Four Tips for Using Twitter for Social Media Recruiting

Twitter. While some people bemoan the very creation of this social media phenomena, how it’s used, its shortcomings and weaknesses, others have made it a primary tool by which they communicate — quickly, easily, and effectively.

All of which kind of sums up the double-edged sword of using Twitter as a social media recruiting tool.

In this article, I’m going to talk about using Twitter in healthcare recruiting. Certainly, these suggestions can apply to any industry, but I make them here specifically with healthcare in mind.

First, let me say that in general, I see far too much randomness, in terms of content posted, across healthcare Twitter sites. Which brings me to my first point:

1. You need a social media strategy. Now.

If you’re asked to make a presentation to your colleagues or supervisors, you prepare. Right? You complete relevant research, check facts, and make notes of important points you want to be sure to cover, and in what sequence, so that they make the most sense. You make sure you know who your audience is, and you walk in with plenty of knowledge of both the subject matter and how you’re going to relay it to your listeners to best capture their attention.

The bottom line is that you create communication goals, and you explicitly plan how best to meet them.

Preparing a content strategy for social media is pretty much the same as the prep you’d undertake for a presentation. In the case of healthcare recruiting, it’s your company and its brand who are the “presenters”, with a perpetual goal of providing potential applicants with reasons to consider you as their place of employment.

The need for a well-planned, clearly articulated communication strategy is true for all communication platforms, but for some reason, people tend to ignore social media when creating content strategy.

I see so many organizations whose “content strategy” is to post job link after job link. But a link, with no context or content to persuade someone to click it (other than perhaps they need a job and you’re posting one). Tweeting loads of job links every day is not an effective recruitment effort. Believe me, your followers are not interested in a daily deluge of random job links flooding their Twitter timelines.

Instead, put together an outline of the kind of content you need to curate to create interest in your company and the jobs you have. Content that will entice people to check you out and apply for your open positions.

And remember: the more interesting, the more valuable, the more enlightening your content is, the more better-qualified applicants you’ll attract.

2. Multiple Needs? Multiple Twitter accounts.

Who wants Twitter content about nursing if you’re an IT person? And vice-versa.

Too often, an organization’s social media is a province dedicated solely to its marketing/PR department, and the single feed is a mishmash of company news and randomly pulled job postings. But why not create clear channels of job content for your followers? How about, say, a nursing channel, an allied health channel, a channel for non-clinical jobs.

Always refer back to your content plan when delivering your 140 characters. Few people excel at extemporaneous communication, and even if you’re one of them, your organization’s social media accounts are not the place to showcase that talent.

As I’ve said, don’t just blast a stream of jobs. Instead, discuss items the individual job classes would be interested in. Things like low-turnover for key units and opportunities for advancement. Maybe you’re offering a hiring bonus or starting a new continuing ed feature. Maybe you have specific IT projects with specific skill needs. Maybe you’ve recently been recognized for excellence in a particular specialty. Help your cause by using hashtags with care.

You could even allow key influencers — employees within your organization — to have account access. Staff members who could tweet about their jobs, the org, and the people who they work with. Turn those on-the-job superstars into recruiters. Remember, study after study has proven that people trust people, not brands.

3. Job links should link directly to jobs.

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it. But far too often, we see something different.

Here’s what happens.

Your organization pays for a third-party service that spits out job tweets multiple times a day. But instead of the link going directly to one of your jobs in your career site and job search, it takes interested candidates to someplace else first.

NEVER send people to some third-party site just so a vendor can justify the success of their product by racking up some visit data. Don’t waste the candidate’s time. Whenever you tweet a job, then that link should take them straight to the job. Always. Not a “talent community” or any other promotional site.

4. Recruiters are people, too.

Sometimes you’ll find recruiters who have accounts dedicated specifically to the purpose of recruiting. Through these accounts, recruiters can take advantage of creating a more conversational approach that might include a range of topics of interest that would help put candidates at ease and allow for direct messaging about jobs and other interests passive candidates might have. It’s a perfect place to allow for a more casual, personal flow of conversation.


Twitter can be an effective communication tool if you use it wisely, as part of an overall communication strategy. It’s not particularly time-consuming, and it’s certainly cost-effective.

But for it to be a successful part of your strategy, first you have to have that strategy.

So start right now. Make sure your organization has a content plan. Create lines of communication by job classes and interests. Get your best team players, your top employees by department, involved in your recruitment effort. Don’t waste a candidate’s time; if you tweet a job, take them straight to the job. And encourage your recruiters to create conversations with applicants in a more relaxed and personal atmosphere.

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