I am no expert, but as usual I know enough to be dangerous, and to be provide a lively conduit to my less technologically focused comrades. A less kind way of saying that is that I am obsessed with technology and communication but that I have people in my life who keep me from completely disappearing into the matrix. I love social connections technology provides, and I have for as long as I can remember. I went from devouring Asimov and Heinlein as a child and dreaming about connections within world to almost going broke networking coffeehouses with chat and email and online information in St. Louis prior to the web explosion.
One of the reasons I ventured out on my own in recruiting is that I could experiment with stuff like this and the stuff that is still being developed. I have had a lot of success with the social media in recruiting, and love the heck out of it. There is truly a dizzying amount of activity, and it promises to be a wild ride as we venture even more into interactivity and robust network applications. It can be a distraction, but I have found that as long as my online activities drive me back to the telephone (or my bottom line) I am okay. It is hard to focus and be that disciplined with all the fun, crazy stuff happening out there, but recruiting success (like most of life) really is about discipline and focus. I know I have to stay balanced, and a tool like twitter is very dangerous for us folks easily distracted by shiny bits, but it is also a way to find people, and that is what I do for a living. I guess it is always all about the results, and I should just let those decide if my geeky methods are helpful or harmful.I believe that life is always enhanced by connection, which is partly why I love being a recruiter. And though I know that a lot of folks scoff at meaningful connections through a computer or a mobile device, for me it goes without saying that the lines between the virtual world and that of my own back yard are now so blurred as to be almost indistinguishable. I have had countless virtual world interactions that changed my life, made me money, or led me to find new friends or business contacts, so there is no debate on the value to me. The challenge for me lies in finding a balance. The dizzying real time feeds of email, tweets, chat and mobile blogging are as necessary to me as my morning cup of joe, but I have to work to find a way to stay grounded, centered and balanced in my approach, otherwise I might go crazy. So I am working on it. I think it is funny that I try to do 20 minutes of sitting meditation each morning, and then I go off to work, but it does seem to help me keep my balance.
Recruiting efficiently has a lot to do with doing effective research. That is why I think my methods might be interesting to people that are not just recruiters. Here is an example of how I use twitter. Think of it as a constant explosion of 140 character thoughts into space. Steams of consciousness from an unidentified number of consciousnesses. Random thoughts, pointers to pictures and articles and interviews and what someone had for dinner. Dizzying, right? You can follow people and see, in real-time, their streams on your screen. Entertaining, fun, pretty pointless though, right? Wrong.
Enter tweet scan, a real-time twitter search. For example, I will search for St. Louis tweets, and what do we find? An ever growing and surprisingly active list of folks using twitter here in my home town. Coolio! I am seeing denizens of the web that I never realized were there. But wait, what is that? Oh, a tweet from someone I might know, who knew that guy was on twitter. Man I need to get back in touch with that guy, uh, wait, holy cow. He is tweeting that he is hiring people, and is having problems. He needs me!
Uh, sorry guys, I gotta run, that right there there is some potential business popping it's head up, and as a rhino I need to charge right after it. But isn't it amazing how such a seemingly pointless tool can help you do what you need to do, or at least it can if you know how to use it.