Twitter for Recruiters: Value Your Tweets, Part 1

May 26, 2009

I was having a conversation the other day with a recruiter colleague of mine and he was asking me about Twitter. He hasn’t used the service yet, but after hearing all the recent hype from Oprah, Larry King, and Ashton Kutcher, he felt like it was time to jump on the Twitter bandwagon.

I spent some time on the phone with him and basically explained that in my year or so using Twitter, I have found two distinct avenues in which a recruiter can benefit. Neither offers a quick fix, but following both can net significant value.

Immerse Yourself

The first way to gain value from Twitter is to literally immerse yourself in the service and do exactly what the service asks of you. Tell Twitter what you are doing in 140 characters or less. This needs to be done often. You can’t allow yourself to stop no matter how little immediate impact you are getting out of it.

Robert Scoble, a major Twitter user, once tweeted that it takes a solid three to four months of Twitter use to finally see the light and actually get it. In hindsight, I 100% agree, because building up your profile by following others and having them follow you allows you to:

  • Grow your personal and professional brand.
  • Firmly plant yourself in the hearts and minds of your customer base.
  • Keep a pulse on the daily happenings of your marketplace.

From a long-term perspective, I can’t think of another single service that can deliver this caliber of value.

Tweet, Tweet — What to Say

Ok, onto the actual content — nothing is out of bounds, although the world is listening. Anything posted can and might be used against you at some point in the future. With that said, I talk about all sorts of things on Twitter.

Personal Perspective

  • What I’m eating.
  • What I’m thinking.
  • I like to talk about my Crossfit and other such workouts.
  • What I’m watching.
  • What I’m reading.
  • What I just noticed about the world and anything else that might pop into my head.

Business Perspective

  • Hot candidates (abbreviated MPC pitch).
  • Hot jobs.
  • Interesting happenings in my marketplace.
  • Funny candidate and client situations.
  • Sometimes, I use it as a place to vent and rant.

Other Things to Include

  • If at all possible, I like to include links in my tweets. Somebody once said that links are the currency of the web and respecting that philosophy I want to make sure my tweets serve as much value as possible.
  • I like to not only write original tweets, but reply to others and engage in the general flow of conversations. They say that the biggest difference between Facebook and Twitter is that Facebook lets you stay in touch with those you FOUND interesting; whereas Twitter helps you stay connected with those you FIND interesting. I buy that!!

For those of you who are looking for some kind of method to this madness, the following formula could be a good one to follow for your first few months of use:

Twitter Diet — Just What the Doctor Ordered

  • 10 tweets a day.
  • Make half personal, half professional.
  • Out of those 10, make half original and half responses to other tweeters.
  • Include links in as many tweets as possible

If you follow this prescribed formula, in no time you will be able to blast out an MPC or send out a hot job to thousands of directly related prospects. Within seconds you will get responses and referrals, be able to have your finger on the pulse of your market, and more important, your market will have a pulse on you.

Imagine candidates and clients coming to you for a change. Over the long-term, I can’t think of anything more valuable. Word of warning: this prescription is highly addictive and there is the possibility of becoming a “Twittaholic.”

Editor’s note: In Part 2 tomorrow, discover the art & science in finding value with Twitter as a tool to find clients and candidates.

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