How to Tweet Jobs

We are following several keyword searches on Twitter to learn about iOS and Mac-related tweets as soon as they happen. Most of the world has not heard about Xcode Jobs yet, so if the mountain does not come to the prophet, then the prophet has to find the mountain.

Our @XcodeJobs twitter feed has gathered around 700 followers by now who appreciate the at-a-glance stream of high quality jobs floating by. Be it somebody actively looking or somebody who just would like to know the market, the idea is that you see the tweeted job announcements when they happen.

We believe that for the most part good developers are looking to work with people that are interesting and likable (why did Autocorrection try to change that to  likable?) and who are working for companies with the same attributes. This is the reason why we prefer to retweet “new style” which preserves the original poster and message. The old style makes these tweets look like they come from us and you probably know how the Xcode icon looks like. The original poster’s avatar is the first impression a potential candidate gets from your job tweet.

Have your Twitter Profile in Order

You should have at least some of the interesting details filled in. Remember, candidates are trying to decide for or against you glancing over your tweet and probably next your profile. If your tweet does not mention what company and location this is about, then people naturally would look at your profile next because it is just a tap away.

In the least you should have a nice profile picture, the company logo for a corporate account or a good portrait photo as an avatar. If your profile picture is anonymous, artistic or camouflaged then people will think you have something to hide. And – frankly – this is considered a bit childish … not something you want developers to associate with your job offer.

After glancing at your profile picture I will probably read your profile text because this is often amusing and most of the time it gives me a bit of an idea what kind of relationships to expect between you, your work, your private life. Not because I’m interested in stalking you but because you will probably become my coworker and the company culture most likely would become my own.

Some people need high octane, bleeding edge. Others like security and steady work. Your profile should somehow communicate which side of the spectrum to expect the job be be located in.

If somebody sees that you are geographically located somewhere where they can see themselves driving to work to then he’ll probably next check out the website you are linking to from your Twitter profile.

Recruiters, Websites, Headhunters … Sorry!

We developers consider ourselves artists and certainly we are not cattle to be herded. This is why we are developing an app to filter out all these types including all tweets that have links going to obvious recruitment sites, like Bullhorn, ZipRecruiter and Freelancer.com.

People want to connect with People. Plain and simple.

Twitter is getting spammed by recruiters posting links to their recruitment systems hoping that the plan mass of people on Twitter gets them some leads. And I am talking about professional headhunters that are not bound to one company. Especially US-based companies often after recruiters on staff that are hiring just for their own company.

There’s a world of difference between these and the used car salesmen or recruiting that we don’t like.

It is worth Gold to be able to tweet “Our Company is hiring …” as opposed to basically saying “Please somebody volunteer to work for this company X so that I get a month salary as commission”.

Some Useful Tips

I asked on Twitter for some advice that developers would give to somebody turning to Twitter for recruiting for his own company.

  • “Be short and to the point. Provide the critical details in the first sentence.” - @jtregunna
  • “add the town & country!” - @thatswinnie
  • “Include the location! Nobody seems to bother. I’ve seen many where they don’t. But it’s the single most important piece of info, and it’s not hard to add ‘SF’ or ‘NY’ or ‘London’.” - @stuartsharpe
  • “learn how to spell Xcode” – @myell0w
  • ” have a minimal knowledge of the platform and its history, and do not mix front and back-end. avoid the use of “ninja, warrior, rockstar”. Tends to piss off serious devs in bad days…” - @davmendels
  • “highlight the importance of the work: Will your product change the world?” - @samjarman

Some of this tips would probably also work for the job pages you probably want to include a link to. But the 140 character limit should be used wisely. Not filled up with SEO hungry hashtag overload.

Personally I like to nitpick, but we hate it if you misspell objective C or XCode, lump us together with Android/iPhone/WindowsPhone development or are asking for ridiculous amounts of experience, like the Super-senior iOS developer who probably has more years of experience than the platform actually exists.

We are thinking of retweets as votes for the tweet. Every retweet is a +1. Now how do you get people to retweet? By following the above hints and adding a bit of humor for good measure.

One of the most retweeted tweets of recent was this one:

“We’re hiring: iOS developer.

I’ll personally cook a 10lb Pork Butt for the person who refers someone that we’re able to place. I’m serious” – @workforfood

Granted this guy is addicted to pork in his own words, but an unusually large number of people retweeted this. It is missing all the essentials: who is that? where are they? how do I contact them? where do I learn more?

But this might also work as a strategy: hook and then reel in. If somebody finds that pork-fanatism resonates with his own personal philosophy then he will probably check out this guy’s profile page, look at the mentioned website and get in contact.

Conclusion

From my personal statistics I am estimating that around 10-20% of iOS developers are using Twitter. How did I arrive at this number? We know that there will be 3500 attendees to Apple’s WWDC. Of these I found about 300 through intense search on twitter. That’s roughly 10%, the same number can probably added for people who don’t use twitter actively or didn’t care for telling everybody that they have gotten one of the coveted tickets.

Because of this limitation you have to be careful about how to advertise for open jobs at your company. Don’t make the same mistakes as lead-hungry recruiters are making because unless you are a Rockstar-company yourself you will not ever find any Rockstars or Ninjas like this.

Oh and humor goes a long way…. if it is your style.