After Facebook graph search was introduced a new dimension of sourcing passive candidates has opened. When Balázs Paróczay first wrote about how the graph works and how can you (ab)use it, the potential capabilities shocked the sourcing world. Although the user interface and the semantic searches changed quite a bit since (read: most cool functionalities got limited due to legal restrictions), the URL cracking back-doors have not only been left in but got expanded with new ones.
Today finding people on Facebook is easier than ever thanks to amazing sourcing tools like the one developed by Shane McCusker (fantastic as his usual work!), this one by internet investigators or this one for more general purposes.
One major problem with searching directly for people however is that Facebook profiles are not data rich enough. Only a small portion of users enters both their job title and company information. The first hack is about a way to get around that and find even those people who have relatively empty Facebook profiles.
We all know that with the new LinkedIn changes if you want to keep accessing the database for free, you have to X-ray via a search engine like Google or Bing. Except there is still a way to search on LinkedIn. That feature is the Alumni Search – with a bit of a URL cracking twist. In this post I explain how to use it, and share with you a handy table containing links to search for various degree holders in most countries.
With the new limitation on LinkedIn searches it is now more important than ever to know how you can access LinkedIn’s data through Google. There is more to X-raying than meets the eye, so I am laying out the methods and the tricks in the post below.
The most important thing to understand about efficiency is that you have to keep in mind the big picture. Being efficient in just one part of the sourcing or recruitment process might cause more problems overall than the time you save during that stage. A textbook example of this happens in sourcing when you are searching for “a” list of candidates instead of “the” list of candidates. With more and more people being present online in many positions the real challenge is the engagement with the candidates – and the end result depends more on your selling than searching skills. What you have to realize however, that the way you search and who you search for impacts the difficulty of the sales efforts you have to make. In this concrete example of being fast in search but realizing you can not reach your potential candidates, your process is generating time-waste compared to spending some more time searching and finding those candidates who not only are able to perform the job you are sourcing for, but are most likely to be interested. The overall process in both cases is shown on the picture below – the red part is the time you waste.
Sourcing Process 1: Fast search, hard sales
Sourcing Process 2: More detailed search, time saved in the whole process
In this post I have gathered four tips how you can make your sales easier and faster with a better search.
With all the excitement around semantic search we still live in an era of keyword (and more specifically Boolean) search. In sourcing, one of the keyword categories I rarely see used properly are the target companies. It’s an extremely important one though: Even weak keywords can turn into great ones if you add a parentheses consisting of potential target companies to your string. The keyword combination (consultant | consulting | advisor etc.) is a pretty general one resulting in many people not suited to your positions.
Combine it with a parentheses containing recruitment agencies and you pretty much know what you will get. This article is meant to help you gather target company names and create a proper parentheses in your Boolean string – of course a list of target companies can be used for so much more (market intelligence, sales, job search etc).