How to Recruit on Twitter

Twitter’s been in the news recently. A “federal judge has ruled President Donald Trump’s practice of blocking critics on Twitter violates the First Amendment”.

You’re still fine to block him though if you want.

Unlucky Donny.

Twitter caters to 330 million active users a month tweeting 500 million times every single day. 62% are between the ages of 18 and 49, 80% use their mobile and there are 13 million Tweeters in the UK alone.

Last year, they doubled the limit for tweets from 140 to 280 characters. Allowing individuals and brands to express themselves more than ever.

Now, if you’re more of snapper than a chatter this article on How to recruit on Instagram will see you right.

But for everyone else, here’s how to make the little blue bird sing for you.

Things to remember

As is the case with any social media platform, people generally use it to get away from work. So if you wade in all tweets blazing about #recruitment and #careergoals you’ll be met with a wall of indifference.

Building a following takes time.

And you might find after months of work that your market just isn’t on there. So if you’re after quick wins, stick to LinkedIn.

The secret to winning on Twitter

Have a sense of humour.

Brands that do well mix light hearted escapism with on-message content. I always point to US fast food chain Wendy’s as the perfect example of this:

Wendy's Tweets

And that, in a nutshell, is the tone to adopt on Twitter. Tweeting a photo of one of your Researchers holding Krispy Kreme’s over their eyes alongside the caption “donut miss this week’s hot jobs” isn’t.


Without a following, you’ll be warbling away to yourself. Perfectly fun but utterly pointless. Which incidentally is my Twitter bio.

Hashtags were basically invented on the platform back in 2007 and they still remain a great way to categorise content. Hashtagify is the go-to for generating additional relevant hashtags, taking the guesswork out of increasing exposure.

Image uploaded from iOS (3)

Twitter’s better optimised for posting images now, although the algo it uses to crop pictures to fit in a preview pane can be a bit dodge. I use the free Enhance app on iPhone for it’s cropping templates customised for most of the major social media platforms.

You can ‘pin’ tweets to the top of your feed, so they’re the first thing users see when they navigate to your page.

You can also tag locations in tweets. Useful if you’re advertising a job nearby.

Get Trendy

The #1 reason people come to Twitter is to “discover something new and interesting”” according to Twitter themselves. You’ll typically find what’s interesting to the community at large in the ‘Trends for you’ tab on desktop and within the search tab on mobile.

Boosting exposure superficially can be as simple as tweeting about what’s trending. As a recruitment business, this won’t get you very far. There are niches upon niches upon niches on Twitter. Building a following is about owning yours.

You’ll know what’s trending in your industry. For no other reason than you spend practically all day every day talking about your market. Let this form the basis of the content you put out and people will come to you. In time.


The search function basically works like Google. It’s intuitive, filterable and easy to find what you’re looking for.

But go deeper and the capability is nuts. You think you’ve done well plugging boolean terms into LinkedIn. I stumbled upon this thread by @TexanTruth42 which shows how next level searching on Twitter really is.

  • from:username – all tweets from that user
  • to:username – all tweets to that user
  • filter:replies – only reply tweets
  • filter:media – tweets with images or video
  • since:YYYY-MM-DD – tweets after date
  • until:YYYY-MM-DD – tweets before date
  • min_faves:X – tweets with a minimum number of likes, where X is a numerical value
  • min_retweets:X – the same but with retweets
  • near:location – tweets sent from a particular location
  • within:Xmi – used in conjunction with the ‘near’ command, where X indicates number of miles from the location

These can be combined as much as you like, although the functionality struggles with too much criteria. A minus symbol preceding the command reverses it, eg -filter:media will show tweets with NO images or video.

You can also include your own search terms on top of all of this for some serious searching. A PDF of these commands is here.


Check your analytics at a glance. For each tweet, you can see impressions, likes, clicks and comments. Good for tracking engagement, awful for procrastinate self-obsession.

Image uploaded from iOS (2)

It gets even more in depth on browser, including the option to export all of your analytics data if you want to get really technical.

Interacting with accounts

If you’re bored of tweeting to yourself and your content isn’t trending through Twitter searches, the easiest way to gain exposure is to insert yourself into higher profile conversations.

This probably won’t work too well unless you’ve picked a relevant topic to barge in on. Tweeting about engineering jobs in Lancashire is unlikely to get much traffic in the middle of a prophetic Jaden Smith brainfart.

The whole point of Twitter is to encourage conversation. So be active. And use all the tools at your disposal to optimise this.

Chiefly, the ability to respond to tweets with an animated gif. Tap the GIF logo, search Giphy’s extensive library and send.

Promoted tweets

It wouldn’t be social media without the ability to pay for attention. If you’re a recruiter or agency looking to increase your Twitter presence, this will likely be the least of your priorities, starting out.

So it’s worth mentioning but I won’t go into massive amounts of detail. Promoting tweets incurs a flat monthly fee and ad campaigns only charge when user’s fulfil a campaign objective, ie: clicking through to a job description.

Tweets with video are 6x more likely to be retweeted. Worth bearing in mind.


Twitter was GDPR compliant before it was a twinkle in the eye of the European courts.

You’ll need to check with your DPO what the ins and outs are around processing Twitter data as part of your business but user-centric features like viewing and exporting your data have been around for ages.

Twitter can also be a bit rubbish

Sometimes Twitter is a cesspit. A place where people projectile vomit their thoughts onto the toilet wall of the internet. You’ll see more arguments here than your Uncle’s Facebook statuses about Brexit.

Sometimes it acts as the customer service department for brands. Which adds another way to engage with followers. Although it’s a ripe channel for criticism.

People get mad at stuff and then tweet about it. For that reason alone I’d say Twitter’s one to avoid for some of the larger agencies.

But if your market’s on there, and you’ve got time to invest, you’d be a twit not to take advantage of what is arguably one of only two social networks worth having at the moment.