Map Pin Showing location on Map. A Manual Version of geocoding

Twitter is a candidate sourcing resource that recruiters should not ignore. The complaint when using the Twitter search field is getting too much information or irrelevant data. Searching on Twitter takes a few extra steps to get quality results. A geocode search is an often underutilized tool that can help you recruit like a boss.

Wikipedia describes geocoding this way:

“Geocoding (sometimes called forward geocoding) is the process of enriching a description of a location, most typically a postal address or place name, with geographic coordinates from spatial reference data such as building polygons, land parcels, street addresses, postal codes (e.g. ZIP codes, CEDEX) and so on.”

Three steps to using geocoding for Twitter searches are:

  1. Find the Geocode
  2. Gather the average Boolean search information
  3. Create a Search String
  4. Enter your search string into the search area in Twitter
  5. Enjoy the fruit of your labor!

Let me show you geocoding in action. Let’s find a Recruiter in Dallas, Texas.

  1. Find the GeocodeScreenshot from

Every place on earth identifies to two simple numbers, the Longitude, and Latitude. There are a plethora of websites that will show you geocodes.   Texas A&M (gig ‘em) Geoservices has a complete list of where to go to find this information. By personal preference, I use “” On, all you have to do is enter identifying information. You do not need to enter a complete physical address. Just enter as much information as you have. Odds are, you will not find someone in this exact location, so you will need to enter a mileage around the address you want to search. You can do this in kilometers or miles.

Dallas, TX = 32.7766640,-96.7969880

  1. Gather the average Boolean search information

For this example, we will be looking for a recruiter within 30 miles of Dallas. I don’t want to see tweets or accounts that have “jobs” in them.

  1. Create a Search String

For today’s purposes, the search string looks like this:

#Recruiter -jobs Geocode:32.7766640,-96.7969880,30mi

  1. Enter your search string into the search area in Twitter




  1. Enjoy the fruit of your labor!

The default results will be “Top”, but you can look at search results for the most recent tweets within the “Live” section. You can also find “Accounts, photos, videos and more! Play around in the results area, you may find things you did not know you needed that are nearby such as conferences or meetups that can create even more leads.

Let’s dig even deeper. Dallas is a big place so searching within what longitude/latitude for “Dallas” still may find candidates that live in a non-commutable area. The best geocoding search method is using the complete address. Thanksgiving Square is a massive office building in Dallas. Let’s find potential candidates that live within 10 miles of the office of 1601 Elm St Dallas, TX 75201

Follow instructions in step one above however enter the particular address.

1601 Elm St Dallas, TX 75201 = 32.7819570,-96.7980960 . The search string will now look like this:

#Recruiter –jobs Geocode:32.7819570,-96.7980960,10mi



Don’t about using this for networking. For example, you are going to the SHRM conference in Las Vegas in 2015. I dare say that ALL meetings offer a customized hashtag. For the SHRM conference, it is #SHRM15. If you want to see if anyone from your area is going, the an example search string could be #SHRM Geocode:32.7819570,-96.7980960,50mi


Now I know some folks that are going to SHRM that I can connect with when I get there that are close to me is that I can continue the relationship when I come home.

It takes a few extra steps but with geocoding, you can narrow down twitters search results and make them more relevant to you.

 A few caveats:

While this is a great social recruiting and networking tool, there are quite a few limitations. Remember the search only works if the Twitter user has opted in to sharing location OR has added a precise location in their Twitter bio.

The other thing to remember is that if a person is tweeting from their cell phone or while at a conference, the tweet ties to their current location. So if they are in Las Vegas but live in Dallas, this search methodology will not work because the geocode will have to be in Vegas. You can use this to your advantage. For example, this particular week, the Talent42 conference is going on. If I am in Seattle attending this conference and want to see who is using the conference hashtag, in this case, #talent42, and are actually in Seattle with location on their cellphones here are the steps:

  • Search for the conference site. Ex: Bell Harbor Conference Center, Seattle, WA.
  • Enter conference address into geocode finder (I am using (51.5033630,-0.1276250)
  • And search for Twitter users tweeting in this location. (#Talent42 Geocode:51.5033630,-0.1276250,50mi)

I know I am overstating this a bit but remember; this only works if they have the location enabled on their cell phone. I did not find any using the string above until I widened the search to 2000 miles. Even then, I only found one person. If the Twitter user entered location is Waco, TX and location services is off on my phone, my tweets will show as coming from Waco, TX. This feature is great for the privacy of users but not for sourcers.

Another point to consider is that information in a user’s profile may not be entirely accurate. Gahlord Dewald, of in the explains this beautifully.

“…if someone in Manchester UK fills out their profile info with “Manchester” their tweets can show up in a geocode Twitter search around the coordinates of Manchester NH USA. This can introduce noise into the data.”

I have written a great deal of information, but drastic talent shortage calls for drastic measures. Become the best recruiter you can be by educating yourself on recruiting tools you may not have thought of previously.

About the Author:

Jackye Clayton is recognized as a people expert who puts the Human in HJackye Clayton Contributing Editor Recruiting Toolsuman Resources. An international trainer, she has traveled worldwide sharing her unique gifts in sourcing, recruiting and coaching. She offers various dynamic presentations on numerous topics related to leadership development, inclusionary culture development, team building and more.Her in-depth experience in working with top Fortune and Inc 500 clients and their employees has allowed her to create customized programs to coach, train and recruit top talent and inspire others to greatness.

Follow Jackye on Twitter @JackyeClayton or connect with her on LinkedIn.

By Jackye Clayton

Jackye is an acclaimed thought leader and inspirational speaker on recruiting and DEIB topics. She brings years of experience recruiting across a variety of industries including tech, HR, legal, and finance. In her role as VP of Talent Acquisition and DEIB, she leads all related work at Textio, provides critical expertise to customers, and serves as a leading voice in the products Textio creates for the broader ecosystem. Jackye has been named one of the 9 Powerful Women in Business You Should Know by SDHR Consulting, one of the 15 Women in HR Tech to Follow by VidCruiter, and is on the Top 100 list of Human Resources Influencers by Human Resource Executive Magazine.