Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Five Days to Twitter Literacy (Twiteracy) - Home Stretch

So, if you have been tuning in to this series, you have set up a Twitter account, completed a profile, sent a few tweets, followed a few twits and, hopefully have a few followers. Congratulations! You are officially part of the Twitterverse!

Perhaps this journey has been fun -- I hope so -- but I think there is a practical side to Twitter, especially for recruiters. Twitter is the logical advancement of digital communication. Websites and blogs allow the transfer of information. E-mail allows the exchange of information. IM allows instantaneous exchange of information between individuals. Twitter, allows the instantaneous exchange of information from one to many.

One obvious use of Twitter is the broadcast of job opportunities to followers. Several recruiters do this on a regular basis, and a Twitter search reveals plenty of start-ups and enterprising hiring managers are on the Twitter-as-job-board bandwagon. Check out this "posting" from Southwest Airlines:

There is a skateboarder in the UK who has developed a Twitter bot (automated Twitter postings), fish4jobs that provides new postings every 30 minutes. Some of the jobs, such as accounting or catering, have been segmented into their own Twitter accounts. From the number of followers, it appears that fish4jobs has yet to take off. But it is only a matter of time.

It's time that we give more thought to how we reach out to groups of candidates, how we update candidates with new information, one of the prime purposes of CRM (candidate relationship management). Most of us have sent e-mails that encourage candidates to check our career websites for new job opportunities. Sharks, this is lame behavior. We're trusting that candidates will remember to visit our site, conduct a search and, with the luck of a Leprechaun, find new, relevant opportunities. Twitter offers the ability to reach many candidates at once, real-time, with appropriate opportunities or information.

Twitter also offers variety in how we communicate with candidates. Most recruiters use the phone (for exchange) or e-mail (for transfer). Increasingly, though, we're using our phones in different ways, to receive text (SMS) messages. Especially the younger set. Me? I'm old school, and hate text messaging. But I am ancient. Your college candidates, and your tech-savvy candidates prefer a message to a call, if the intent is merely information transfer.

I did download Twitterberry for my Blackberry, which allows me to send and receive twits via my Blackberry data services, bypassing SMS, to save costs. Twitterberry, and applications like it (for iPhones, especially) are responsible for many of the "airport tweets". For some reason, I feel the need to let the Twitterverse know that I am about to board a plane or that I have just landed. The larger implication, of course, is the ability to deliver information to candidates, wherever they are -- not waiting until they are logged into a laptop to deliver updates.

Sharks, this is only the beginning of the digital revolution!

Next post: More recruiting applications, using Twitter with other tools, my week in Twitter

Homework: Post a job opening on Twitter. See what happens.

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