Supercharge Your Twitter Use With Lists

Twitter buttons by Garrett Heath

Have you started using Twitter but unsure how to really get the most out of it for recruiting and business development purposes? Twitter Lists can really help you become a part of an engaged community.

Here are 4 types of list that can help you super-charge and focus your time on Twitter.

The Unmissable

There are some people whose tweets you have to see. You best friend, your mum (maybe), your clients, or breaking news about your favourite band (you wouldn’t want to miss gig tickets!). A list containing some or all of these people can help you check only the most essential tweets if you’re in a hurry.

In this category, I have a “VIPs” list for friends and family, a “Clients” list for those I work or have worked with and a “Doctor Who” list.

You might want to keep some of these lists set to private, especially the “Clients” one!

The Attention Grabber

If you want to grow a following on Twitter then you need to get people’s attention. Simply tweeting your guts out isn’t always enough.

You can of course follow lots of people and hope they will follow you back, but a high ratio of following to followers can look a bit desperate.

This is when I use lists.

Create a list and add the sort of people you would like to have as followers to it. I use this approach on the UK Sourcers Twitter account. I add any recruiters I come across on Twitter to a list called “UK Recruitment Types”. If they then check out the account and choose to follow, I make sure to follow back.

By their very nature, this type of list has to be set to public, rather than private, otherwise no one will know they’ve been listed.

The Networker

When you go to an event, the networking aspect can be tough for those of us that aren’t quite as extrovert as others. Run a search on the event name and the event #hashtag in the weeks ahead and build yourself a list of all the twitter users attending. That way you can get to know them and exchange tweets ahead of meeting in person.

There are a lot of events we can’t go to as well – time and money are not limitless. You can however use the same method as above to access those attending events, even when you can’t be there yourself.

It’s up to you if you want to keep your list private or make it public and benefit from “The Attention Grabber” effect too.

The Infiltrator

This type of list is really handy if you recruit people in a niche community.

Create a private list of people that work in your niche, have a particular job title, or who work for a competitor. Then visit that list on a regular basis and reply to its members’ tweets – but only if you have something worthwhile to contribute. Be helpful, insightful or funny and become a part of this community. Engaging out of work hours is particularly good – what do these people watch on TV? If you watch it too, you can join in with their tweets. These people are more than their job titles, in the same way that you are more than a recruiter.

The next time you mention a job that is relevant to this community, they will be far more likely to share it for you.

The Cuckoo

Don’t have time to raise your own chicks create your own lists? Use the lists that others have created.

You could pick interesting people and rifle through the lists they are on and the lists they have created (if any). This is great way to find similar profiles.

You can also use the site: search command with Google to search for interesting Twitter lists. Try a search string like this with your own keywords instead: inurl:lists inurl:code|programmers|java|ruby|rails|developers

or perhaps target people based on the lists they are a member of: inurl:memberships recruitment OR recruiting OR recruiter OR recruiters OR HR

Let us know, how do you use Twitter Lists for sourcing?

Image credit.

Facebook to Launch a Job Board?

FACEBOOK(LET) FrontsideYesterday Will Staney, Direcror of Recruiting at Success Factors in the US, revealed that Facebook will be launching a job board offering – and soon.

His mysterious sources, referred to only as “People”, say that three companies, Jobvite, BranchOut and Work4Labs, all with existing Facebook career products, would be involved with this new offering.

Back in October 2011, Facebook announced a “Social Jobs Partnership” with the US Department for Labour. They say of the partnership:

In the interest of getting people back to work, the partnership plans to pursue a number of initiatives designed to more effectively leverage the utility of social networks in the job market:

  1. The partnership will conduct in-depth survey research about the ways in which job seekers, college career centers, and workforce recruiters are using the social web.
  2. The partnership will develop and launch a central page on Facebook that will host specialized resources, and content designed to help job seekers and employers.
  3. The partnership will explore and develop systems where new job postings can be delivered virally through the Facebook site at no charge.
  4. The partnership will promote existing employment programs and resources offered by government agencies for job hunters.
  5. The partnership plans to distribute educational materials about leveraging the power of the social web to recruiters, government agencies and job seekers.

This makes me wonder if this rumoured Job board offering will be a global product or just limited to roles with US government agencies.

The job posting market is definitely changing but I think I agree with this Techcrunch article, it doesn’t sound like a serious effort – yet!

Do you think Facebook is really going to launch a social job board to deliver jobs virally through the site at no charge?

5 Things Not To Do When You Join Twitter

Twitter "Keep Calm" Poster - by Manish Mansinh on BehanceTwitter is great if you are starting to explore Social Media or looking to learn more about Sourcing. It has been instrumental as part of my professional development and led to virtually all my business, one way or another. Twitter has helped me discover loads of useful content and meet many very smart people.

I had the luxury of learning how to use Twitter when it was a much quieter, more relaxed place. There were hardly any businesses or celebrities yet – I remember the day that Stephen Fry joined. There was no pressure to be getting “ROI” out of it – it was just a fun way to connect with like minded people.

It seems easy to succumb to these pressures now and end up not getting the most out of this fantastic platform.

So, when you join Twitter, please don’t…

Excessively tweet links to jobs

The Problem: Lisa Jones of Barclay Jones recently wrote about this problem on the UK recruiter blog, I recommend having a read. While Job tweets are of interest to active job seekers, the majority of people are not actively looking for a new job and might need a more subtle approach. Plus – it’s REALLY BORING!

What to do instead: While jobs are a very easy thing to tweet when you are a beginner, you do have a wealth of experience in your industry and in recruitment – why not demonstrate this on Social Media? Take a look at this list of 20 things for recruiters and sourcers to tweet about. You could always set up a separate Twitter account that just tweets links to job, but be clear that this is all it does and let followers know how they can actually talk to you.

Follow loads of people at once

The Problem: Following people is probably the best way to get their attention, so don’t waste it. When you first join Twitter, you won’t have said much and you won’t be entirely sure what you are doing. If someone follows me and they haven’t tweeted yet then I am unlikely to follow them back as I don’t know what I will be signing up for. The same goes for someone that has only Tweeted five times – I don’t know if that person is just dipping their toe in the birdbath or if they will stick with it.

What to do instead: Lay low for a week or two. Get your profile looking good with a well written bio and a profile picture. You should also get some Tweets under your belt and learn how the lingo works. Follow a few colleagues or people that you know use Twitter well (aim for about 20 people) that way you can learn from what they do – what sort of Tweets do you like to get in your stream? Once you have found your feet, take Twitter to the next level and follow some more people. Rince and repeat.

Thoughtlessly connect Twitter with LinkedIn and/or Facebook

The Problem: It’s very easy to think that you are saving time and being very efficient by sending all your tweets to LinkedIn or all your Facebook updates to Twitter, but it creates all kinds of jarring issues that newbies will find confusing and experienced Twitter users will find annoying. The language used on each of the platforms is different and Facebook and LinkedIn will allow you longer format updates than Twitter.

What to do instead: It is a minefield that I recommend avoiding. If you must do it, be sure to dive into the settings on LinkedIn and Facebook and understand what you’re really sharing and when. I have written about the problem of sending your LinkedIn updates to Twitter before.

Drop Tweet Bombs

The Problem: I read lots of posts about “doing social media” in 10 minutes per day and the like. While it is possible, it seems that most people think you should send out an entire day’s worth of tweets all at once. This will totally take over your followers’ Twitter streams. That is considered a bit rude in Twitterville.

What to do instead: I’d recommend using a tool like buffer to spread your Tweets out through the day. Also, if you decide to have your jobs or blog posts sent to Twitter automatically via an app like twitterfeed or – please dive into the settings and make sure that it won’t tweet 10 jobs at once. If you are unsure what you are doing – don’t do it!

Turn every word into a #Hashtag

The Problem: It is very simple – tweets containing lots of hashtags are difficult to read, eyeballs skip right over them. If your tweet looks fugly – I’m not clicking on the link!

The Solution: Hashtags are an important way to get noticed when you start out on Twitter, so don’t be put off using them. Keep hashtags to a minimum, one or two is usually plenty. If you want to use more then maybe try some A B Testing to see which works best – does a tweet with #jobs get more clicks and reactions than a tweet with #careers? You should ALWAYS check how a hashtag is being used already, if at all, before including it.

Do you have any Dos and Don’ts for Twitter newbies? Let us know in the comments 🙂

You might also find useful:
Twitter Tip: Replies and Mentions are not the same
Using Twitter for Recruiting – A Presentation from The FIRM’s Direct Sourcing event in Dec 2011

UK Sourcers’ News – 25th June


This week marks the return of the Social Recruiting Conference from Crexia. If you haven’t got a ticket yet then why not snap one up while there is still time?

If you can’t make it to the conference on Thursday then I’ll be providing live tweets and more on the day, just follow the #SRConf hashtag on Twitter to keep up to date.

You can also join us on Twitter on Wednesday evening at 8pm for #SRCHAT, Crexia’s weekly Twitter chat. The topic this week will be “Key features of a social careers website”.


RPO Resourcing Manager – Ochre House, based on site at United Biscuits in Hayes
Recruitment Resourcer / Researcher Team Leader –, Manchester
Experienced Recruiter (Merchandising) – Success Appointments, London

Social Media

Last week I seemed to be campaigning for more profile photos on Twitter. You are your avatar on Social Media, so don’t be an Egghead on Twitter!

Google Plus is arguably the most powerful resource to emerge for sourcers and people researchers for a long time. Irina Shamaeva shared a great post on the SourceCon blog about Google+ for People Sourcing.

If you represent a sizable brand and have not heard of, then it might be time to check it out. Glassdoor is a site where people can share information about companies from salaries to company culture to what an interview is like. The site is mainly US focused but is starting to see some usage in Europe and the UK. You might also find this video interview with Samantha Zupan, Corporate Communications Director at, interesting.

If you have anything you’d like to share on our weekly news round-up then do let me know – are you hoping to hire a sourcer or an Internet savvy recruiter, planning an event or know of a great tool? Then get in touch.


Creative Sourcing and Candidate Attraction

I’d like to introduce our first guest blog post on UK Sourcers. You can find out more about the author, Katie Lowe, at the bottom of the page.

It’s not easy being a recruiter. There’s no golden handbook, no scientific formula, to make a great recruitment professional. It’s both an art and a science – and the best sourcing professionals always seem to have that little bit of creative flair that makes them stand out. They take their cues from Mozart, as well as Einstein; and while there’s a lot to be said for investing time in your craft, it’s often easy to spot a real pro at the beginning of their career because they’ve got the natural flair and ability that’ll help them to greatness.

The businesses that attract the very best candidates are those where this creativity is embraced not just at the level of individual recruiters, but on a wider scale. Add a great, creative recruitment professional or agency to an open-minded, forward thinking business, and you’ve got a recipe for success.

So how do you get creative in your approach to sourcing? And how do you convert your creative efforts into attracting candidates?

Go Back to the Drawing Board

Throw out your expectations, burn your metaphorical manuscripts – go back to the start. What is your business? What do you do? And most importantly – why would someone want to work for the business you represent? It’s not enough to simply slap a salary on an advert and ditch it on a job board – because while you might find that generates a few applications, the really amazing candidates will only respond to the (you guessed it) really amazing adverts. They’re harder to impress because they know what they want, and if you’re not clear on what makes the role great, you’ll struggle to get that across in your sourcing efforts.

Try Method Acting

If it’s the first time you’ve worked with a client, it’s always worth doing your research and compiling a mental (or even – gulp – physical) spider diagram to give you an idea of what’s at the heart of their culture. And if you’re in-house, spend a little bit of time thinking about how you embody and affect the corporate culture of your business. You’re representing an employer brand here, regardless of whether you’re an agency recruiter or in-house professional – so a little method acting wouldn’t go amiss!

What’s Your Process?

Once you’ve got a clear idea of the business identity, consider your process. What goes on over the course of your recruitment cycle? Are you haphazardly throwing candidates at roles (and vice versa) in a way that’s genius in the same vein as Jackson Pollock? Or do you take your time, labouring on one role for many a month until you’ve attained perfection? It’s important to understand what works for you, the business you represent, and your candidates, to be able to iron out the issues in your recruitment process that are hampering your creative efforts.

Think Outside the Box

Or rather, outside the job board. Where are your candidates likely to be? There’s a strong chance that a lot of the people you want aren’t whiling away the hours on a job board, because they’re too busy working for your competitors. You need to get yourself noticed – and with the growth of social media in recruitment, it’s easier than ever to make that happen. But don’t just set up a Twitter account and leave it to wither – you’ll need to invest the time and resources into making sure that your brand is consistent, and consistently creative.

If you’re excited about your brand, it’ll be easier to keep your prospective candidates engaged, and to attract new talent from unexpected places – so have fun!

Work in Partnership

Lennon & McCartney, Fred Astaire & Ginger Rodgers, Laurel & Hardy… Sometimes collaboration leads to genius. No matter where you sit in the recruitment process – recruiter, HR professional, line manager – a collaborative approach will help to create a cohesive, super-functional sourcing process which, in turn, will lead to a great candidate experience. A consultative approach on all sides will guarantee that everyone’s clear on what’s required, and clarity will foster the more creative sourcing strategy that complex roles require.

Keep It Simple

Recruitment processes, by their very nature, can get pretty complicated – but think about it. All great creative ideas are those that make you wonder why nobody came up with them earlier – because they’re just so simple.

Because, as Charles Mingus said, “making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple… That’s creativity.”