journal, Twitter was dubbed more racially diverse than Facebook and Pinterest. Forty percent of African American Internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Twitter on a regular basis and almost half (41%) of the entire Twitter community is Hispanic, Asian, and African American. Twitter has evolved into a powerful tool for companies looking to recruit various cultures and fresh talent.

 Now you might be wondering: How do I identify and connect with minorities on Twitter? Here are a few ways to begin:

1. Hashtags: Hashtags are often used to filter and find information. They also make your tweets searchable. Capitalize and brand your hashtags to reflect your company while targeting the desired audience. For example, NABJ (National Association of Black Journalists) commonly uses the hashtag #mediadiversity when tweeting articles and job openings. This practice creates an online community and news feed dedicated to media and diversity.

Organizations also employ hashtags for the promotion of events. Women 2.0 is currently promoting their upcoming San Francisco conference with the hashtag #w2sf14. If you search this hashtag on Twitter, you will discover engineers, investors, and entrepreneurs tweeting about the same subject. Eventbrite even added to the news feed, tweeting a direct link for purchasing tickets.

Bottom line, use hashtags to connect with professional markets and urban communities.

2. Engagement: There are numerous ways to interact and build a deeper relationship with your Twitter audience. Try hosting a Twitter chat to connect with customers and potential job candidates. Twitter chats are brought together by hashtags and focus on a specific conversation at a specific time. Create a hashtag that relates to your chat topic and target audience. You can also find professionals on  job- related chats through hashtags like #careerchat and #internchat.

The NSBE (The National Society of Black Engineers) held a Twitter chat for empowering African American women in STEM- science, technology, engineering and math. Followers attached the hashtag #AAWiSTEM to their tweets and discussed the need to bring awareness, exposure, and resources to women in STEM.

Interact with followers, answer questions, keep people informed and tweet consistently. Try hosting giveaways, and using external applications like Storify to further entice your audience. Storify is a social network service which allows its users to tell stories by importing content from various forms of media into a timeline.

Get creative and take chances with engagement options. Ask your followers what they would like to see. You’ll be surprised at the answers you receive.

3. Create an appealing online Twitter presence: Use Twitter to communicate your company’s purpose, goals, culture, and job opportunities. Share information that makes your firm stand out from the crowd. Do you have video games in your office (we do)? Do you offer paid internships or minority scholarships? Do you have diversity affinity groups in your organization? Whatever it is, show your followers through tweets, photos, or even videos. Candidates want to know what your business has to offer, so don’t be afraid to get personal and tell your story. created a video displaying their awesome internship program. The short promotional film featured interns having fun, playing games, using their gym, and dancing under a disco ball in the office.  They even created the hashtag #Ourofficeisbetter to attract students to the video on Twitter. You can check out the short film in our campus hub for ideas.

Engagement also stems from outside sources. Share content from other organizations and publications that relate to your brand. Retweet blogs, infographics, and articles your followers might be interested in reading. This will lead to more retweets and engagement from non-followers, adding to your audience pool.

4. Campaigns: Try to expand your community through the development of social media campaigns. Once you understand  the audience you are trying to reach, you will be able to  promote campaigns that fit their needs and wants. Companies  like Home Depot created a campaign (Retool Your School),  which supplies up to $500,000 in grants to students at historically  black colleges. Winners were determined by the number of  retweets and mentions universities received on Twitter. Over 400,000 relevant tweets were mentioned, using the hashtag #retoolyourschool.

Campaigns have shown to be successful whilst using promoted tweets. Promoted Tweets are paid, targeted tweets that land you at the top of search results on Twitter. Test drive this strategy to increase engagement rates.

Social media recruiting not only helps in the advancement of young, urban, tech savvy college graduates, but it also aids you! Recruiting employees from Twitter speeds up hiring practices, lowering vacancy rates while filling open positions faster. It also is cost-efficient. Creating a twitter handle and posting a job won’t cost you a penny, and you’ll be able to push your brand to a wider variety of qualified candidates.

Approximately 70 percent of recruiters say that social media recruiting is successful and sadly 36 percent of firms are not engaged on social networks. Don’t be that anti-social organization living in the Dark Ages. Utilize Twitter for diverse recruitment within your business!

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Nathan Parcells

Nathan Parcells is VP of Marketing and co-founder of Looksharp. He has spent the past decade helping students launch their career, researching best practices for hiring millennials (including running Looksharp's annual "State of College Hiring") and sharing these insights with employers. Nathan's work has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Business Insider and more. Outside of work, Nathan is an avid rock climber, back packer and Bob Dylan fan.