A Training Extravaganza for Recruiters Using Twitter
By Ali Webster
While Jerry Albright was making plans to leave Twitter forever, I was chalking up a plan to get a dozen other people on, active and excited about Twitter.
The last roundtable meeting on social media I held evoked valuable responses and comments. That discussion inspired me to have another meeting with those very same recruiters. The session would address their concerns with a focus on the logistics of utilizing Twitter.
Highlight #1: I emphasized the value of Twitter. Unlike LinkedIn and Facebook, in which you typically have a personal and/or professional relationship preceding the connection or friend request, Twitter enables you to establish connections with a wider range of users. For example, one German-speaking candidate sent a link to his Xing profile as an introduction. I forwarded his message on to one of our European recruiters for follow up and then tweeted “Cool. A candidate just sent us a link to his Xing profile. Good first impression.”
A recruiter responded: I just have to say, that is really cool.
Highlight #2: I shared Andy Headworth’s points from one of his most popular blog posts about Twitter, Recruiter: Who will follow me on Twitter? I’m not that interesting. Now, I’m not sure if I initially over exaggerated just how uninteresting those recruiters thought they were or if Andy's valid points finally convinced them that their Tweets are worthwhile but….
A recruiter responded: Hey, speak for yourself. I am interesting.
Highlight #3: I took the group on a virtual tour of the user dashboard and totally failed to cover the most basic components of Twitter and tweeting. To compensate, I’ll review a few of the basics now….
• You can only use 140 characters in your tweet.
• The at-sign (@) indicates that you are mentioning another Twitter user.
• You can share anything another user tweets by simply clicking “retweet.”
• Lists are a newer feature that allows you to follow a categorized group of people created by you or another user.
• You are not required to read every tweet.
A recruiter responded: Okay, it’s not so scary anymore.
Highlight #4: I had one courageous recruiter, who had never been on Twitter, do a live demo of setting up account. We reviewed the process before the presentation, and she entered her Twitter handle and bio and uploaded a picture in front of our live audience.
Another recruiter responded: Ali, I just wanted to let you know that I set up an account while we were on the phone. Pretty easy.
Highlight #5: I showed them exactly who to start following. The list of examples included personal connections, industry experts, other recruiters, relevant companies, advocates of social media and #socialrecruiting. I was so excited to see these new users following our company account that I forgot to mention something else: It’s important to maintain about a 1:1 ratio of following to followers, so you don’t look like a lurker or spammer.
A recruiter tweeted: Welcome to Twitter @TheOtherRecruiterWeJustCreatedtheProfileFor.
I struggled to cover the logistics and navigation of Twitter within an hour’s time. For fear of confusing or overwhelming this new audience, I did not mention gory details, strategic plans or even hashtags. I only wanted to give them a glimpse into this strange world and the inspiration to do a little exploring on their own.
Shortly after the training, I received a bunch of notifications that @thisrecruiter and @thatrecruiter are now following you on Twitter. I saw that their profiles were more complete and they were following each other too. I sang alleluia from my cubicle. They listened! They understood! They didn’t tweet yet (but they will)!