Friday, 25 March 2011

The Holy Grail of Internet Sourcing

I’ll start off by saying I need to see a doctor, it is now 04:00 in the UK and I have been awake since 02:30 thinking about sourcing candidates and what methods and tools yield great results.  I know I am addicted to sourcing!

I first became addicted to internet sourcing probably in 2007 when I first got sucked into the underworld and began to hear about Shally Steckerl, Job Machine and AIRS Training and certificates. 

What I was reading sounded like the Silver Bullet of recruitment, all I had to do was pump a few Boolean operators into Google or Yahoo and as I was going to find thousands of CVs of quality candidates hidden away in the depths of the World Wide Web, but that didn’t happen.

What I did find was a handful of CVs which were generally out of date and were contractors, not what a permanent recruiter wants.  So after extensive reading and exploring new ways of constructing Boolean search strings, I kicked the sourcing habit and went back to using online advertising, searching job board databases and LinkedIn.

Now its 2011 and I have to confess I have a MAJOR problem for me internet sourcing is the crack cocaine of recruitment, I am well and truly hooked.  So what’s dragged me back?  I have always been good at phone sourcing, getting through to key decision makers, getting information maybe I shouldn’t be able to get using the telephone, basically able to generate lots of recruitment assignments but then not always finding the candidates to fill them and that’s what prompted me and brought me back to internet sourcing.

So why am I well and truly hooked on internet sourcing after kicking the habit in 2007?  This time around I realise I am not going to unlock thousands of CV’s of C# developers who live and work in London or Cardiff or Bristol on a permanent basis, but I am able to discover social media sites where these guys converse on a daily basis and I can discover user groups, forums, blogs and search for Tweets relating to workshops and seminars, all of which provide lists of members, their names, companies these candidates work at, email addresses and telephone numbers. Internet sourcing enables me to X-Ray social media sites, search Twitter Bio’s and LinkedIn profiles and X-Ray company websites to gain list of employees.

Yesterday was a prime example, while searching the depths of the internet for London based Microsoft .NET professionals I unearthed one of the many .NET User Groups and bingo!  The site included a list of all its 227 members, 227 London based .NET developers whose profiles included information such as:

  • Where they work
  • LinkedIn profiles
  • Twitter IDs
  • Github profiles
  • Links to blogs
  • Email addresses

This is like winning the lottery, so, armed with all these individual pieces of information it is very easy to start dramatically increasing the depth of your talent pools and watch them grow almost exponentially.

For me sourcing by plugging keywords, Boolean operators and (inurl:cv | inurl:resume | intitle:cv | inurl:resume) into Google Yahoo and Bing and returning a few pages of CVs is not what it is all about, to be honest I recon my mum good do that.  To me, the Holy Grail is about thinking outside the box and using Boolean operators and keywords to trawl the net for snippets of information which when pieced together provide untapped, deep pools of talent that no online CV database or online advert could ever deliver.

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