Out of the Box Sourcing

Have you ever been sitting at your desk looking up Web sites that are not work-related? Let’s take it one step further. How many of you have been looking up the latest sports scores or stock quotes on your favorite site, only to have your boss come up behind you and find out that you are spending company time researching your favorite hobbies? What if I told you that you can use a site such as Amazon.com to source or at least network with potential candidates? Well it’s true! Gone will be the days when getting caught looking up books on Amazon or similar sites for personal use is against the rules. To find out how to use Amazon.com or similar sites as a recruiting source, read on. Let’s just say you are looking for a candidate who is well-versed in Java. Do you think that a person who reads a book on Java would be a possible candidate? You may be shaking your head saying, “Well it could be a good candidate if they have the right experience I am looking for.” If this is your answer, then we are in agreement. Someone who buys and reads a book on Java is not necessarily an expert in the subject. Maybe they are just getting started with Java or they could be buying as a gift for their Uncle Harry’s birthday. But what if you were able to identify people who not only bought and read a specific book, but they also have an opinion about it? Would this possibly grab your attention? I bet a lot of you reading this would agree that a person who not only purchases, but reads and then gives a review of a Java book could potentially be a good candidate. At the very least they could be a good person to network with, since they not only know Java but they have enough interest to write a review of a book on the subject. Here are the secrets of how to find these passive candidates:

  1. Go to the Amazon.com website.
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  3. Under the browse section, on the left-hand side, click on “Books.”
  4. On the left side there is a search box, put in the subject that you are looking for such as Java, Visual Basic, C++ etc.
  5. A list of books on the subject will then come up that have a quick subject overview.
  6. Click on a book title that looks like it pertains to the subject that you are interested in.
  7. Scroll down the page until you come across “average customer rating.”
  8. Below the customer rating is the number of reviews that have been submitted about this book.
  9. Continue to scroll down the page until you come to “Customer Reviews.”
  10. As you scroll through the customer reviews, you will get a chance to see what people had to say about this particular book. If the book is on a technical subject, you will quickly be able to recognize who is an expert and who is not.
  11. Once you come across a review that looks interesting, look to see if there is a hyperlinked “see more about me” at the beginning of the review. If there is, click on it to reveal the name and the contact information, usually an e-mail address, for the person who wrote the review. It will also list other books this person has reviewed. Usually, you will also find out more information about this person’s background as well.

Not all people that write reviews give their contact information or background, so it can sometimes be a time consuming experience with little or no positive results. There will be times when you hit the jackpot and find the type of person that you have been looking for just by reading a book review. The people who write these reviews are usually extremely passive job seekers, so your approach must be very soft with them. If nothing else, they could refer you to someone who is an expert in this subject matter and is looking for a career change. Give it a try! You never know who you will come across! <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

Scott Hagen (shagen@recruiters-aid.com) is a graduate of San Diego State University, with over 8 years of high tech corporate recruiting experience with industry leaders such as Qualcomm, Cymer, and Pyxis. Scott is also a co-designer of the Recruiters-Aid PERS (Proprietary E-Recruitment System). Recruiters-Aid provides Internet candidate sourcing and screening services, and guarantees results-or the clients do not pay. Recruiters-Aid manages one of the largest free recruiting resource sites (http://www.recruiters-aid.com/kit.html) online. Recruiters-Aid services were created specifically for recruiters who don't have time to source the Internet themselves.

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