Sourcing on Twitter. a short guide to get you started 🔬

So there is a big buzz in the Sourcing community about Talent Souring outside LinkedIn and Twitter is definitely one of the best sources to find great talent. BUT, is Twitter is the go-to channel you source candidates for any position? in my opinion -no. while you can find all kinds of people with different skills on Twitter, I am not sure that it will be the best use of your time and resources to start sourcing there for any role.

For technical positions such as Software Developers, Automation Engineers, Data Scientists, Analysts, DevOps, etc. To search on Twitter but as an extension of an existing search after covering other social media platforms (LinkedIn, GitHub, Stackoverflow, Dev.to, Meetup).

In my humble opinion, Twitter is a great place to start your search for professionals who are interacting with the community as part of their daily work — hence they are active, posting, twitting, and probably have a detailed bio about who they are and what they are doing.

Developer Advocates, Technical Evangelists, DevRel, Solution Architects, Security Researchers, Product Marketing, Product Managers, Sales Engineers, Community Leaders, VP’s… you get the idea.

And now, let’s get started!

Maybe the most powerful and yet easy free tool to search for Twitter profiles. this platform enables you to use boolean search, filter by location, number of followers/following, and number of tweets.

Search Bios>>More Options

The best method to get the most relevant results is building a string and targeting your search for people’s bio. you can combine possible job titles and desired skills or technologies.

Supported Boolean Operators:

Space between words instead of AND

( | ) instead of OR

( — )Instead of NOT

Other operators working the same way like on Google “”, ()

After you get the results, you can sort by the number of tweets, followers, or following.

You can then browse one by one or scrape all results by using the paid version of Followerwonk or using external tools like data miner or instant data scraper.

Another great tool to search for relevant Twitter users based on their activity. there are few ways to use the tool for Sourcing:

  • Download a user’s most recent 200 Twitter Favourites (Likes).
  • Download a user’s friends (following)
  • Download a user’s followers (max 10,000)

You can download a CSV file with all the results and continue your search in Excell — using control F to find relevant locations or keywords, or using the filtering option to sort by the numbers of followers/tweets/location.

CSV results file

Many don’t even know it exists, but the Twitter advanced search is a powerful tool to find professionals if you use it wisely :)

All of these words: same as AND operator

This exact phrase: same as using ””

Any of these words: same as using OR operator

None of these words: same as using NOT/- operator

Search Bar

You can use directly the search bar but you will need to know and remember the search operators.

Google CSE search results

By using the Google CSE you can use more keywords in your string and add refinements using different tabs.

Just grab the link and run your search!

Twitter is one of the biggest social media networks out there, I believe every Sourcer that wants to take his game to the next level should study and master searching people (its people not talent!) on Twitter.

If I missed something — please comment or send me a PM.

May the source stay with you during these crazy post-pandemic times, it gets harder.

#TalentSourcer #Yogi #DigitalNomad “Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power” (Lao Tzu).