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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.