About: Twitter has attracted more than 100 million users since it launched in 2006. The site – described as the ‘SMS of the internet’ on Wikipedia - offers a networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read ‘tweets’: text-based posts of up to 140 characters. Users can then ‘follow’ other subscribers’ tweets. As of last year, users can also follow lists of tweeters rather than just individuals. You can follow topic-specific hashtags that are created by the community - for example “#hrjobs” for jobs in HR
- You can can use hash tags, for example "#hrjobs", to connect with people who do not currently follow you but are interested in a certain topic.
- If you use Tweetdeck you can control multiple accounts at once, i.e. one for the business as a whole, one for jobs, one for events
- Somebody who likes your tweet can 'retweet' it so others can find it. This often leads to more followers and means your post reaches more people
- You can follow competitors, interesting industry figures and potential recruits to keep track of what they are doing and interact with them
- You only have 140 characters to get your point across (but links can be shortened using tools like bit.ly )
- If negative comments are ignored or responded to badly, everyone who follows you will be able to see this. However, responding to them well will increase respect for the brand
- If you don't have a decent number of followers you won't reach many people
- Former employees and even current employees may air their grievances in tweets to your company (i.e. a tweet beginning with @companyname). This is very public but can be used to your advantage if you respond appropriately.
Uses in HR: As with Facebook, many large employers are using Twitter to post new jobs to potential recruits.
Job postings have to follow the same format as any other tweet - i.e. no more than 140 characters (for example, Senior Hr Advisor, Oxford, UK).The tweet includes a link to the job ad on the company website.
A jobs page works in much the same way as an individual’s page and it has to have a decent number of ‘followers’ to make the job tweets worthwhile. Employers use the hashtag (#keyword) to associate a keyword or tag to their tweets. The hashtag links the post to other jobs and so displays the post to more tweeters who are searching hashtag #jobs. This applies to all other postings, such as conferences and events, too.
It can also be used for employee engagement. Staff will interact on twitter without your involvement but if you create a central account where employees can ask questions, tell you any problems they're having with their jobs, generally give you feedback on their working lives you can turn it into a live employee feedback survey. If staff see you responding to their comments and see resulting action fed back into the company, it will increase morale and motivation.
Encouraging use of this social media tool with work colleagues can also break down divides between different departments. If the boardroom begin talking with the graduate recruits or the shop floor workers about anything from work events to their everyday lives (even what happened in Eastenders last night) they begin to gain respect for each other. These are conversations that would be unlikely to happen on any other platform.
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