Twitter Lists: Why & How To Use Them For Social Recruiting

The power of Twitter starts to unveil when you understand how to use Twitter Lists in a variety of ways for both employer branding and sourcing of candidates.

Understanding Basics

You can choose to make your lists public or private, and you will find it is beneficial to make some private, whilst other lists are more effective when they are public. Public lists are searchable on Google, so you can create lists that you want people to find. For example you can create an exclusive list of your followers who retweet your job posts, or your employees so interaction can occur with potential candidates. There are many ways to use and explore private and public lists.

Twitter has rules around the creation of lists and their use. Understanding them first will impact how you create your tactics around using them.  Your ability to use lists is extensive with up to 1,000 separate lists (previously limited to 20!) each allowed to have up to 5,000 users within them. This heralds great online reputation management and online listening opportunities to social recruitment branding managers.

Clever ways to use Twitter Lists.

Why incorporate Twitter lists into your social recruitment branding efforts? For a start it is a way for social media managers to organise their Twitter connections into lists that identify how to market to them.

If you are piggy-backing off the back of your general company consumer or customer Twitter focused account it can be difficult to separate out who is an interested consumer as opposed to a candidate. Having a dedicated @jobsat[companyname] or @[company]careers account you can more effectively target messages directly to candidates. However it is worth considering that customers can become candidates and vice versa, depending on your organisation product or service.

The four main areas that Twitter lists can be used for social recruitment branding are:

  1. Monitoring & Analysis
  2. Brand Awareness
  3. Powerful Search
  4. Boost offline relationships (the coolest!)

Monitoring & Analysis

Monitoring your company’s pulse…

You can create a private Twitter list of your employees who are on Twitter. This way you can monitor what they are saying on Twitter, who is advocating for the organisation, sharing your open positions and reward them, and most importantly analyse what their interests and movements are so you can build your candidate avatar profiles, based on your employees common interests.

Looking over the garden fence…

You can create a private Twitter list for easy monitoring of all your competitors in the one place. How cool is that? You can watch what they are doing on social media. The jobs they are posting, the employer branding and social recruitment activities they are doing, how often they tweet, etc. so you can keep one step ahead.

Here is an example of a list of employers who actively use Twitter in their recruitment strategy:


Keeping It Together…

While not recruitment focused, you can create private twitter lists of certain groups of employees in your organisation. Have a lot of remote workers? or parents on leave? Create groups so you can monitor and keep them involved with your organisation whilst they are not in the office.

Brand Awareness.

Increase Your Visibility Through The Maven Talent Hook Tactic…

Mavens are the influencers in your industry that have a large, trusting, and loyal following. Many of them have tens, even hundreds, of thousands of followers. They are authors, speakers, and thought leaders in their field.  A lot of these mavens create awesome lists that attract many more people. The Maven Talent Hook™ is a hot new tactic to exponentially orbit your brand awareness (watch The MTH FREE 3 Part Recruitment Training Series here)

How can you use this tactic with Twitter Lists? Two opposite ways are:

  1. Get listed as a top company on their lists
  2. Create your own public list of top industry mavens to attract followers.

These tactics create greater brand awareness and drive traffic to your social recruitment branding content.

Tapping into lists that have niche mavens can be like striking gold. Develop a relationship with these mavens and your content may be retweeted by them to their thousands of followers.

This is an example of a list of speakers at a niche technology conference:


Attracting Candidate Traffic…

Twitter lists are highly searched on Google. By being really smart you can create lists that candidates will be attracted to, but is also highly valuable to you. For example you can create a public list of the hard to find candidates with niche skills. E.g, ‘The top 500 Puppet Labs Dev Professionals’. People are keen to get on these lists and will connect with you, making them a captive new community member.

Creating a public list of your employees gives potential candidates an insiders look at the informal culture of employees. I would recommend training employees on Twitter and employee advocacy before diving into this.

The downside of this is that the list is public so your competitors and recruiters can scour the list also. However you need to weigh up the pro’s & con’s. If you keep providing your list with stronger content you will develop a stronger loyalty and trust.

Powerful Search.

Build Your Following…

Candidates are attracted to, and give greater consideration to Twitter accounts that have a high level of social proof. Meaning you have heaps of followers. What is a tipping point of followers that starts to impress the Twitter community? Generally for individuals it is 5K+ for companies double that as a guide for a small company. The bigger the company the larger the expectation.  So you want to get down to business of attracting followers. Use other peoples Twitter Lists to search for relevant candidates, suppliers and customers for your organisation. Follow them, to be followed back. Re-tweet their content so they will re-tweet.

I see many organisation accounts who will only tweet their own posts. They don’t realise they are being shunned by many passive candidates who want to be part of a community and conversation. This is another argument for having a separate careers Twitter account from your companies consumer/marketing main Twitter account. This is so you can be highly interactive and build trust with your potential future employees.

Searching for useful Twitter Lists…

A powerful way to search for and explore relevant lists is through a google search. You are only limited by your imagination on the lists you can search to build sophistication into your social recruitment efforts.

To get an instant list of Twitter lists you just search using the boolean string: * [keywords likely to be in the list name] on Google

An example below brings up all (*) the lists of hr professionals. Google has listed Australian based HR professionals in this example because Google is reading my IP location and has sorted it by geo relevance. If you are looking in other locations list that in the keyword


Boost Offline Relationships.

Event Enhancing…

One really cool way to use lists is to create a list that is centred around an offline event. This is perfect for Open Days or Graduate Careers Fairs. Set up a public list before the careers fair and create a buzz and connection amongst followers on the list. This can boost attendance and you can also create a contest at the event with a code or clever idea embedded in your Tweet roll. Get creative here. You can also keep the momentum going after the event with post-event competitions, or pictures from the event that list members will share because they were there.

To learn more about using Twitter lists in unique and advanced ways for your recruitment marketing campaigns down load this cool cheat sheet.

More Uses For Twitter Lists With Social Recruitment – list…

Want an insiders peek at what other companies are doing with their social recruitment branding? Download 15 Social Recruitment Branding Case Studies Talent Acquisition Leaders Should Know.

Take Aways:

1. Understanding the basics. New to Twitter Lists? Use this new starters Twitter List guide to get up and going.

2. Learn about the power of the Maven Talent Hook in this FREE 3 part video training series. Go deep with your learning and download workbook!

3. Browse the Top 100 Twitter Lists on Twitter to get a feel for lists using the PeerReach Twitter Tool

Follow & list Anne-Marie on Twitter @amorrock now!