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When it comes to social media and recruiting, LinkedIn is no longer the only game in town. Recruiters are finding ways to use nearly every social network to improve their recruiting processes.  (Even Pinterest! See blog post.)

Erin OsterhausThe 2013 Recruiting Channels Survey, conducted by Software Advice, found that 80% of recruiters are using social media to source hires.  Perhaps more surprisingly, recruiters reported that social media delivered the hightest quality candidates, second behind only employee referrals.

On its blog, Software Advice specifically focused on Twitter, discussing how Twitter as a company uses its own network to get the best candidates.  The article provided many useful tips, but the majority were aimed at corporate, in-house recruiters.

So to find out how independent recruiters can use Twitter, we interviewed Software Advice’s HR Analyst Erin Osterhaus, whose job it is to provide advice on the best recruiting, talent management, and leadership techniques.

TEC: Independent recruiters don’t have the advantage of being able to use other employees and company culture to help them market their open jobs, as was suggested in the article.  What unique techniques can they use?

Osterhaus: Social media is still a useful tool, even if you don’t have a large pool of employees from which to expose a company’s culture and open positions.  Independent recruiters can have social profiles targeted specifically at job seekers.  For instance, on Twitter, you could advertise the positions for which you’re hiring.  And in the case of Twitter, be sure to use hashtags that are industry-specific in order to get your tweets in front of as many potential candidates as possible.

TEC: What are some tips for recruiters just getting started with Twitter who may be a little intimidated?

Osterhaus: Don’t be afraid! There are plenty of guides out there to help you ease into the Twitterverse.  Just realize that your Tweets are public and should conform to the voice of your organization.  Then go from there.

TEC: Hashtags were discussed extensively in the “5 Strategies” article.  In my experience, this is the thing that intimidates new users the most.  They wonder how they know which hashtags to use.  Any advice?

Osterhaus: There are certain standard hashtags that are frequently used by job seekers on the job hunt.  For instance, #hiring, #tweetmyjobs, #jobopening, etc.  (For a more extensive list, click here.)  If you want to get your job postings in front of these candidates, all you have to do is include the hashtagged phrase in your tweet.

And if you want to get your Tweets in front of a specific audience, for example, software developers, you can use hashtags such as #hadoop, #linux, #ubuntu, etc.  This strategy can work for all types of positions.  You just need to think of keywords related to the job, and then put a # in front.

For reference, there are also useful tools to help you discover which hashtags are trending in certain industries. is one such tool.  Just type in a keyword in the search box, and you’ll get a list of trending words to use in your posts.

Erin Oster­haus is the HR Analyst at Soft­ware Advice, a free resource for software reviews and comparisons.  She focuses on the HR mar­ket, offer­ing advice to indus­try pro­fes­sion­als on the best recruit­ing, tal­ent man­age­ment, and lead­er­ship tech­niques.  Feel free to con­nect with her on LinkedIn.

Looking for fall decor ideas?  Pinterest is your site.  Planning a wedding? Pin away.  Looking for job candidates?  See you later, Pinterest.

While extremely popular, Pinterest is often looked at as just a fun, mindless way to pass time.  Sure, it’s a great marketing platform for dress shops and craft stores, but most service-based businesses struggle to see Pinterest as a viable marketing channel.

But don’t immediately discount it.  Pinterest CAN and HAS worked for both direct hire and contract staffing recruiters, and it may work for you, as well.
Pinterest for recruiters
Below are three ideas to get you started:

#1—Treat it as a sourcing tool.

You can find a wealth of information on Pinterest that can’t be found on other social networks with just a few simple search terms. recommends searching Pinterest for terms such as “resume,” “cv,” and “portfolio.”  This is especially useful if you are filling creative positions, such as graphic artists and web designers, who often share their work via Pinterest.  And as Sharlyn Lauby points out in a blog recently posted on, Pinterest allows you to see what potential candidates are interested in based on what they are pinning.  Plus, you can see who else shares their interests, further expanding your talent pipeline.

#2—Brand, don’t sell.

Niche recruiting firm PediaStaff may be the biggest recruiting success story on Pinterest.  With over 63,000 followers and 22,339 pins, PediaStaff’s Pinterest account has become a go-to destination for pediatric therapists, particularly in school settings.  As a result, it is the biggest source of traffic to PediaStaff’s website, according to Heidi Kay, the firm’s partner and resident social media expert.  But if you look at the firm’s pin boards, you will find very few pins about specific jobs or about PediaStaff as a firm.  Instead, PediaStaff has established itself as a resource for therapists who are searching for classroom ideas to keep kids engaged and learning.  About 60% of PediaStaff’s pins are from web searches Kay runs to find new material.  The other 40% comes from repinning content she finds on Pinterest.

“On Pinterest, and in all social media, it is important that you make most of your message about your followers and not about you,” Kay said.  “Once you develop a loyal following, you can get good marketing opportunities to discuss your job openings, placements, etc.  It’s important to strike a balance so your followers don’t feel like you are advertising yourself too heavily, but on the other hand, it does need to be your ultimate mission to make them think of YOU for jobs in their field.  You don’t want to be the guy who ran the Super Bowl ad that was hilarious, but nobody could remember what they were selling.”

#3—Consider your audience.

If the candidates you are seeking aren’t on Pinterest, it doesn’t matter how good your content is.  Pinterest users in the United States are still 83% female, according to  So if you’re courting a predominately male workforce, Pinterest may not be for you.  Twenty-five percent of Pinterest users have a bachelor’s or graduate degree, so it may not be the best medium for executive roles.  But it is a good place to source candidates for positions in Education, Sales, Healthcare Support, and Management.

“Pinterest works when there is regular content to be found on the Internet that would interest a candidate or hiring authority,” Kay said.  “Candidates who work for companies that sell mass market consumable goods, specific lifestyles, or services would be a good fit.  Teachers, Marketing, and Sales Reps and Healthcare professionals love Pinterest.  Manufacturing Engineers?  Probably not so much.”

So Pinterest may not be for everyone.  But don’t assume it’s not for you.  Look at your candidate pool.  Consider what they are interested in and what tools they need to do their job.  Can you help provide those tools?  If you can establish yourself as a resource for candidates, guess who they will think of next time they’re looking for a job?