Last 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.
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!