Twitter: Finding Your Talent & Your Peers

Meredith Soleau Meredith Soleau, Recruiting, Social Media and Talent, Social Networking, Social Recruiting, Sourcing, War for Talent

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?