Especially for those unfamiliar with Twitter and other link-sharing social networks, the idea of discovering potential employees through such a new-fangled digital medium can seem strange, even daunting. The fact is, however, that not only have many mainstream companies legitimately found new employees by using Twitter, but doing so can actually make a lot of sense in many ways. Businesses looking to do so by leveraging hashtags should probably stick by some common guidelines, though.
In order to use Twitter hashtags to meet potential employees demands taking advantage of what Twitter is already good for: Generating conversation on specific topics between like-minded people. The benefit of hashtags is being able to not only keep up with a conversation on one of those topics, but even being able to start the trend and get the talks going on a subject. For example, a downtown bakery with an established Twitter following that is looking for a new baker may tweet one morning, “So, would you consider yourself a good baker? What is your specialty? #DowntownBakery” By keeping track of responses and following up with those who sound qualified, this can actually lead to some potential interviews and maybe even land the right person. The added benefit is landing someone that is Twitter-savvy, and thus will inherently be more strongly able to promote the business hired to.
Perhaps the previous tactic sounded a little subversive and devious; but, depending on company culture, using Twitter hashtags to meet potential employees can actually be a very open process. After all, in an era when so many job applications take place online, why not blatantly use Twitter to post links directly to those applications? Thus, hashtags can be used by, say, Twitter users who just applied, by tweeting something like, “Just applied! Here’s hoping I get the position! #DowntownBakeryManagement” The business can then quickly and easily see which people are publicly acknowledging their application, and possibly consider that usage as part of the qualifications. For positions in areas such as marketing and human resources, watching how Twitterers respond to such open hashtag use may reveal their future tendencies for using it in the office.
But one dynamic aspect of hashtags is that, rather than be the one to generate and track their use, a savvy organization can actually plug into existing tags and see what is going on. To continue the example at hand, that downtown bakery can search for all tweets happening on the hashtag “#Baking” and see if they find anyone sharing some spectacular recipes, thus identifying talent they want to bring on-board. This can be done without anyone’s knowledge, and truly lead to finding some professional, expert, web-friendly workers.
Using Twitter hashtags to meet potential employees may not yet be an exact science or even a pretty process, but the art is gradually improving, and information-sharing manages would be wise to not only learn the ways of hashtags, but figure out how to best exploit them, for recruitment purposes and beyond.