How one recruiter sourced 27 I.T. professionals from Twitter

This is an old post from my blog "The Recruiting Unblog.", but as there have been a few posts recently on the topic of Twitter and Recruiters, I thought it was worth sharing. David Palmer asks"Does twitter do anything for recruiters?. This is how one recruiter figured out how to source from Twitter, and got great results. Be glad to hear of other success story's, and no doubt the nay sayers.

Whilst in Dublin, I heard a great story, how technology expert Ivan Stojanovicof Irish recruiting firm C.P.L. The headline of the story was how he had recruited 27 specialist I.T. staff via twitter. Thats right, 27!
The issues that he had in sourcing these people, and why he chose twitter really as a last resort was that the people he was looking for don’t have c.v’s or resumes. They are not looking for fulltime jobs as a rule, most choosing to ply their very specialist skills in contract roles. Being in demand and quite rare, broadcasting links and posting ads didn’t work. 
The approach Ivan took was brilliantly simple.A search of twitter bios and the usual twitter directories revealed nothing. The skills and experience needed just wasn’t listed. he set up a few non-branded twitter accounts and searched for keywords in real-time search in twitter, setting alerts based on the kind of words related to programmes or projects they might be talking about. This returned a number of repeating profiles whose tweets showed they could be of interest.
Ivan followed these targets and began engaging around technical topics, increasing connections and profiles. Techies tend to hang out with other techies in any community.
Once Ivan had built a relationship and qualified his connections fully, he approached them about the opportunities. This proved to be very effective, resulting in a total of 27 hires over a 12 month period, with all connections originating from twitter. Forget apps and all the other good twitter stuff, this came down to using twitter search, listening first, connecting, engaging and building a circle of contacts in the channel. I don’t know the salaries involved, but they were top end. It would be reasonable to estimate an average fee of £10k, offering a return over 12 months in the region of £270k!
It takes time,some specialist technical knowledge in order to engage, and patience to find the right time to make an approach. The return makes it well worth the effort! Anyone want to question the R.O.I?

Views: 1999

Comment by Francois Guay on September 20, 2011 at 1:13pm

Old school, new school they can all work as per this example.( One of my favorite search resourcesover the years kept all his files in a big old scuffed up briefcase and boy did we do a lot of hiring thru him. He used his phone, his briefcase, his brain and his persistence. 


Keep the great examples coming.

I love the slugfests too so keep those coming too!!

Comment by Sandra McCartt on September 20, 2011 at 1:17pm
I will caution you that a lot of the docs on twitter are damn touchy about recruiters jumping in on their convos.  I saw one get nailed to the wall publically last week because he dropped a job req into the middle of a med chat.  You will find a huge number of Derms that are peddling skin care, plastics guys who are peddling their remakes of all body parts and a lot who are discussing the use of social media in patient care.
Comment by Tim Spagnola on September 20, 2011 at 1:32pm

Ya don't mess with med chats - although I wish I could have seen that Sandra.


@Francois - well said - whatever works for the individual and his/her desk

Comment by Bill Boorman on September 20, 2011 at 1:34pm


I'm with you on that. just dropping in a job without any contact first is effectively spam in any medium. You need to build the connections first, or run a job stream for just that. Posting on to a hashtag chat is like walking up to random people and just saying "Do you want a job." Social is oneof the channels open, but relevance of message is key, and a time investment in getting to the right people. I think the time it realistically  takes is the biggest barrier for most recruiters

Comment by Bill Boorman on September 20, 2011 at 1:37pm
@Francois I don't think it is Old School v New Kool, it's very often old school recruiting techniques: relationship, understanding, adding real advice etc that works in new channels. It's not any different, it's just a few new locations. You also drop the old school and phone work at your peril
Comment by Bill Boorman on September 20, 2011 at 1:41pm


The yellow pages of Social Media is:


The Social CV


BranchOut, BeKnown or Friend Finder



Comment by Sandra McCartt on September 20, 2011 at 1:43pm

@Tim it was a brutal thing to behold.  About 10 docs blistered his butt.  Another recruiter decided to take issue with them and explain.  Both of them disappeared rather quickly.  I suspect blocked somehow.


Why it is that recruiters think they can flop job reqs out there on any medium and not be an irritation is beyond me.  That kind of post belongs on a job board or a channel for job listings which do little good in something that moves as fast as twitter.  It's like the irritating data dumps that some recruiters think are blog posts or the data dump in the status update that are not someone's status or comment and belong on twitter.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on September 20, 2011 at 1:47pm
I can search all that Bill, I was thinking in terms of going to Linkedin and clicking on a yellow page section and the same with twitter and facebook.  Ya know like one place not 40.  Wishful thinking.  :)
Comment by David Palmer on September 20, 2011 at 2:16pm

@Sandra. Glad you're alive and well. Like all these threads things get off point eventually. I think what Ivan did was clever not sleazy but going back to my original comment it was not what Twitter was intended for hence it was a manipulation. OMG.

I refer to in the orig blog Bill refers to at the top as something specifically for recruiters on Twitter. There are other similar apps but Twitter does not lend itself directly to the recruiters task. It's a tremendous tool to communicate if your a rock star or footballer but as a recruiter I have my doubts unless you work it hard.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on September 20, 2011 at 5:44pm

LOL,  well David let me put it this way.  I can drive a nail with a high heel shoe like nothing you have ever seen.  By the time somebody has found the hammer i already have the picture hung.  It was certainly not what a 4" heel was intended for but it works so i guess i manipulated that 4" heel into a hammer.  The word manipulation has a connotation to it that most folks don't like so i prefer to think that i utilized that 4" heel in a way that the designer never thought of or he would have put metal caps on the heels just for that purpose.


I am not going to waste a lot of otherwise productive time looking for folks on twitter when i can post ads in trade journals or niche boards or one of the big boards for some positions, direct recruit for others from referrals.  My take is that techies, marketing people and of course the latest crop of social media wannabes can pretty quickly be found on twitter as well as a lot of kids but it's faster and more efficient for me to go to the directory of the organizations that most of the marketing people belong to and start working people instead of tweets.  However, while i watch CSI at 2:00 in the morning i am happily playing with twitter , linkedin and facebook on my ipad.  I am for balance in all things my man, except sleep.  I can sleep when i'm dead.


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