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  • Diana Schneidman

Twitter for corporate recruiting and corporate research

On September 8 the Wall Street Journal reported that “more companies are tweeting for hires.”

Specifically, they are using Twitter to “target social-media-savvy job hunters and convey an innovative image,” reports the Journal.

I take that with a grain of salt.

I think Twitter is simple to use and a substantial share of the users I’m seeing don’t appear to be all that tech “savvy.” Despite all the “gurus” offering products to teach Twitter, one of its greatest strengths is ease of use. The basics are rather intuitive for someone with typical computer skills.

Keep reading and the article becomes even more revealing, with one corporate source reporting that the usual job boards have “become saturated. With Twitter, we don’t have to go through that huge pile of resumes,” notes Mike Rickheim, an HR executive at Newell Rubbermaid.

Let’s think about this a bit. He is saying that the big-name job boards such as Monster and CareerBuilder are too effective in bringing in applicants.

So the best recruiting is the recruiting that brings in the fewest applicants. (You’ll notice that while the article implies in passing that there are tools to obtain job feeds, it’s rather vague on how to use Twitter in this way. It’s a good thing because companies posting jobs through this medium prefer it to be as inefficient as possible.)

Here are some better ways companies can get the job done.

First, manage the job boards on their websites more effectively, posting new jobs promptly and removing postings as they are filled or frozen.

Second, support relevant professional organizations by advertising on their sites. Support local chambers of commerce and community newspapers by advertising less specialized positions with them.

But more important, it would be great to see companies manage their hiring with sterling integrity.

A friend recently attended a job club meeting where a corporate HR person spoke about the channels through which resumes pass internally. The executive recently received 800 (!) resumes for a single position.

Of course, all those resumes were not read, she said. They stopped reviewing resumes when they had culled a manageable number of “good” ones.

But she didn’t say how her department worked their way through the print and online stacks. Did they date submissions as received and start by reviewing the first in? Or did they electronically scan all submissions for certain qualifications? She didn’t say.

The world would be a better place if companies impeccably managed their resume flood according to predetermined criteria rather than favoring new recruiting channels because they offer the fewest applicants.

Twitter also has potential for general corporate research

Information on the use of Twitter in recruiting also sparks ideas on how to use it in building a solopro practice. As you develop your freelance and consulting business, research Twitter to get insights about the most promising client (and potential client) firms and your industry to supplement other research. Simply start by using the search feature in the right column of your Twitter home page.

Warning: Don’t feel compelled to expend this much effort on every single individual you contact. Twittering can easily expand to fill vast amounts of time allotted!

For those seeking fulltime jobs, this type of research may be more fruitful than using Twitter initially to identify openings. It may be an interesting source of information to take into the job interview.

Originally posted 9-15-09

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