Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

Deliberate vs. Situational Job Seekers on Twitter
February 4, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Networking/Social Media, Recruiting, Research, Twitter

I believe there’s a lot of untapped gold on Twitter when it comes to searching for job candidates. The thing you need to keep in mind is that there is more than one type of job seeker on Twitter. Here are the two types of active job seekers I’ve noticed on Twitter:

  1. The Deliberate Twitter Job Seeker
  2. The Situational Twitter Job Seeker

The deliberate twitter job seeker is the person who has written in their bio line that they are looking, whereas the situational twitter job seeker is one who might tweet that they dislike their job or want a new job after a frustrating day at work. The key is to run searches for both types of people. If you only search Twitter updates for job seekers, you’re going to miss out on the ones who have their job seeker status in their bio.

The deliberate job seekers most likely have other social network profiles elsewhere noting their status as a job seeker, and Twitter is simply a part of their ‘campaign’. As such, it would be best to use a tool such as TweepSearch or Tweepz to find these people. These two search engines search only Twitter profiles, not the tweets themselves. Here is a sample search string to use:

“looking for a job” OR “looking for work” OR “seeking employment” OR “need a job” OR “need work” OR unemployed OR “new opportunity”

Situational job seekers are going to be a bit more challenging to find, because they probably don’t even consider themselves to really be ‘active’ job seekers. Rather, these are the individuals that maybe had a bad day at work and are venting. For example:

When approaching these people, it’s important to catch them close to the time in which they expressed their disdain to their job. That is, if you wait until 2 days after they’ve expressed hatred for their current job, you’ve probably missed your window of opportunity. For this search, I recommend conducting a basic search through Twitter’s advanced search function and subscribing to an RSS of the results. This way, you’ll get fresh results for people who are having frustrating days at work. Here is a search string that has worked pretty well for me:

“new job” OR “need a job” OR (“looking for” job) OR ((want OR need) “new job”) OR (hate “my job”) OR “job sucks”

Another good resource to follow is the Twitter account @hatemyjobfeed. This particular Twitter account automatically retweets message that contain “hate my job”. While often just amusing, there are occasionally tweets that come through this feed that warrant a response from a recruiter with a good opportunity.


Cool Tool Alert: Tweepi
February 1, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Cool Tool Alert, Networking/Social Media, Twitter

If you’ve got some cleaning up to do when it comes to the people whom you follow on Twitter, I highly recommend Tweepi. It’s not just a clean-up tool, it’s actually a complete Twitter account management tool. With Tweepi, you can auto-follow back new followers, auto-unfollow people who unfollow you, auto-reciprocate for those who are following you already but you’re not following them, and (my favorite) to a quick clean-sweep and bulk unfollow many accounts at once.

Example: I want to clean up the current people whom I follow. Once I us oAuth to access my account, I can pre-set targets:…or I can customize the columns which I’d like to see in the results:

Once I choose what columns I’d like to see, I can then start going through the list of people I follow and bulk follow/unfollow them:

The only thing I don’t like about the sorting feature is that it only sorts what is on the current page. Meaning, you have to click through and re-sort each page; it doesn’t sort all the results, just one page at a time.

Give it a shot – I love that this is a one-stop multiple function account management site. Enjoy!

College Students and Twitter
January 26, 2010, 11:00 am
Filed under: college, Networking/Social Media, Twitter

My primary focus with the AT&T Talent Attraction team at this point in time is working with our Campus Recruiting team to find new and innovative ways of reaching students and new grads to make them aware of the opportunities we have at AT&T. I found this video this morning – an interview with several college students regarding their thoughts on Twitter:

“It’s a lame way for celebrities to share information about stuff that nobody should really know.”
“I feel like a lot of people just … talk about random stuff.”
“I don’t think people really want to hear about my personal life.”

Hearing these statements is disheartening and tells me that those of us who are proponents of the professional use of Twitter are not doing a good job of sharing with this particular demographic how it can be used.

This is a call-out to all of you who read this blog and are current students. If you’re a college student, please leave a comment with your thoughts on Twitter. Share with us why you do or don’t use Twitter. I’m most interested in what your perception of its purpose is and why you do or don’t see the value in participating in the Twitterverse.

Cool Tool Alert: Twiangulate
January 14, 2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: Cool Tool Alert, Networking/Social Media, Recruiting, Research, Twitter

This seems to be a great tool to find common connections between you and someone you follow or want to follow on Twitter. If you’re looking for a tool to help find great people to follow, give Twiangulate a shot.

“Twiangulate is a tool for discovering hidden tweeters, friends of friends (or friends of enemies), micro-influentials who only insiders follow… or sometimes just friends you haven’t yet realized are tweeting.” So basically, this is an automated discovery version of Twitter lists. But unlike lists, these groupings aren’t generated subjectively by individuals – the results are generated by algorithms and other complicated tech things designed by Henry Copeland, Kaley Krause, and Jessica Siracusa among others.

Here’s how it works: you can auto-authenticate your Twitter account to get started, and then enter up to 3 usernames of people whom you follow or would like to explore. I chose to start with just one person whom I highly respect for this example:

Caution: if you choose people who are popular, you may have to run them one at a time or else you’ll get an error message.

As a result, this is what was returned – three people who are mutual connections of ours, as well as a long list of others that Twiangulate found to be the most influential people whom these folks follow. The provided list may be sorted by # of followers, # of people whom they follow, or by location as well:

While this is certainly a fun tool for finding new, interesting people to follow – think about it from a sourcing or recruiting standpoint. What if you were to plug in the Twitter account for say, an alumni group, or a professional association that tweets? You could then get a list of the most influential Twitter accounts followed by those people…

Example: @NACEorg– not a huge account, but one of interest to me, because according to the bio, “The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is the leading source of information on the employment of the college educated.” So I plugged it into Twiangulate and here’s what I got – some pretty interesting new accounts that I should be following and interacting with:

Go ahead and give it a shot yourself. You might be surprised at the individuals who come up that you should have been following all along!

Fast Company: Does Your Company Need A Dedicated Tweeter?
November 23, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: Article Reviews, Networking/Social Media, Technology, Thoughts, Twitter

Last Tuesday, Chris Dannen wrote an article on Fast Company giving a brief analysis of Weber Shandwick’s study which found that big companies just don’t get Twitter. At least, that’s what they say. Dannen followed up with an assessment that perhaps companies need a dedicated tweeter who won’t stick just to tweeting about ‘brand awareness’ but also bring more personal flavor to it:

“To succeed on Twitter, I’d bet that companies need do no more than ask those questions–and then hire that person to tweet about anything but brand awareness and product news. Twitter is so popular because it’s so personal and so direct; give one person the keys to your brand’s castle, and they’ll go out and connect. But don’t try to drag the whole board-room table.”

I disagree with this, and I wanted to respond to this post here on my blog in hopes of bringing more attention to the post and soliciting more feedback on this issue.

I have to wonder if individual user accounts who tweet on behalf of these companies were taken into consideration in Weber Shandwick’s study, or if the only Twitter accounts that were considered were officially endorsed accounts, created by the companies themselves. I for one know that many companies have employees who represent them, on a rather official basis, but they aren’t ‘branded’ as a company account because the companies realize the need for personalization of their Twitter presence.

Furthermore, each company is going to have a different purpose for using Twitter. Some perhaps don’t need/want to engage there. Anyone who understands marketing and social media strategy knows that the shoe doesn’t fit everyone in the same way. I saw that the Weber Shandwick study discusses that briefly.

As to the original question of this post, I don’t think a dedicated “tweeter” could/should be a full-time job at this point. It should be part of many people’s jobs, not just one person. The idea of having one dedicate person reeks of the antiquated “spokesperson” concept, and if you take a look at the way business is done today, there is never just “one voice” of a company any more, especially not within the walls of social media.

I think it’s better to ask several people, who understand your company (i.e. NOT a brand-new intern), to participate in some degree. This doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t, in my opinion) rest solely with one internal team or individual. It should be a collaborative effort – after all, if the purpose of a company being on Twitter is to engage, shouldn’t the entire company be represented, not just one person or group of individuals which has decided that they ‘own’ the company’s social media presence? (a whole other issue itself…)

How about you – what do you think about this? Should companies hire a dedicated tweeter or team of people whose sole function is to tweet (and I’m sure engage on other social media)? Leave your thoughts in a comment below.

Why I Prefer TweepML Over Twitter Lists
November 19, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: Cool Tool Alert, Networking/Social Media, Technology, Twitter

Twitter recently released Twitter Lists which allow you to group people together based on whatever subjective categorization method you want. For example: since its rollout I’ve been made a part of 107 lists, including: Networking RockstarsHuman Capital PeepsMovers and ShakersGators (go Tebow!), and my favorite – Women. (I looked down and checked; yup, that’s an appropriate group for me to be in)

This is great that Twitter has created these lists – however, Twitter is a bit late to the game with this upgrade, and there are some limitations/downsides to its current functionality. For starters, I’ve had “lists” of people in my TweetDeck groups since 2008. I know other Twitter apps have also provided the opportunity to categorize our flocks of tweeple. In addition, when you ‘follow’ a list, all you’re following is the list. And to the best of my knowledge, in order to view the list updates, you actually have to go TO the list instead of having it automatically update like with TweetDeck groups. You can’t subscribe to an RSS feed of the list yet, either, like you can for individual Twitter users. (unless you know how to manipulate Yahoo Pipes) AND – if you want to actually follow the people in the List, you know, so they can DM you and so forth, you have to manually click through each person and follow them. I don’t know about you, but I’m too lazy busy to do that these days.

Of course, you also can’t ‘share’ your TweetDeck groups so Twitter Lists has a leg up here. But I found something better a couple of months ago, long before Twitter launched its lists feature…

My list-builder of choice is a sweet little service called TweepML. TweepML is “an XML format used to represent a list of Tweeps (Twitter users).” Basically, you can add people to a list, share the generated link, and allow other people to actually follow those individuals, not the list itself. In addition, you can add buttons to your website to provide an easy one-click follow to all of the people on the list, or you can select who on the list you want to follow by checking the box beside a name.

The best part is that I’ve actually found a great way for the two of these listing services to play together! A very cool feature that TweepML has is a quick import tool, so if you have a link to a page with a list of Twitter users that you want to add to a list (let’s say, oh, a Twitter List) it will automatically extract the Twitter users from that site and put it directly into your list builder.

For example: we recently had our first Bellingham Social Media meet & greet, and I wanted to create a list of people who were interested in the group on Twitter. I created a Twitter List of these people, copied the URL, and pasted it into the field that TweepML provides to automatically find Twitter users:

I finished creating the TweepML Bellingham Social Media list and posted the link up on our Facebook group page so that everyone there can follow each other without having to constantly click through to the Twitter list. Simple, quick, and no extra steps!

Now – something that would be even more of a value-add would be an integration between TweepML and say TweetDeck to automatically associate people from a certain list with an existing group….how ’bout it guys? Can you make that happen?

YES – Twitter Works For Recruiting! (I have proof)
September 15, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: Networking/Social Media, Recruiting, Twitter

This article was originally written for and posted on for the Blog Carnival.

This post is dedicated to all the nay-sayers and people who keep belly-aching “Show me the ROI of Twitter”…. it’s time you stopped asking for proof that recruiting using Twitter works, and actually listen when people share proof with you. I recently used a fantastic resource called HARO (Help A Reporter Out) started by Peter Shankman, @skydiver on Twitter. I wanted to find individuals who have found their current full-time position through communication on Twitter. Take note: this could be via a job posting that was tweeted, an @ message from a company representative, or a DM from a colleague passing along some information about a position. Here are just a few of the responses I received. The results, quite frankly, I think are going to surprise you…

1.      Chris Kieff – Director of Marketing at Ripple6, Inc.: Chris lost his job in January of 2008. He did the usual things such as going to job boards and  applying for jobs, but he also started increasing his presence on LinkedIn and Facebook, and decided to start his own blog about internet marketing, He began writing about search engine marketing and internet marketing, and he started connecting with other bloggers through several social media resources and having offline meetings with people to solidify connections (hint). Chris had begun interviewing for various opportunities but as many companies ended up in hiring freezes, he simply wasn’t finding anything. After one such opportunity was lost, he went out to Twitter and tweeted ‘I just lost a job opportunity but I think they want me to be a consultant now…’ An observant employee at Ripple6 who was following him saw his message, said they were looking for a social media person, and he started going through the hiring process. He was eventually hired on full-time as Director of Marketing, based on a Twitter follower directly from Ripple6 who was keeping an eye open.

2.      Megan Soto – Account Associate at LaunchSquad: Megan was recruited and eventually hired by her PR firm through Twitter. She was a senior at the University of Oregon and had a couple of internships in the queue for the summer. Megan was active on Twitter and had a class-assigned blog about PR, which was her focus in the Journalism school. She tweeted about one of LaunchSquad’s clients in reaction to a cool New York Times article they’d just secured. While scanning for Twitter activity on the article, Brett Weiner, a partner at LaunchSquad, found her tweet, which led them to her blog and they eventually contacted, interviewed and hired her as a salaried Account Associate.

3.      John Robinson, Jr. – Interactive Developer at Balcom Agency: John started at Balcom in April of 2009. He is responsible for coding and helping design numerous websites for businesses and nonprofits using PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. John actually wasn’t looking for a new job when he noticed Balcom Agency’s tweet about a job opening for a developer for its fast-expanding interactive division. Still, he shot a quick direct message back to @Balcomagency to ask about the job, and by the time Balcom’s social media specialist, Kayla Bond, responded he’d already gotten a tweet from Balcom’s interactive account director, Chip Hanna. As webmaster for the Amon Carter Museum for five and a half years, John handled its Twitter account and the Balcom Agency was on the “friend” list.

4.      Andrea Slesinski – Media Relations Specialist at MediaSource: Andrea was working at a full-service communications/branding agency and had been hunting for a new job for several months when she saw the post by the media relations director at MediaSource, whom she knew in “real life.” She sent her some correspondence and arranged for interviews via Twitter the entire way through. The only time they communicated outside of Twitter was when Andrea sent her resume and cover letter for the position, which she did via e-mail.

5.      Rob Totaro – Account Representative at POTRATZ: Rob just started a job at the end of June 2009 that he found through an update on Twitter. He didn’t know Christy Potratz, one of the owners at Potratz Partners Advertising, but through other people she had begun following me. He followed her back and after a few weeks saw their posting for an Account Rep. He responded and interviewed, and eventually was hired.

6.      Lance Hunt – Software Architect/Consultant at Cogent Company: Lance had been on Twitter for a good while before getting laid-off and had around 100 followers at the time. Before the RIF, he already had accumulated a few recruiters as followers as well as many key players/influencers in the .NET Development arena due to a variety of past discussions on technical, social networking, and philosophical topics. The initial announcement about and from Lance and others being caught in the Telligent layoff was a big surprise to many who had been following Telligent over the years, so the overall response from the community was great. It seemed like everyone he had chatted with in the past offered to leverage their contacts and tried to help. At least 75% of Lance’s twitter job prospects were identified indirectly through colleagues in the industry who saw the tweets and gave him a referral or sent his information to someone they knew. The remaining contacts were directly from employers or recruiters who were already active on Twitter and were either interested in topics that he had been discussing and found him through that, or were actively searching on terms around layoffs and job search and found him that way. Lance’s current employer, Cogent Company, was one of those who found him through the former method of searching on topics and following other peoples’ discussions. Marc Hoppers, the owner, had seen Lance’s tweets while researching discussions on social networking topics and contacted him via a DM to see if he would come in for an interview. The rest is history.

7.      Tac Anderson – Social Media Director at Waggener Edstrom: Tac’s story is a personal one for me, because it was my direct message to him that alerted him to the position he now has. I had been following Tac’s blog, New Comm Biz, for a little over a year, and we had connected through Twitter and shared a few links and other niceties over time. When the position at Waggener became available, Tac was one of the first folks I reached out to for it. I sent him a direct message and asked if he might be interested. Tac was at a point where he was ready for a new opportunity, so he began the interview process at Waggener and eventually was hired.

8.      ME!  Amybeth Hale – Talent Attraction Manager at AT&T: I was laid off from my job at the end of February. Immediately, I started quietly reaching out to some of my network connections through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. One of the individuals I reached out to was Chris Hoyt, Associate Director, Talent Attraction with AT&T. Chris and I had been introduced by Jennifer McClure over the fall of 2008, and as we were both bloggers in the recruiting community, we developed a good friendship and respect for each other. When I told Chris what was going on, he set up a time for us to discuss an opening he had on his team, and it was a great fit for both of us. I was hired and started with AT&T at the beginning of April 2009.

I don’t know what additional proof anyone needs that Twitter is a helpful tool for connecting companies who are hiring to candidates who are looking. And for those who say this only works with certain job functions or in certain select industries – take a look at the variety in the stories presented here: we have marketing, PR, advertising, web development, software architecture, and recruiting professionals from companies operating in telecommunications, technology consultancy, interactive design, advertising, multimedia, and public relations. In addition, this worked for people ranging from fresh out of college to senior / director level professionals. So this isn’t limited to just the “social media” people or the “creative” companies.

Another interesting observation I had from reading through these stories is that the majority of the folks mentioned who were monitoring, seeking, and reaching out to these qualified candidates via Twitter were in fact NOT RECRUITERS, but observant employees and either partners or owners in their companies. So… perhaps this is a rude wake-up call to recruiters: the more you resist and poo-poo using tools like Twitter to find, connect with, and develop relationships with people, the more beneficial it will be for the direct hiring authorities, since they’ve already seemed to embrace this method of search.

So my recommendation to you is this: do what you want, and what you think is right for you. But stop asking for proof that it works, because it’s out there and you’re just not listening. And all those candidates are being grabbed up left and right by others who have chosen to embrace the tools, whether or not you do.