Quitting Twitter

Our friend (and yours!) Jerry Albright made a brazen announcement yesterday that he is quitting Twitter, and that as of June 30th his account would be gone. On his blog, he states:

“It was pretty easy to feel “OK” about being on Twitter during most of 2009. Everyone was there – and more were joining every day. It was “interesting” to feel like one of the first rather than one of the last – so I hung out. It has now become apparent to me that there is no viable BUSINESS reason to spend much time on Twitter as a 3rd party recruiter. Might be great for plenty of other professions – but recruiting? No way. Sorry.”

This is a common sentiment in our world of recruiting – that Twitter is a waste of time, and that real recruiters are on the phone with candidates and not tweeting out job opportunities. On the other hand, others argue that Twitter is a growing source of candidates, as well as a valuable tool to develop a good online presence and enable candidates to find you as well.

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As search professionals, to which of these thought processes do you subscribe? The way we approach recruiting is different than the way our corporate recruiting counterparts do. Neither way is right or wrong; they are simply different. Twitter certainly has value it can offer, but does it belong in a 3rd party recruiter’s resource toolkit?

We want to hear from you! Do you use Twitter? Do you find it to be a waste of time, or a good resource to add to your arsenal? Have you made placements or gained new clients based on conversations you’ve had via Twitter, or has it been a dead-end street for you? Share your experience in the comments below.

Amybeth Quinn began her career in sourcing working within the agency world as an Internet Researcher. Since 2002, she has worked in both agency and corporate sourcing and recruiting roles as both individual contributor and manager, and also served previously as the editor of The Fordyce Letter, FordyceLetter.com and SourceCon.com, with ERE Media. These days she's working on some super cool market intelligence and data analytics projects. You can connect with her on Twitter at @researchgoddess.

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9 Comments on “Quitting Twitter

  1. I find Twitter to be a waste of time for finding the candidates I need for my clients…at this point in time.

    I also feel it does increase your social media presence and may indeed become a valuable conduit for those you want to find you, to do just that. I am keeping my account for now, and probably adding a second one soon.

    Jerry is a great guy, and a successful recruiter, but on this one I think his grand gesture is really nothing more than a grandstanding to call our attention to the ROI that Twitter brings to us as sourcing and search practitioners. Might be a good reminder, but we won’t recall he did this a year from now.

    Thanks for that reminder Jerry, but Amybeth, I am with you, it is a tool that may work very well for some, and it is a tool that won’t work at all for others. The presence and the information awareness are what make it worth the ROI for me.

    So though I have yet to land a placed candidate or find a new client from Twitter, I have been made aware of some great information that helped me impress both a few client and prospects, and some candidates that were already in my process…that is ROI enough for me for now, being the “light” Twitter user I am. And it is likely to stay that way for now.

  2. No offense to Jeff or anyone but I agree with Jerry to the extent that I think quitting Twitter would be the waste of time now that I am on it. It’s there and I have it linked to LinkedIn so it’s no trouble to type a quick note that no one cares about since I am on LinkedIn constantly… At least for a trainer like Jeff it is a bit of free advertising…ROI for me? Not really….I just spent 2 minutes of prime time doing this… 🙂

  3. Thanks for weighing in, guys! I am actually with Jerry on this one – surprising as it may be, because you both know what a fan of Twitter I am 🙂 But Jerry wanted to see if Twitter would be useful as a candidate sourcing tool, and he discovered that for his line of work, it was not. My design of personal use for Twitter has changed over the years. When I was working with a PR company, it was an excellent source of candidates. with the telecom company, not as much, but still a little. My use of Twitter shifted to that of an information and learning resource more-so than a candidate channel. And now, it’s both an information source and a news outlet for my new work.

    I think it’s safe to say that if you find Twitter to be useful or a time waste, you’re right either way. The first thing that each person needs to do when deciding to pursue using a new tool is figure out why they are doing so. Then they can properly assess the tool’s usefulness based on their objective. I think that might be where many people misunderstand it, and other social technologies. Understanding your personal purpose for using a resource is crucial to measuring its success.

  4. In recruiting, I have found Twitter to be useful for Search Engine Optimization purposes only. Those who find Twitter to be growing source of candidates ought to try spending more time using more efficient methods. By the way, Dave, weren’t we saying this a year and half ago?

    Tom Keoughan

    http://www.toyjobs.com

  5. Total and complete waste of time like virtually everything related to it is. In this market- thou who not on the phone shall fail!

  6. I think the real issue at least for sourcing candidates is the lack of standardization of hashtags so that job postings can be properly filtered by job candidates using Tweetdeck and other tools. Even if we got there with standardization, to properly describe a job to the point where you where able to attract relevant candidates you would need to use all of your characters with job related hashtags and would have very little room left for a description!

  7. I will say though that when all other contact methods fail a quick public shout out to @Inserttargetcandidate to please get in touch because you have something to run by them, can be pretty effective…

  8. Twitter is not a standalone marketing medium. Remember, there are four parts to marketing: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action.

    I find Twitter to be highly effective for making candidates / clients Aware of me, but to my knowledge no one has ever called me as the result of a Tweet. Rather, I use Twitter to drive prospects to my “deeper” online channels, such as my blog or my Linkedin group. Those are the channels that do most of the heavy lifting in my marketing mix by making people Interested in working with me.

    Those are the channels that generate inbound calls.

  9. I created an acronym for twitter:

    Time
    Wasted
    In
    Trying
    To
    Escape
    Rejection

    Most third party recruiters used it as a way to appear busy and as a good excuse to stay off the phone. Just my opinion.
    Scott Love

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