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: http://tinyurl.com/4q73dw
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: http://tinyurl.com/3gdpqz
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.
With the buzz I continue to see and hear surrounding Twitter, social networks, Internet sourcing (blogs, articles, etc.) and such, it’s easy to look at resumes as dull, outdated, or at least “uncool” when it comes to sourcing and recruiting. I fear there are many people who get blinded by the “shiny object” factor of each and every “next new thing” that will supposedly revolutionize staffing, leading them to overlook the significant and tangible advantages that resumes have over other sources of talent identification information.
The limitations inherent with using Twitter, blogs, Internet articles, LinkedIn profiles and similar sources for talent identification is that they are what I classify as “shallow” sources of candidate information. In most cases, they contain very little information regarding critical candidate variables such as skills and responsibilities, quantity and quality of experience, career history and accomplishments, education, precise location, etc. Many shallow sources of candidate information simply do not provide ANY information regarding some of these details. With little or no information to go on, it is extremely difficult to search for and identify candidates who have a high probability of at least meeting the minimum requirements for your opening, let alone exceeding them. Continue reading