Fellow Recruiters: Avoid the Twitter Trap

Twitter and Micro-blogging is all the hype today in the social networking (particularly the Recruiting/Talent Acquisition community). Why? Well, it's cool . . . it's new . . . it's widely publicized . . . it's a way of staying in touch . . . from a marketer's viewpoint, it's a way to maintain mindshare and/or top-of-mind placement. The notion of a multi-drip is indeed being redefined by Web 2.0.

There's only one problem - I don't see any discretion among many Recruiters using it. Here's what I mean: Candidates that we're working on building a relationship with are looking for us to help them make the next move (well, quantum leap for many!) of their career. To be succinct, they (much like us) have a vested interest.

Why does this matter? Well, unless our candidates are part of our family or are friends, they don't care that we're . . .

"On a rollercoaster about to heave", "Eating a calzone at Johnny's", or "Thinking about Darwin's work, "Evolution of a Species", etc.

In fact, I ask myself how letting the entire wall down between our work and business lives affects our candidates' perceptions of us as professionals. Yes, we want to build a relationship, but that doesn't mean we open our entire personal lives up to the candidate pool. In fact, this is what I call the Twitter Trap.

So I've identified the problem . . . Here's a solution -- Create a Twitter account dedicated to the candidate niche(s) you specialize within. A hypothetical example might be twitter.com/SAPFinanceAtlanta. From this angle, you can enhance the value you're providing to your candidates without having to open the door to your personal life; a personal life that the candidate probably isn't interested in (yes, it's a tough anti-narcissistic pill to swallow, I admit.)

What might that value look like among the allotted 140 characters? Perhaps a link to a relevant blog, perhaps a new position you're working on for a client, perhaps news releases that they may find interesting, etc. Think about it for a minute: Imagine how this type of communication would come across to candidates instead of what we normally see . . . If your bread and butter is placing top talent, don't you think they may be creating perceptions about your talent level as well?

Put these tips to work and watch your network begin to grow for the right reasons with the right results you're looking for (more hires, more placements, less time-to-fill, higher quality-of-hire, etc.)

Good luck!

Views: 4

Comment by Kyle Smith on July 3, 2008 at 10:31am
Great Post. I could not agree more about the downsides of twitter, and, IMHO, it extends to social networking in general. Every recruiter needs to be acutely aware of their personal online brand. Excellent suggestion in creating targeted accounts.
Comment by Joshua Letourneau on July 3, 2008 at 11:03am
Kyle, thanks for the comment. It looks like this topic got a little more traction over in the Forum, and there are a few views/counterpoints from Susan Burns, Maren Hogan, & Amie Ernst. Hey, it's like I say: We're the masters of our own micro-niche, so what wouldn't work for me or you might work for them and vice-versa :)
Comment by MRTEXASSOA on July 3, 2008 at 10:02pm
30% of the Top 2000 Companies have some form of SOA in process. It has been a struggle moving from the terminology of the old legacy type systems and getting a grip on our brave new It World. Selling middleware software has been easier than truly understanding it at a detailed level.

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