What to Use When Sourcing This Year

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 11.54.26 AMAs online communities continue to grow, there are constantly new tools available that streamline the ability to locate talent. A recruiter who understands which tools to use has an advantage over the competition when it comes to finding truly passive candidates. The secret to sourcing success for passive candidate generation is having a diverse toolbox versus searching only the most obvious venues.

Firstly, make sure to take advantage of an abundance of online communities. Being a skilled social recruiter does not stop at LinkedIn. It is obviously a great resource today with a high Alexa traffic rating and an abundance of professional profiles; however, a large population of talent acquisition is sourcing through the same people, making many profiles more “active” versus “passive.” To reach truly passive talent, a recruiter needs to dig deeper into the less-traveled websites if they are going for the gold. These types of resources include industry specific blogs, professional forums, or even online multimedia sites. Believe it or not, YouTube and Flickr can be great candidate resources and they both allow user “messaging” with a free account.

Next, Boolean is a must today for name generation in particular. Any recruiter who knows how to use our (I work for AIRS) advanced Boolean techniques has the ability to locate passive talent a competitor may never find. This is highly beneficial when higher trafficked resources, such as job boards or LinkedIn, are exhausted. These types of sourcing techniques can uncover lists of industry professionals’ names, members of specific professional organizations, or even online resume type documents that would never show up in a simple Google search.

Finally, build and use advanced sourcing tools. RSS feeds, custom search engines, data miners, posting tools. and apps are all good things to add to a sourcing strategy for 2013. The following list can be used as a guide to follow for implementing these:

RSS Feeds & Custom Search Engines: Build RSS feeds and target custom search engines using a free Google account (this same Google account can also be used for messaging through Google-owned communities). Creating RSS feeds to monitor a competitor or set of competitors is incredibly beneficial for preparing future sourcing strategies. Custom search engines can be used for sourcing specific online communities, organizations, or even competitor websites for names.

Cross-posting Tools: Social media cross-posting tools that allow users to advertise their openings on multiple social sites in one post save a ton of time. These types of tools include Hootsuite and Bullhorn Reach.

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Data-mining Tools: Data mining tools allow recruiters to pull candidate data into an organized Excel spreadsheet from search engine results or specific web pages without having to copy and paste.

Apps: Apps useful for recruiters today can be found for both browsers and mobile devices. Using the Google Chrome browser or mobile apps is a start, but definitely don’t stop there. There is an abundance of free posting and management tools available today for both browsers and mobile devices.

Though not everyone has time to implement everything, trying a few new things can go a long way.

Ryan Phillips is a technical writer & sourcing researcher at AIRS. She lives in Helena, Montana. Joining AIRS in 2010, she transitioned to the role from the internal recruiting team at The RightThing. Phillips began her recruiting career working for a technical recruitment staffing firm in the Silicon Valley, where she recruited for IT, Engineering, Marketing, and Accounting. She later moved into the RPO field, where she did mainly niche engineering recruitment for Microsoft. She works on curriculum development for all AIRS courses, including the industry-leading AIRS Certification classes. She also continues to consult with RPO clients on their social media branding strategies, as well as support the internal RightThing sourcing team to develop client specific sourcing strategies.


11 Comments on “What to Use When Sourcing This Year

  1. Thanks, Ryan. “What to Use When Sourcing This Year?”

    #1 $9.00/hr virtual phone, internet, board scrapers and org chart developers, and $1.50/name LinkedIn profile contact-info providers.

    #2 World-class sourcers like Maureen and Irina for anything #1 can’t find.

    IMHO: the problem ain’t finding ’em, it’s getting ’em to talk to you when you find ’em.



  2. http://www.Namegeneration.net is excellent for finding passive candidate information. It aggregates social data and even develops email contacts using common corp naming conventions, when other forms of contact might not be available. It also comes with the lowest price of any data provider in the industry and a free 24 hour trial. You can’t go wrong. It is like having a master sourcers working for you for pennies a day.

  3. @keith halperin say it loud: IMHO: the problem ain’t finding ‘em, it’s getting ‘em to talk to you when you find ‘em.

  4. Thank you, Craig. Here’s an analogy:
    Let’s say you are a single, available, straight man looking to date, and on an overall evaluation scale, you’re an 8/10. You and 300,000 other single, straight, available guys have complete backgrounds and direct contact information on a all the supermodels in the world. You’re an 8/10, but what do you think the chances are that ANY of the supermodels would go out with you, no matter how quickly, frequently, carefully, thoughtfully, or pleasantly you contacted them?

    There’s another way around this, but it isn’t pleasant and probably won’t be done:
    Instead of going after the people you want who won’t work for you because really: YOU, YOUR COMPANY, AND YOUR JOBS JUST AREN’T SPECIAL ENOUGH TO GET THE “SUPERMODELS,” you *figure out who you reasonably CAN get and go after them, because they’ll do well enough to get the job done.If your company needs to be filled with “supermodel” employees to succeed, you’re in a pretty precarious situation- maybe you should try another type of business…


    Keith keithsrj@sbcglobal.net

    * I’ve come up with a clear and sensible way to do just that….

  5. Hi Martin,

    LinkedIn has consumed the sourcing/recruiting industry in such a way that many candidates found there today are not truly passive because they are already working with multiple recruiters. It’s obviously still a great go to resource for getting active candidates interviewing; however finding a truly passive candidate nowadays takes greater ingenuity.

  6. Thanks Ryan,

    Also, on LI you have to opt-out to say you aren’t interested, so I’ve found the great majority of people who say they’re open to new jobs/opps on LI really AREN’T….


  7. I agree with your thought process, however I believe you left out one key sourcing strategy: Use Recruiting Firms Niched in your specific industry. While “soup to nuts” firms may have a huge network and may even been strong at sourcing passive candidates, Niched firms will have a more relevant network and will be able to know WHERE to find those candidates who better fit your company and position. http://www.clinicalstaffingreviews.com/would-you-buy-sushi-at-the-7-eleven/

  8. Strong post and I believe reminds recruiters there are other ways to source rather than just “smiling and dialing”. We use social media a lot – not just to find candidates, but to gain a glimpse at the “real” person.

    Finding a candidate who fits into the company culture is key; and understanding the personality of the candidate paramount to success and making placements that “stick”. http://www.clinical-cra.com/social-media-making-life-easier/

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