Twitter - Recruiters don't really need to follow or be followed......

I've been thinking about how to use Twitter more effectively. I have tried tweeting my lunch menu, dinner menu and occassional snack menu. Still nothing. But I press on.......

Recently I had the pleasure of being part of the Animal Show (please don't make me link to it.....) where we discussed some very simple approaches to using Twitter in the recruiting world. Since that time it has occurred to me: I don't need to follow anyone. And quite frankly - nobody needs to follow me.

Very simply all you need to do is set up your account and start tweeting. Don't follow anyone. Don't expect anyone to follow you. Just tweet your jobs. Tweet them with the #splits for other recruiters to find you. Tweet them with the word "job" in there along with the top buzzwords for candidates to find you.

All the other stuff is just annoying. I mean - how many "helpful" links do you need every day? I don't need any.

What I need is my next placement.

If candidates are using Twitter for their job search - the first thing they are likely to do is search for one. Pretty simple, eh? Your tweet will be found in their search regardless of how many Twitter addicts are following your every thought.

Recruiters will find you using #haveaguy, #needaguy, #willdosplits, #splits............Thanks for all your efforts on getting that word out JD!

So why bother with the rest of the crap on Twitter? Unless you've got far too much free time.

I will be using a new account for "real" work. Having no followers will make sure I am not bothering anyone with only tweeting openings.

We'll see how it goes.

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Lots of interesting and good points. I think Twitter is like any other tool -- people will use it in different ways and it will hold different value for each individual. The real beauty is that you can use it any way you want -- or not.

I think the real question is not how do I use Twitter effectively -- I think the real question becomes what am I trying to accomplish and what tools (and how) can I use to enable me to do this most effectively. There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to all tools. That is why there is not just one answer. Personally, I am interested not just in recruiting and sourcing talent, but learning new things and perspectives, increasing my skills/knowledge, nurturing and growing my network, etc.

I really enjoy people challenging each other to think about things in different ways which is one of the reason I read your posts - and frankly many of the people who are responding to this chain and others. So whether I do it here, on Twitter, Google Reader, or wherever - hat tip to you all!
Thanks for all the replies folks! One common theme that surfaces in most Twitter threads seems to be the amount of information shared there.

While I'll certainly agree the amount is staggering - I'm just reminded of the need (for me personally) to be conscious of "prime time" and "non prime time" during business hours.

I can just picture my first recruiting boss stopping by my desk in the middle of the afternoon to find me wading through a pile of encyclopedias.

"Uh, what are you doing - more specifically - why are you not on the phone?"

"I'm learning............"
Chris, you said:
"I really enjoy people challenging each other to think about things in different ways which is one of the reason I read your posts..."

This is the point of community and some of the ways in which we learn. I'm glad to see your appreciation for debate. Personally, I'd like to see more fractious* discussion - not less!

I learned today that one reader's take-away of my "Should you need a license to blog?" post was that I was advocating restrictions on persons who post online; restrictions in the name of grammatical erring, spelling and content.

Nothing could be further from the truth. What I do advocate is free expression, no matter the format, no matter the spelling, no matter the ideation we are trying to create. Along with all those noble aspirations I also encourage the writer to be brave, to stay steady and able to withstand the onslaught of opinion all in the name of learning new things in this modern-day classroom we call the Internet. Whether it be in 140 character "idea bites" or paragraphs of "prosy, rambling, or tedious loquacity" that this reply may be accused of, we all stand to get better at our crafts from the lessons we learn online.

Is that a bad thing?
* The word "fractious", 'though meaning unruly, trouble-making, peevish and/or cranky does not mean disrespectful. We can have fractious discussion amongst ourselves without disrespecting each other. That's where Trouble with a capital T enters the picture. Everyone has different tolerances for respect. Does that/should that handicap a discussion? It's an interesting discussion in itself.
As always Jerry...thought provoking! As having been a part of the Animal's show on using Twitter as a Recruiting Tool I feel compelled to make a comment or two. Twitter is what it is. It is not a silver bullet of recruiting. It is a tool to be used in a way the application warrants. if you want to build communities of candidates with certain skill sets use Twitter for that. If you want to gain exposure to a potential "Holy Grail" client use it for that. In this contracted market, both are necessary with a repertoire of JIT/LEAN Boolean Sourcing tools.

Oh yeah, don't forget to build a relationship with the candidate and the client and remember how to close the both of them. That helps quite a bit in my experience.

That is my take anyway
Thanks Dave. Twitter is interesting - that's a fact. I seem to have a love/hate relationship with it and am always open to taking a different look at it.

P.S. You're in IT staffing, right? Please let me know when you've got a nice follow/following list of .Net developers..........:)

Dave Graziano said:
As always Jerry...thought provoking! As having been a part of the Animal's show on using Twitter as a Recruiting Tool I feel compelled to make a comment or two. Twitter is what it is. It is not a silver bullet of recruiting. It is a tool to be used in a way the application warrants. if you want to build communities of candidates with certain skill sets use Twitter for that. If you want to gain exposure to a potential "Holy Grail" client use it for that. In this contracted market, both are necessary with a repertoire of JIT/LEAN Boolean Sourcing tools.

Oh yeah, don't forget to build a relationship with the candidate and the client and remember how to close the both of them. That helps quite a bit in my experience.

That is my take anyway
As it has already been duly established by Dave, Twitter is not a silver bullet but potentially one of many powerful weapons in a recruiter's arsenal, should he or she decide to discover its value. If you are satisfied with your current methods then there is no need to look any further. However, you could be missing out on an incredible opportunity to search, network and connect at almost lightening speed. I do not find that any other application to include LinkedIn, facebook, ning groups, etc., offers this. They have constrained rules of engagement whereas Twitter does not. Anyone is accessible to you and you have the ability to access any user, most often in real-time.

Whether you decide to follow others is up to you. However, be cognizant that when you contact someone they tend to look at your profile and it appears the trend is that people who follow and have followers have an air of credibility (it doesn't mean they are, of course). You wouldn't want to come off looking like a stalker or spammer if you expect to be taken seriously. The value of being viewed as a SME in your area(s) of expertise and for having a network you share and exchange ideas with is perceived as positive in the arena of social networking, after all.

Not wanting others to view the list of people you follow should be of low concern. Most people have fictitious or creative user names and avatars and maintain at the very least a fair degree of anonymity. Just because you follow them doesn't mean you are pursuing them as a potential candidate. I'm following most of you. Should someone be alarmed at that? Does it give away secrets? Have I tried to lure you away from your employers?

The learning curve for new applications and technology depends on the individual. I find once I am comfortable and find how to adapt something to my needs for my benefit it becomes second nature and doesn't take a lot of time to maintain it unless I have a personal desire to spend additional time there. I look at Twitter and other tools like it the same way, an extension of my activity and addition to my toolkit. The water cooler chit chat and opportunity to explore and learn through sharing with those I follow to gain gems of great information that I on my own would never have time to discover is an invaluable perk I'm grateful for.

I'm sensing resistance in some of us to embracing change. Granted, that's fairly normal. We have been on a recruitment technology fast track since the mid 90's with Internet, ATS, mobile, and all these new applications. It can be overwhelming and time consuming but it's exciting and challenging. There still might be Recruiters that work with a phone, yellow pages and handing out business cards exclusively, but I wouldn't want to be one of them anymore. I want to take advantage of every opportunity to have a variety of platforms at my disposal, to include Twitter and whatever comes along next.

Personally, I take the approach to learn as much as I can, try it all, and then make an informed decision if it works for me or not. I also allow myself to understand that what works for others might not work for me but I wouldn't disregard its value.

It was my pleasure to call in and participate. I look forward to other opportunities for virtual group think, conference calls, radio shows, chat and any other interactive vehicle where we can learn from and help each other and ourselves.
I get the idea of pushing out job only content and hoping either candidates search Twitter and find you or by chance they follow the ongoing job post stream.

Basically it is treating Twitter like a job board, Post n Pray.

This past week I was on a panel and I brought this topic up. In the room were 20-30 marketing and IT professionals.

Of the group (all job seekers) 6 had searched Twitter for a job, as in using Twitter Search or other engine. Of the 6, 1 said it may lead to something. That's too small of a sample but because some are always looking for metrics, for what it is worth, there you are.

All suggested that just a job account has little value on Twitter as it is an ongoing conversation and about relationships. This gets back to Twitter being a Social Networking site and not LinkedIn or Monster.com

I do suggest that if one is trying to attract candidates what you want to see, read, converse about is not of importance but what a potential candidate wants to experience and engage in.

So if that is talking about the Final Four, politics, or the last episode of ER so be it.

Jerry, you have used the line about the lunch menu a few times and it did not work. Have you participated in conversations, engaged others in what they are talking about? And not our Recruiter colleagues but have you followed an IT person(s) in a location you are trying to fill a job and engaged with them in their conversation?

I am not saying that using Twitter as you suggest is a bad idea. For us search firm folk we only need 1-4 good candidates to do well.

But I am suggesting that you can find more by participating in the conversation.

I was learning on the clock yesterday. There was a web conference that I did not attend but found 14 new to me local IT folks on Twitter.

6 of them are .Net developers so Jerry if you like I will do an introduction of you.
I agree Jerry, you still have to do your day job. That's probably why I find myself up late all the time on RBC and my twitter. I need my fix, yet the work still needs to be done. Sure, I'll now do a quick twitter search, but my core is still meeting, identifying people and getting them into my company!

Jerry Albright said:
Thanks for all the replies folks! One common theme that surfaces in most Twitter threads seems to be the amount of information shared there.

While I'll certainly agree the amount is staggering - I'm just reminded of the need (for me personally) to be conscious of "prime time" and "non prime time" during business hours.

I can just picture my first recruiting boss stopping by my desk in the middle of the afternoon to find me wading through a pile of encyclopedias.

"Uh, what are you doing - more specifically - why are you not on the phone?"

"I'm learning............"
twitter has a great new car smell right now and so may work for some sourcing needs. but soon it will become just another mass of white noise for most recruiting, as it gains popularity and volume. filtering will be key for the consumer on both sides of the application.
Debbie Jones said: It will become just another mass of white noise for most recruiting, as it gains popularity and volume. filtering will be key

That's when machines that help you pick a number of standardized search terms will be esp useful (like http://splits.org). The avg person might learn how to do a search using #job city title tags - but maybe not.
Tweeter is not in itself the answer as you so list. The ability or inability to attract people to follow you, etc. is not what the social media platform rave is about for the normal person. It is about a personal brand, something that some are taking too serious while others are not understanding its complete impact. Social media has and will continue to evolve shaping the way people network and therefore acquire positions. With that, one needs to be conscious of the platforms and leverage to ensure a positive outlook to the outside world.

The time and effort to manage these things could be a full time position. So taking it to that extent is far too great an investment. However, touching into the pool of this platform - placing your jobs out there, etc. I think is a tremendous asset for branding that can be done with little time invested.

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