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Beginners Guide to Using Twitter for Social Recruiting

By in Recruiting Tips

Use your Twitter account for social recruiting of programmers and developers

Twitter bird Image care of Gopal Raju

You’re busy. Is it worth your time to use Twitter for recruiting?

If you’re recruiting web developers and IT programmers….YES.

Linkedin is all about resumes. It’s crawling with recruiters. Which is why some of the best candidates avoid Linkedin.

Twitter is a place where technical specialists engage with friends and colleagues. They talk about work, troubleshoot, share tips. They scout out jobs when their contract is ending.

Which means Twitter gives you a big advantage as tech recruiter. Twitter allows you to connect with tech talent that’s less active or not even available on Linkedin.

AND you have less competition from other recruiters.

Where to start

If you’re new to Twitter, you’ll want to learn the basics before you dive in and start recruiting.

Start by reading this post on Mashable – Twitter for Beginners.

Now you’re ready to start searching for candidates.

It’s easier than you think to use Twitter for social recruiting

Very few recruiters know how to tap into Twitter for social recruiting. Most just tweet out job postings — which doesn’t work unless you have a huge following.

Even if you don’t have any Twitter followers, you still have a big advantage as a recruiter when you learn how to search Twitter bios. When you find one great candidate on Twitter, it leads to many other similar candidates.

Power Tip 1: How to Search Twitter Bios for Job Titles

Here’s a powerful tip from Boolean Black Belt Glen Cathey.  He noticed that if you add the keyword “tweets” to your search string in Google or Bing, the search results will give you Twitter bios.

Here’s a search string I built with Cathey’s technique:

site:twitter.com tweets "toronto" "ruby developer"

Give it a try:

  1. Copy the search string (Ctrl-V)
  2. Open Google or Bing in your browser.
  3. Paste the search string into the search bar and press Enter.

You may have to dig one or two pages into the search results, but it’s worth it when you find Twitter profiles with the exact job title and location you want.

Here’s where it gets even better. When you find one Twitter user with the right job title it leads you to other people with the same skills. (Then you can look these people up on LinkedIn or Google+, where you may feel more comfortable contacting them.)

Here’s a video shows you how this works.

Power Tip 2: Twitter for Recruiting Video

This video posted on Linkedin by Shane McClusker shows how to use the Twitter profile of one great candidate to find more candidates in that person’s network.

Power Tip 3: Finding Candidates with Twitter Lists

Like Shane McClusker mentioned in his video, you can use Twitter lists to follow the conversation between a select group of tweeters with a common interest.

When you find one great candidate, you will find that they are connected to other people who are similar to themselves. Be sure to look at their Twitter followers and who they are following. Also, look at their Twitter lists.

Examples of Twitter lists that can be very helpful for social recruiting:

  • Make a Twitter list of potential candidates with a certain technical expertise
  • Check out the lists that your co-workers follow
  • Make a list of recruiters that you work with so you can follow their tweets

Power Tip 4: Follow Top Online Recruiters

John Sumser created this list of the Top 25 Online Recruiters. Follow this list for an endless stream of social recruiting inspiration!

You’ll see how some of the best online recruiters use Twitter.

You can follow Sumser’s list and of course you can create your own Twitter lists of power users. But first you need to learn how to create a Twitter list.

How to Create a Twitter List

A helpful little 1:10 minute video from PCMag

Make Twitter Part of Your Candidate Sourcing Strategy

Now let’s put everything you learned about recruiting with Twitter into practice.

  • Open a Twitter account
  • Follow potential candidates, other recruiters and anyone that interests you
  • Create lists of your colleagues, subject matter experts, programmers, gurus and friends
  • Use Google and Bing to search for Twitter bios with job titles and keywords for the jobs you’re recruiting for
  • Set aside 10-20 minutes a day to checkout the activity on your favourite lists and possibly retweet posts that you find valuable

Got any more tips for sourcing job candidates through Twitter? Do you have any questions? Please let me know in the comments.

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    2 Comments

  1. Hi Laura,

    Good to see this post. This kind of tips would be very useful for recruiters when they are performing a global search and for niche requirements which does require out-of-box thinking. Good one. :-)

    cheers,
    Krishna Musku

    krishna

    August 12, 2014

    • Hi Krishna,

      Thanks for your very kind comment! Glad that you found some “out-of-the-box” ideas in the post. And that you can use Twitter for global searches for niche requirements.

      Most of the jobs we recruit for are for niche requirements too. Companies ask for our help when they’re having trouble filling the job themselves. So the candidates are hard to find and we really need to look outside the box. In this case I think that “outside the box” means to search outside of Linkedin.

      Kind regards,
      Laura

      Laura Upcott

      August 12, 2014

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