Twitter is a real-time and fast moving social networking and micro-blogging platform that lends itself easily to search. In fact, this platform is the third most popular search engine following Google and YouTube. Twitter users post status updates in 140 characters more than 200 million per day according to Twitter.com. The site which boasts 175 million users is much smaller than Facebook, which experts believe will surpass the 1 billion user mark in 2011. While Twitter offers a platform that allows for many types of search to increase the viral spread of content, even by non-members, hash tags in particular are one of the best sources to find engaged users by particular topic or interest.
While Twitter is not your end all be all solution to online and erecruiting, it is an option that can produce positive results in a short period of time depending on how it is used. When reaching out to candidates via Twitter, it is best to have an established Twitter account with a solid following of a thousand followers and a few thousand tweets. Twitter allows for users to be contacted with no prior relationship. Searching for candidates via keyword can net you a solid list of job search and recruiting leads long before your candidate has responded to a resume-mining database like CareerBuilder or Monster.
Hash tags while they are a great source in which to source and recruit candidates, they are not the only effective method. Consider searching by keywords and information contained in Twitter bios as well as search through Twitter Lists to help you identify key players in which to identify possible relationships and candidate sources.
However, hash tags are one of the best and easiest sources to find engaged users by particular topic or interest. These hash tags which are identified by a pound sign or ‘#,’ tell Twitter and its users that the characters to follow are a user form of tweet and topic organization system. Users catalogue their own tweets allowing for them to be placed in like topics or event hash tag streams increasing the users reach and making it easier for Twitter users to conversate with like minded individuals.
There are many ways to search or find hash tags of interest using tools like Twubs or Tagalus to help you identify and search for relevant hash tags that qualified candidates to fill your job opening or requisition might be using. In my experience, the best way to located hash tags is through using basic search tools like Search.Twitter.com and researching the stream to see what keywords as well as hash tags your intended candidate or audience may be using.
Here are some popular hash tags for active job seekers on Twitter to get you started:
- #jobs. Companies use this hash tag to identify a job opening on Twitter. Job seekers then search for these posts, allowing them to better organize their job search. Look for job seekers who use this hash tag if they’ve had a bad day at work or are dipping their toe in the job search.
- #City Name. In #okc (Oklahoma City), the city where I live, you can get a feel for who the influencers are by city or metro area by researching hash tags. Remember that on Twitter you have a limited number of characters so abbreviations are common. Consider searching for both.
- #JobHuntChat. There are many industry chats happening across the Twittersphere. One in particular is a chat in which I serve as co-moderator aimed at bringing job seekers, recruiters, and industry leaders together. Check out the Twitter Chat Directory for more information.
- #Resume or #Interview. These are common hash tags used by job seekers who have questions about the recruiting, interview, and hiring process who are actively seeking work.
- #Industry Keyword. For the pharmacy industry, using keywords like #pharma or #healthcare puts you in touch with a specific group of individuals, influencers and target audience in which to build a relationship, ask for candidate referrals, and potential candidates. Hash tags like this are self-imposed and created by the audience they serve.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.
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