Twittering for Sourcing

I recently saw a discussion on ERE started by Erika Hansen Brown on the topic of using Twitter for sourcing. I weighed in on the discussion, which can be found here:

Personally, I think that Twitter is most effective when leveraged for passive talent identification and acquisition via recruiter and/or employer branding and job opening notifications. Some of the people and companies listed in the replies in this discussion as examples of successful Twitter usage seem to be using it exactly for this purpose.

I don’t think that Twitter is nearly as effective as a tool for active talent identification and acquisition, primarily for two reasons – #1 It’s a shallow source of candidate information, and #2 It offers only basic search options resulting in imprecise results.

With very little depth of information available for Twitter users, Twitter isn’t an effective option for the Sourcer or Recruiter who is looking to be able to have a high degree of control over critical candidate qualification variables, including specific experience (quality, quantity, or depth), precise location, education, etc. If you’re interested, I wrote a post about shallow vs. deep sources of candidate information here:

Now, we can’t fault Twitter for being a shallow source of candidate information, or for having a simple search interface – it wasn’t designed to be a highly searchable database of human capital. So simply leverage it to the best of your ability in the most effective manner available. I wouldn’t expect to use Twitter as a “high yield” sourcing or recruiting source – but if leveraged properly, it can certainly result in successful hires.