Twitter: Finding Your Talent & Your Peers

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I didn’t like Twitter when I first joined.

It’s hard to sum up anything I want to say in 140 characters or less, and it didn’t feel personal like Facebook (where I actually knew all of my Friends).

But, I stuck with it, and I tweeted things, and somehow, I created a little following.  The next thing I knew, I loved Twitter. I loved it more than any other social network.

I like the fact that it’s less personal.  I like the fact that my Twitter stream is full of people I find strange, funny, useful, and talented.  I like it that other Recruiters and HR Pros like it, and I like it that my peers have very honest things to say about our profession.

From a sourcing standpoint, I find it to be a place of the higher level nerds who are drawn to the techy things in life (read: IT people, App & Software Designers, Web Designers, Community Managers, and Engineers).

Note: I love happen to love higher level nerds. I married one.

Tips for HR/Recruiting Twitter Newbies:

  1. Tweet a few times per day and interact with others. Oh, and be entertaining. Don’t be lame.
  2. Don’t sound like spam for your company (people like real people, and you don’t want to sound like a sourcing robot, only tweeting links to jobs)
  3. Tweet your jobs and use hashtags when you do to categorize them for locals and people in that particular field (example: #Jobs, #TechJobs, #ToledoJobs).
  4. Create a little pocket of people you follow that can become possible candidates in the future (add them to lists and/or follow them).
  5. Put the Twitter app on your phone so you can tweet photos of the fun things you do. You’ll also be ready to respond to people anytime, anyplace.
  6. Follow people who do what you do to share knowledge and best practices.
  7. Use your picture as your profile picture (be yourself, not a brand or a picture of your baby)
  8. Pick a name you won’t hate in a couple of years. I happen to hate my Twitter handle.
The FOT Team loves Twitter.
You should follow all of us. We’re super nice, and we interact with Twitter newbies and old pros.

How I’m Sourcing:

First of all, you don’t need a single follower to source on Twitter. You just need to know how to use it as a tool.

Let’s source an IT Support Specialist today, since we all need some IT in our lives (that shoe sort of fits everyone).

There’s really two ways I’m doing this.

First, I am looking at who is interacting with someone known as a pro in whatever arena I need to fill. So for an IT person, I would start with who interacts with Wired Magazine, because I’ve noticed all the IT people follow, also follow their Twitter account.

Twitter _ Search - wired

Start clicking on the people that interact with their tweets.

Wired (wired) on Twitter

I prefer looking at those who interact over those who simply follow an account. This eliminates spam that comes with running a large Twitter account.

Okay, so that’s the first way. But I actually prefer the second way. It’s a little more work, however you’ll produce better results.

I love using Twitter’s “Advanced Search” tool.

Type “IT Specialist” in the search bar. And then click the gear thingy on the right. Click on “Advanced Search”.

Twitter _ Search - IT Specialist

Narrow your search to the city you need the job filled. Today, we’ll pretend like it’s open in Chicago, IL.

Twitter _ Advanced Search

Hit “Search”.

You’ll see other Recruiters tweeting jobs (again, why you should also be doing this, your competition is already doing this), but in that mess of tweets, you’ll find candidates. People list their job titles in their profile description, and you’ll find people who are looking for a job or talking about the one they currently have.

And occasionally, you’ll find your competition giving a shout out to one of their own… by first and last name.

“AT welcomes new hires, Darrell Ansay, IT Support Specialist…”

Twitter _ Search - IT Specialist near__Chicago, IL_ within_15mi

You can also search by key words that a candidate would use while tweeting with peers. Follow people in various fields and learn their trendy lingo. They don’t speak to each other in Job Description.  They all have a language, just like we have a language.

So, there you have it! That’s how I source on Twitter. It’s free, it’s not very time consuming, and besides finding a few candidates, you can meet more people in our field.

Are you on Twitter? If so, what’s your handle? We want to follow you!  And what tips do you have for HR Pros & Recruiters on sourcing Twitter?

FOT Background Check

Meredith Soleau
Meredith Soleau was supposed to be a famous country singer, but her parents made her go to college and major in something “real.” She graduated with a B.S. in Business from the University of Toledo, and landed a gig as a Human Resources Director at a large car dealership in Ohio. After eight years of HR at a car dealership, she burned out, decided to sell cars herself, and has since launched her agency, where she specializes in finding blue-collar workers. Clearly she has plenty of stories. But the best stories are probably about Meredith, herself. Read them on her personal blog, meredithsoleau.com, where she holds nothing back. Follow Meredith on Twitter. Become her friend on Facebook. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

6 Comments

  1. Keren Douek says:

    Very helpful tips, thanks!

    Reply
  2. Jillian says:

    I had no idea that you could use twitter to find potential employees. Nice tip ;)

    Reply
  3. Brandi Cole says:

    Great post about using Twitter for recruiting! It looks like we’re writing about similar topics too. We did a post about the best niche Twitter hashtags for recruiting: http://www.smartrecruiters.com/static/blog/7-niche-twitter-hashtags-for-recruiting/ and it’s gotten some decent buzz. We should do some blogging together!

    Reply
  4. Chrystal Moore says:

    This was great! Sharing with my recruiting peers that have still not jumped on the Twitter Train! I’m at @RecruitMoore by the way! ;)

    Reply
  5. Ross Miller says:

    Hi Meredith,

    Fantastic article! I’ve also fallen a bit in love with Twitter over the years. At first I didn’t see the point but once you’ve spent some time on it and built up followers it’s a brilliant tool. For recruitment companies it can be invaluable, as far as engaging with potential clients and candidates in a friendly and even casual way. Like you said in your first point about Tips for Recruiting Twitter Newbies – it’s okay to interact with people throughout the day and to be entertaining! No one’s going to think less of you for it, just the opposite in fact.

    Reply

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