I was introduced to Topsy.com a short while ago and felt that sharing it with everyone would help to spread the word about another very good real time recruiting tool. Topsy is unique in that it sees the Internet as a “stream of conversations.” Unlike traditional search engines that search the web as a “collection” of documents, Topsy.com is driven by tweets feeding off of Twitter in real-time. Recruiting is not the main purpose of Topsy, but of course there are all kinds of interesting way to use it for this.

The tool is certainly not perfect and it has its flaws (for the use of recruiters) because it was not designed for recruiters. The key feature for me is its unique real time search ability and the fact that it archives trackbacks. This is significant when researching as it will allow you see the originating tweet to connect with the tweep that you might be interested in as a candidate. With that it will also archive that conversation for later mining.

Topsy will also support search in multiple languages including doublebyte. The most popular languages to date are English, German, Japanese and Portuguese.

Take a look at my thoughts and demo below. There is also a cheat sheat of search commands unique to Topsy below.


Topsy’s unique set of search commands

Topsy boasts a unique set of search parameters in regards to real time search. Though it does not accept full Boolean logic (which is a flaw for recruiters) it does accept basic search parameters that I’ve detailed below. I’ve also detailed these searches within the video for you as well.

Basic Search

term1 term2 term3 (implicit AND between terms)

Exact match

“ryan leary” would return a match for the exact phrase “ryan leary”

And the following ‘advanced syntax’:

From Search

from:<twitter username> – e.g. ‘from:ryanleary recruiting’

Using this search query will limit your results to links about
‘recruiting’ that were posted by the twitter account ‘ryanleary’.

Site / Xray search

site:<domain> – e.g. ’site:techcrunch.com Topsy’

Using this search query will limit your results to links on the TechCrunch site that are about Topsy.

site:<sudomain.domain> – e.g. ’site:eu.techcrunch.com twitter‘

Using this search query will limit your results to links on the EU version of the TechCrunch site that include the term ‘twitter’.

site:<domain/firstpath> – e.g. ’site:wired.com/gadgets twitter’

Using this search query will limit your results to links that are  within the gadgets section of the wired.com site and include the  term ‘twitter’.

Real time recruiting with Topsy takes a little while to get used to. But it’s a great tool for in depth sourcing of real time tweets and other information. Candidates are using status updates for more of their communication, so this should provide more information about people as time goes on. Let me know how you find the tool for recruiting and sourcing, and let me know if you know of other tools for sourcing in the real time stream of conversations that is the Internet today.

By Noel Cocca

CEO/Founder RecruitingDaily and avid skier, coach and avid father of two trying to keep up with my altruistic wife. Producing at the sweet spot talent acquisition to create great content for the living breathing human beings in recruiting and hiring. I try to ease the biggest to smallest problems from start-ups to enterprise. Founder of RecruitingDaily and our merry band of rabble-rousers.