Tweet Your Way to Better Hiring

This week you might see an uptick in the amount of blogging, tweeting, and status updates. That’s because the last week in September is also Social Media Week. With the movers and shakers of the social media universe getting together to talk about the future of connecting and sharing, it seemed like a good time to look at how social media giants find the best employees to keep innovating their services.

Today we’ll be spending a few more than 140 characters looking at the hiring practices of one popular little bird: Twitter. The “micro-blogging” service has grown exponentially in the last few years. Tweets are quoted on CNN and have even been instrumental in international revolutions.

To keep moving forward, Twitter needs to continually hire the best people, just like your company. If you’re looking for top candidates, here are some lessons you can take from Twitter:

Embrace The Power Of Online Video
Human beings are visual creatures, and we especially love when those images move. Online video is a huge component of the social web, and Twitter has embraced what a good video can do for their recruiting practices. On Twitter’s designated career page, an online video sits front and center. This video is practically the first thing interested applicants see, and gives insight into Twitter’s company culture and values.

Your company shouldn’t shortchange the power of a good online video for finding and hiring the best people. Online video can be used to show off your company culture and what it’s truly like to work at your organization. It can also be used right in the hiring process, whether you’re watching a video resume or performing a video interview. For instance, a video resume can show you important interpersonal characteristics of the candidate. When used correctly, online video can be an important hiring tool your company shouldn’t ignore.

Connect With Candidates
Twitter realizes it’s important to connect with candidates, in both conventional and unconventional ways. As a social media company, Twitter knows the value of using their own platform to connect with top notch talent. That’s why they’ve created their own account — @FollowtheFlock — to give candidates insight into what it’s like to actually work at the company. It’s a brilliant way to use their own product to brand their company as a great place to work. It also allows them to connect with talented candidates and advertise open positions.

When looking to fill an open position, it’s important to stay connected to your top talent. Social media is a great way to quickly and efficiently reach out to candidates both near and far. You want to connect personally with candidates to get a better feel for their skills, professionalism, and what they can bring to the table. This could mean reaching out to a candidate over social media or even conducting a video interview to form a more personal connection earlier in the process. The important thing is to follow Twitter’s lead and get to know your talent.

Develop An Attractive Company Culture
In their recruiting video, Twitter gives applicants a little taste of what life is like at the company. And life seems fun! Talented candidates want to work at a company where they can do their best work while still enjoying their 9-to-5. It seems basic, but having great benefits can go a long way toward attracting the kind of applicants you need to keep driving your company forward.

Twitter has in-house yoga, generous maternity and paternity leave, and even a laundry service. You don’t need to do employee’s dry cleaning to develop a great company culture, but make sure to advertise the perks your company offers to nab candidates looking for a fun place to work.

Look For The Best And The Brightest
Just because a candidate is young doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to offer. Twitter has realized this, which is why they have Twitter University, a program for college students offering opportunities and internships.

By connecting with colleges and universities, you can reach out to the future of the workforce. These young workers are full of knowledge and new ideas, without being indoctrinated by how things have always been done. Better yet, by reaching out to colleges, you can scoop up top talent before your competitors.

With 140 characters and one little blue bird, Twitter has tweeted it’s way into our everyday lives. By embracing some of their top hiring practices, we can learn to hire like a social media giant and find great people to make our companies grow and thrive.

What are some hiring lessons you’ve taken from Twitter? Share in the comments!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Paul Snelling