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How Recruiters and Job Seekers Can Take Flight with Twitter

In the third in our series on social media and recruiting — a marriage that has eased the lot of both candidate and employer — we tackle the extraordinary and unstoppable force that is Twitter.

While still lagging behind LinkedIn (93%) and Facebook (66%) in usage stats, Twitter (54%) still beats its recruitment wings powerfully. Eight tips for riding the airstream.

1.     Create a branded company Twitter profile and assign someone to oversee it. Candidates’ pages need a photo and a descriptive bio seeded with key search words.

2.     Post more than just jobs. Both recruiter and candidate should remember the value of variety. Tweet news stories about your industry, corporate culture, personal stuff, even videos. The more well-rounded your Twitter contributions, the more well-rounded are you.

3.     Be succinct. Twitter only offers 140 characters, after all. Your ability to get to the point swiftly is imperative.

4.     Cultivate a relevant pool of followers. If you’re always looking for HVAC mechanics, you need them to follow you. Use tools like PeopleBrowsr, JobShouts Social Search and TweepSearch to identify individuals according to their profession. A quick search on Twitter (search.twitter.com) will reveal all discussions of a specific keyword. If you have a phone conversation with a likely soul, ask if he’s on Twitter. And remember: The people you follow frequently elect to follow you back.

5.     Familiarize yourself with tools and services to help with job-post distribution, candidate sourcing and candidate tracking. TweetBeep alerts you to tweets relevant to your search; Jobvite’s multiple recruitment applications integrate Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter promotion; TweetMyJobs posts employment opportunities according to geography and specific job functions.

6.     Engage in regular conversation with followers and followees alike. One of Twitter’s crowning features is its real-time communicability. Listen to others, and respond. That established relationship can later be dipped into usefully. It is social media, after all.

7.     Establish a system to monitor activity. By including a hashtag with a key word or phrase in your tweet, it becomes immediately searchable. And linking postings with a URL means you can track the number of click-throughs they attract.

8.     Get staffers on board. If your entire team retweets a job opening, its transmission reach multiplies. Consider incenting such activity with referral bonuses.

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