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ways to use twitter to attract, onboard, train…?!

August 24, 2009

in talent,twitter

while an earlier iabc/buck analysis found that internal comms folk weren’t embracing twitter, recent discussions on twitter and blogs suggest a tide change. in fact, there are more stories of organizations using twitter for team-based knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and employer branding now than only three or four months ago. in fact, fistful of talent posted one on the latter only this morning.

me? i’m a total convert. twitter makes informing, listening, facilitating dialogue, and reaching out to various audiences all very simple to do. the fact that it’s public and not reliant on company email addresses (like yammer) reduces barriers to access for families and even companies who don’t share email conventions.


of course, twitter’s not going to replace all other internal communication channels, nor will every idea work for all companies. how about if we get our creative juices going by entertaining ideas for using it more?

before you go any further (caveats!)

  1. while some ideas presented here aren’t exactly new, i tried to expand upon them.
  2. this post doesn’t tackle integrating these ideas into an overall communication strategy, determining security levels, creating separate locked accounts for some of these uses—all those things you’d resolve before executing.
  3. twitter may have a limited shelf life; but whether it’s twitter or some other micro-blogging tool, the idea of transparency and openness with hr communications is here to stay.


the way companies tweet (or don’t) reflects the way companies work. are they open to new ideas? do they proactively build a connection with and listen to their customers? do they deliver what they say they will? do they respect, trust, and recognize employees?

we’ve all heard how southwest, zappos, and other “best practice” companies are flinging their doors open to give customers and future talent a glimpse inside. but i’ve yet to see anyone approach it like the chicago law school. as part of their recruitment efforts, they created tweetchicago. it does everything you’d want a school recruitment effort to do: shares a day-in-the-life, makes their diversity visible, underscores professor accessibility, and highlights academics and extracurricular interests. students quickly grasp the school’s culture and use this information to assess their fit, resulting in a form of self-selection i’d have to believe leads to substantially reduced mis-hires.


from the practical to the political, twitter can jump-start employee onboarding. tweets about business innovations, customer interactions, and company performance help new hires learn the biz. in the same way, can’t twitter also lower silo walls by connecting new hires to innovators and subject experts, supporting organic relationship-building and creating community? or be used to relay important information to new hires and their families? these types of tweets convey to new hires the way “things are done around here”—and they do so directly, rather than in a well-intended, though contrived values statement. for family members, they’ll understand that they’re considered and involved (important when it comes to expat assignments, health care). and the message to customers and potential talent? that you just might be a great place to do business and work.

train and develop

conference learning, fostering team-based collaboration, supplementing online learning, and providing links to online learning modules (a la @oshasafety) are just a few ways to use twitter for t&d purposes. i’d also add twitter chats, whose user-driven design makes them perfect for subject-based knowledge sharing. more informally and informing, organizations can let the community use the vehicle and decide the topics—a simple way to unearth what is and isn’t working. but it’s schools that are employing twitter in increasingly creative and numerous ways. perhaps we can simply ride their coattails.

manage and identify

here, i’ve only questions, as i’m still wrapping my head around the idea of using twitter to deliver performance management feedback. i think it’s more provocative than practical, but let’s say twitter does get used this way—is the next logical step to also use it to identify future leaders? why not? doesn’t twitter rally us around certain knowledgeable, inspiring people? couldn’t an organization follow tweets to find who are natural leaders?


twitter is a drip-feed, delivering just-in-time educational doses—which, when used thoughtfully, is a boon over out-of-date and hard-to-search intranets. i’ve already shared some thoughts on how organizations can put twitter to use for benefits communication; many of the reasons it works for benefits cross content lines. but benefits-related or not, organizations can direct employees to valuable, trusted resources, tools, and service organizations simply by whom they follow.

engage (and retain)

whether it’s for informing, listening, interacting, or recognizing, twitter provides a direct to-the-people channel for any organization’s leadership team. it gives employees a voice and provides a gateway to the organization’s key influencers. virgin media uses twitter to build connections, humanize the organization, have fun, and celebrate. zappos takes twitter so seriously that a class on its use is a standard part of their company training curriculum. and company ceo tony hsieh credits twitter for building personal connections with people, as well as for something he and zappos take very seriously—happiness. (if you read no other link, i encourage you to read this last one where tony addresses and asks employees to consider: how can you use twitter as a tool to help you grow as a person and be happier?)

when you think about it, the ways to use twitter to communicate with employees are as infinite as the number of existing companies.


[image: nimages dr]

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XMSNKROLBDVSMLPRWA August 29, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Hey this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


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