The Recruiters Lounge has The Top 50 Recruiters on Twitter

OK. Sounds interesting. But when you check out the majority of who's following whom - you'll see it's mostly the same crowd (of us - I'll admit I am also guilty) of RECRUITERS following each other.....SO it begs the question -- The Top 50 doing what? ? ? ?

So while I think the general idea is interesting - when you dig just a pinch below the surface - there is not much there. 50 recruiters who have the highest number of other recruiters following them all reading the same things from the same people.

What a breakthrough.........

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Jim-

Part of the strategy means understanding how each channel works/doesn't work towards achieving your goal. The mistake some make in strategy is using the same template for every channel. Twitter gets you to one point when you have to switch to a different strategy to get to next plateau.

There is no one size fits all.

Jim Durbin said:
An excellent point, Jerry. You encapsulated the difference between Recruiting Sales and Recruiting Marketing.


If your list is a private rolodex, you shouldn't give it out. If your list of followers is all the best candidates in the field that you have personally vetted, you should hold on to it.

What if your list isn't private? What do you do when the people on the list put their names out voluntarily to social networks, and involuntarily to ZoomInfo, Jigsaw and Google? What happens when someone else builds the list of Twitter folks and builds relationships with them? What to do when data is free and has nowhere to hide?

You should have a marketing strategy at that point. It may or may not be on Twitter - it depends on your industry. This stuff is what, four years old? Imagine what happens in the next four years.



Jerry Albright said:


I'll admit - I've had fun with Twitter. Just as I have fun meeting a few friends after work for a cold one. But when I meet a few friends after work - I don't drag my entire list of potential placements with me and leave it on the bar for anyone/everyone to have. Especially since the "bar" is being combed by thousands of recruiters doing exactly that - looking for my list! My list is pretty hard to come by - trust me - I know what it took to get them!

So what intrigues me most is why a good recruiter would spend a great deal of effort compiling a list of targeted candidates to follow - only to then have that very same list "adopted" by any/every recruiter with those same intentions?

This is far different from the Linked In discussion of having "your contacts" made available to your entire network. Twitter requires no permission, correspondence or even awareness on the part of the one who has a great "following/followers" database. If I see you have 300 great candidates - I'm going to click FOLLOW on every one of them.

I doubt highly that this has only occurred to me. Perhaps I'm the only one saying it out loud though......
Hey, what can I say... I made the list. And no, it's not important to me to have a high number of followers or to make lists. Honest. And while I do spend more time on Twitter than some of you, I don't spend a ton of time there. Whenever I put my name in any of the Twitter apps that "measure you", I'm usually well below the average number of tweets per day. Some days I'm there quite a bit (like today - a snow day here in Cincy), and some days I'm not there at all, or only in the evenings.

What I do have is a reason to use Twitter, and a strategy that works for me/adds value to what I do.

What am I looking to receive/get from Twitter? Whether it's following other Recruiters, social media people, horse people, people in the Cincinnati area, or clients and candidates (I have all as followers), I'm looking to build/expand upon relationships, learn from and help others. For example, within the last month, I've completed a recruiting consulting assignment with a client and many of the recommendations made included things I've learned about from my Twitter friends (who either share links, tweet about what they are doing, or have great blogs). I've also picked up the phone more than once to call someone that I have connected with on Twitter, and they've answered questions, helped me, provided resources, etc. I would not have known about many of these folks "pre-Twitter".

What's my Twitter strategy? I try to be a "whole person" on Twitter. So you'll see some work related tweets, some stuff about horses (my passion), and some personal stuff from me (like my feelings about the Snuggie blanket). My overall goal is that same as Maren Hogan stated earlier - I treat Twitter like a networking meeting. When I'm out networking, I'm a whole person. I want to meet people, be engaging and strike up relationships where it makes sense. To do that, I can't just talk about recruiting all of the time, because well... that would be boring. I have to be "interesting enough" to get people talking to me. Another big part of my Twitter strategy is to tweet links to things I read on the web to share with others - because I assume they are also using Twitter to learn. The feedback I get from many of my followers (many who are new to recruiting, in job search, in my local area, etc.) is that they follow me because the information that I share is helpful (and I may occasionally be funny too).

What have I gotten from Twitter? Have I placed a candidate from Twitter? No, not yet. But again, that's not my primary motive for using it. I have however gotten a ton of great referrals from relationships I've developed with my followers. I also don't ususally tweet my job openings, but I will contact certain people who I think may be able to help me or who may refer someone - and they do. I've also found my Twitter/social media friends are even more willing to help out with referrals many others who are not involved. Why? I assume it's because we have both received some value out of our "relationship" through frequent interaction and providing helpful information by using tools like Twitter.

Lastly, I've connected several of my Twitter relationships to mutually beneficial business opportunities just from seeing a tweet and responding. That feels good. I want people to refer me and help me too, but in order to receive that kind gift, I need to be on the lookout for how I can help others. Twitter provides a great way to do that for me. I've also found a job for a friend via Twitter (not something I wanted/needed to charge a fee for) and I've significantly expanded my network. Just a couple of weeks ago I call up The Recruiter Guy/aka Chris Hoyt (call me a Fan Girl) to ask for some advice and assistance with a project I was working on and he was kind enough to give me an hour of his time and shared a wealth of advice and information. That's why I follow other Recruiters, and the benefits, knowledge and information I've gained from doing so has been priceless. So I consider my Twitter ROI to be very high.

Remember, we're whole people, not just Recruiters. It does frustrate me a bit when we pick at others in our profession who find ways to be successful other than pounding the phones and sitting behind a desk. There are certainly many Recruiters who do that well and are very successful. Bravo! But, as a society, we've moved beyond where many of us were when we started out - carbon papers, thermal paper fax machines, file cabinets full of (mailed) resumes and the yellow pages. The methods people use to recruit have evolved - and will continue to do so. I say, if you're successful and don't want to tweet, that's awesome. Just don't hate on those that have found a way to use it to their advantage. They're not wrong. Just different than you. And that should be ok. Right?
Thinking you should have been on the list? If you haven't been graded, no matter how many followers you have, you won't turn up in the search algorithm. Go get yourself graded, and then maybe you will be. :) Pam
Wonderful reply Jennifer. Thank you for the time you spent gathering your thoughts. Please don't think I am - or any one else is - "hating" on Twitter. I think it's just a natural progression of learing for all of us on these things. You have brought a very "even" perspective to the discussion.

Thanks!
Jennifer McClure said:
...It does frustrate me a bit when we pick at others in our profession who find ways to be successful other than pounding the phones and sitting behind a desk. There are certainly many Recruiters who do that well and are very successful. Bravo! But, as a society, we've moved beyond where many of us were when we started out - carbon papers, thermal paper fax machines, file cabinets full of (mailed) resumes and the yellow pages. The methods people use to recruit have evolved - and will continue to do so. I say, if you're successful and don't want to tweet, that's awesome. Just don't hate on those that have found a way to use it to their advantage. They're not wrong. Just different than you. And that should be ok. Right?

As far as I can read, no one here picked on someone else for Twittering. It was the premise of Jim's post that these were the top 50 recruiters - when it should have been the top 50 users of Twitter who also happen to have something to do with recruiting Perhaps Jim did this for effect.

The discussions that followed focused on the substantive uses of Twitter which in reality really is worth blogging about.
Jerry,
I think it is great that they have a list of the top 50 or even 100 recruiters. I was just thinking as I was reading the responders that it has to be more fun than making phone calls to strangers. I agree with you let the followers follow while the leaders do the work. I have found over my 26 years in the placement buisness that it is the lowest paid easy work and the highest paid hard work. I know that that making 100 calls per day and hoping for 25 to 30 presentations to hiring managers can't be as fun as following the top 50 in the market. When they figure out how someone can bill over 3MM in one year with no splits and others are praying to the placement gods I think they should just Twitter away.
The other relevant part of this, although a bit off point, is the impact that this "social media thing" has had on something extremely social (recruiting). Whether you use these tools to win the popularity contest, further advance your business, as a networking tool, etc... those of us who do use them realize the potential they have to change the game.
Good points, Jerry. But the list of people I follow is not necessarily a list of people I want to recruit. It's somebody that's typically connected to the industry for which I recruit. And really, I don't have to put a great deal of effort in to compiling the list - I can do a quick Twitter search on my industry key words and then follow those appropriate. And I do so because I hope that they will see the jobs I'm working on (that I twitter about), and then tell somebody that they know who might be a fit for the job.

It's easy and it's not time consuming. But then again, I don't typically twitter about what I'm eating or drinking.

Jim Durbin said:
An excellent point, Jerry. You encapsulated the difference between Recruiting Sales and Recruiting Marketing.


If your list is a private rolodex, you shouldn't give it out. If your list of followers is all the best candidates in the field that you have personally vetted, you should hold on to it.

What if your list isn't private? What do you do when the people on the list put their names out voluntarily to social networks, and involuntarily to ZoomInfo, Jigsaw and Google? What happens when someone else builds the list of Twitter folks and builds relationships with them? What to do when data is free and has nowhere to hide?

You should have a marketing strategy at that point. It may or may not be on Twitter - it depends on your industry. This stuff is what, four years old? Imagine what happens in the next four years.



Jerry Albright said:


I'll admit - I've had fun with Twitter. Just as I have fun meeting a few friends after work for a cold one. But when I meet a few friends after work - I don't drag my entire list of potential placements with me and leave it on the bar for anyone/everyone to have. Especially since the "bar" is being combed by thousands of recruiters doing exactly that - looking for my list! My list is pretty hard to come by - trust me - I know what it took to get them!

So what intrigues me most is why a good recruiter would spend a great deal of effort compiling a list of targeted candidates to follow - only to then have that very same list "adopted" by any/every recruiter with those same intentions?

This is far different from the Linked In discussion of having "your contacts" made available to your entire network. Twitter requires no permission, correspondence or even awareness on the part of the one who has a great "following/followers" database. If I see you have 300 great candidates - I'm going to click FOLLOW on every one of them.

I doubt highly that this has only occurred to me. Perhaps I'm the only one saying it out loud though......
Like most new things it takes a while to get to know how and if it is something you want or can use in your business. So what follows is a look into why I use Twitter...

There are a few things I would like to note:

- ½ of my followers, maybe more, are in/near Minneapolis and are in IT, senior executives, marketing and HR/Recruiters. Same goes for who I follow. My focus is here in Minneapolis and in IT so Twitter is a very valuable tool for me.
- Minneapolis is a very well networked city, has a large number of Ad, PR, Marketing firms, has a significant tech presence and in general is very much into community. So to be active on Twitter here makes sense. Maybe your location is not like it is here.
- I do not worry that someone can look through my followers, create a relationship with them, place them and now I am out a fee. I need to make two placements a month.
- More than that, I rarely look at my followers as potential placements. I look at them as a possible opening to a network I do not have.
- In order to gain that entry it is about creating, building and maintaining relationships with people. After all, is that not the business we are in? Relationships?
- Twitter as a recruiting tool is not for everyone. Doctors for example in Minneapolis, not sure I have seen one.

If you do not have Recruiter, Headhunter, HR, VP or whatever related term in your profile what are you thinking? Or not having a link to your web site? If no web site not your LinkedIn url?

I say this with the intention of a tone. Why are you not making it easier for people to find you? You do realize that candidates are using sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to find us, right?

The idea that Twitter is a bunch of mindless noise brings this response from me, who are you following? Vote with your feet or in this case your mouse. If it is noise to you, stop following them.

Yes, Monday night I had a couple of Tweets about the Bachelor and those that follow me know I go on tangents all the time about college football, politics and this already long, numbing winter.

You also will get good links to recruiter and job search articles, news, upcoming Minneapolis events, links to others/my blog posts and other work related stuff.

Yesterday you would have seen that me/myself/and I along with the local CBS affiliate broke the layoff news at Target Corporation. FYI, the two reporters are also on Twitter.

You also would see that I was one of if not the first to mention that Best Buy is doing involuntary layoffs in February.

This information shows my followers (and most importantly those in Minneapolis) that I am serious about my job, my industry and my community. It also brings me referrals, job seekers with questions and new followers that allow my network to grow organically.

I have made placements and gained clients because of my use on Twitter that I would not have had without using it.

Most of all it allows me to express who I am as a person. It allows people to get to know me so when they say hey I need to talk to a Recruiter maybe Paul or someone he knows can be of help to me.

The other question is time. 140 characters takes how many seconds? If I put out a message that I am recruiting a spot it reaches more people, in my location, in IT and with connections who have an IT network than I can call in a week.

Most Recruiters do something while on the phone besides, well, talk on the phone. This is usually when I am doing my Twitter links. There is a direct correlation between heavy phone days and heavy Twitter days.

I am not trying to say hey look at me, I am so cool for being on Twitter and being #4 on a list. Not the case.

What I am trying to do is show that there is more to this tool than most think.

Jerry, you mentioned you are looking for C++ experts. Have you been linking to any related articles, blog posts, career items that C++ experts might find interesting?

I am often asked by recruiters about my social media activities and if I am portraying myself in a certain way to attract a certain kind of following.

The answer is no. I really am this transparent. This really is who I am. I really do like the word “sucks”, watch a lot of sports, help people connect to each other, promote others and think our two political party system we have sucks. (there it is again)

Here is what I have learned in the past 3.5 years since I started my blog. I was always a good recruiter pre blog but since then I am now known. Yes this takes some time but I have no idea what the financial cost would be to have this much reach in my area.

I can now go to events and have people walk up to me and say, you’re that dude with the recruiter blog. More than that, I am getting 2-3 calls a week now to speak on recruiter, social media, LinkedIn and job search topics.

Last note, frequently I am asked by colleagues why I rely (or spend so much time) on social media for my business. I know NO recruiter who relies on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace for business. They are tools like email, blog, phone, cold calls, newsletters, LinkedIn, job boards (for those who use them) industry events, referral network, etc.
I commend Twitter on migrating from a 'What are you doing now?' tool to a self-actualization tool. Sigmund Freud would have a field day evaluating our society's Twitter obsession . . . because of it's appeal to the "id".

Freud (from Wikipedia): "The id acts as a pleasure principle: if not compelled by reality it seeks immediate enjoyment. It is focused on selfishness and instant self-gratification."

Twitter lets us instantly gratify ourselves by tweeting out mini-bursts to all our 'followers' (and, oh, doesn't it feel good to have 'followers')? Doesn't it feel good to be popular? Doesn't it suck to not be on that list? How was I not voted 'most likely to succeed' in high school.?. Who does Mr. TwitterGrader think he is???

Whoa, my id was dominating for a moment. It's a good thing I have an ego to help balance this whole thing out :) (then again, that would be considering my frontal lobe ever fully developed, which is debatable) :)

P.S. I have a Twitter account . . . and it hasn't made me a penny, but it's pretty darn fun!
P.S. And I'd be remiss not to mention --

If you think the id, ego, and super-ego don't matter, one only needs look at the 'top' discussion (response-wise) on RBC, "Is Headhunting Ethical?"

Kudos to Jim Stroud for making the original post because it's incited tremendous discussion. Good job, Jim.
Paul - thank you. You are one of the guys I look to for input on this kind of thing. You've been in the front for a while now!

As I think about this - it's really (for me) about thinking about the tools I use and the time I spend on them. Sure - Twitter isn't all about making recruiting presentations. You'd be unfollowed pretty quickly if that's all we did with it. What we/I need to be careful of is the amount of distraction I allow it to bring to my desk.

"......Check out this movie clip.....Here's a hot new tool......Check out what Obama said......Bailout news......Global warming links......Global cooling links....." If you follow all that stuff - just how and when are you going to actually call a candidate and make a presentation? Or a client?

You are right on the money. It's really all about who you choose to follow. And it is all up to us. If you think it's noise - turn it off. If it's valuable to you - turn it on!

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