I noticed something interesting on Twitter this morning. It seems that CNN's news anchor Don Lemon is following me (for the uninitiated, this means that Don is keeping up with my Twitter messages, or "tweets" as they are called). I have been following Don's tweets since this summer, when Anderson Cooper featured Don in his blog. Don sparked a national debate on race in this blog post.
Like other news anchors on CNN, Don is using Twitter to reach the audience directly. He routinely asks for feedback and input from his Twitter followers and features the responses on his news program. This week, he has asked viewers to comment on the job market. He wants folks to post jobs so that he can connect jobseekers to opportunities.
I suspect Don is following me because my Twitter bio reveals that I am a recruiter. He probably wants to engage with recruiters to learn about the job market, or provide jobhunting tips. I imagine that he gets lots of feedback from laid-off or underemployed workers. They want to know how to survive in this economy. He is trying to help (and cover the most important story of the day). Sharks, Don is doing our job! Go Don! Great way to use Twitter.
Like Don, we should make sure that we are connecting with candidates. Listening to their stories, providing advice and resources, showing compassion. Sharks, we're known for our cynicism. It's hard not to be cynical when you're carrying 30 reqs and no one has the skills to fit your open position. We trade funny candidate stories and wacky resumes as a course of business. But, at heart, we're in this business because we derive joy from helping people. Now is the time to let your helping people gene kick in.
One more thing about Don. A quick Yahoo! search reveals that he has a MySpace page, a Facebook page, a LinkedIn profile, and he Twitters. He actively seeks interaction with his audience. I know that some recruiters fear that social media will open the floodgates to unwanted candidates. I ask those recruiters, would the crowds at your floodgates outnumber those of a television personality? Probably not, yet Don manages multiple profiles with aplomb. Sharks, we can all take a lesson from Don on the importance of making connections.