Talent Acquisition

Why Twitter Lists are Great for Hearing Through the Noise (and Stalking People)

Whether you’re on Twitter or not, you’ll know that it is a vast, noisy place. There’s no getting away from what people had for breakfast, the latest football score or an article on how to use Twitter better. All of this noise can put many recruiters off and stop them from getting real value from the channel, however it’s also a massively valuable tool! Bullhorn Reach reported in 2011 that Twitter attracted 3 times the amount of applications per job than jobs posted on Facebook and LinkedIn (compelling!)

I am a massive fan of Twitter and the Lists functionality it provides. Here’s why:

What is a Twitter List?

Simply, a list of Twitter users in one place that you can tune in to (and cancel out the rest of the noise). Think about the kinds of “channels” you’d like on your Twitter TV:

  • Clients – listening to active clients and engaging with them.
  • Targets – listening in to conversations, hearing nuggets to help you with your strategy to work with them.
  • Competitors – who are they talking to?  What are they talking about?
  • Candidates – keep these people sweet; they are instrumental.
  • Personal – I use Twitter for personal stuff, but I need to keep it out of work space, so I add Eddie Izzard, film critics, etc… to a separate list and tune in when I can.
  • Thought leaders / trade bodies / suppliers to the industry – what are they sharing which can help your brain or give you something insightful to share?

Twitter Lists can be private (lists of candidates, clients, competitors – lists you don’t want to share) or public (lists of great content providers, thought leaders – lists that make you look good).

Benefits of Creating a Twitter List:

  • Hearing through the noise (currently approx. 400,000,000 tweets sent per day).
  • Tuning in to specific types of content (jobs, people, content, competitors, client etc…) – create private lists to help you keep up to speed on your sector without giving away your gold!
  • Demonstrating your approach / specialism – create a public list called “Great IT content” and sharing it with people is a great tool for community management / engagement tactic.
  • …and best of all, you can put people in to lists without following them and attracting attention (shhhh…)


Yes, you can add people to Twitter Lists without actually “following them”. Why is this a good thing?

  • It keeps your following numbers down (strangely, this can help you attract more because you look less rabid!)
  • They can’t see that you’ve put them into a private list.

Got a Great Public Twitter List and Want to Share it?

  1. Create the list
  2. Click onto it
  3. Grab the URL from the address bar (eg: and tweet it / share through Facebook/ LinkedIn etc…

(Have you got a great Twitter List?  Share it via the comments section below please.)

There’s An App for that!

There’s a million and 1 apps for Twitter that I could tell you about, but TwitListManager is a cute app that does what it says on the tin.

It’s great for helping manage your lists and much speedier than using Twitter. It:

  • allows you to create lists (you can of course do this within Twitter too).
  • you can scroll up and down the list of people you follow and simply tick which list to add them to (this is a pain in Twitter!)

Nice and simple! Then  you get all of the benefits mentioned above.

Have a play and let me know what you think. What lists could you create? How could they help you get more engaged with Twitter? Could you generate precious leads, candidates and content from these lists? Let us know in the comments below.

By Lisa Jones

Lisa Jones is a Director at Barclay Jones, a Consultancy working with recruiters advising them on the most effective use of technology, web and social media to improve their business processes, recruitment and bottom line. Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaMariJones.