Try tweeting if you’re looking for the right person for the job

NOTE: This column first appeared in the May 13 issue of the Daily Herald Business Ledger.

You already know how the Internet has changed the way you hire new employees. You already know how LinkedIn has changed the way you find qualified people for your business.
But Tom Gimbel says don’t neglect Twitter if you’re looking to fill or find a job.
Gimbel, founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a Chicago-based staffing and hiring agency with offices in Arlington Heights, Oak Brook and Gurnee, says Twitter is a valuable tool for both the employer and the jobseeker.
For the jobseeker, it’s a cheap, easy way to research a company, simply by following both the company’s Twitter feed and the feeds of its employees.
“What you have is access to information about a company that’s free, that’s put out by the company and employees of the company, about the company,” he said. “You get an idea of what the company and the people who are working there say about it.
“If you’re not using that for your jobs search, you’re just not using all the tools at your disposal,” he added.
For the employer, Gimbel said Twitter is an excellent avenue to not only get a job opening out to potential talent, but also to check if a potential employee is a good fit for the company. The key for a business using Twitter, he stresses, is to build a sizable following to your Twitter feed.
As you build your network credibility, you are more likely to have your job openings retweeted by followers, getting the word out quickly to an audience that is interested in your company, Gimbel said.
“The more followers you get, the more (tweets) are passed along,” he added. “And it’s so easy to retweet posts that you can get something going pseudo-virally fairly quickly.
“If you use it appropriately and you have people following you, that job will reach people who may or may not be looking for a job and may not have seen it on a normal job search mode.”
Once you’ve found a candidate, you can also search his or her Twitter feed to see if they would fit your company’s profile, Gimbel notes.
“If somebody’s tweets are so off-kilter, they might not represent your company image. It’s similar as what was going on two or three years ago with Facebook,” he added. “If somebody’s tweets aren’t in line with what you want your company to be, that can rule somebody out as well.”
Gimbel offered some other tips in finding candidates and hiring employees using Twitter:
Be consistent: Whether it’s your personal or company account, make sure you designate one Twitter handle as the sole source of posting jobs.
Be direct: You only have 140 characters to get your message across so make every character count. Tweets should be direct.
Use a hashtag: By adding a hashtag, you are categorizing your tweet so that it’s searchable, which will make it stand out among the rest. Consider #job, #jobpost, #employment, #recruiting, #hiring, #career, #staffing, #salesjob.
Know who to follow: You have to be strategic in who you follow so that other followers can be redirected to you. For example, consider following hiring managers/recruiters who can be a direct source to be job candidates.
Gimbel stresses that Twitter is a reciprocal network, meaning you should be following people who follow you. He suggests making sure you follow people who you find interesting professionally or are in line with your business, and making sure your content is of interest to them so they will follow you back.
“You need to view Twitter posts and your tweets as brand management,” he said.

Vietnam businesses finding key to IT success in Volo-based Atom

NOTE: This posting first appeared in the April 29 edition of the Daily Herald Business Ledger

From its beginnings near the bogs of Volo, Atom AMPD is now finding its way into the rice paddies of Vietnam.
The Lake County-based developer of the AtomOS Kwick Key operating system has recently expanded into the Southeast Asian country, extending its global reach in that portion of the world, which already includes China and Singapore.
Atom AMPD CEO Daniel Field said Vietnam’s economic growth over the past 10 years — the country’s annual GDP growth rate has been 7.2 percent in that time — makes it a good market for AtomOS, as fast growing companies there are looking for a business-focused operating system that can be quickly set up and maintained. The Linux-based AtomOS system, which is contained on a 2 gigabyte USB ‘Kwick Key” flash drive, has drawn a lot of interest since their initial visits to the country.
“We started (meeting) with about 12 to 15 people and that grew to 35. Now it’s up to 75 to 80 people,” Field said. “It sounds like we found the pulse and the right buttons to hit with it. They appear to be really liking the product.”
And that interest is turning into potential dollars, as Field said he anticipates about $9.5 billion in combined revenues from businesses that have already signed agreements.
“Vietnam’s market is strong and its really growing well right now,” Field said. “But they’re making decisions pretty quick over there, so we’ve been pretty content with what we’ve been able to do.”
Field attributes the company’s success in Asia to having partners that know the region and its varied cultures. Through them, company representatives have been able to make initial contact with C-level executives at a number of Vietnamese businesses and government agencies.
“Part of it is knowing the culture and that’s why it’s good to have partners that help with that,” he said.
And while AtomOS was originally targeted for small to medium-sized businesses, Field notes even large companies in the region have become interested in the system for its capabilities and lower overall IT costs. Unlike systems from companies that Field refers to as “big boxes,” the AtomOS can be used without upgrading existing servers and hardware, and elements can be turned on or off to meet a specific business need.
“They’ve picked up on it right away,” he said. “They like the fact that — in a sense — they has a Swiss Army Knife where they can pull out a blade that they need. Here, they can pull out what networking piece they need without having a high price tag that goes along with it.”
Although they are still establishing themselves in Vietnam, Field noted the company already has its next step planned — Malaysia. He said the company has already been contacted by a Malaysian firm that has heard of what they’re doing in Vietnam.
“He’d be the first one in Malaysia, so we’re working on getting that deal finalized while (the team) is out there,” he said.