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: 2001

Comment by Lipton Fleming on September 19, 2011 at 5:43am
Love it....
Comment by Tim Spagnola on September 19, 2011 at 10:17am
This is a great story and certainly an example of how one recruiter made Twitter work for them. Heck - I have a small team (will not mention specialty but think Cliff Huxtable) that I would try anything with if it meant 25+ placements. So Bill - by chance do you have any data/examples of how social media might have been used successfully in healthcare recruiting? My interest would be specifically as it pertains to Doctors, but interested in anything you might be able to share. Thanks!
Comment by Charron Myers on September 19, 2011 at 11:05am

Love the dedication and commitment here! Inspiring!!!

-Thanks for sharing!

Comment by David Palmer on September 19, 2011 at 11:51am
Good point well made. The Trojan Horse approach.
Comment by Dayna Herndon on September 19, 2011 at 12:32pm
Excellent write up. This is the way Twitter was intended to be used. In 2007, Erica O'Grady and I encouraged brands/businesses in our area to use social media to easily connect with their network. Any way we slice it, this business is still about relationships. Twitter is a great tool to begin the process.
Comment by David Palmer on September 19, 2011 at 1:14pm

Is this the way Twitter was intended to be used? Recruiters sucking up to people so they follow them, cultivating them under false pretences and then approaching them about a job? Doesn't have a Gen Y ring to it .

Comment by lisa rokusek on September 19, 2011 at 1:30pm

The beauty of Twitter is that it can be used the way it can be used. Intentions be damned!  

Heck twitter is evolving, like everything else.  Isn't that what makes good recruiters, anyway? Figuring out how to use information or tools to locate and enthuse and secure talent for our clients?  I consider  myself a slightly transgressive force. I do what I need to do, to do.

That doesn't mean I don't periodically want to scream at the kids to get off my lawn, however.

Comment by Dayna Herndon on September 19, 2011 at 1:37pm
@Lisarokusek love the Eastwood quote.  @davidpalmer Anyone can question someone's motives, but helping someone land a career speaks for itself. Sometimes they don't know what is good for them. Stimulating conversation is what salespeople do without even knowing it.  He recognized his gift, and used it to help other people. I'm pretty sure those 27 people aren't complaining.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on September 19, 2011 at 1:44pm

@Tim there are several med chats going on.  I am lurking at the moment to see if these are viable for recruiting.

Most seem to be in the academic sector with med schools but they may make good contacts for the future.

Comment by Tim Spagnola on September 19, 2011 at 1:48pm
Thanks Sandra!


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