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The Sourcer’s Apprentice – A Lesson in Twitter


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August 5, 2010 – the date that I created my Twitter account due to the encouragement of my co-workers saying that it would be a valuable tool.

My initial look at Twitter created a few questions and concerns; yes LinkedIn I knew, and Facebook I loved and have had since college (2005 to be exact) … but Twitter? My only experience had been hearing about it from the battle Ashton Kutcher was having with CNN and thinking, “How is this going to help me source?” 

So, my questions became:

  1. Who will follow me on Twitter? I am not that interesting — am I?
  2. How much time will it take to be Twittering? Is “Twittering” even the right word?
  3. LinkedIn #1, Facebook can become #2, but Twitter — where is that going to fall in my sourcing?

With my challenge identified, I started to do what I do best — search and source until I could find the answers that I was looking for. I started out by searching and identifying the leaders in our recruiting world and how they had been able to utilize Twitter to grow their database, network, knowledge, and followers. My usage of Twitter, however, was relatively lackluster and it seemed to be pushed to the side for other social media tools that I had in my toolbox for sourcing.

Then in November of last year at ApacheCon, my Twitter experience changed forever! While at the convention surrounded by developers/programmers and all of the potential candidates that I look for on a daily basis, I realized something; THEY use Twitter — Twitter was their LinkedIn. My tweets started to increase while at the conference, I started conversations with people to find/connect with them, and I started to grow followers and the number of people that I was following myself. I left the conference and was ready to pluck Twitter from the land of misfit tools and place it in my arsenal… but before that I needed to help identify and answer my first initial questions that I had from back in August.

My lesson highlights:

  1. Twitter enables you to network with a wider range of users. For example, one of the attendees of ApacheCon connected with me on Twitter as a form of a business card and sent a “Hi” tweet. After that tweet was sent – his followers saw and decided to follow and introduce themselves to me as well.
  2. I reviewed the most basic components of Twitter and tweeting.
  3. I created a “who’s who” list of individuals I wanted to start following. Personal contacts, industry experts, other recruiters, relevant companies, social media experts, and of course social recruiting people. In addition, I took the advice of my co-worker on the 1:1 ratio as a guideline to make sure that I did not get out of hand on my following numbers. (The 1:1 ratio of followers means that your number of followers and the number of those whom you are following are evenly matched. In contrast, if you have twenty followers and you are following ten people, your ratio is 2:1. New users to Twitter typically have the reverse – ten followers and following twenty – 1:2.)
  4. I reviewed other industry leaders and decided what I wanted to tweet about. I wanted to have a balanced mixture of personal, professional, photos, links, and goofy posts to provide knowledge and most of all entertainment.

The people who are flourishing on Twitter understand all of the above (in different ways) and utilize them for their own unique use of Twitter. They share information, they engage with people, they share funny moments, and they understand what a powerful platform it can be.

So if you have listened to the hype and negative press regarding Twitter, think again. Twitter is a great way of reaching out and engaging with people organically, and it has the potential to become valuable to you at some stage, now or in the future. Just remember that Rome was not built in a day and that it takes time … be active and be vocal … they will come!


The Sourcer’s Apprentice series is a personal look into the life of a new sourcer’s ups and downs in conjuring the best tricks to help discover those hard to find “perfect” candidates. Each article will contain the lessons that I (the sourcer’s apprentice) experience while learning from the masters and developing my own spells to work on becoming a master myself one day — one lesson at a time!
Samantha Kosko is the Sourcing Strategist for eHire in Atlanta and a “newbie” to the world of sourcing. Being an early adaptor, she is able to formulate sourcing plans and strategies including new social media tools mixed with the old reliable. Kosko began her recruiting career in 2010 and has never looked back! She sources top talent mainly in the IT space, concentrating on Software/Database Developers with heavy focus on technologies such as: C/C++, (Windows & UNIX/Linux), .NET, Java/J2EE, SQL Server, and Oracle. To see her at work, follow her on Twitter.
  • http://www.thesocialtrex.com Alex Putman

    Excellent post! I agree that finding your own “best use” of twitter is really important. It is a tool that is here to stay. Great tips on adapting to your business. Keep on Tweetin!!!

  • Samantha Kosko

    Alex,

    Thank- you so very much for reading and the kind words!

  • http://twitter.com/Sarangbrahme Sarang Brahme

    Great post Samantha…

    The biggest problem that sourcers/recruiters compare twitter with LinkedIn OR even with Facebook. They need to understand these are different tools. Though more or less purpose is to socialize – the way you do defines those tools.

    Twitter is more engaging, conversation, one to one, spread the word, informative. You need to invest lot of time to attract right people with right messages. It is NOT a database wherein you can search people and send emails about job opening.

    It’s pull approach – attracting right audience with right messages, RTs, followers, asking questions etc. as oppose to
    Push approach like LinkedIn. You have a database and you are searching within.

    Your post will surely help twitter newbies to have right mindset.

    Sarang Brahme

  • http://twitter.com/jer425 jeremy langhans

    best sourcecon blog post of 2011, so far. GO #TeamGinger

  • Mausami

    Samantha
    Truly appreciate yr insight into Twitter. You are absolutely right abt the ratio. Just posting jobs in not the key, one must tweet relevant articles, share ideas and happy, lighter moments too. Yes, it will take time and patience but in time , one should see results so tweet away:)
    Mausami
    mausami@adroitresources.com
    twitter @adroitjobs