It may seem crazy to some, but Twitter is fast becoming a very useful recruiting tool. Job offers can spread virally by tweets and be responded to. For many jobs, a Twitter profile, with a link to a personal website, gives you as good background on a person as a resume would.
So we think there’s an opportunity to organise all that recruiting activity and build a startup around it.
One way to do it would be simply to aggregate all recruitment-related tweets and let people search that, and maybe sell ads against searches like job search engine Indeed.com does for regular job search (and Google does for everything else). That job wouldn’t be as simple as it sounds as not all recruiting tweets are tagged as such, but maybe they could be gathered with a combination of grabbing specific keywords, user flagging and training users to use a specific hashtag, and maybe even Amazon Mechanical Turk.
A more elaborate model might involve offering companies to spread their offers on Twitter to people who are looking for work for a fee each time the company gets a qualified lead. This could work by asking people to retweet the offer and then split the fee with the person whose retweet got the lead. That would boost the job offers’ virality. At the same time, it probably wouldn’t turn into outright spam, as people would only retweet (and get a shot at the money) if they thought one of their followers was potentially interested. You could also ban people who abuse the system.
Of course other startups could build this. Indeed.com, as we mentioned, is the leader in job search on the web, and might build something like this for Twitter. Hashable, which already does professional networking on Twitter, might add recruiting functionality. And the Twitter-but-not-really-Twitter advertising startups like Ad.ly and TweetUp (now PostUp) might expand into recruiting.
Here are more reasons we think this could work:
- Recruiting is one of the best monetized verticals online. Companies are always willing to pay up to recruit the right people and for the right leads in recruiting. This makes recruiting a very attractive category for startups.
- This is one area where we don’t think Twitter will crush a platform app. Twitter tends to either acquire or make irrelevant apps on its platform, but these are mostly apps that, in the words of Twitter board member Fred Wilson, “fill holes on Twitter.” Recruiting is a significant and separate enough vertical that it’s probably safe.