Getting more out of your online tools

I originally wrote this post about 18 months ago, but the main points remain the same.



(Originally published on on 9/8/2010)

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and many other social networks have grown in favor for many recruiters and sourcing consultants over the past decade.  I don’t foresee this changing anytime soon and I also see more candidates at all job levels migrating their presence to the social world.  This is not the only resource that good recruiters and sourcers will use, but it is one of growing prominence.

The big challenge I hear from many is this; “How do I establish a regular presence on so many networks and still have time to use my regular communication channels?”  This can be a valid question, but with a little knowledge and some smart integration of Social Networks you can be in many places at one time and still have the time you need to make those regular contacts.  I will attempt to show you at least one simple method of integrating three commonly used social media tools in a manner that will help you more effectively reach candidates and referring sources in every search you perform.

LinkedIn is an effective tool for finding mid to senior level candidates in many verticals.  The status update tool has always been a great way to communicate with your 1st order network and it was improved greatly when LinkedIn allowed users to tie their LI update with their Twitter account.  To quantify the volume difference between LI and LI+Twitter you can compare my network sizes:

LinkedIn               14,000 1st order connections

Twitter                18,000 followers

Total                    32,000 who will immediately receive my updates (with search this is greatly enhanced; as well, there will be some overlap in the combined audience)

The challenge with the status update is the fact that it is usually limited to 140 characters.  This , however, can be greatly enhanced by using a tool called Box.Net to connect documents to any update or post you send.  Box.Net is a free tool or you can pay to upgrade and gain enhanced functionality.  Let me show you an example below:

Step 1:  Job is uploaded into file and then given a unique URL


Step 2:   Update status on LinkedIn using link to file


Step 3:  LinkedIn status connects to Twitter account


Step 4:  Candidate clicks on link and can review or download complete description


While there is some level of detail not shown here in order to make this happen, most of this can be easily done by anyone who knows how to send a status update on LinkedIn.  The Box.Net account is simple to set up and connecting LinkedIn to Twitter is quite easily done.  The final product is a method of communicating to multiple networks by only sending one update on one network.  It just does not get much easier or efficient than this.

The one point that I do need to make is that this type of communication DOES NOT replace the phone work that all of us need to do to keep in touch with our candidates or referring entities.  The phone is still the lifeblood of any good recruiter and this strategy I have shared today only helps you get in touch with MORE potential candidates.  At the end of the day we need to always examine ways to get more done with the same or less resources.  That is the engineer in me speaking out.

Social networks will continue to be a tool that all of us use to become more effective in either sourcing or communicating with candidates and referring sources.  Tying networks together is just one more way you can become more effective and efficient in order to get more done and increase your success.