Corporate Eye

Who’s Tweeting?


Here’s the blurb:  “TWTRCON SF 09 is the first conference entirely focused on Twitter as a business platform: how to use Twitter to reach and engage customers, influence opinions and activate markets.”  No sessions on recruiting, but presenters include some folks who are well known in the social media space (like Guy Kawasaki and Seth Greenberg).

The trend toward talking about social media in recruiting is well ahead of actual adoption or implementation.  Insofar as there is corporate energy toward Twitter and other platforms, it’s mainly toward the goal of customer interaction-and even that is in the early stages for most companies.  As it says on the Wells Fargo Twitter page, “We’re testing this Twitter channel to learn how to best serve our customers.”  For now, the bank’s tweeters provide answers to basic banking questions, and/or instructions for getting answers to basic banking questions.  Meanwhile, back at the Careers section of the Wells Fargo site, there is no sign of social media interaction.

In fact, according to the recent Career Xroads 8th Annual Sources of Hire Study, even an “old” tool like Facebook is barely used by companies, for recruiting or otherwise.  Asked whether they maintain a company Facebook page, fewer than one quarter of the respondents answered Yes.  Over 60% said they use LinkedIn, however, and the report lists “improve social network utilization” as one of the more frequently mentioned items in response to a question about plans for 2009.

While it’s true that there is a good deal of the buzz about Twitter for recruiting, much of that probably stems more from the enthusiasm of third-party recruiters than from the activities of in-house recruiters.  Staffing firms and professional recruiters have been quick to board the Twitter Express–but corporations move much . . . more . . . slowly . . . . . . .

Which companies have managed to get their social media initiatives ahead of the curve?  Careers consultant and HR professional Susan Strayer has been tracking companies using Twitter for in-house recruiting, so if you want to see how those experiments are working out, check out some of the Twitter Names on her list.  And if you want to see companies (your competitors?) that are using Twitter in other ways, Social Brand Index is a good place to get started.

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.