Excellent New Twitter Talent Sourcing and Recruiting Tool


Tactics CloudDo you leverage Twitter in your sourcing and recruiting efforts?

If NO – I strongly recommend you read my 14 Tips on How to Use Twitter for Social Recruiting and see the two comments from Matt Chiasson.

If YES – would you be interested in a better way to search for and find people in your target talent pool on Twitter?

Look no further!

I received a notification from the Google+ Social Recruiting community last week that Hung Lee believes he found something that “pretty much destroys FollowerWonk as a Twitter sourcing tool.

“Destroy” is a strong word, but I would say Tactics Cloud gives FollowerWonk a thorough beating and I will be using Tactics Cloud as my primary tool when searching for people on Twitter.

Twitter People Search: Tactics Cloud

While not exactly super new, Tactics Cloud, which used to be Tactics HR, is now out of beta.

What’s the big deal?

  • Simple and effective search interface
  • Search results can be:
    • Saved as Twitter lists
    • Exported as private or public lists (huge!)
    • Downloaded as .csv files (free for now – premium for FollowerWonk)
  • Easy Twitter list search
  • Easy following of people within search results (pop up rather than a new window)

That got your attention?

Here’s an example of a search for people who mention the specific phrase “software engineer” in their bio live in NY – 889 results:

Tactics Cloud Twitter Search 1

Of course, when sourcing for talent on Twitter, you have to think creatively and certainly “outside the box” because people can and will use a wide variety of and nonstandard terms to describe themselves and what they do (if they do at all!).  For more insight and specific examples, I suggest you read How to Effectively Source Talent via Social Media and Social Networks.

Here’s one example:

Twitter Bio Non Standard Terminology Code Monkey

Twitter *Can Be* More Insightful/Up to Date than LinkedIn

While LinkedIn profiles typically have significantly more human capital data than Twitter, there are times when Twitter can give you more info, insight and/or be more current than LinkedIn.

Here’s a good example of the power of Twitter for sourcing, assuming your target talent pool is on Twitter. :)

While writing this piece, I ran several simple queries and stumbled across this result:

Tactics Cloud Twitter Search Result hadoop

If you cross reference her on LinkedIn, you will see she is listed as living in the Philadelphia area. However, she hasn’t updated her LinkedIn profile work experience since 2013. Her latest tweet was in February of this year, and her Twitter profile shows her as in NY. If you were searching LinkedIn for Hadoop people in the NYC area, she would not come up in your results.

Comparison to FollowerWonk

I ran the same search for people who mention the specific phrase “software engineer” in their bio live in NY in FollowerWonk and got 910 results.

While that is marginally more than the 889 returned by Tactics Cloud, I’ve noticed that FollowerWonk unfortunately breaks exact phrases, allowing results to seep in for people who do not specifically mention “software engineer” in their bio. While in some cases this can be a good thing, in others, it degrades the quality of the search results:

FollowerWonk Search False Positive Breaking Exact Phrase Search

Beyond Twitter Bio Search

Searching Twitter bios is one of the most effective ways to identify people who have a high probability of being in your target talent pool. However, not everyone is going to give you clues as to what they do for a living in the 160 characters they have at their disposal in their bio.

Unfortunately, Tactics Cloud doesn’t give you the ability to search tweets for keywords. However, while it would be great to search tweets from within Tactics Cloud, it would be hard to compete with Twitter’s own search, which allows you to search by location proximity, which is much more effective than searching by location terms (NY, NYC, “New York,” etc.).

For example, here’s a quick and simple Twitter search for people mentioning “hadoop” within 50 miles of the 20001 zip code (Washington, DC area):

Twitter search for Hadoop in the Washington DC Metro Area

If you check out the first 2 results, while it’s obvious from the content of their tweets that they work with Hadoop (at least to some extent), if you take a look at their Twitter bios – you will notice that neither gives you any definitive evidence that they would work with Hadoop:

Twitter Hadoop Search example 1

Twitter Search Hadoop example 2

Okay, maybe “computational linguist” is a good clue for those in the know, but most people wouldn’t be searching for that in a Twitter bio in the hopes of landing someone with Hadoop experience (although that would be a great example of “indirect search,” as identified and defined by me). :)

I’d also like to call your attention to Seth Grimes’ tweet about #BigConf (The Mid-Atlantic’s Data Conference) and Hadoop – he makes no mention of Hadoop in his Twitter bio, nor in his LinkedIn profile.

Furthermore, if you explore the #BigConf site, you can find more local-to-DC folks interested in Big Data (and quite possibly Hadoop).

Big Data Conference #BigConf Attendees



Exploring one of the folks who attended, you can see this nice note to recruiters:

LinkedIn InMail Spam

A great example of why you should always (100% of the time!) inspect your search results before trying to message anyone.

Give Tactics Cloud (and Twitter Sourcing/Recruiting) a Spin

So, if you haven’t already, give Tactics Cloud a spin and let me know your thoughts.

And if you’re still on the fence on whether or not Twitter can be a valuable tool in your sourcing/recruiting arsenal, I challenge you to dive in and seriously give it a go for 30 days as Matt Chiasson obviously did. Using Twitter for sourcing and recruiting is a no brainer provided your target talent pool has a decent presence on/utilization of Twitter.

Find, follow and engage.

Repeat as necessary.



  • Pete Radloff

    Glen, Super happy you caught this tool. I stumbled across it about 2 weeks ago, and was stunned at how effective it was. This definitely beats out FW and definitely destroys that nonsense that twitter tries to pass off as their advanced search. Great catch.

  • Tactics Cloud

    Thanks for the share Glen! Let us know if you have any feedback or suggestions for improving the product.

  • Anthony Kline, AppDirect

    Awesome, thanks Glen!

  • Patrick Boonstra

    thanks for sharing; will definitely give it a go. I’m still surprised though there still arent’ any good People (content) aggregators; where you can either use BIO search, TWEET-search, or even LIST (reputation) search, that give a list of profiles as outcome. I was actually in the process of building such a tool, when we unfortunately had to pull the plug :(

  • Mark Tortorici

    Good to have another tool for Twitter searching. There are some discrepancies in the result numbers, which could be attributed to the different algorithms that Followerwonk and Tactics Cloud use. For instance, this search: ruby AND (developer OR programmer OR engineer) in Tactics brings up 4400. While this search: (developer | programmer | engineer) ruby brings up 5288 in Followerwonk. The export feature in Tactics is cool, but for something closer to what Patrick was talking about, Twiangulate might be better. I also still lean towards Followerwonk because of a cool feature they have that searches web links in a profile.

  • JP

    Interesting tool but I didn’t get the results I expected. I’m a Charlotte based Operations Director and say so in my profile. However, my search for “operations director” returned no results. User error?

    Great post.

  • Mike Garcia

    Pretty bummed that Tactics Cloud decided to discontinue their service this week

  • Guest

    Both sites (Tactics Cloud and FollowerWonk) are super sketchy on a few key details.

  • Dennise Lannister

    Excellent work and very informative. I can say social media are leveraging the ways of recruiting new talents. Twitter is a product of innovation, it operates in many ways, very convenient for the job seekers, and yes, some recruiters are using this tools for hiring new talents and connecting you with the best employers and because of social media, I was hired as a sales executive way back in 2013. Another job board is Invisume.com, I joined it last month. It helps me in connecting with salespeople with the best companies in a hassle free way without breaking my privacy, no worries, of losing my current job. Anyway, great point Glen, looking forward read more of your articles.

  • claudia

    Great Article!

    The recruiting trends are becoming more popular and using an ATS that makes the work easy to do all the hiring process at ease as it comes with many advanced features like:- Boolean search that filter the results and show the most relevant results. I am using iSmartRecruit Staffing Software that also comes with Boolean search and many other advanced features as well.