As promised, this week I will begin discussing the top 3 social sites individually. These posts are written with a new user in mind. I am going to start with Twitter, but please know that there is no rhyme or reason as to the order that I will be discussing these sites on the blog. I think there are huge opportunities with all 3 of these sites and you should be using ALL of them. I just happen to think of a title that I liked for Twitter first. I will follow this post with two more in the series; LinkedIn and Facebook.

It is important when you begin social recruiting, to have patience. I know what you are thinking. As recruiters, it really is not in our nature to be patient, is it? Trust me, when it comes to social recruiting, it’s important. You did not build your professional network in a day, right? We are not re-inventing networking. We’re just making it more available to you and YOU more available to those who want to know you. Building a social network takes time. Don’t expect to place someone using Twitter the first week you try it. You might, but it is a lot more likely that you will build relationships on twitter over time that will help your recruitment practice.

First, let’s review a  few facts.  Twitter has about 500 million users including 38 million unique visitors per month. These users are spending on average 36 minutes per day on the site, and the days that have the most traffic are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.  This is a pretty good indicator that Twitter is critical in your online social presence as a recruiter, and a great place to start. Let’s do it.

Create an Account  

This is the easy part. Simply go to Now, before you put your information in to sign up, look at the very bottom of the page. In small font, you will see the list of Twitter pages that might be important to you. Do this before you sign up so you can bookmark ones that you will use often. I really encourage you to do this before you create your account. If you don’t, by the time you are logged in you will want to just jump in there, and there really are some good resources that will help your success. The “Businesses” link, is one example. Bookmark this page because it has info that will be important to you  in social recruiting. The ABC’s link in particular is really important. You’ll find the glossary for Twitter terms there.  I recommend you click on the full glossary link to the right so that you can really get familiar with the terminology, like "handle", "hashtag," and "mention."

A user's "Twitter handle" is the username they have selected and the accompanying URL, like so: I love it that they use the word “handle” to describe this.  It reminds me of being a kid when everyone seemed to have a brief infatuation with scanners after “Smokey and The Bandit” released in theaters. I remember a family trip to Opryland where my father and his twin brother insisted on installing scanners into our respective family vehicles to communicate with the truckers about where Smokey might be running radar. This is especially funny to me given the fact that my father was a Smokey. “Ten Four Good buddy.” Think of a good handle because this is something that your followers will recognize you as and refer to you with.


If you took my advice in last week’s blog, you have already put some thought and planning toward how you will use social recruiting. You will have determined your target, be it a client or a candidate or those that can help you to better brand your company. I’m going to assume that you already have a pretty good idea of the keywords associated with the candidate or clients you will target. I do want to remind you that people are creating their own content on a social network. Don’t limit your keywords, or in Twitter terms, #hashtags. The # symbol is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users. My point here is that you want to be aware that different people may use various phrases to mean the same thing. One person might say #salesrep while another says #accountmgr. They both mean the same job. Once you’ve made a good list of the hashtags you are going to explore, click on the hashtag button on your dashboard to do just that. Type in the # symbol plus your keyword and see what and who you come up with. This is where you build your followers. You will begin to see everything these individuals Tweet on your newsfeed as soon as you click “follow.” If you want to see what kind of things they have Tweeted in the past, just look at their page by clicking on their handle.


Once you have followed someone, they will get a notification that they have a new follower, and if they choose, they will follow you right back. This means that everything YOU tweet will show up in THEIR newsfeed. Cool, hungh? Essentially, they are open to hearing, albeit seeing, what you have to Tweet. This is how the magic of social networking begins on Twitter. You may also have people that locate you by exploring, or as a suggestion from Twitter to follow you. You will be notified of these Tweeters so that you can check out their profile and decide if you want to follow them as well. Once you’ve connected, you may want to thank this person for following you by way of a direct message or a “mention.” A mention happens when you Tweet something and include the person’s handle including the @ symbol. This can be used as a public thank you, or compliment of their Tweet, website, LinkedIn profile, etc.

This Birdie Says Tweet, Tweet, and Tweet!

Now you are ready to get Tweeting. First, know that you are not required to Tweet on Twitter. You can sit back and gawk at your newsfeed and never say a word. You probably won’t have a lot of success recruiting that way though. I highly recommend that you Tweet at least one thing every day.  Tweet your jobs, Tweet your visions or Tweet what you are working on. Tweet the great blog post you just read, but Tweet, Tweet, Tweet. When you Tweet, your followers, aka audience, can Re-Tweet what you post. Maybe they aren’t the candidate you are looking for, but they know someone who is or they are followed by them. When they Re-Tweet your post, everyone following them can see what you posted too. I know! It’s awesome, right?

Hopefully this post will give you some confidence about jumping in to Twitter for recruiting. Follow my company HERE. We promise to follow you right back! Let me know in the comments section below how your sign up went, and then again when you make your first Twitter placement! Oh, and check out this guide from Twitter on best practices for small business. They can give you even more insight on how to make their site work for you.


Amy McDonald has been working in the human resources and recruiting industry for over 20 years. Amy has worked with hundreds of recruitment professionals over her career, training best practices in sourcing candidates and refining the recruitment process. She currently is the President and CEO at

Views: 1210

Comment by Amy McDonald on January 17, 2013 at 3:25pm

@ John Kreiss- I just checked out the Twitter Search tool and this is something I myself have not used. Thanks for sharing it!

Comment by Jerry Albright on January 17, 2013 at 3:29pm

Nope.  Not global numbers.  The story cites "millions of Americans" so I think it was meant just here in the U.S.


Also - the numbers are from 2011 which was a far worse economy than we had last year (2012)


Sorry Amy.  Respectuflly submitting here that the story in complete and utter bunk. 

Comment by Amy McDonald on January 17, 2013 at 3:45pm

Well, you have certainly sparked my interest, Jerry. There is a list of sources on the info-graphic and I will be on a mission to check them all out.

Comment by Jerry Albright on January 17, 2013 at 3:47pm

Good luck on the mission Amy.  Facts are important in our world indeed.


That article was soundly repudiated, mocked and dismissed over a year ago.

Comment by pam claughton on January 17, 2013 at 4:04pm

Yeah, I'm with Jerry on this. The numbers just don't add up. I'm not sure if 8 million people even were hired in 2011 let alone found their job through Twitter.

I've found Twitter much better for branding than anything else. I do tweet, and was an early adopter, have a few thousand followers and although I've had an occasional candidate come to me via Twitter, I have never made a single placement directly from Twitter.....and I focus in the area that would be likely to, all marketing, social media type jobs!

Linkedin on the other hand is a different story....tons of placements from Linkedin!

Comment by Amy McDonald on January 17, 2013 at 4:47pm

I'm excited to see the discussion, but remember, this blog post is not about the number of placements made via Twitter or the article I referenced in my comment. Different recruiters will use this networking tool in different ways based on their personal planning and goals. My goal with the blog post was to help those who have not explored Twitter to have a place to start.

Comment by pam claughton on January 17, 2013 at 5:34pm


You did mention the number though in your blog post and I think it's important to point out that the information may not be correct. Especially for new people to Twitter, you don't want them to be thinking they're going to make a million placements from it. It's easy to spend too much time on Twitter, time that could be better spent recruiting! :)

Comment by Amy McDonald on January 19, 2013 at 6:01am

I appreciate the great participation and feedback from everyone..I would like to point out that the numbers used in my blog post specifically come from Twiter not the article I referenced in my comment to Jerry. Should anyone want to dispute those numbers they should contact Twitter directly. My comment to Jerry in reference to 8 million finding jobs on Twitter was from another article that referenced data from Jobvite's 2011 survey, CNNmoney, and other listed sources on the infogrphaic.

Twitter, as any other sourcing  tool should be used as just that: a tool. My opinion is that a good recruiter uses multiple tools in their candidate identification process and that Twitter is certainly a great networking opportunity for those not already using it.

Stay tuned for more information on other tools to try. And to your excellent point, Pam, perhaps a post on time management for recruiters as well.

Comment by Martin Ellis on January 22, 2013 at 12:42pm

Thanks for the blog, but I too find the Twitter stats unbelievable. I've been Twittering for about a year, and reaching the point where I'm not seeing value develop. I hear all the good words, but it's not working..... I've Tweeted my jobs and others jobs (with appropriate hashtags), but it's driving minimal traffic. For the return on my investment in my time, LinkedIn is massively more valuable. Bullhorn is getting more traction.

Twitter is great for a conversation and it can have other uses, but job advertising. Sorry. It's lost me.

Is this the Emperors new clothes at work once again?

Comment by Amy McDonald on January 22, 2013 at 1:03pm

It's good to hear more real time insight from the recruiters in this group actually using Twitter in their efforts without success. Most of the comments I received in my research were all very positive, if for nothing more than the networking capabilities for new business and candidate referrals. Perhaps, as another reader mentioned, it is better for branding purposes. No doubt, the research I found showed Facebook and LinkedIn to be more useful statistically for recruiters. I am interested to see the comments I see on the next two installments in this series regarding those sites. I find all of these comments very intriguing.  Thank you for your comment, Martin!


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