NOT a Rant, Just a Simple Question about Twitter

Well now, THIS ought to confuse the commenter who refers to himself as “Tallis.”

Two weeks ago, I played around a bit and was not quite clear. This is not a joke. I’d like someone to give us some kind of tutorial on how Twitter can be used in the search business.

We don’t need single anecdotes like, “This guy tweeted my job posting and this candidate called me.” I did hear that, and it is not even an example of something WE could do.

I’ll challenge Harry Joiner here to back up his comment from last week. I have talked with Harry. He’s a good, smart guy who knows what he is doing and doesn’t seem like a time-waster, but his comment last week was just totally empty.

And another guy meeting a split partner there? Ok, fine. No explanation of how it was different than meeting someone on this network or a bar or a grocery store. And that guy said he hates it as much as he loves it.

I didn’t single out that guy because I also want to say the part of his comment questioning the value of being HERE on TFL is just totally wrong. That does not even need to be debated.

Article Continues Below

So think of the old song “War” when you sing “Twitter, HUH, Wha-at is it good for? Absolutely Nuthin’ , Say it Again…”

I would love to print and eat this post on a video as soon as two known trainers add how to use Twitter to their repertoire.

Note added Sat. 25th. I am deleting comments from ‘fake’ people when I see them. That could make some comments from real people seem strange at times.  And, yes the times are a’changin’.  Now people can do and say things without consequences sometimes. Makes them very ‘brave’.

I plan to respond to the comments here in the next blog entry…or whatever the brave/fake critics would have me properly call it.

Dave Staats places top executives as well as implementation consultants with software companies. He also has made more placements in Artificial Intelligence than any other headhunter. His career began during the SDI (Star Wars) years and included placement of scientists in laser, stealth, and other high-tech fields. During a short hiatus from the recruiting industry in 1994 he obtained a Private Investigator's license which he keeps as a constant reminder that a headhunter is what he really is. Dave is on the Board of Directors of The Pinnacle Society and a founder of The Tennessee Recruiters Association. He has a BA from Western Illinois University. Dave also blogs at Truth, Justice & the American Way of Headhunting


13 Comments on “NOT a Rant, Just a Simple Question about Twitter

  1. Dave – have you set up a Twitter account? What is your profile name, I’ll see if some of the recuiter tweeps on Twitter can help you out. Besides, I think it would be very funny to see a video of you eating the article!

  2. Dave,

    It’s not substantially different from meeting people in person – but it’s on a larger scale.

    1) Instant search on topics, companies, and newly available hires.
    2) Easy to use as Q and A for information on difficult positions.
    3) Productivity in face to face – allows you schedule coffee, lunches, meetings, stay in contact with candidates and clients.
    4) Allows you to check up on candidates, what they say when they’re not trying to sell you
    5) Builds a reputation for client referrals (yes, it brings you business) – do a search for clients looking for headhunters in the search field
    6) DM’s are not trackable by companies, which means you can speak to a candidate and arrange times to meet them that don’t require them to head to a bathroom stall or the stairwell to arrange time to speak.
    7) Effective referral source for your personal network, driving business to people you like (I just gave away a $30,000 project to a Twitter Follower because I met them on Twitter).

    Job postings on Twitter are low value and high spam. Headhunters who bill a lot don’t use them much.

    Of course, none of this matters without execution, discipline and a purpose, and it doesn’t replace recruiting. It’s a piece of the funnel. In fact, it’s a better productivity tool than a recruiting tool, but recruiters need to be more productive, like anyone else.

    If you want to learn more, I highly suggest you purchase the single best training on how to use Twitter to recruit. It’s doubtful the people using it are going to tell you, anymore than those who are using LinkedIn correctly are out telling their competition how to use it.

  3. My former employer recently hired a director-level social media strategist, which started with my correspondence w/ him via Twitter. I’d been following him for awhile by reading his blog and interacting a little w/ him on Twitter. He knew enough about me to know that I worked in a recruitment capacity at a PR agency so when the time came for us to start finding candidates, I DM’ed him and asked him if he’d be interested and he said yes.

    And on a personal note, by being engaged on Twitter, I got sponsored to attend the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco last April. Value there for me as well as for ERE and its readers 🙂

    The thing to remember about Twitter is that it, just like other social media tools, is just that – a tool, a communication tool just like email, or a phone, or an in-person conversation. It’s not a groundbreaking new recruitment strategy – it’s just a new medium with which to reach your audience.

    So, my belief is that Twitter is a time-waster only if you 1) did not have an objective when you joined or 2) have not engaged in enough 2-way conversation and are simply talking at instead of with people.

    Just my two cents 🙂 and as I always say, everyone is entitled to my opinion 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Dave, I hear your frustration. We are a commercial job board, and we’ve embraced twitter as a way to reach out, build brand, help people by providing value to them (@jobcircle), and help our customers reach out to the millions of people in the twittershpere by tweeting out their jobs.

    I do dispute Jim’s comment that “job postings on twitter are low value and high spam.” Tell that to the guy who happened to be using tweetdeck to filter on “programming jobs”, and found a job from a job board or direct employer that he never new existed before – he contacts the recruiter, gets the interview, and gets the job! This has happened. The great thing about twitter is that there are so many uses for this medium. And, if you don’t like what you see out there, you can filter items out or block certain tweets or users – you make your own Twitter experience. We tweet our clients’ jobs out to over 160 twitter channels, and we have thousands of followers on those channels who opt-in to receive those tweets ( We also see a huge number of unique visitors checking out our job listing tweets. It works.

    Twitter is the first real-time employer-2-jobseeker connection tool out there that seems to be gaining adoption more rapidly than anything else – I see twitter being an eventual evolution to the 1.0 job boards, and will (and already does) allow employers and jobseekers to connect directly with each other, real time, no matter where they are.

    And, Dave, if you want help getting your jobs on twitter, we can help. Look me up any time at

  5. Dave,

    I don’t want this to sound critical – I’m just involved in the discussion. It sounds to me like what Jim is saying and what is being talked about on the excellent clip posted by Dave Graziano are all things that I can already do more effectively with LinkedIn, Google, a Blog or well circulated email newsletter, and an email account.

    I have run some search strings on Twitter and the results weren’t very impressive or useful. Certainly, that could differ for people working in other specialties. It seems to work well for both IT and media recruiting.

    Of course, Twitter could be an additional tool to add to your toolkit but it seems to me like it is a less effective and efficient tool than others that we have already assimilated. It’s all the buzz right now but by 2011 it may have become the next Second Life.

    Lastly, as for “Tom Parrent” (who strangely has no LinkedIn profile unless he’s the 46 year old Chief Risk Office of Genworth Mortgage Insurance Co.), he apparently had nothing to add except to quote Bob Dylan. I wonder if “Tom Parrent” realizes that Mr. Dylan is 68 years old… is just new; it’s not necessarily improved. Do you really think that the more expensive “new and improved” dishwasher detergent is really any better than the cheaper stuff you bought last week.

    Amybeth seems to have it just about right.

    Tom Keoughan

  6. “Tom Parrent”

    Heh, heh, heh. If you think that you have to be closely connected with anyone in order to search the entirety of LinkedIn then you are truly behind the times and should seek a little advanced LinkedIn training. By the way, you don’t show up on Google either. Or Twitter. Hmmm.

    The Dylan quote you used went on to say “you’re old role is rapidly aging, get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand” which seems to imply that anyone not completely bowing to the Twitter gods is an old fogie who should hang up their cleats. It seems that you are now both attacking and defending any thinking that has come before you. I guess you are a little confused.

    The only one here that is insulting large groups of people and demanding that theirs is the “one true path” is you (whoever you really are). The rest of us are just having a discussion.

    Tom Keoughan

  7. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the shout out. My answer to your question is here:

    I have over simplified in the sense that my post does not take into account Twitter followers who follow my Tweets but not my blog. But nearly all of my blog’s “regulars” (or “hyper-responsives” as we say in ecommerce) have migrated to my Twitter feed.

    Thanks for reading,
    Harry Joiner

  8. It all comes down to your target market. Within the sectors I recruit, people could care less about Twitter.
    (Disclaimer: If you sell Twitter services or solutions, I do not apologize for calling a spade a spade.)
    (Further disclaimer: If you’re justification for using Twitter is that your CEO might attend a marketing conference and subsequently return back [hurriedly] to ask why you’re not using it to recruit, then please stop reading immediately and move on to the next comment because we are not living the same reality.) 🙂

    If you recruit entry-level candidates, teenagers, or ad agency pros, Twitter might be a worthwhile channel. The talent I target is typically Gen-X or older, and frankly, Twitter doesn’t add value for them . . . but there may very well be value for other recruiters given their markets.

    So IMHO, Twitter comes down to A. Your Target Market (their attitudes and behaviors), and B. Another Touchpoint (to potentially exploit given the previous (A).)

    Note: While Twitter has proven to be a waste of my time, I can say that the ‘status update’ functionality on LinkedIn has conversely proven to be immensely valuable to me. Yes, I understand the irony, but we’re not speaking the merits of targeted micro-blogging here, we’re talking Twitter specifically.

  9. Josh – priceless comment on the CEO. I’d agree wholeheartedly. And LinkedIn’s update to the uh, updates, has added that functionality and made it far more valuable.

    You’re absolutely right. Twitter works for people whose candidates are actively using Twitter, and while growing, it isn’t for everyone. Understanding who uses Twitter and why is the first step, and if your people aren’t there yet, it would be a waste of time for recruiting (though I still say there are productivity enhancements for small business that could do you well). You’re way off on the target markets. Teens and college folks aren’t on Twitter. It’s marketing, technology, PR, healthcare, small business, healthcare, government and the unemployed of all stripes. It’s being driven by GenX and Boomers who like the 140 character ease of posting. That doesn’t mean your executives or job-seekers are on the site.

    Each of these sites is about the expectations of the users. If you know them, you can use them to your advantage in hiring. If you don’t, you’ll stumble and curse the toys the kids left out.

    As for tweets as job spam – I know there are lots of uses of the tools, but I don’t see how using microblogging is effective. It’s simply broadcasting, and in my research, a low value way to do so. It’s great if it works for some, but for most, it’s not valuable, and actually creates more work.

  10. I will not confirm nor deny that I am confused.

    But very happy is is not a rant….

    You’re funny, David. You’re not going cold turkey now on rants, are you!?

  11. I think Twitter is overrated in general. I’ve been an extremely active Twitter user for over 6 months. Done some testing.

    Twitter does have its benefits but I don’t see that it is effective for marketing of any kind, at least in the short run. If you add a lot of effort then you may have something.

    I won’t stop Tweeting, but I will cut back. I did not sign on to become a semi-professional entertainer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *