LinkedIn

View Full Names on LinkedIn for Free with LIPPL

Posted by | LinkedIn | 9 Comments

 

Lippl 1I am pleased to share a cool and very practical free Chrome extension that allows you to quickly and easily view the public profiles of LinkedIn members beyond your 2nd degree network, thus showing you their full name.

Victor Soroka first shared Lippl with me back in January. I had the honor of meeting him while at LinkedIn’s Talent Connect 2012 in London and apparently Victor has been busy working on a great way to view the public profiles of practically anyone on LinkedIn.

Once you’ve installed the Lippl Chrome extension, all you have to do is open the Lippl sidebar and click “open.” It works by automatically opening up the person’s public LinkedIn profile in a new Incognito window, so even if you’re logged into LinkedIn, LinkedIn can’t tell whether or not you “know” the person (within 1st or 2nd degree) – as such, you can see their full name. Read More

LinkedIn Represents Over 60% of U.S. Non Farm Employment

Posted by | LinkedIn | No Comments

LinkedIn Statistics Feburary 2014 277M 93 Million USIn certain sourcing and recruiting circles, it’s in vogue to say that you shouldn’t rely heavily on LinkedIn for your talent acquisition needs.

In fact, some people will go so far as to say that LinkedIn is “overfished” for talent and that recruiters are lazy if they use LinkedIn as their primary source of potential candidates. Whenever I hear that kind of sentiment, I simply have to laugh. LinkedIn’s latest stats claim 93M+ U.S. profiles.

To believe that a talent pool the size of LinkedIn’s is “overfished” is like saying the Pacific Ocean is overfished, that you can’t find fish in the Pacific Ocean that others haven’t already caught, and that you would be lazy to fish in the Pacific Ocean. Yeah – there’s just too many fish in the Pacific Ocean…we should go find some other place to fish. Right.

You might be surprised to learn that most people find, review and take action on less than 20% of LinkedIn’s users, but that’s the topic of a separate post I will write in the near future. In the meantime, contemplate my claim.

LinkedIn Represents Over 60% of U.S. Non Farm Employment

Let me share with you an interesting statistic I recently calculated and shared at SourceCon in Atlanta. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics is showing preliminary figures for total non farm employment in January 2014 at 137,500,000 (I rounded up). Read More

Keep Calm & Message On: LinkedIn Group Messaging Still Free

Posted by | LinkedIn | 9 Comments

 

There were a number of tweets, blog posts and online discussions late last week that stirred up a great deal of confusion over whether or not you would soon still be able to send free messages to fellow group group members on LinkedIn. I’ve got the straight dope from LinkedIn and will demonstrate with multiple screenshots what is still free for everyone and what is not going to be free for LinkedIn Recruiter license holders.

I believe the confusion began with emails LinkedIn recently sent out to Recruiter license holders explaining that they will be disabling the ability to send free InMails to group members from LinkedIn Recruiter as of January 14th.

Based on the chatter online, some people seem to have incorrectly interpreted this to mean that no one will be able to send free messages to fellow group members on LinkedIn.com any more (see example image at the bottom of the post).

This tweet from LinkedIn cleared up the confusion for me on Friday:

LinkedIn Group Messaging Still Free

However, as I began to write this post, I came across several examples of people I know claiming they spoke with LinkedIn reps who said free group messaging was being eliminated for everyone. Even though I was quite confident that @HireOnLinkedIn knew her stuff, I decided to check with her one last time:

Question to LinkedIn about free group messaging

Within 2 hours of that tweet (on Sunday!), I received an email from a Senior LinkedIn PMM copying several other LinkedIn folks definitively clarifying that free group messaging on LinkedIn isn’t going anywhere:

As you have noticed (and commented in Social Media), we have disabled the ability send to FREE InMails to Fellow Group Members from Linked Recruiter.  This Change is only applicable to LinkedIn Recruiter customers (not LinkedIn members).

Background: When the feature was launched in LinkedIn Recruiter several years ago, the intention was to provide members with an opportunity to connect and share ideas within groups while enabling recruiters to participate and find talent. Based on a recent analysis, we have noticed that this feature is being used in ways we hadn’t anticipated, often creating negative experiences for both members and recruiters.

Here are some additional clarification points.  

1.  Free Group messaging is and WILL CONTINUE TO BE AVAILABLE to all LinkedIn members

2.  All group members CAN continue to send messages to fellow group members on LinkedIn.com

3.  LinkedIn Recruiter customers CAN continue to send InMails to fellow group members but these InMails will be deducted from their allotted InMail credits.

Finally to answer your tweet:  Free group messaging isn’t going away for any member.

Hope this clarifies any confusion.

It certainly clears things up for me.

Screenshots: LinkedIn InMails to Fellow Group Members

This is what will no longer be free – from LinkedIn Recruiter ONLY, as of January 14th:

LinkedIn Group Messaging from Recruiter

Prior to the change LinkedIn is instituting, this is what you would see when attempting to send a message to someone with whom you have a group in common:

LinkedIn Messaging Free to Group Members

After the change, this is what it will look like to LinkedIn Recruiter users even if they do have a group in common with the person they are trying to message:

LinkedIn Message Costs 1 InMail

Screenshots: Free LinkedIn Group Messaging

When you’re on LinkedIn.com and in a LinkedIn group and you want to send a message to someone, even if they aren’t connected to you in any way other than sharing the same group, you will still be able to send free messages to anyone who hasn’t disabled the ability.

LinkedIn Group Messaging Example

When you click “send message,” here is what you will continue to see:

Free messaging to fellow LinkedIn Group members

So keep calm and message on.

I should remind you that LinkedIn group members can elect to not allow other group members to send them messages via LinkedIn. Here is where users can find this group messaging setting:

LinkedIn Group Messaging Option

 

Free LinkedIn Sourcing Webinar Wednesday November 20 @ 2PM ET

Posted by | LinkedIn | 2 Comments

 

LinkedIn Sourcing Webinar November 2013

When you search LinkedIn, are you finding top talent, or simply those people who are easiest to find?

Would you know the difference?

While some people firmly believe that LinkedIn is “over fished,” I can confidently tell you that nothing is further from the truth.

In fact, what if I told you that you routinely find only a fraction of the people that can be found on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn 259 Million UsersNow that LinkedIn has grown to over 259,000,000 registered users, finding people has become much easier, but finding the right people becomes increasingly more challenging, and finding all of them even harder. As such, knowing how to effectively source talent on LinkedIn is now more important than ever.

During Wednesday’s LinkedIn sourcing webinar, I’ll review advanced human capital data retrieval concepts, techniques and strategies that you can leverage in LinkedIn Recruiter, including Dark Matter, Maximum Inclusion, Adaptive Search, Strategic Exclusion, Intelligent Results Processing, and Moneyball Sourcing.

Be sure to attend this LinkedIn webinar live, because this session won’t be recorded and the slides won’t be distributed afterwards.

Also, I simply have to recognize the LinkedIn team’s graphic designer for putting this “Lord of the Strings” image together – I’m a huge LOTR fan.

Although I like the concept of Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn having my back in the war for talent, I think I’ll stick with my shaved head. :)

Lord-of-the-Strings 2 LinkedIn

Some Very Interesting Google / LinkedIn X-Ray Search Results

Posted by | Google, LinkedIn, x-ray search | 6 Comments

 

While I was writing last week’s post in which I explored using Google to X-Ray search within specific LinkedIn groups, I decided to perform some general X-Ray search syntax testing to challenge some assumptions, as well as to compare X-Ray results to LinkedIn Recruiter results.

I notice quite a few folks seem to use the “people you know” phrase when using Google to search LinkedIn, and I wanted to see if it was better than other phrases/techniques for isolating LinkedIn profiles and eliminating non-profile false positive results.

I ran 4 searches that were suitably limiting to get a manageable number of results back to back, only changing one aspect of the each search – how to target profiles and eliminate non-profile results:

  1. site:linkedin.com -pub/dir “location * new york city area” sqoop pig hive
  2. site:linkedin.com/in | site:linkedin.com/pub -dir “location * new york city area” sqoop pig hive
  3. site:linkedin.com “people you know” “location * new york city area” sqoop pig hive
  4. site:linkedin.com “you know” “location * new york city area” sqoop pig hive

I scraped the total results from each search and sorted them in Excel so I could compare them for any variations.

When you look at the chart below, you’ll notice there is very little difference between the 4 different X-Ray searches, but the fact that there are differences at all is interesting. While the searches only vary from 22 to 24 unique results – 2 is 9% of 22. Also, notice that some searches have results that others don’t and one search had duplicate results (“people you know”) while none of the others did.

LinkedIn Google X-Ray Search 4 comparison

LinkedIn Recruiter vs. Google X-Ray Search

When I ran a [sqoop pig hive] keyword search in LinkedIn Recruiter and selected a location of “Greater New York City Area,” I got 48 results – 2X or 100% more than the best Google X-Ray search above.

LinkedIn Recruiter Sqoop Pig Hive New York

This is proof positive that when you X-Ray search LinkedIn, you are only finding a fraction of the results available.

Also, searching for ["location * new york city area"] does in fact find people who have a different location phrase on their profile that is included within LinkedIn’s “greater new york city area,” so this cannot explain the differences in results between LinkedIn Recruiter and Google X-Ray searching.

LinkedIn Location Phrase NJ in NY Greater

LinkedIn X-Ray Search Results Can Be Inconsistent

Although this was only a quick experiment, I noticed that some of my results changed from search to search, with the exact same search. Here’s an example:

LinkedIn back to back X-Ray searches

Granted, that’s a small difference – 1 result out of 23 – but the fact that you can get different results from the same search within 5 minutes is a bit disturbing. It also certainly makes performing and replicating these kinds of tests challenging.

Google Can See Some Things You Can’t (at first)

When I noticed Giri’s profile popping up in the second search above, I decided to check it out.

I clicked on his profile link and noticed he is a 3rd degree connection, and because I was logged into LinkedIn, it wouldn’t show me his full profile and I could not confirm that all of my search terms (sqoop, pig, hive) were all there.

I decided to type his name into LinkedIn and pull up his profile – then I checked for my keywords. I noticed sqoop wasn’t there.

Here’s all I could see in his skills – even though it appeared as though I was looking at his full profile, I clearly wasn’t – otherwise sqoop would have to be present.

LinkedIn Skills Sqoop Public Profile Not Present

I checked his profile out in Recruiter and could see all of his skills, including sqoop.

Sqoop in Skills LinkedIn

I then tried to view Google’s cached result for Giri, but for some reason I consistently got an error and could not view it:

Sqoop crash LinkedIn X-Ray Google Result

I then tried another person’s profile and successfully viewed this cached result, but alas, sqoop was still nowhere to be found via CTRL-F.

Confused for a moment, I right-clicked on the cached result and proceeded to view the page source. Lo and behold, sqoop was hiding in there in the “miniprofile-container jellybean” as an “extra skill:”

Google LinkedIn Cached Result Sqoop Page Source Code

Now that I had found my search term, I went back to inspect the cached page to see where sqoop could possibly be hiding. I noticed “View All (50) Skills” was clickable – so I clicked it, and all of the skills were then displayed, including sqoop.

Google LinkedIn Cached Result Keyword Not Visible

Google LinkedIn X-Ray Cached Result All Skills Sqoop

Full Location vs. Partial Location Phrase Searching

I then decided to run another 4 searches back to back – the same ones as above, but this time I put the full location phrase in the search by adding the word “greater” – ["location * greater new york city area"]

  1. site:linkedin.com -pub/dir “location * greater new york city area” sqoop pig hive
  2. site:linkedin.com/in | site:linkedin.com/pub -dir “location * greater new york city area” sqoop pig hive
  3. site:linkedin.com “people you know” “location * greater new york city area” sqoop pig hive
  4. site:linkedin.com “you know” “location * greater new york city area” sqoop pig hive

Once again I scraped the total results from each search and sorted them in Excel so I could compare them for any variations.

When you look at the chart below, you should notice:

  • All searches returned more results than those above – 5, 5, 1 and 4 respectively
  • [-pub/dir] and [site:linkedin.com/in | site:linkedin.com/pub -pub/dir] outperformed ["people you know"] and ["you know"]
  • [-pub/dir] and [site:linkedin.com/in | site:linkedin.com/pub -pub/dir] both returned 1 false positive result of a job
  • For some reason [site:linkedin.com/in | site:linkedin.com/pub -pub/dir] returned quite a few duplicate results when combined with ["location * greater new york city area"] vs. ["location* new york city area"]
  • When de-duped, [site:linkedin.com/in | site:linkedin.com/pub -pub/dir] returned the same search results as [-pub/dir]
  • “people you know” had the least number of results (again)

LinkedIn X-Ray Search Full Location Phrase 4 search results comparison

Final Thoughts

From my very basic testing it appears that using the full LinkedIn location phrase, e.g. [location * greater new york city area"] is important for maximum inclusion, even though the asterisk in [location * new york city area"] should “cover” the word “greater.”

You may want to reconsider using the phrase “people you know” in your LinkedIn X-Ray searches to target profiles, as both of my tests showed it had the worst performance compared to other phrases/syntax.

Interestingly, simply using “you know” works at least as well as “”people you know,” and in fact outperformed “people you know”  - at least in my quick and dirty comparison tests.

[-pub/dir] appears to work as well as, and in some cases better than, [site:linkedin.com/in | site:linkedin.com -dir].

As I’ve implored many times before, please don’t just copy and paste other people’s search syntax – it’s easy and it may seem painless, but there can be consequences, such as getting fewer result than you could otherwise.

Please experiment more! Yes, putting even this minor experiment together was quite tedious – at least the results scraping, formatting and comparison – but as you can see, some discoveries were made that likely could never have been had I not painstakingly compared different searches back to back.

Finally, you certainly can’t find everyone on LinkedIn through X-Ray searching – you could be missing up to and even potentially more than half of the LinkedIn profiles that actually exist, for the reasons I detailed thoroughly in the middle of this post.

Using Google to Search for People in Specific LinkedIn Groups

Posted by | Google, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups, LinkedIn Search, x-ray search | 7 Comments

In this post, I am going to share with you the journey I took and the discoveries I made while investigating the answer to a Boolean search request for help I recently came across online about using -dir in a Google X-Ray search of LinkedIn. Some of you may enjoy and appreciate seeing my methodology, others will likely learn a thing or two about using Google to search for people in specific LinkedIn groups, and I’ll remind you of a few reasons why you can’t find everyone on LinkedIn using Google, Bing or any search engine other than LinkedIn’s.

Here’s the original search that was shared in the request for help:

site:linkedin.com “Front end developers group” (.Net |dot Net) Greater Boston Area) -dir -job -jobs -sample -samples -template -resume service -resume writers -resume writing

I was going to quickly answer with a cleaned-up search string, but what really caught my attention was that he was trying to target folks in a specific LinkedIn group.

Now, I have a LinkedIn Recruiter license and I don’t often X-Ray LinkedIn to find specific group members, so I poked around a bit on the topic and found this little gem posted by Balazs, my former partner in world sourcing domination, back in 2011:

Here’s the sample string Balazs offered: site:linkedin.com inurl:(in | pub) “logo Boolean strings” -inurl:dir

I used his search and noticed the total number of results  was very low (only 2 pages) and also that there were many false positive, non-profile results. It was clear that much has changed since Balazs wrote the above post nearly 3 years ago and that, among other things, “logo GROUP NAME” no longer works as it once used to.

LinkedIn Group X-Ray search 1

As such, I decided to take a look into one of the actual profile results and view the cached version to see what Google was hitting on.

Cached view option

Then I right clicked to viewed the page’s source:

Here’s what I saw after using CTRL-F to search for the word “Boolean:”

You can see that the the logo image is followed by the phrase “Boolean Strings – the Internet Sourcing Community logo.”

Here’s the specific piece of code:

<img src=”http://m.c.lnkd.licdn.com/media/p/8/000/2be/00f/059184c.png” width=”60″ height=”30″ alt=”Boolean Strings – the Internet Sourcing Community logo” />

So, in order to leverage that specific format/order of words, I constructed a quick search targeting the LinkedIn group that the person from the original question that caught my eye was trying to target, which was the Front End Developers group, using “Front End Developers Group logo” in the string:

site:linkedin.com “front end developers logo” (C# |.Net) “location * Greater Boston Area” 

Google estimates 83 results:

However, you should never pay attention to Google’s “About XX” results. If you click to page 2, you can see there are really only 11 results.

I then decided to check LinkedIn Recruiter looking for people who live in the Greater Boston Area and either mention C# or .Net, and, using LinkedIn’s brilliant Any Group functionality, I searched for members of the Front End Developers Group.

Surprise, surprise – I got 11 results:

However, while the number matches between Google and LinkedIn, the people do not.

Interesting, yes?

That opens up a whole different can of worms, so to speak.

Google is not an All Seeing Eye

Keep in mind that people have the option to not show the logo of a group they’re in on their LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn Group Settings Visibility

If someone chooses not to display the group logo on their profile, then you won’t be able to use Google to find people in the manner demonstrated above presumably because the logo (and associated logo phrase) won’t be on their public profile. If it’s not there to be “seen” by Google, you can’t retrieve it.

Additionally, let’s not forget that:

1. Some people’s LinkedIn profiles are invisible to search engines which means you can’t X-Ray search them. People can choose to make their public profile “visible to no one” (see the image below for LinkedIn public profile content settings), meaning their profiles are not crawlable/indexable by search engines and thus cannot be retrieved.

2. Even if people choose to make their public profile “visible to everyone,” if they select “Basics,”  the only things that LinkedIn allows search engines to “see” are a person’s name, industry, location and number of recommendations. That means you can’t retrieve their profiles if you search for anything beyond their name, industry, and location. These folks could actually display group logos on their profiles, but searching for group logos won’t retrieve them because LinkedIn isn’t allowing search engines to “see” them.

3. Even if someone chooses to make their public profile visible to everyone and they don’t select “Basics,” they can still pick and choose from a long list of things that can or cannot be “seen” by search engines. Anything a person decides to not make visible can’t be found/retrieved with Google, Bing, etc., – this can include groups, skills, summaries, current and past positions, and more.

Another Way to X-Ray Search for and Target LinkedIn Groups

While writing this post, I stumbled across a specific question about how to use a Boolean search in Google to target members of a specific LinkedIn group. Lois Grimshaw responded to the question, and I noticed that she took a different approach than using the “GROUP NAME logo” phrase – she used “logo * GROUP NAME.” I added java to the search to get the results down to a more manageable number for testing:

site:linkedin.com “people you know” “logo * Ernst & Young Employees and Alumni” java

I scrolled to the last page of results to see that Google returned 461 results:

Googe X-Ray LinkedIn Group

I then decided to run the same search, but use my “GROUP NAME logo” phrase format, shortening it to “Young Employees and Alumni logo,” because there isn’t any other group that uses the same specific phrase, there is actually no need to include “Ernst &.” I also happen to be a fan of minimalist strings.

site:linkedin.com “people you know” “Young Employees and Alumni logo” java

That search returned more results – 496.

Google X-Ray LinkedIn Group

In case you were curious, I decided to also test this search format:

site:linkedin.com “people you know” “Ernst * Young Employees and Alumni logo” java - 480 results.

I then decided to check on LinkedIn using my Recruiter license – 735 results.

For the many reasons I listed above, I wasn’t surprised to find significantly more people using LinkedIn’s search than I did using Google.

Group Search: Asterisk vs. Straight Phrase

I decided to go back to my original Front End Developers group search and use Lois’s “logo * GROUP NAME” search approach to see how the results differed from my simple “GROUP NAME logo” phrase search:

site:linkedin.com “logo * front end developers” (C# |.Net) “location * Greater Boston Area” 

If you got to page 2, you can see that the search returns a total of 15 results, which is 4 more than my original search.

Works better, right?

Not so fast – in this case, using the asterisk allowed additional groups to get returned, such as the Chicago Front-End Web Developers group…

LI Group Logo 1

…and the Front End Web Developers – CA group.

LinkedIn Group Logo 2

One could argue that scooping up some additional groups is a good thing, and in this case, that is actually true (both folks live in Boston even though the groups are for locations other than Boston).

However, it’s easy to see that using the asterisk in a group-targeting search can have unintended consequences, and it’s not difficult to imagine scenarios in which irrelevant results could be returned.

Unique LinkedIn Group Name Search

Lastly, I’d like to point out that if the name of the LinkedIn group you’re interested in searching for is unique, you may not even need to use the word “logo” in your search.

For example – all 3 of these searches return 27 pages of results:

No mention of logo:

site:linkedin.com “boolean strings – the Internet Sourcing Community” “location * greater atlanta” “people you know” - 27 pages of results

“GROUP NAME logo”

site:linkedin.com “boolean strings – the Internet Sourcing Community logo” “location * greater atlanta” “people you know” - 27 pages of results

“logo * GROUP NAME”

site:linkedin.com “logo * boolean strings – the Internet Sourcing Community” “location * greater atlanta” “people you know”27 pages of results

The Boolean Search Bottom Line(s)

1. Be curious! Don’t just copy, paste and implicitly trust other people’s search strings – take the time to tinker with them to understand why and how they work (or don’t!), and to improve upon/simply them.

2. Don’t pay any attention to an Internet search engine’s estimate of the number of results on page 1- always navigate to the last page of results to get the real number, especially when comparing alternative search strings.

3. Always, always, always inspect search results below the surface and look for patterns to make sure your searches are working precisely the way you intended. If they’re not, it’s an excellent opportunity to learn by tweaking your searches and watching how the volume of your results varies and how your results get more or less relevant, and specifically why.

4. There are often many different ways of achieving the same search / information retrieval / sourcing goals – very seldom are Boolean search strings “right” or “wrong,” although there can be a wide variance in the volume, relevance and inclusiveness between seemingly similar searches.

5. The “GROUP NAME logo” phrase search works well for using Google to search for people within specific LinkedIn groups, and for unique group names, you don’t even need to use the word “logo” in your search.

6. You can’t find everyone on LinkedIn using Google, Bing or any search engine other than LinkedIn’s. One could argue that perhaps some of the best people on LinkedIn are unfindable via X-Ray search because, as highly sought after passive talent, they’ve taken steps to limit what, if anything, Internet search engines can “see.”

 

LinkedIn Certification, Talent Connect and Boolean NOT Update

Posted by | Boolean Logic, Boolean Search Tips and Tricks, LinkedIn | 3 Comments

LinkedIn Recruiter Certification

In case you missed it, LinkedIn has launched a recruiter certification program!

LinkedIn Certification-Badge

If you think you’re ready to get certified, between now and December 31, 2013, LinkedIn will waive the exam fee for the first 500 customers that register for the LinkedIn Certified Professional—Recruiter certification exam. Click/see the coupon code below:

LinkedIn recruiter certification free

Before you attempt to take the certification assessment, you will definitely want to see what I only recently discovered about LinkedIn’s support of Boolean search exclusion operator (NOT vs. Minus sign) – skip to the bottom of the post to learn more.

LinkedIn Talent Connect

Talent Connect 2013 Logo

I’m honored to be presenting again at both Talent Connect events this month in Vegas as well as Talent Connect London, which happens to be the largest corporate recruiting event in Europe.

The event in Vegas is sold out, but you can view the live stream – click here to to register.

I will be presenting two sessions on LinkedIn talent sourcing on Wednesday the 16th in Vegas and one session on Thursday the 24th in London,  covering core principles and advanced strategies.

Now that LinkedIn has grown to over 238M profiles, finding people has become easier, but finding the right people has actually become more challenging. As such, knowing how to effectively source talent on LinkedIn is now more important than ever. In the foundation session, I’ll be reviewing information retrieval best practices, the importance of understanding the behavior of the people you’re looking for and that of your competitors, and how to develop the ability to ask better questions with Boolean logic. In the advanced session, I will cover Dark Matter concepts, Maximum Inclusion, Adaptive Search, Strategic Exclusion, and Moneyball Sourcing.

LinkedIn Boolean Search Exclusion: NOT vs. the Minus Sign

You may recall that I broke the story on LinkedIn’s undocumented Boolean search operator over two years ago.

In preparation for the LinkedIn Recruiter Certification, I inquired with the team at LinkedIn about any differences between the Boolean NOT operator and the minus sign (-).

They responded, and you should know that LinkedIn officially only supports the NOT operator for exclusion, as there are some “corner cases” in which the minus sign will not work for exclusion – this is true for searching LinkedIn for free as well as for LinkedIn Recruiter.

Now, if you’re a fan of words like I am, you may especially appreciate their specific use of the term “corner case,” which clearly came from their engineers. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, Wikipedia offers an excellent explanation:

corner case (or pathological case) is a problem or situation that occurs only outside of normal operating parameters—specifically one that manifests itself when multiple environmental variables or conditions are simultaneously at extreme levels, even though each parameter is within the specified range for that parameter.

For example, a loudspeaker might distort audio, but only when played at maximum volume, maximum bass, and in a high-humidity environment. Or a computer server may be unreliable, but only with the maximum complement of 64processors, 512 GB of memory, and 10,000 signed-on users.

Contrast a corner case with an edge case, an issue that occurs only at a (single) maximum or minimum parameter. For example, a speaker that distorts audio at maximum volume, even in the absence of other extreme settings or conditions.

Corner cases are part of an engineer‘s lexicon—especially an engineer involved in testing or debugging a complex system. Corner cases are often harder and more expensive to reproduce, test, and optimize because they require maximal configurations in multiple dimensions. They are frequently less-tested, given the belief that few product users will, in practice, exercise the product at multiple simultaneous maximum settings. Expert users of systems therefore routinely find corner case anomalies, and in many of these, errors.

Mind you, you can still use the minus sign in lieu of the Boolean NOT operator to exclude terms and OR statements, but be advised that there are some rare scenarios where the minus sign won’t work.

Now, I’ve personally never encountered a situation in which the minus sign did not work exactly as the NOT operator, so what are the corner cases in which the minus sign won’t work?

Ah, you know I have already asked the LinkedIn team…I am eagerly awaiting their response.

 

List of U.S. Location Phrases on LinkedIn

Posted by | LinkedIn, LinkedIn Search | 4 Comments

United States Puzzle MapLast week I was assisting a team in building an exhaustive sourcing strategy for identifying, contacting and pipelining a consistent and continual weekly flow of highly specialized software engineers and 13 other hiring profiles that all allow for nationwide relocation.

If you’ve never been faced with such a challenge – imagine sourcing the entire U.S. (or any large country) on LinkedIn.

How would you begin?

Aside from the fun of ensuring that all of the searches returned less than 1,000 results per search, or at most ~3,000 provided I was able to use facets to divide up the results into sub-1,000, mutually exclusive result sets, I had to think about how I would enable a team to methodically and systematically uncover every potentially qualified candidate in the entire United States.

I quickly abandoned the idea of trying to use zip code searches – it’s an impractical and poor approach for many reasons. Systematically searching all of the metro areas on LinkedIn is a better approach, ensuring maximum inclusion, as I am fairly confident that regardless of zip code, everyone rolls up into a metro area.

Of course, to accomplish this, it would be helpful to have a list of all of LinkedIn’s metro area location phrases so I would not have to ask the team to perform exploratory search and type in cities and see what LinkedIn brings up, or search a wide radius from specific zip codes and make note of all of the metro areas that appear on profiles within that radius.

I decided to ask the fine folks in my networks on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter if anyone already had built or possessed such a list.

A few folks quickly replied that if I did get such a list, they would be very interested in seeing it.

As it turns out,  only 1 person in my network produced a list – Zac Paeth, and he graciously gave me permission to share it with anyone who would benefit.

Thanks Zac!

LinkedIn Location Phrases

After some quick research, I can verify that this isn’t a 100% complete list (e.g., it doesn’t mention the “Pocatella, Idaho Area” – ha!).

However, it does have over 90 location phrases and it seems to have most, if not all of the major metro areas.

If you have a list that differs from this one and and you’re willing to share, please do!

How LinkedIn Search Actually Works

Posted by | LinkedIn, LinkedIn Search | No Comments

If you’re in sourcing, recruiting or HR, you no doubt search LinkedIn from time to time or perhaps even every day.

So why not gain a better understanding of how LinkedIn search actually works?

And what better way to learn how LinkedIn search works than from the Heads of Search Relevance and Query Understanding at LinkedIn?

Yes, you read that correctly – LinkedIn has folks specifically dedicated to understanding your queries in an effort to return the right set of results, emphasizing query rewriting, elaboration, and refinement.

Here is the LinkedIn Search Slideshare deck where you can learn about, among other things, LinkedIn’s contextual word sense and how LinkedIn deals with “keyword stuffers” and spammers.

[In]formation Retrieval: Search at LinkedIn from Daniel Tunkelang

If you would like to learn more about the LinkedIn search team looks at content, connections, and context, here is a fantastic Slideshare to review:

Content, Connections, and Context from Daniel Tunkelang

You may also learn a thing or two about how LinkedIn search works from their page dedicated to highlighting some of the search-related challenges they think about everyday:

Search at LinkedIn Main Page