Resources for Industry Research

When it comes to sourcing, many recruiters and sourcers start working on a position by doing little or no research first. But research should be the first step you take before trying to source candidates from the Internet, or any other medium for that matter. If you don’t do any initial research first, finding qualified candidates can turn into a frustrating task! Research takes dedicated time, just like sourcing, but the results you will yield will easily make the time spent worth it. Industry research is one of the more difficult areas to understand, because many recruiters work on positions in multiple industries. Knowing where to go on the Internet to get a quick glimpse and understanding of the industry you are recruiting for is critical to success. Below are several sites where you can begin your research to help unearth some of those elusive and difficult to find candidates.

  • Hoovers. I know that many of you already use Hoovers as a research site. Indeed, there is a ton of great information on your company’s competitors, such as their key officers, business locations and contact information. But if you dig a bit further than just the obvious competitors, you might be able to turn up candidates that other recruiters cannot. If you go to The Industry Masterlist, for example, you will be able to find thousands of companies broken up by industry. What makes this information so valuable is that if you can find candidates from other industries to fill your positions, you will now have a starting point on identifying those companies from which you can network and recruit from.
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  • Corporate Information. This site gives you exactly as what the name suggests: corporate information. Simply go to the front page, select the country, and pick one of many industries to choose from on the left-hand side. Selecting the “food and beverage” industry gave me the “Thomas Register” of food companies, a directory of 30,000 companies in the U.S. and Canada. Scrolling down the page will lead me to several niche industry resources within the food and beverage industry, like, alcohol, baked goods, confectionaries, dairy, etc. You can spend hours researching a variety of industries from this free site alone!
  • CEO Express. This site does not have as many industries to choose from, but the wealth of research and information that goes into each industry it does have is staggering. You can get lost on the front page alone with the numerous links. To get to the industry pages, go to and click on one of the 14 general industries (I clicked on Human Resources to see if these guys really know their stuff). Within each industry they list all of the news sources, publications, professional organizations, laws, and regulations, as well as sub industry pages within an industry (like benefits, diversity, etc. for HR). It’s also interesting to note that each industry has a career and continuing education section that lists the niche job boards within that industry ó a huge help in your resume sourcing efforts!

Some of you may be able to take this information and run with it, while others are probably wondering where to start in their Internet research quest. A great site to help you in understanding Internet research is located at The Spire Project delves into all areas of Internet Research, from finding personal information, news, statistics, and discussions to finding patents or rare books. Simply clicking on “Personal Information” will give you an extensive “how to” of finding people. Even if you’re not in the industry research mode, this site is a goldmine for Internet research training. There is still a lot to be found on the Internet in terms of candidates and research. By becoming an expert at using these valuable resources, you will save yourself and your organization a lot of time and money. Good luck!

Scott Hagen ( 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 ( online. Recruiters-Aid services were created specifically for recruiters who don't have time to source the Internet themselves.


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