Written by Audrey Agot & Nathalie Cano


The answer to this question may not be as cut and dried as we would like, but what we do know is that Twitter can work for social recruiting if used properly. Whether you’re a recruiter with a Twitter account or your company has a Twitter presence, there are several benefits to be found for both recruiters and brands in this ever-changing social media platform.­


As of the fourth quarter of 2015, Twitter had an average of 305 million monthly overall active users. Each second, an average of 6,000 tweets go live. Talent has to be lurking in there somewhere, and the good news is that you probably won’t have to look far for it. Thanks to a couple of Twitter tools, these millions of users and tweets are searchable and easy to organize for recruiters.

Each second, an average of 6,000 tweets go live. #socialrecruiting Click To Tweet

  • Twitter Advanced Search allows you to refine your search beyond just looking at hashtags. You can search exact phrases, exclude words, and even search by sentiment (positive, negative, asking a question). If you’re trying to build your talent pool, try searching industry-specific hashtags in addition to common job search hashtags. For instance, if you’re recruiting for health care, you might find talent in #mhealth (mobile health), #FOAMed (medical education resource), or #MedEd (doctors, physicians, education). Add #jobhunt or #jobs to any industry-specific hashtags and you may just find some active job seekers!
  • Once you’ve followed a few prospects, use Twitter lists to categorize and stay in touch with them! On your lists page, you can easily create customized lists based on your hiring needs by department, seniority level, or location. Once you have a list put together, you can access the tweets of all those users in one convenient place. The best part of the lists is their privacy settings – they can either be public or private and accessible only to you. Hint: if your list is private, the users you add to it won’t be notified that you included them.

Building Relationships

It’s important to cultivate the prospect relationships that you start on Twitter, and the platform makes it quick and easy. Interacting can be as simple as liking, replying, and retweeting, or you could venture into Twitter chats.

Twitter chats are conversations that take place on assigned dates and times and have one designated hashtag. People follow and contribute to the conversation by using the designated hashtag. As a recruiter, you can participate in industry-specific Twitter chats or those specifically focused on job search and recruitment (this is where you can find active job seekers!). For example, if you’re hiring marketers, you could get involved with #ContentChat or #InboundHour. Keep in mind, though, that these are conversations, and they should be treated as such – don’t push the recruiting pitch!

Keeping the conversation going is more likely to build relationships than simply posting jobs to a feed or direct messaging someone with a job opening. Meaningful relationships build communities and loyalty, and most importantly, can deliver quality hires that fit your company’s culture.

Keeping the conversation going is more likely to build relationships than simply posting jobs. #socialrecruiting Click To Tweet

Employer Brand

At KRT, we are constantly monitoring and watching what other brands are doing in the employer branding space. A few companies came to mind when thinking of social recruitment and employment brand. We’re not talking about a stream of job postings – employer brand is the face of your company, what goes on behind the scenes, and, ultimately, what will attract people to work for you. Twitter is a great platform for broadcasting your message as an employer. What are job seekers mostly doing on Twitter? 76 percent are looking at company profiles. If a user arrives at your company’s profile and sees a feed drowning in job postings, they may click, but they won’t have an idea of what it’s like to work with you. On the other hand, if they see real photos of your employees and workplace, they’re more likely to be engaged. Here are a couple companies that are kicking butt using Twitter to showcase their employer brand.

76% of #jobseekers are looking at company profiles. #socialrecruiting Click To Tweet

Of course, you can’t talk about employer brand without talking about Zappos! Specifically, their careers presence on Twitter is spot on. They not only have a healthy amount of genuine workplace/employee photos, but they also consistently interact and engage with other users. It’s one thing to push out content – it’s another to respond and acknowledge followers using likes, replies, and retweets. Don’t post and run! For instance, Zappos hosted a Leap Day Twitter chat, #TakeTheLeap. The chat wasn’t even focused on recruitment – it was a fun way to reach beyond their current candidate pool and let their employee ambassadors take the stage.


Starbucks does a great job of showcasing that they care about providing young job seekers with opportunities for professional development. They host a number of career fairs, with one of their most recent and largest being #100kOpportunities. But their Twitter does more than just announce the career fairs. They build a story around what it’s like to work at Starbucks, show what kind of people work there, and emphasize that they truly care – through photos, blogs, and personalized posts.
social recruiting


The first thing that stands out from Dell’s Twitter account is how visually engaging it is. Scrolling through their tweets, there is a harmonious balance between graphics, high-quality photos, and more casual/candid photos. For instance, this tip for job seekers has not only useful advice but also a photo of people on their team. This puts a face to the advice, which can create credibility.
social recruiting

If you’re looking for inspiration, these companies are a good start! (You’ll notice that they are considered successful not because they post a lot of job postings but because they provide value to job seekers.)

Now, here are some companies that might benefit from a little Twitter strategy TLC: one started because of a mouse, and the other one is a well-known staffing firm in tech and finance. Each have the making to have strong social strategies, but each could improve upon certain aspects of their social programs. Of course, Disney’s name alone speaks volumes to the point that if they didn’t have any employer presence on social media, they wouldn’t struggle for job applications. For Robert Half, being one of the top staffing firms means that they have to stand out and provide value for job seekers.

Here are some ways that both of these companies could improve their social recruiting strategies:


social recruiting

If you mention Disney, a few things could come to mind. From theme parks to stores to networks, Disney has multiple lines of business, as does their career presence on Twitter. There are handles for ABC, the theme parks and the Walt Disney Company. It all can get a little confusing because there isn’t one centralized hub for job seekers. Each one could stand alone and have its own identity if the company was showcasing more than stock photos or job opportunities. There are some hints of company culture, especially if it has to do with interns, but they are still missing the mark.

How could Disney improve its employer strategy on Twitter?

  • Develop a consistent hashtag for all Disney careers for employees to use, as well as for job seekers to find. Interns can still have their own if that is an initiative.
  • Don’t use stock photos unless it’s the last resort. Photos of employees provide greater insight into what it’s like working at Disney.
  • Spruce up the tweets that are job focused. Disney may not have to sell the jobs since they’re Disney, but tweets could have more engaging text.
  • Sell the company culture more than the job. #DisneyInterns is flooded with only job posts. Interns that want to work for Disney are probably interested in social media and can provide photos and additional content.
  • One thing that we noticed on most of Disney’s Twitter handles are just retweets. There is zero interaction with employees that may include the specific hashtags or handles in their tweets. The only interaction is @TWDCJobs asking permission to use someone’s photo.

social recruiting

Robert Half

social recruiting

Robert Half is similar to Disney because they have multiple Twitter accounts for various business sectors. As a staffing firm, Robert Half helps people find jobs or land careers, so their strategy is to provide value to job seekers. One of the main problems for Robert Half’s main account is that it provides similar content back to back. Ultimately, the company could strengthen its overall content strategy.

  • Lay out the content that is being shared on a daily basis and categorize them by topics (we do this at KRT for our clients!). By doing this, Robert Half won’t have three quotes in a row. On their page, this repetition is noticeable, but not as much on the Twitter News Feed.
  • Use more hashtags on posts. By using three or less, they could help the content reach larger audiences.

If Robert Half is active on its other Twitter accounts, they should retweet from those accounts to the main @RobertHalf. A cross promotional strategy may help job seekers follow the accounts that are most related to their interests/experience.

social recruiting

Job Visibility

Twitter can also bring visibility to your jobs – Isn’t that what we’re all after? With as many people as there are on Twitter, you have a huge audience, and they are using Twitter to search jobs and research companies, so you better show up! Distributing jobs on Twitter can be done in a couple of ways:

First, you can work it into your content strategy. In addition to all of the employer brand and value-adding content, you can include a few tweets with career opportunities. These posts should be as engaging as the rest of the content, optimized with images and enticing copy.

Second, you could use a tool to automatically post your open reqs to Twitter. When only posting jobs, we recommend that you create a handle to host the feed. This would be separate from your employer brand content. After all, you don’t want you engaging content to be buried under a slew of jobs. A note about tools – your ATS may offer this service, or you can work with a company like CareerArc. The important thing is to make sure the proper hashtags are included on the tweets and graphics.

Overall, having a strong content strategy will ultimately help your brand showcase what job seekers are actually interested in: your current employees’ perspective. Job seekers want to know what it’s like to work at a company before applying, and social media is an avenue that can provide that insight. Know your audience, and test content and strategies out on social media before being stuck in your ways. Provide value for job seekers on Twitter, and if they are hired, they could become strong advocates on social for other job seekers. People trust people, so your Twitter strategy for social recruiting should reflect that through content.

Job seekers want to know what it’s like to work at a company before applying. #socialrecruiting Click To Tweet

Bonus: Must-follow Twitter accounts

If you’re ready to start using Twitter, a quick and easy first step is to start following people! Here are some of our favorites.

Name & handle What they post about
Greg Savage @greg_savage Recruitment tips, practices, and techniques based on real-life experiences
Katrina Collier @WinningImpress Social media for recruitment tips, news, and trends
Barry Feldman @FeldmanCreative Recruitment marketing, social media, SEO, content marketing
Louise Triance @louisetriance Recruitment (based in the UK)
Lars Schmidt @ThisIsLars Recruitment case studies, best practices, podcasts, and interviews
Craig Fisher @Fishdogs Recruitment, employer brand, business, tech
Lou Adler @LouA Recruiting, hiring
Todd Raphael @ToddRaphael Recruitment, HR
Bad JobAd Mistakes @JobPostShame Recruitment humor
Johnny Campbell @socialtalent Recruitment, job boards, social media
The Employable @theemployable Job search, interview and resume tips
The HR Director @TheHRDirector HR, case studies, news, global, inspirational content
Talent Culture @TalentCulture Workplace culture, talent management, tech, leadership, management
Undercover Rec @UndercoverRec Recruiting, job search, social media, hiring
Tony Restell @tonyrestell Social media, social recruiting, small business
Erin Bazinet @erinbaz Social media, branding, blogging, sourcing
Bill Boorman @billboorman Social recruiting, social referrals
Emilie Mecklenborg @emiliemeck Social recruiting, HR, candidate experience
Susan Heathfield @susanheathfield HR, management, development
Sharlyn Lauby @sharlyn_lauby Social media, company culture, HR, recruiting
Kevin W. Grossman @kevinwgrossman HR, training, news
Steve Boese @steveboese HR, workplace improvement
Deb Calvert @peoplefirstps Sales, recruiting, social selling
Mike Cleland @chartedpath Strategic planning, sales, recruiting, management coaching
Amy Bingham @binghamcp Selling (to customers and candidates), staffing firm
Shally Steckrl @shally Sourcing, recruiting
Meghan M. Biro @meghanmbiro Social branding, content marketing, sourcing, staffing firm
Dean Da Costa @deandacosta Sourcing, staffing, tech, recruiting
Stacy Donovan Zapar @stacyzapar Recruiting, social recruiting, candidate experience, time management
Glen Cathey @glencathey Boolean search, recruiting, social recruiting
David Schreiber @heyschreiber Recruiting, leadership, social media
DataDriven Recruiter @RecruitDDR Recruiting, big data, analytics, HR
We Are Cisco @WeAreCisco Company culture, employer brand
Jen Davis @recruitradical Recruiting, candidate experience, HR tech
The Muse @dailymuse Job search, tips, career advice
Hiring Maven @hiringmaven HR, recruiting
Glassdoor Employers @GDforEmployers Employer brand, recruiting
Jose Watson @josewats Recruitment, social recruiting
KRT Marketing @krtweet Recruitment marketing, social recruiting, programmatic job advertising

Is there anyone you would add to the list? Share in the comments!