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I Recruit Therefore I Tweet

As promised, this week I will begin discussing the top 3 social sites individually. These posts are written with a new user in mind. I am going to start with Twitter, but please know that there is no rhyme or reason as to the order that I will be discussing these sites on the blog. I think there are huge opportunities with all 3 of these sites and you should be using ALL of them. I just happen to think of a title that I liked for Twitter first. I will follow this post with two more in the series; LinkedIn and Facebook.

It is important when you begin social recruiting, to have patience. I know what you are thinking. As recruiters, it really is not in our nature to be patient, is it? Trust me, when it comes to social recruiting, it’s important. You did not build your professional network in a day, right? We are not re-inventing networking. We’re just making it more available to you and YOU more available to those who want to know you. Building a social network takes time. Don’t expect to place someone using Twitter the first week you try it. You might, but it is a lot more likely that you will build relationships on twitter over time that will help your recruitment practice.

First, let’s review a  few facts.  Twitter has about 500 million users including 38 million unique visitors per month. These users are spending on average 36 minutes per day on the site, and the days that have the most traffic are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.  This is a pretty good indicator that Twitter is critical in your online social presence as a recruiter, and a great place to start. Let’s do it.

Create an Account  

This is the easy part. Simply go to Now, before you put your information in to sign up, look at the very bottom of the page. In small font, you will see the list of Twitter pages that might be important to you. Do this before you sign up so you can bookmark ones that you will use often. I really encourage you to do this before you create your account. If you don’t, by the time you are logged in you will want to just jump in there, and there really are some good resources that will help your success. The “Businesses” link, is one example. Bookmark this page because it has info that will be important to you  in social recruiting. The ABC’s link in particular is really important. You’ll find the glossary for Twitter terms there.  I recommend you click on the full glossary link to the right so that you can really get familiar with the terminology, like "handle", "hashtag," and "mention."

A user's "Twitter handle" is the username they have selected and the accompanying URL, like so: I love it that they use the word “handle” to describe this.  It reminds me of being a kid when everyone seemed to have a brief infatuation with scanners after “Smokey and The Bandit” released in theaters. I remember a family trip to Opryland where my father and his twin brother insisted on installing scanners into our respective family vehicles to communicate with the truckers about where Smokey might be running radar. This is especially funny to me given the fact that my father was a Smokey. “Ten Four Good buddy.” Think of a good handle because this is something that your followers will recognize you as and refer to you with.


If you took my advice in last week’s blog, you have already put some thought and planning toward how you will use social recruiting. You will have determined your target, be it a client or a candidate or those that can help you to better brand your company. I’m going to assume that you already have a pretty good idea of the keywords associated with the candidate or clients you will target. I do want to remind you that people are creating their own content on a social network. Don’t limit your keywords, or in Twitter terms, #hashtags. The # symbol is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users. My point here is that you want to be aware that different people may use various phrases to mean the same thing. One person might say #salesrep while another says #accountmgr. They both mean the same job. Once you’ve made a good list of the hashtags you are going to explore, click on the hashtag button on your dashboard to do just that. Type in the # symbol plus your keyword and see what and who you come up with. This is where you build your followers. You will begin to see everything these individuals Tweet on your newsfeed as soon as you click “follow.” If you want to see what kind of things they have Tweeted in the past, just look at their page by clicking on their handle.


Once you have followed someone, they will get a notification that they have a new follower, and if they choose, they will follow you right back. This means that everything YOU tweet will show up in THEIR newsfeed. Cool, hungh? Essentially, they are open to hearing, albeit seeing, what you have to Tweet. This is how the magic of social networking begins on Twitter. You may also have people that locate you by exploring, or as a suggestion from Twitter to follow you. You will be notified of these Tweeters so that you can check out their profile and decide if you want to follow them as well. Once you’ve connected, you may want to thank this person for following you by way of a direct message or a “mention.” A mention happens when you Tweet something and include the person’s handle including the @ symbol. This can be used as a public thank you, or compliment of their Tweet, website, LinkedIn profile, etc.

This Birdie Says Tweet, Tweet, and Tweet!

Now you are ready to get Tweeting. First, know that you are not required to Tweet on Twitter. You can sit back and gawk at your newsfeed and never say a word. You probably won’t have a lot of success recruiting that way though. I highly recommend that you Tweet at least one thing every day.  Tweet your jobs, Tweet your visions or Tweet what you are working on. Tweet the great blog post you just read, but Tweet, Tweet, Tweet. When you Tweet, your followers, aka audience, can Re-Tweet what you post. Maybe they aren’t the candidate you are looking for, but they know someone who is or they are followed by them. When they Re-Tweet your post, everyone following them can see what you posted too. I know! It’s awesome, right?

Hopefully this post will give you some confidence about jumping in to Twitter for recruiting. Follow my company HERE. We promise to follow you right back! Let me know in the comments section below how your sign up went, and then again when you make your first Twitter placement! Oh, and check out this guide from Twitter on best practices for small business. They can give you even more insight on how to make their site work for you.


Amy McDonald has been working in the human resources and recruiting industry for over 20 years. Amy has worked with hundreds of recruitment professionals over her career, training best practices in sourcing candidates and refining the recruitment process. She currently is the President and CEO at

Views: 1247

Comment by Jonathan on January 17, 2013 at 10:26am
Very useful! Thanks Amy
Comment by Michele St.Laurent on January 17, 2013 at 12:11pm

I am new to Twitter and found your comments to be extremely helpful.  Thank you.  I will definitely follow your company!

Comment by Malia Jorgensen on January 17, 2013 at 12:27pm

Thank you!  I use twitter but still am confused by it. Thanks for clearing things up.

Comment by Jerry Albright on January 17, 2013 at 2:13pm

Hi Amy - and thank you for the topic. 

I would be remiss in my role as the "crusty, old, cynical" recruiter here (or one of them anyway!) if I didn't just come right out and ask you:  Have you, yourself, personally, more than once, actually used Twitter to fill positions? 


Comment by Amy McDonald on January 17, 2013 at 2:39pm

Thank you all for your comments. To Jerry- Oh how I wish social networks would have been around when I was recruiting as my primary role. They have made me want to return to a desk for sure! While I have not personally placed a candidate sourced from Twitter, it is happening. I have networked with several recruiters that have indeed placed candidates from not just Twitter but from all of the social networks. A 2012 survey showed that 8,000,000 Twitter users found their jobs last year via Twitter. 

Comment by Jerry Albright on January 17, 2013 at 2:42pm

8,000,000 people found jobs via Twitter?  I"m sorry - but where did that number come from?


That just seems an improbablity to me.

Comment by Amy McDonald on January 17, 2013 at 3:00pm
Comment by Amy McDonald on January 17, 2013 at 3:01pm

Really...I don't make this stuff up. Ha. 

Comment by Jerry Albright on January 17, 2013 at 3:06pm

In looking at the claims in the article - they seem to have 36.6 million as the number of people who found jobs through Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook combined?  That has to be an outright fabrication.


I know tons of recruiters - 3rd party, internal - all across the board.


Between them I'd have to put the number of Twitter hires at around 10.


That article is pure propoganda.


Throughout the entire year of 2012 each time the jobs report came out - the number was always like 178,000 or 315,000.  Each month.  DId they exlude the social media hires from those reports?


Please don't take my comments as argumentative though.  I'm just fascinated by the disparity in the numbers here....

Comment by Amy McDonald on January 17, 2013 at 3:24pm

I suspect that these numbers are global, Jerry. The monthly numbers you are referring to are for the US only, right?  I agree they are shocking. I was shocked myself. I'm not saying you are wrong or right. I just go by the data I find.

So, really, only 10 placements from your network via Twitter? We must run in different circles. I met a person  at a conference last year that claimed to have placed 20 in their practice alone from Twitter. It was just a random person, not a colleague, but I was impressed and started following social media more closely.


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