Social Sourcing: How to Find & Nurture Top Talent on LinkedIn & Twitter


In this video, Gabe Villamizar, Social Media Marketing Manager at HireVue, discusses how to find and nurture top talent on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Watch this on-demand webinar now to learn:

  • Best practices for effective ways to engage with and source candidates via social networks
  • How to optimize your social media profiles and research candidates to connect with top talent
  • Technology and tools you can use to improve your social sourcing success

Webinar Transcript:

Hey what’s happening guys? This is Gabe Villamizar, Social Media Marketing Manager at HireVue. First of all thank you so much for joining us for the first ever talent insights event. We’re really excited that you are able to join us. Whether it’s live right now or on demand later and this is the first ever of its kind. I remember thinking about this with a marketing team of what we’re going to be doing around this time of the year, earlier on. We wanted to do something that was unique and something that was never done before. We just thought, why don’t we just organize and grab the top recruiting and talent thought leaders and make a massive online event that’s free, that has a lot of good quality contents. So hopefully you guys have been enjoying the sessions that you’ve already heard and stay until the end. If not, watch caption sessions later on demand.

Anyway, enough said about that. Like I said we’re going to talk about how to find and nurture top talent on LinkedIn and Twitter. If you have any questions, comments, concerns or whatever find me on Twitter @gabevillamizar okay. So before I move on LinkedIn and Twitter, these are by far the largest professional networks specifically LinkedIn the large professional social media network. If you’re not finding talent there, you’re not nurturing talent then I don’t know where you’ve been hiding. Twitter, every time I bring up Twitter, a lot of people are scared to dive into Twitter. They don’t how to Tweet, they don’t know how to find talent. There’s a lot of low hanging fruit, a lot of candidates, especially millennials that live on Twitter. Either to complain about something, to talk to their friends about their day, or to consume media, consume content, etc. So let’s dive a little bit more into LinkedIn and Twitter specifically, of how you can find talent.

A little bit about me, again I’m Gabe Villamizar to the left, the guy with the hat. Wherever I go I wear a hat, because if I take off my hat, people don’t recognize me. So if you see me at a conference, say, “Hey what’s up Gabe, I know I saw your webinar, or seminar, or whatever this is called.” Then to the right is our CMO Kevin Rasco, he’s a stud. Right there, that’s the HireVue logo right behind us. Like I mentioned earlier, my Twitter handle is @GabeVillamizar. Please follow the conversations, and continue the conversation with the hashtag talent insights. There’s going to be a lot of people, actually there’s already been a lot of people who are tweeting and adding a lot of good content to that. So, some of my background, I’ve been doing social media marketing for the past five years and I started, I’ve done an internship with Southwest Airlines in marketing, I do consulting. Some of the companies you see here, I’ve either consulted or worked full time and we now know I’m now with HireVue. So there’s Qualtrics, I consulted them, helped them out a little bit. that’s a prior to joining HireVue, I was there for close to two years. I’ve worked with Canvas by Instructure and I worked at Nu Skin as well, in their bilingual department.

So, let’s jump to it. Like I said social recruiting nurturing process. So if you can take a screen shot of this, or if you’re taking notes, this is the process that I’ve developed of how you can do social sourcing. What’s the best way to find top talent and how to engage with them in a non-creepy way because with the internet and the social media network you can pretty much find and get a hold of anybody, literally. It’s kind of scary, but that’s just the world we live in. There’s no such thing as privacy sometimes. I mean by default, a lot of these social media sites have all of your information public unless you know how to change it to private. So over the past five years in the social selling space and the social recruiting I’ve developed a few best practices and methodologies that I’ve gained a lot of success. This stuff has worked, that is what I’m trying to say.

Number one, optimize. Before reaching out to talent, before you find candidates that you want to attract or engage with you have to optimize. So were going to go over how to optimize your LinkedIn and Twitter profile. Then we’re going to dive into research. How do you find what the candidate is all about, what brands do they like, where do they like to hang out. If you follow all these social breadcrumbs, or all these social behaviors you can make a more educated conversations. You can be on the same page with the candidate and you can talk the same language if you want to call it that. So do your research before you reach out to them okay? Then you engage by optimizing your profile and researching the candidate. When you engage you’re not a stalker, you’re not a creeper, and you’re not cold calling or cold emailing. The easiest way out and a lot of recruiters do this, and I get this on a weekly basis, a recruiter sends me an email. Somebody who I’ve never heard of, somebody who I don’t even know where they are or which company it is. They want me to check out their available job opening, they want me to apply for XYZ job, or social media marketing job. I don’t even know who they are. They’re just wasting their time and their wasting their emails.

So there are better ways to do this. By optimizing a profile, researching, and engaging the right way, which I’ll show you that, you have a lot higher chance of committing the candidate and getting their interest to apply. You actually develop a relationship. At the end whether they apply right away, whether they’re an active or passive candidate. They develop their relationship because sooner or later that person or that individual or candidate, he or she may know someone who might be a good fit for that position. They might give you a referral if you develop the relationship or they might leave their company throughout a few months or years etc. So optimization, doing your research, engaging at the right time at the right place, then you ask them to commit. You see that the action part is at the very end. A lot of people go for the close if you want to call it that way or go for the commit as a step one. We’re kind of reversing the whole process. I’ve seen over the past four or five years, a lot of success by doing this because it’s just the way things are going nowadays. So much data and information you can be authentic and you can stand out by doing this process that not a lot of people are doing the right way. So let’s get to it. The rest of my presentation I’ll be hopping in and out between the Twitter profile here and LinkedIn profile.

So let’s talk about optimization, okay that’s step number one. What can you optimize? Number one what you can do is, as you can see here, I’ve edited my background on LinkedIn. Make sure it has something… If you are a recruiter or a VP of HR or some sort of recruiting manager, make sure that your background image on LinkedIn displays your company culture. Who you are and what your company stands for, its values. At HireVue our tagline or what we believe in is that everybody has a story to tell. If everybody has a story to tell come check out and learn more and there’s a call to action. What’s cool about this that we made it so that everybody in our company, we highly recommend if they haven’t done it they should, that they have the same background. So we have the same consistency of branding and messaging all throughout our social media networks as a company and as a team. So step number one edit your background.

Step number two, make sure that your name is exactly what you’d go by. So my full name is Gabriel Villamizar and I don’t go by Gabriel because that sounds like a female name, so I go by Gabe Villamizar. So make sure that if your name is Robert but you go by Bob, make sure that you have Bob on every single profile. Because when you talk to candidates and you tell them over the phone or email, “Hey, this is Bob,” and they go and try to connect with you on LinkedIn and your name is Robert and you told them Robert but you’re online by Bob or vice versa they won’t be able to find you. I highly recommend that you put the name that you go by on your actual name and you have that name consistently throughout all profiles.

Next thing what I recommend to optimize is your title. I know my title is very long, but what I’m trying to go for here is I want to go and add keywords that are going to stand out to my targeted audience. Since I’m very involved in social selling and social marketing, I want to rank for this keywords both on Google and on LinkedIn. Whenever anybody comes to my profile that’s the message that I want to portray. That I’m into social selling, that I like social media marketing, that I’m into social audience. I’m not only portraying that to people that come to my profile, but I’m also ranking for these words on the search engine results page, whether it’s Bing or Google etc. So find a set of combination of words that will make you stand out and the least you can do is just put your title. So if I didn’t really want to put any effort into this I would go and put it as Social Media Marketing Manager at HireVue, but again everybody and the majority of LinkedIn users just do that. If you want to stand out, if you want to attract talent make sure your title is catchy, stands out, and really portrays the companies’ values and message. Next make sure you’ve updated the city or where your company is and you have the right industry. As you can see here there’s a lot of industries and as you change jobs a lot of people forget to change these industries. So make sure your industry or where you’re working at is up to date.

So moving on, the next thing to optimize is your LinkedIn URL. By default LinkedIn gives you a bunch of weird characters, numbers and dashes etc. as your LinkedIn URL. What you have to do is, click on the little gear button. As you can see here it lets you edit. I highly recommend you stick to your first name and last name that you’re trying to rank for. A lot of people might go by blueteddybear22 or something like that, maybe that’s because they grew up being called that or whatever. Make sure again, this is very, very, very important for ranking and you’re going to get found a lot easier by the internet and by candidates if you put your first and last name. If that’s taken reverse it and put last name first name. If that’s also taken try to insert your middle initial in-between your first and last name. If you’re a Mike Jones, good luck, that’s probably going to be taken but maybe try to add the company that you work with at that time. So that is that for your LinkedIn profile URL.

Then moving on, I highly recommend that you post and use the LinkedIn publishing platform. Make sure that you are engaging and creating unique content. This could be a blog post on your company’s culture or the values of your company or the perks or why you should work at HireVue, why you should work Nike etc. Make sure you utilize the publishing platform. Whenever you do a blog post, in the publishing platform of LinkedIn, it notifies every single one of your connections and that has a lot of value, so make sure you do that. Add your summary. Your summary, I highly recommend that you write it in third person because what happens is, Google doesn’t know who I or me is. Whereas if I say Gabe Villamizar has five years of related work experience, I’m trying to rank and I’m communicating to Google that I am Gabe Villamizar. So the more I connect the dots between my social media profiles and have the same verbiage, the higher I’m ranked for those specific keywords. A lot of people say, “Gabe that sounds ridiculous” and ” Why are you talking of yourself in third person?” Well it’s all about your strategy and your angle. Are you trying to rank higher on Google, LinkedIn, and other networks by being the Gabe Villamizar or the person who you are? If that’s the case, I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to rank for a certain set of keywords, make sure you have that consistency. I have Gabe Villamizar at the very top, I have Gabe Villamizar here in my summary, and things like that. Make sure you carefully craft all of this.

Then add these rich media types that have to do with your company, or your blog, or a cool video, stuff that’s going to attract the candidate. Again, skills and endorsements, this is very huge. I mean my goal is that when people come to my profile, people would know that Gabe is very legit at all of these skills. The same you want the talent that you attract and the candidates to come here and really look up to you as a thought leader or as a recruiter, so that he or she may want to talk to you and start a conversation and develop that conversation. Something that I recommend if you have a lot of endorsements and people have endorsed you move this to the top or towards the top. I think by default this goes all the way to the bottom, but you can click on this and drag it back and forth. Again, add rich media types to each position, it makes it not boring. You don’t want this to be a resume so the candidates get super bored about just scrolling this. Their probably not going to read everything, but they’re going to scroll. There are more videos and images and things that they see, is going to be more pleasing to the eye and it’s going to get their attention. In a nutshell I’m cruising through all of this. That’s a very brief overview of how you optimize your LinkedIn profile.

Now lets’ go ahead and talk about how you optimize your Twitter profile. My good friend here Ben Martinez VP of HR here at HireVue is a very good example of how to optimize your Twitter profile. As you can see here, again, he’s talking about himself in third person because again the Google crawler crawls from left to right and once it comes and scans the Ben Martinez Twitter profile it’s going to read Ben Martinez. He’s communicating to Google that he is the Ben Martinez. The closer the key word is to the top left of the paragraph the higher it’s going to rank if you have relevant content and it’s a lot of triggers, but this is one of them. He’s trying to rank for Ben Martinez, I mean there’s a lot of Ben Martinez’s but he has a higher chance of doing so. Then make sure you put your title, VP of HR. Then tag the company you work for, very, very important. A lot of good social SEO and describe yourself in a very words, so he’s a writer, blogger, speaker and whose career is about social selling, recruiting, VueNation and social selling and podcaster. So I recommend doing two to three hashtags in your bio. Again, tagging the company you work with or an organization you associate yourself with. By adding hashtags you’re more likely to be found by other people. It shows that you know what you are talking about.

That’s how you optimize your bio on Twitter. Make sure you put where you reside, your location, and your company. This is huge, huge, huge, you can either put your company page here or you can put your LinkedIn profile, or in this instance which is perfect Ben put his personal website which is The next thing to optimize is make sure you add a cool background image. Again, it shows personality, it shows that you’re real, that you’re not a robot and it goes very, very far. I couldn’t emphasize more, have a good head shot. Even going back to LinkedIn here, make sure people would recognize you and it’s an up to date head shot. There’s nothing worse than your walking somewhere and you start talking and that person happens to be someone who you saw yesterday but they look nobody like that person on their Twitter or LinkedIn profile because their picture is outdated, or it’s weirded, or it’s blurry, or it’s cropped weird, or its expanded weird. Make sure you take a professional head shot and that goes very far and speaks for itself. Moving on, so again, that’s how you optimize your LinkedIn profile and that’s how you optimize your Twitter profile.

Once you do that, we go into a research stage. Once you’ve identified a few people who you would like to do some research before engaging with them. Let’s start here on Twitter since we’re already here. Let’s say I’m looking at John Grotegut and John Grotegut is a potential candidate. I’m sure you guys have strategies already on how to find these people or identify these people either through LinkedIn, if you’re using LinkedIn recruiter or let’s say you want to find passive candidates on five software companies that are close to you. Identify who those are, I’m not going to go too much into that because I want to show you a few other tactics here on LinkedIn and Twitter and a few other free plug-ins that make it very easy to find information about people. If you’re not familiar with how to do this and how to find people, go to the LinkedIn advanced search and play around with this. That way you can find a lot of people and [inaudible 00:18:54] to candidates who would be a good fit for the job that you are trying to fill.

Let’s go back into how to research people on Twitter. Let’s say I found out who they are on LinkedIn and I found them also on Twitter, what’s going to happen here is, there’s three plug-ins that I recommend. One of them is 360 social plug-in, it’s a Google Chrome plug-in and it’s awesome because it helps you see a 360 degree view of that person’s social identity and it links it with anything that’s related to that person. So let me show you what that looks like. Once you install this free Chrome plug-in what is going to happen is that you’re going to have this little pop-up here to the right. Let me go here one more time. Once you install it again that little MSN want to be MSN messenger guy comes up to the right. I’m clicking on John Grotegut. This is the information it gives me, this is awesome. It tells me where John is in Salt Lake City, it give me his email, check that out, it gives me his mobile. Somehow it searched through databases and it was able to append and have a correlation that John Grotegut’s email is this one, John Grotegut’s mobile is this one, and then it tells me how many LinkedIn connections he has.

It kind of gives you this cool view of everything you need to know about John. It tells me his Twitter followers, I can already see that over here, it tells me his Klout score which is huge. That tells me that John is active on social media and what he talks about. So if I really want to engage with John, I might want to talk about business, or conservative politics, engineering, internet, marketing, job interviews, etc. It shows me that I can found out more about him at Here’s his Google Plus profile, here’s his YouTube channel, PhotoSugar, Goodreads, and vuenation. So look at all this information that I could educate myself with before I reach out and Tweet to John, or before I send him a LinkedIn message. So this is doing your research. If you don’t like this one, another option you could do is one called Connectifier. Let me see if I can find that. It’s a similar concept, it gives me a snapshot of everything about John Grotegut. His email, his different actual emails he’s had in the past or he currently has, his phone number, his LinkedIn, his Twitter, his Aboutme page, Google Plus, and any website he’s been featured on lately. So maybe I could reach out to John and say, “Hey John this or that, you were featured here, or you did a blog post here.” That’s doing your research.

Okay, here it is, Connectifier, this how you spell it, connect-I-F-I-E-R. If you Google that, again it’s a Google Chrome extension, it’s great. These plug-ins also work on LinkedIn as well. Let’s go back to my profile. I’m at somebody’s profile, you’re going to see the little pop-ups here, and this one is analyzing myself right here. Both of these Chrome extensions work both for Twitter and LinkedIn. The third Chrome extension, just in case, which is one of the coolest one’s ever, it’s called Riffle Crowd Share by Riffle. What’s awesome about this one is it studies a user’s Twitter behavior. So this tells me that Ben Martinez has a Klout score 56 and it somehow found out all of his social profiles. It tells me how many Tweets per day or retweets he does per day, how many favorites he does, what hashtag is Ben tweeting the most, what mentions or who is he talking to the most, what URL he uses the most or he’s interested in and how many Tweets per day, six tweets a day. Ben’s pretty active on Twitter, so maybe it’s a good opportunity for me to reach out to Ben via Twitter to get his attention instead of the traditional email or phone call. He uses Buffer or Twitter for iPhone and TweetDeck to tweet. This extension is very good for Twitter only, but it gives you a very comprehensive snapshot and detailed analysis of any user’s social behavior and their activity. I’m going really fast but that’s some of the thing you can do about research.

The next step is engaging. Once you’ve engaged with the right person and you found the person you want to engage, the way you engage… Let me go back to my slides here, let me launch this real quick. Before you engage, you want to have a social content strategy. You want to be posting not just your job openings and things like that. Whether it’s on Twitter and LinkedIn, for example I recommend a 3-1-1 posting strategy over a 4-1-1. For example, your first tweet or your first LinkedIn post, make sure it’s about somebody else. So a third party content for HireVue, we like to tweet or do a post about our partners either Greenhouse, Cornerstone, or Workday. What do we talk about, we talk about their industry news, or we share blogs or websites. So that’s going to be my first post, or piece of content I share whether on LinkedIn or Twitter on a given day. The second one is also going to be a third party content. The third one is also going to be that. Now the fourth one is going to be a job opening that I’m trying to fill. Maybe I’ll talk about my company, the Culture blog or Bio. Research case study about our company or about what we do at HireVue, and maybe even share gated content to capture candidates etc.

The next one is going to personal content. A selfie, take a picture of your friends and family, people at the office, make it very personal so candidates can relate to you. If you have a constant strategy such as this one, when you reach out and engage with a candidate, they’re going to see that you’re not posting and talking about yourself 24/7. When somebody reaches out to you that you probably don’t know and you go back to their Twitter profile or you go back to their LinkedIn profile and all their doing is just posting me, me, me stuff. That’s a huge turn off. Make sure you have content that you are educating and that you are seen as or come across as a thought leader or have educational content to attract talent. They can see wow, this person really does their homework, they know what they’re talking about. So what type of content might you share to engage with a candidate? Images are great, infographics, quotes, motivational memes, etc. Videos are even better because they’re interactive, videos that are two minutes or less, slide shows and characters. Don’t just stick to words and characters all the time, that’s the easiest thing you can do to engage.

On Twitter, how can you engage with a candidate? Let’s say I could favorite one of theirs tweets to get their attention, whenever you favorite that they get notified on their cell phone, or desktop, on their email. You can retweet any of their tweets. Don’t overdo it or it comes across as you are trying too hard. You could maybe reply and say, “Great tweet John, thanks for sharing.” So if you find an article a candidate is sharing you can say, “I love this tweet, thanks for sharing etc.” I hope you get that sense here of how to engage on Twitter and on LinkedIn. When you connect with them you use a personalize message, but once you connect you can like their comment, re-share, or reply and do things of that nature so that you get their attention and build that relationship on LinkedIn as well. Those are a few strategies on how to engage.

I think I’m running out of time here, but after you’ve done all of those things then you go for the close or go for the commit. Let me go back to that slide. After you do that, I hope that you guys are asking them to commit. I invite you to commit, or go for the close. Either take a conversation offline, that should be your number one goal or via either email or phone. As you can see here this whole process reversed. By doing this, you’re going to get highly more qualified candidates and your contact ratios are going to increase and you’re going to develop stronger relationships. So far this has been working great.

Let me know if you have any questions. Again, it’s @gabevillamizar. If you have any questions or you would like me to send you a PDF of everything that I’ve spoken to. I know I was all over the place but it will be condensed in a very educational PDF. Tweet at me at, like I said @gabevillamizar and with the hashtag #talentinsight. That’s it guys, thank you so much for tuning in and learning about social sourcing or social recruiting. Stick out for the next session and talk to you soon. Have a good one.