Best Practices

100+ Free Sourcing & Recruiting Tools, Guides, and Resources

Posted by | Analytics, Artificial Intelligence Matching, Best Practices, Big Data, Bing, Boolean, Boolean Search Experiments, Boolean Search Tips and Tricks, Data Science, Diversity Sourcing, Email Verification, Extended Boolean, Facebook, Future of Sourcing and Recruiting, Google, Google Plus, Graph Search, Hidden Talent Pools, How-To's, Human Capital Data, Information Retrieval, Lean/JIT Recruiting, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Search, LinkedIn SEO, Moneyball Recruiting, Monster, Monster vs. Google, Myths and Misconceptions, Passive Sourcing and Recruiting, Predictive Analytics, Proximity Searching, Recruiting Technology, Referral Recruiting, Resume Aggregators, Resume Sourcing, Resume Sourcing vs. Cold Calling, Search Automation, Search Process, Semantic Search, Social Discovery, Social Media, Social Networking, Social Recruiting, Sourcing, Sourcing and Recruiting, Sourcing Automation, Sourcing Challenges, Sourcing Mistakes, Talent Communities, Talent Mining, Talent Warehouse, Training Sourcers and Recruiters, Twitter, x-ray search | 3 Comments

 

It’s been a LONG time coming, but I finally got around to updating my free sourcing & recruiting tools, guides and resources page where I now keep a current list of the best of my work all in one place for easy bookmarking and reference.

You can find it here on my main page:

 

Here is where you can find all of the best of my Boolean Black belt content all in one place - free sourcing and recruiting how-to guides, tools, presentations, and videos - be sure to bookmark it, and if you're feeling  friendly, tweet it, share it on LinkedIn and/or +1 it on Google Plus.  Many thanks!

 

Additionally, I thought I might as well put all of my best work all in one blog post as well – over 110 of my articles in one place for easy referencing!

My blog is a pursuit of passion and not of profit – if you’ve ever found anything I’ve written helpful to you, all I ask is that you tweet this out, share it on LinkedIn, like it on Facebook, or give this a +1 on Google.

Many thanks for your readership and support – please pay it forward to someone who can benefit.

Big Data, Analytics and Moneyball Recruiting

Big Data, Data Science and Moneyball Recruiting

The Moneyball Recruiting Opportunity: Analytics and Big Data

Human Capital Data is Sexy – and Sourcing is the Sexiest job in HR/Recruiting! 

Is Sourcing Dead? No! Here’s the Future of Sourcing

The End of Sourcing 1.0 and the Evolution of Sourcing 2.0

How to Find Email Addresses

How to Use Gmail and Rapportive to Find Almost Anyone’s Email Address

Social Discovery

2 Very Cool and Free Social Discovery Tools: Falcon and TalentBin

Talent Communities

The Often Overlooked Problem with Talent Communities

Lean / Just-In-Time Recruiting / Talent Pipelines

What is Lean, Just-In-Time Recruiting?

Lean Recruiting & Just-In-Time Talent Acquisition Part 1

Lean Recruiting & Just-In-Time Talent Acquisition Part 2

Lean Recruiting & Just-In-Time Talent Acquisition Part 3

Lean Recruiting & Just-In-Time Talent Acquisition Part 4

The Passive Candidate Pipeline Problem

Semantic Search

What is Semantic Search and How Can it Be Used for Sourcing and Recruiting?

Sourcing and Search: Man vs. Machine/Artificial Intelligence – My SourceCon Keynote

Why Sourcers Won’t Be Replaced By Watson/Machine Learning Algorithms Any Time Soon

Diversity Sourcing

How to Perform Diversity Sourcing on LinkedIn – Including Specific Boolean Search Strings

How to Use Facebook’s Graph Search for Diversity Sourcing

Social Recruiting

How to Find People to Recruit on Twitter using Followerwonk & Google + Bing X-Ray Search

Google Plus Search Guide: How to Search and Find People on Google Plus

Facebook’s Graph Search Makes it Ridiculously Easy to Find Anyone

How to Effectively Source Talent on Social Networks – It Requires Non-Standard Search Terms!

How a Recruiter Made 3 Hires on Twitter in Six Weeks!

Twitter 101 for Sourcers and Recruiters

Anti-Social Recruiting

How Social Recruiting has NOT Changed Recruiting

Social Recruiting – Beyond the Hype

What Social Recruiting is NOT

Sourcing Social Media Requires Outside the Box Thinking

Social Networking Sites vs. Job Boards

LinkedIn Sourcing and Recruiting

Sourcing and Searching LinkedIn: Beyond the Basics – SourceCon Dallas 2012

LinkedIn’s Dark Matter – Profiles You Cannot Find

How to Get a Higher LinkedIn InMail Response Rate

The Most Effective Way to X-Ray Search LinkedIn

LinkedIn Catfish: Fake Profiles, Real People, or Just Fake Photos?

LinkedIn Search: Drive it Like you Stole It – 8 Minute Video of My LinkedIn Presentation in Toronto

How to Search LinkedIn and Control Years of Experience

How to Quickly and Effectively Grow Your LinkedIn Network

How to View the Full Profiles of our 3rd Degree Connections on LinkedIn for Free

How to Find and Identify Active Job Seekers on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Profile Search Engine Optimization

Free LinkedIn Profile Optimization and Job Seeker Advice

Do Recruiters Ruin LinkedIn?

The 50 Largest LinkedIn Groups

How to See Full Names of 3rd Degree LinkedIn Connections for Free

How I Search LinkedIn to Find People

LinkedIn’s Undocumented Search Operator

Does LinkedIn Offer Recruiters any Competitive Advantage?

Have You Analyzed the Value of Your LinkedIn Network?

Where Do YOU Rank In LinkedIn Search Results?

What is the Total Number of LinkedIn Members?

Beware When Searching LinkedIn By Company Name

LinkedIn Sourcing Challenge

How to Search for Top Students and GPA’s on LinkedIn

What’s the Best Way to Search LinkedIn for People in Specific Industries?

18 LinkedIn Apps, Tools and Resources

LinkedIn Search: What it Could be and Should be

How to Search Across Multiple Countries on LinkedIn

Private and Out of Network Search Results on LinkedIn

How to “Unlock” and view “Private” LinkedIn Profiles

Searching LinkedIn for Free – The Differences Between Internal and X-Ray Searching

Sourcing and Boolean Search

Basic Boolean Search Operators and Query Modifiers Explained

How to Find Resumes On the Internet with Google

Challenging Google Resume Search Assumptions

Don’t be a Sourcing Snob

The Top 15 Talent Sourcing Mistakes

Why Boolean Search is Such a Big Deal in Recruiting

How to Become a World Class Sourcer

Enough with the Exotic Sourcing Already – What’s Practical and What Works

Sourcing is So Much More than Tips, Tricks, Hacks, and Google

How to Find, Hire, Train, and Build a Sourcing Team – SourceCon 2013

How to Use Excel to Automatically Build Boolean Search Strings

The Current and Future State of Sourcing

Why So Many People Stink at Searching

Is your ATS a Black Hole or a Diamond Mine?

How to Find Bilingual Professionals with Boolean Search Strings

How to Best Use Resume Search Aggregators

How to Convert Quotation Marks in Microsoft Word for Boolean Search

Boolean Search, Referral Recruiting and Source of Hire

The Critical Factors Behind Sourcing ROI

What is a “Boolean Black Belt?”

Beyond Basic Boolean Search: Proximity and Weighting

Why Sourcing is Superior to Posting Jobs for Talent

The Future of Sourcing and Talent Identification

Sourcing is an Investigative and Iterative Process

Beyond Boolean Search: Human Capital Information Retrieval

Do you Speak Boolean?

Is Recruiting Top Talent Really Your Company’s Top Priority?

Sourcing is NOT an Entry Level Function

Boolean Search Beyond Google

The Internet Has Free Resumes. So What?

How to Search Spoke, Zoominfo and Jigsaw for Free

Job Boards vs. Social Networking Sites

What to Do if Google Thinks You’re Not Human: the Captcha

What if you only had One Source to Find Candidates?

Passive Recruiting is a Myth – It Doesn’t Exist

Sourcing: Separate Role or Integrated Function?

The #1 Mistake in Corporate Recruiting

How I Learned What I Know About Sourcing

Resumes Are Like Wine – They Get Better with Age!

Why Do So Many ATS Vendors Offer Such Poor Search Functionality?

Do Candidates Really Want a Relationship with their recruiter?

Recruiting: Art or Science?

What to Consider When Creating or Selecting Effective Sourcing Training – SourceCon NYC

The Sourcer’s Fallacy

Sourcing Challenge – Monster vs. Google – Round 1

Sourcing Challenge – Monster vs. Google – Round 2

Do You Have the Proper Perspective in Recruiting?

Are You a Clueless Recruiter?

Job Boards and Candidate Quality – Challenging Popular Assumptions

When it Comes to Sourcing – All Sources Are Not Created Equal

Boolean Search String Experiments

Boolean Search String Experiment #1

Boolean Search String Experiment #1 Follow Up

Boolean Search String Experiment #2

 

Do you suffer from Obsessive Exotic Sourcing Syndrome?

Posted by | Best Practices, Sourcing, Sourcing and Recruiting, Sourcing Mistakes | 15 Comments

 

 

Okay, that might have been a bit dramatic, but I do expect a strong negative reaction from some folks because I am going to address an issue that might be a tad sensitive to the sourcing community.

The issue I would like to address is the apparent obsession of many with exotic sourcing.

What is Exotic Sourcing?

If you check out the definition of “exotic,” you will find “strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual.”

Exotic sourcing consists of sourcing methods and technologies that are, yes – you guessed it – “strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual.”

If you’re looking for some examples, here are a few:

What’s the Problem?

I like experimenting with new search engines, deep web searches, and seeing if I can extract sourcing and recruiting value from new, non-recruiting websites sites just like many people do in the global sourcing community. Yes, I’ll admit I’ve poked around Pinterest and Instagram.

So what’s the problem? Read More

Two of the Coolest Recruiting Sites I’ve Ever Seen

Posted by | Best Practices, Gamification | One Comment

I have come across some interesting recruiting sites over the years, and I wanted to share 2 among the best with you today.

Both offer fully interactive experiences, leverage gamification, are brilliantly designed and executed, and happen to have been produced by…(wait for it)…the Swedish Armed Forces.

Surprised?

You’ll want to set aside a little bit of free (non-prime) time to participate in each to fully appreciate just how good they are and the work that went into them, as well as to see how well you actually perform against the averages, and perhaps even send a challenge to a friend to see if they can beat your performance. Read More

Are you a clueless recruiter?

Posted by | Best Practices, InMails, Mistakes, Passive Candidates, Passive Sourcing and Recruiting | 3 Comments

You know what they say about first impressions?

Do you ever wonder what people think of you based on the emails, InMails, voice mails, LinkedIn group posts, and other messaging efforts you undertake to make an initial contact with potential candidates?

You should.

Do you think they feel that they can get a sense of your competence as a recruiter from your messages?

I do.

In fact, I know they think they can, and the scary part is that they might be right more often than not.

Unfortunately, when crafting messages, many sourcers and recruiters never take any time to think about exactly how their outreach efforts will be received and perceived.

Although unacceptable, to some extent this makes sense.

The people who would likely have the worst reaction to your messaging efforts are the ones that won’t take the time to let you know how poorly your efforts were received. So in the absence of any feedback, it’s all too easy to assume everything is okay. After all – if no one tells you your messaging stinks, how would you know?

Unknowingly poor messaging is no doubt perpetuated because the consequences are rarely felt, let alone seen.

Wouldn’t it be great to know how your messaging efforts were perceived by all of the people who’ve never responded to you?

I think I have found an interesting example. Read More

How to Effectively Source Talent via Social Media & Networks

Posted by | Best Practices, Dark Matter, Facebook, Google Plus, How-To's, Social Media, Social Networking, Social Recruiting, Sourcing, Sourcing Challenges, Twitter | 15 Comments

Sourcing talent via social media requires an entirely different mindset than sourcing with other forms of human capital data, such as resumes/CV’s, employee directories, conference attendee lists, etc.

Back in early 2009, one of only 2 guest posts ever co-written on my site was published on the topic of non-standard descriptors and the role they play in social media. Valerie Scarsellato was a Sr. Sourcer at Intel Corporation at the time when she put together the framework for the original article on sourcing via social media, and she has now moved into a Segment Marketing Specialist role at Intel and is loving it. For those of you who feel that employer marketing/branding/communications is a logical extension of sourcing, Valerie would wholeheartedly agree with you – check out this video in which she discussed her award winning _codehearted; work for Intel.

Now that nearly 2 years has passed since the Searching Social Media Requires Outside-the-box Thinking article was published, social media usage has continued to explode – monthly visitors to LinkedIn and Facebook have doubled, they’ve nearly quadrupled for Twitter , and we now have Google+, Pinterest and others springing on the scene, making the topic even more relevant today. As such, I wanted to rework the original piece and update it with a few more examples.

The primary challenge when leveraging social media for sourcing talent is that nonstandard terminology is prevalent – it’s generally acceptable to use slang and other verbiage that would otherwise never be found on a resume, even when it comes to describing one’s profession.

If you use the same query terms when sourcing LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. as you would when searching for resumes, you will certainly find people. However, you will also exclude a decent portion of the available results, unknowingly relegating them to Dark Matter and otherwise undiscovered talent. This is because you can only retrieve what you explicitly search for. Read More

How to Convert Quotation Marks in Word for Boolean Searches

Posted by | Best Practices, Boolean Search Tips and Tricks, How-To's | 8 Comments

Have you ever used Microsoft Word to build and save Boolean search strings to be able to copy and paste entire searches into LinkedIn, Monster, Dice, or your ATS ?

I did for quite some time, until I ran into a problem.

Many years ago, I noticed that several sites, including Monster, Dice, and LinkedIn were not “obeying” my request for exact phrases in my searches.

If I searched for “project manager,” I would get results in which “project” and “manager” were highlighted as keyword hits even though they were mentioned separately and not together as a phrase.

One day I contacted Dice to ask what was going on with my inability to retrieve exact phrases using quotation marks and the support rep asked me what I was using to build my search strings. I told her I was using Microsoft Word to build and save my strings and that I would copy and paste them into Dice, to which she responded with, “There’s your problem.”

She summarily explained to me that Dice doesn’t recognize Microsoft Word’s default quotation mark format (aka “smart quotes”). Turns out that Monster, LinkedIn, and many others don’t recognize “smart quotes” for exact phrase searching either.

Here’s an example of Word’s “smart quotes:”

She then suggested that I either enter my queries directly into Dice or use Notepad to build and save my Boolean searches because they produce “straight quotes.”

Well, I didn’t want to build my searches in Dice’s search field because I could not see my entire search string as I was building it.

This is an issue with just about any job board resume database, ATS, Internet search engine, and social network – the search fields are all ridiculously short (e.g., LinkedIn’s is 37 characters).

Oh, and if you need evidence that LinkedIn does not actually recognize Word’s smart quotes for exact phrase searching, try this search on LinkedIn:

After my call with the Dice support rep, I started using Notepad to build and save my searches so I could simply copy and paste them directly into any job board resume database, Internet search engine, social network, and my ATS and they would recognize and obey the quotation marks as a request for an exact phrase.

However, it turns out there is a way to force Microsoft Word to not use “smart quotes” and instead use “straight quotes” – which most sites, social networks, databases, and search engines will obey as a request for an exact phrase. Read More

Do You Have the Proper Perspective in Recruiting?

Posted by | Best Practices, Mistakes, Passive Candidates, Referral Recruiting, Relationship Building | 15 Comments

Perception and PerspectiveIt is all too easy for sourcers, recruiters, HR professionals, and hiring managers/teams to develop a skewed, distorted, and decidedly one-way view of the world. Perhaps spending 99% of the time on only one side of the recruiting process is to blame.

Regardless of the cause, it is absolutely critical to regularly take the time and think about, understand, and appreciate the recruiting life cycle from the candidate’s side – the job seeker, the passive candidate, the non-job seeker, and the elusive “A+ player.”

In this article I’m going to walk you through over 10 different scenarios in which I think recruiters and hiring teams can benefit greatly by taking the candidate’s perspective into careful consideration.

If you don’t take well to being challenged to think differently from time to time, or if you don’t like long blog posts, you may not want to read any further. This one clocks in at 3700+ words.

Consider yourself warned. :-)

Read More

Why Sourcing is Superior to Posting Jobs for Talent

Posted by | Best Practices, Job Posting, Sourcing, Sourcing and Recruiting | 31 Comments

Posting a job online is perhaps the first action most companies take to attract talent when they have an opening.

However, posting jobs in an attempt to attract qualified talent has many intrinsic flaws, and here are the top 4 in my opinion:

  1. Posting jobs a passive strategy
  2. Posting jobs offers no control over candidate qualifications
  3. Job advertisements only attract candidates who are actively looking
  4. Posting jobs isn’t social!

In comparison, sourcing from Internet, LinkedIn, online resume databases, ATS/CRM systems and similar resources to discover and identify qualified candidates is an active strategy which offers significant control over candidate qualifications, can be used to specifically target passive and even non-job seekers, and is 100 times more social!

Read on for a more in-depth analysis of posting jobs vs. sourcing candidates, as well as to have your eyes opened to a new way of looking at the value/ROI of posting jobs. Read More

Sourcing is an Investigative and Iterative Process

Posted by | Best Practices, Information Retrieval, Iterative Search, Sourcing | 10 Comments

When I see a strong interest in a “Top 10″ or “Top 25″ list of Boolean search strings, it becomes clear to me that a disconnect can exist between wanting something that solves a problem (a search string to find candidates) and the ability to create something that solves a problem.

While there is undoubtedly value in a list of pre-constructed search strings, specifically Internet queries designed to target event/conference attendee lists, employee directories, resumes, press releases, patents, white papers, etc., the real “magic” of information retrieval does not lie in Boolean operators and query modifiers.

The real “magic” and work of sourcing talent is via human capital data is the iterative, intelligent, and cognitively challenging process of selecting a combination of words and phrases, and in some cases strategically excluding others, analyzing the results returned, making changes to the query based on observed relevance, and repeating the process until an acceptable quantity of highly qualified and well-matched candidates are identified.

The Answer vs. How to Solve the Riddle

When people ask me for a specific search string, they may not realize it, but in effect, they are asking for the answer to a problem.

In some respects, a specific search string can be compared to the answer to a specific math problem or riddle. Unfortunately, once you change the facts, figures and variables of the problem or riddle, the answer will also change.

Similarly – if you change anything about your hiring need, the most effective queries to find qualified candidates will also change, and rarely are two hiring needs are perfectly identical in every way.

When I started my career in recruiting, perhaps I was fortunate to not have anyone to give me any “answers” (search strings), because I had to figure out how to find top talent in our 80,000 resume Lotus Notes database on my own. Throughout my career, sourcing candidates has never been about the searches themselves, but rather the process of finding the best candidates.

Going back to my math analogy, once you’ve mastered calculus, you can solve any calculus problem. Similarly, once you master the process of sourcing, you can solve any hiring problem.  And I do mean any.

If you are interested in leveraging information systems for talent discovery and identification, you should be more concerned with learning the “why” and “how” of good talent sourcing practices and processes, and less so in specific search strings. Rather than (or at least in addition to) asking for a search string, ask the person providing the search string how and why they specifically arrived upon the search they’re providing you.

Take a fish from someone and you are fed for a day. Learn how to fish and you are fed for a lifetime. Read More