Hashtags: the recruiter’s friend?

Hashtags: the recruiter’s friend?

#careers #jobs #recruiting #dotheyevenwork

There's little doubt that social media is an important tool in a recruitment agency's box. With a wealth of platforms, varying in popularity and audience size, social media is invaluable when it comes to getting in-front of people.

But because these online networks are so ingrained in our daily lives, and from the sheer number of people using them, how can any Tweet, post or update ever be more than just noise?

The humble hashtag is an effective filter. Add #jobs after a vacancy posting, though necessary, and you're really just stating the obvious. By also adding #engineering (or other sector), however, you define and filter your post's audience and amplify its reach to people outside your network. Given that many people use hashtags as a search tool, it makes sense to include them in-front of your key words.

Twitter statistics show that posts with hashtags see double the engagement, and 40% are retweeted. Instagram, Google+ and Facebook posts also fare better with hashtags. The cardinal (unwritten) rule, however, is to use them wisely - add more than two in any post or Tweet and you advertise your naivety of social media etiquette to the world.

With regards to your agency's marketing and branding, hashtags are also useful. Reporting on specific industry developments with a relevant 'identifying' hashtag can show an organisation with its finger on the pulse, and an influencer people should follow.

Hashtags are not a feature of Linkedin, which is arguably a valuable social media platform when it comes to job hunting. They were part of the relationship Linkedin had with Twitter, but following their 'divorce' in 2012, they disappeared. Hashtags can still be included within the body of a published post on Linkedin, and as LI is one place you wouldn't expect to see one, perhaps this is more reason to use them, as part of your agency's content marketing initiatives.

Thinking of the searches job-hunting candidates employ online, here are the top 5 hashtags (as of late 2014):

#jobs #JobOpening #JobOpportunity

#Hiring #NowHiring

#Freelance – Enjoying a surge in popularity, freelancers are in demand as employers adapt to flexible ways of working

#MarketingJobs – 'Marketing' could be swapped for any industry or specific job role; all fields have their own community of recruiters

#JobTips – A popular search term with jobseekers. Add this to tip sheets, resources or relevant blog posts you publish, and become a trusted adviser and an organisation to turn to with anyone looking for work in your area or specialism.

Location-based hashtags can help you find your audience, and are often retweeted by organisations and bodies in the same district. Using hashtags in real time, at industry events for example, can help others follow if they're not able to attend, and further cements your expertise. There are even custom hashtags for recruiters, such as #JobHour, that encourage those hiring to promote their vacancies, and which also give jobseekers a specific time to 'tune in'.

With statistics such as 74% of companies filling vacancies via social media, and 54% using Twitter as a recruitment tool, learning the online tricks of the trade is crucial. Hashtags can boost the prominence of a posting, provided it's appropriate and targeted, and help those searching for a specific vacancy to find what they're looking for. #Cool

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