How to Effectively Mitigate Unconscious Bias in Sourcing

With 78% of talent professionals and hiring managers saying that diversity is the top trend impacting how they hire, it is critical to take measures to remove as much bias from the hiring process as possible.

While there is no shortage of opinion that AI can be applied to reduce or remove human bias in hiring, there is a simple way of significantly mitigating unconscious bias at the top of the funnel without using AI and avoiding the risk of algorithmic bias: blind review and selection.

Blind Review and Selection

Whether you use “blind,” “anonymous,” “masked” or “obfuscated” to describe the technique, the goal and the end result are the same:  prevent sourcers, recruiters and hiring managers from being unconsciously biased when reviewing and selecting applicants, resumes or profiles when considering people for employment.

If you cannot see a person’s name, you are mitigating unconscious bias as you are prevented from having any easy insight into a person’s gender, race or ethnicity.

If you cannot see where a person went to school (school name or country), you are prevented from exercising any unconscious bias you might have towards or against specific schools, and you also help mitigate unconscious bias with regard to race and/or ethnicity.

If you do not show when someone graduated from school, and if you impose a limit to the maximum number of years of experience to be visible (e.g., 10 where the job does not require more than 10), you prevent people from being unconsciously biased against people who have more than the required years of experience, and this can effectively combat ageism.

Solutions Pushing the Envelope

The good news is that there are already some solutions on the market today that offer blind results review and selection. is a company I had the distinct honor of consulting with back in the fall of 2016. At the time I advised the team of what I believed to be a significant opportunity for their solution to help with diversity and inclusion. Since then, they have made many advancements in this space, including blind review and selection.

With, you can configure their solution to mask several profile elements that can mitigate unconscious gender, race, ethnicity, and age bias – and this includes people from within your ATS/CRM:

  • Name
  • Social Media/Picture
  • Communication history
  • Specific location
  • Name of school
  • Date of graduation
  • More than 8 years of experience

Here is an example of a masked profile in their system:

In case you were wondering, that person is a woman and she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from a top university in India. But with the masked profile, it could just as easily be a man who graduated from Stanford, so there is no way a person could use the name and school/country to consciously or unconsciously discriminate against her.

So does this work?

The Eightfold team informed me that they recently completed a pilot with a multi-national company in which it was clear that for a specific set of roles, hiring managers preferred one gender over the other by 50% when selecting candidates for phone screen prior to rolling out the masked screening process. After the rollout of masked screening, there was virtually no difference in the selection rate between gender.

Entelo was an early mover in facilitating external diversity sourcing, and they have recently announced their “unbiased sourcing mode” where users are able to anonymize and hide many elements of profiles that are commonly associated with unconscious bias, including employment gaps and substituting gender-specific pronouns throughout the profiles.

Spire is another solution with blind review and selection capabilities, allowing you to match your applicants and other candidates to jobs without seeing names, pictures, universities, date of graduation or years of experience greater than required.

Another solution I am aware of that offers similar functionality is SeekOut. If you are aware of others, please let me know, and I would be happy to share them.

A Call to All HR Technology Solution Providers

I believe configurable blind review and selection should become a standard and required feature of any HR technology solution that involves reviewing applicants or resumes/profiles when considering people for employment, including internal mobility.

Without it, users are fully prone to the effects of unconscious bias when it comes to reviewing and selecting (or not!) applicants and potential candidates.

While blind review and selection don’t address unconscious bias that can creep into the interview and offer stages, it can practically eliminate it from the top of the talent funnel, leading to more diverse applicants and candidates getting into the hiring process in the first place.

If you caught my mention of algorithmic bias in the beginning of this post, stay tuned as I will be writing about the risks associated with using AI in sourcing and recruiting soon.

Social Engineering: The Human Element of Sourcing & Recruiting Candidates

Why is the “Boolean Black Belt” writing and presenting about social engineering?

Well, it’s actually quite simple. It all started over 20 years ago when I began working for a small, privately held IT staffing firm in Northern VA. In pursuit of becoming the top performing recruiter, I not only had to get very good at quickly finding the right people, I also had to get very good at getting those people to respond to my outreach efforts, to be open to speaking candidly with me, and ultimately to convert to candidates. As we all know, unless you are responsible for sourcing names only, finding people is only half the battle – although a critical half, as you can’t convert someone into a hire that you haven’t found in the first place. ;)

While the vast majority of the content I’ve written about since 2008 has been about finding people online and in databases, that’s only one of my three “superpowers” – things that I believe I developed exceptional strength in that enabled me to become a top performer in my firm. The other two include my time/performance management approach and what I have now learned to be social engineering.

Social engineering is, according to Chris Hadnagy, creator of the Social Engineering Framework, “The art, or better yet, science, or skillfully maneuvering human beings to take action in some aspect of their lives.”

I saw Chris speak at the 2011 SourceCon in NY, although he didn’t really dive deep into the concepts of the book he had published at the end of 2010 – Social Engineering, The Art of Human Hacking, and it wasn’t until Jeremy Roberts wrote about Chris’s book in early 2015 that I actually got around to purchasing and reading the book.

As I was reading the first half of the book, I had many epiphanous moments when I realized that many of the things I had been doing in my candidate messaging and when on the phone with potential candidates beginning nearly 20 years prior and continuing over the years training my teams to perform had names (elicitation, framing, preloading, etc.) and psychological reasons why they worked (e.g., empathy, scarcity, social proof, obligation & reciprocity, etc.). This inspired me to present on the topic at sourcing and recruiting conferences, as it makes it 10X easier to explain and transfer to people when you can attribute names to specific techniques and explain the “why” behind why you should do it and why it works.

This deck from SourceCon 2018 in Vegas, where the whole theme was social engineering and we had a keynote by Jessica Clark (who I sourced and Shannon Pritchett successfully recruited), and is the latest iteration of my social engineering content that I have also presented at LinkedIn Talent Connect, SOSUEU, Bullhorn Engage and the Northwest Recruiters Association (NWRA). It provides a high-level overview of many social engineering strategies and tactics that I have personally used in a “white hat” manner when seeking to influence potential candidates to respond to outreach efforts, be open to speaking candidly with me, provide high quality referrals, and convert to being a qualified, interested and available (QIA) candidates.

As you will see in the deck, social engineering is essentially the human element of sourcing and recruiting candidates. Enjoy!

Video: Discussing AI in Sourcing and Recruiting

I recently had the chance to participate in a Google Hangout with Jeremy Roberts of HiringSolved as an introduction to the speakers of their upcoming conference on Feb 7 in NYC (HIREconf).

You can watch the recording of our chat here or play the video below to learn a little about my background and my thoughts about the evolving role of technology and specifically artificial intelligence solutions when it comes to sourcing and recruitment, which will be the topic of my opening keynote at HIREconf. I’m planning on addressing how intelligent machines are changing talent acquisition and how sourcers and recruiters can prepare for today and tomorrow.

The folks at HiringSolved have really put together a solid list of speakers for their 1 day event in NYC:

Here’s a peek at the agenda:


If you can make it, I’d love to see you there!

Talent Mining – Unearthing Value in Human Capital Data

JIT Talent IdentificationThere are people in the HR/recruiting industry who believe that searching databases, the Internet, and social networking sites to source talent is relatively easy and that it can be automated through the use of technology.

While those people are actually right (to an extent), I am happy to say that unfortunately for them, it’s not that simple.

While anyone can manually write or automate basic searches and find some people, those searches only return a small percentage of the available talent that can be found and they also exclude qualified people. Moreover, there are actually many different levels of searching human capital data in the form of resumes, social media profiles, etc., most of which cannot be replicated or automated by software solutions available today.

In this post, I’m going to share my original slide deck from my SourceCon presentation on the 5 levels of talent mining that I delivered in DC at the Spy Museum (what an awesome venue for a sourcing conference!) and then I’ll dive deep into each distinct level, including examples. Continue reading

The Best Boolean and Semantic Search Tool

While many people are hungry for specific Boolean search strings to copy and paste and for search tools that make searching for people “easier” and even “do the thinking for you,” there simply is nothing that can come remotely close to what you can do when you think properly and ask the right questions.

Yoda Think Before You Search

That’s right – the most powerful thing you can incorporate into your people search efforts isn’t Boolean logic, a search “hack,” Chrome extension, search aggregator, semantic search solution or anything you can buy – it’s your brain. Your level of understanding of and appreciation for the unique challenges posed by human capital data in any form (social media profiles, resumes, etc.) directly correlates to your ability to extract value from any data source. The same is true of the thought processes you apply before and during your search efforts.

A little over a year ago, I presented for the 3rd time at LinkedIn’s Talent Connect event in London, and I spoke about how to leverage LinkedIn’s massive stockpile of human capital data for sourcing and recruiting. LinkedIn recorded the session and uploaded the video to YouTube, and I recently noticed the video had over 65,000 views. Now, while that is puny in comparison to the nearly 1B views Adele’s Hello video has racked up, I was surprised to see so many views given the niche content.

Although the source of human capital data that I focus on in the video happens to be LinkedIn, practically everything I talk about is equally applicable to any source you can use to find people to recruit.

So, if you use any source of human capital data to find and recruit people (e.g., your ATS/CRM, resume databases, LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, Github, etc.) and you really want to understand how to best approach your talent sourcing efforts, I recommend watching this video when you have the time.

Enjoy, and feel free to let me know your thoughts!


How to Get People to Respond to Recruiting Emails & Messages

When it comes to sourcing and recruiting, it’s gotten easier to find people but it’s gotten more difficult to get people to respond to emails, InMails, social messages and voicemails.

The poor quality and lack of sophistication of most recruiter messaging, along with rampant spamming, certainly hasn’t helped. Unfortunately and yet somewhat thankfully, the bar of what people expect to receive from recruiters has been set fairly low, so the opportunity for improvement is massive. The good news is that becoming more effective at getting people to respond to recruiting outreach efforts is relatively easy because marketing & advertising has already blazed the trail – sourcers and recruiters would do well to leverage what effective sales & marketing teams has been doing for decades.

In 2014 and 2015, I spoke at Talent 42, SOSUEU, and LinkedIn Talent Connect conferences on the challenges of getting people – especially “passive,” highly recruited talent – to respond to recruiter outreach efforts. The decks I used for the presentations were mostly images, so I decided to add text to the slides so that the core concepts could be understood by anyone whether they attended those conference sessions or not simply by viewing the presentation (I wish more presenters would do this!).

LinkedIn’s New Non-Boolean Search Functionality

I originally published this post on LinkedIn, but am reposting here to ensure my blog readers catch it.

When I attended LinkedIn’s Talent Connect 2015 conference in Anaheim, CA and I was able to take some video of Eddie Vivas, Head of Talent Solutions Product for LinkedIn, formerly the Founder and Chief Product Officer at (acquired by LinkedIn), talking about and briefly demonstrating LinkedIn Recruiter’s new search interface and functionality.

Check it out – be sure to switch to 1080p and go full screen.

As Eddie says at 1:35 into the video, “You guys ready to see some cool shit?”

I’ve attended and spoken at every Talent Connect event, and I’ve been waiting 5 long years for LinkedIn to make some major changes to their search interface and functionality.

Whatever you think of LinkedIn, they have a ton of professional human capital data, and the value of data is directly proportional to the ability of users to quickly, easily and precisely retrieve actionable data.

Definition of Actionable

The more easily recruiters can quickly and precisely retrieve profiles of people who have a decent probability of being the right match and also likely to respond to outreach efforts, the more actionable (and thus valuable) LinkedIn’s data becomes.

Although the video and a few other assets I share below don’t show you everything that’s coming to the new Recruiter search experience, I’m going to run through a few things that will definitely make LinkedIn’s data more actionable than ever before for recruiters, and none of them involve Boolean search.

Dynamic Semantic Search Suggestions

LinkedIn claims Recruiter’s new search “learns as you go,” dynamically adjusting suggested synonymous and related search terms as you enter new terms.

Think of this as LinkedIn Skills on steroids and integrated seamlessly and practically into the search experience.

As you add search terms, Recruiter will provide you with a list of the top titles, skills, companies and schools associated with your target candidates and you can choose to incorporate the suggestions  into your search (or not).


I’m presuming that as you add search terms they effectively create Boolean “OR” statements whereby results will match at least one of the terms.

Historically, I’ve referred to this as conceptual search or Level 2 Talent Mining. While very effective, the challenge for most people is that they don’t know all of the various ways in which people with specific skills and experience might make mention of them, leading recruiters to craft searches that actually create Dark Matter.

Based on what I can see, this new Recruiter functionality should go a long way in reducing LinkedIn’s Dark Matter, helping people build more inclusive searches by automatically suggesting additional potentially relevant search terms to return results of people who would likely not ever be found via traditional keyword search, given the wide variety of ways people can express the same skills and experience.

LinkedIn Profile Matching

You will also be able to find potential candidates using an employee’s (and perhaps anyone’s?) profile.

Essentially using a profile to automatically build a search – Recruiter’s new functionality will:

Automatically build your search string using the job title, skills, company, and industry, listed on the employee’s profile. It will show you the terms it used to build the search string, let you add or remove terms, and instantly update the list of members who meet your search criteria – helping you quickly identify the members who are a match for your open job.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this to see how well it actually performs.

Search Spotlights

This is what I am most excited about – Recruiter’s new search will offer users the ability to quickly and easily filter results by potential candidates who (LinkedIn claims) are 2-3X more likely to engage, based on relationships and interactions on LinkedIn, including:

  • Company connections
  • Past applicants
  • People engaged with your company on LinkedIn
  • People in your competitors’ talent pool (“Who your competitors target”)
  • Who’s potentially ready for a move – people who have been in their current role for 1-5 years
  • Interested candidates – people who have indicated to LinkedIn that they are open to new opportunities

New LinkedIn Recruiter Search Spotlights

I find these last 2 to be especially interesting and particularly useful- I’ve been wondering how and when LinkedIn would allow people to show recruiters they are open to new opportunities.

Granted, 1-5 years is a HUGE window and may not be as predictive or precise as some would like, but it’s a start. Also, I am not sure why LinkedIn wouldn’t offer a spotlight showing you only people who are within 30-60 days of their work anniversary – company and/or title – as this is a time when many people think about their future and could be more open to making a change.

Eddie claims they are launching with 7 different spotlights, hinting that perhaps more spotlights are likely coming in the future.

But What About Boolean?

Don’t worry – LinkedIn claims that “Advanced recruiters can continue to use their own Boolean search strings.”

However, as I’ve always stated, effective search isn’t about Boolean logic – it’s about information retrieval, and I am excited to see LinkedIn provide users with additional, and what appear to be practically useful and effective, means of retrieving a higher quantity (through more inclusive search) of relevant results – people who have a higher probability of being the right match and more likely to respond to recruiters.

When is it Coming and What Do You Think?

Apparently LinkedIn has and/or will beta launch the new Recruiter search functionality to select customers in Q4 2015, and a general launch is planned for Q1 2016.

From a few folks who have been lucky enough to play around with the new search functionality this year, I’ve heard it’s not “fully baked” yet, but I don’t find that surprising.

What do you think about these new Recruiter search enhancements?

Sourcing & Recruiting Candidate Funnel & Output Calculators

Candidate Sourcing FunnelHave you ever wondered:

  1. How many resumes, social profiles, names, etc., you have to identify to result in 1 hire?
  2. How efficient your sourcing/recruiting/hiring process is?
  3. How many candidates you need to submit to fill your position?
  4. How more effective messaging/engagement strategies and tactics can measurably improve your efficiency?
  5. How wonderful it would be if you could educate your hiring manager/team on exactly how much effort goes into producing 1 hire, and the effects of a poor assessment/hiring process?
  6. The # of hires per month a sourcer/recruiter can affect per month based on their daily activity?
  7. How many sourcers/recruiters you need to achieve a target # of hires per month?

If you answered “Yes!” to any of the above, you’re in luck, because I’ve whipped up a couple of candidate funnel and sourcing team calculators that can help you answer those questions and more.

Candidate Sourcing Funnel Calculators

You can grab a copy of the file here or simply click the image below:

Candidate Sourcing Funnel Calculator

By entering your target # of hires and setting your percentages/conversion ratios at each step of the funnel, you can see the estimated number of people you would have to identify in order to achieve your hiring goal, as well as the estimated number of people you will actually talk to and submit for consideration, and the number of interviews that would need to take place.

As you could imagine, this data can be used to manage expectations of hiring teams, because in some scenarios, the local talent pool might not be big enough (i.e., there may not be 67 local Mandarin speaking Ruby developers). :)

If you’re not doing so already, I highly recommend you start to measure the following per job, hiring manager, group/division, skillset, etc.:

  1. Response rates
  2. % of people who are QIA out of those who are successfully contacted
  3. % of candidates who pass prescreens (if any are used – e.g., technical, online assessments, etc.)
  4. % of candidates selected to interview
  5. % of candidates who receive an offer after interviewing
  6. % of people who accept their offer (and actually show up!)

If you’re measuring these data points, you can add them to your candidate funnel calculator to much more accurately predict how many people you will need to identify and submit in order to produce a hire.

More importantly, these data points can help you identify constraints/challenges in your candidate sourcing and recruitment process and you can work with your hiring teams to try to improve the conversion ratios at each step of the funnel. For example:

Response Rates

You could try to affect a higher response rate from potential candidates by working with the hiring team to create compelling descriptions of the work, team and environment, incorporate sound bites & testimonials from existing employees, and even leverage members of the hiring team to reach out to potential candidates. Higher response rates can drastically effect the candidate sourcing funnel, reducing the # of people that must be identified to achieve the target # of hires. Keeping everything else the same as the above sourcing funnel, simply changing the response rate from 25% to 40% can reduce the # of people needed to be identified from 67 to 42. If you could achieve a 75% response ratio, you’d only have to identify 22 people.

Submittal to Interview Ratio

If the % of candidates submitted that are selected to interview is lower than 100%, there could be a number of contributing factors to explore, such as:

  • The sourcers/recruiters don’t fully understand the position they are working on and the manager/group they are supporting and what entails the right match
  • The sourcers/recruiters are not doing a good enough job of packaging up their candidate submittals so that the hiring team can see them for the matches that they really are
  • The hiring team is being too picky and judging candidates on their resumes alone
  • The hiring team doesn’t really know what they are looking for (unfortunately, this happens too frequently!)


If the data shows that a relatively small % of people pass the prescreen, it might indicate that the prescreen is poorly designed, with either a poor user experience (I had a situation where the prescreen was so long and laborious people would simply abort and withdraw) and/or it is not an accurate way of determining candidacy.

Offer Acceptance

If the data shows a relatively low offer acceptance ratio, you should work with your hiring team to perform a root cause analysis, including following up with the people who have rejected offers to find out why and work with the hiring team to see if you can address any patterns (e.g., lower than market compensation, poor interview process, work seemed boring, etc.).

Local Talent Pool

Even with high conversion ratios all along the funnel, the number of estimated people that must be identified to produce the target # of hires might end up being an unrealistically high number depending on the requirements of the hiring team, and leveraging the data can foster a collaborative conversation on alternatives, such as opening up the search to non-local candidates, reducing some of the hiring requirements (e.g., the local talent pool for mobile application software engineers with ecommerce experience is small – the hiring team may decide that ecommerce experience isn’t actually necessary, opening up the local talent pool), etc.

Of course, you can build upon these calculators and to mirror your specific processes, as well as measure and model things such as % candidates submitted by sourcers that are “accepted” by the recruiters as viable, candidate:applicant conversion ratios, withdrawals, no shows (interviews and/or day 1 walk on), etc. Feel free to modify/build upon what’s already there to better suit your specific needs.

NOTE: You may notice some funny looking numbers showing up in the calculators at times (e.g., 75% of 2 isn’t 1), and this will be due to the fact that I formatted some cells to only display whole numbers (# candidates engaged, submitted, selected for interview, etc.). Feel free to reformat those cells to show 1 or 2 decimal places if you don’t mind seeing fractional numbers in those areas, although I do hope you realize fractional people don’t exist. :)

Sourcing/Recruiting Team Output Calculator & Team Estimator

On the second worksheet of the file above you will find a sourcing/recruiting team output calculator. Once you enter the number of people each sourcer/recruiter can consistently find/identify per day, the calculator will estimate the number of candidates engaged daily and the number of candidate submittals, interviews and hires affected daily, weekly and monthly per sourcer/recruiter.

You can also enter your target # of hires per month to estimate the # of sourcers/recruiters you will need to achieve your monthly hiring goal.

Daily Sourcing Recruiting Activity Output Calculator Per Sourcer or Recruiter

What Do You Think?

Let me know if you find these calculators helpful, and don’t hesitate to let me know if you find any glitches I need to fix or if you have suggestions for improving them.


How to Use Facebook for Social Recruiting Messaging


When it comes to sourcing and recruiting, you should not ignore the potential of Facebook given that it has 1.38B monthly active users and 890M daily active users.

Also, you should know that according to Jobvite’s 2014 Job Seeker Nation Report, 76% of social job seekers found their current position through Facebook.  Jobvite also found that while job seekers flock to Facebook, recruiters prefer LinkedIn when searching for potential candidates.

Jobvite 2014 Job Seeker Nation Report

That’s understandable, as LinkedIn is a professional social network and some profiles are as detailed as resumes. While Facebook users seem to be adding more professional information on a daily basis, that information is quite limited.

As I’ve written recently, even though Facebook’s Graph Search isn’t as powerful as it once was, finding people to recruit on Facebook is remarkably easy. If you want even more information on using Facebook to find people, check out Todd Davis’ Ultimate Guide to Sourcing and Recruiting on Facebook.

However, one thing that isn’t being written about much is using Facebook to reach out to potential candidates. Some people simply may not know all of the ways you can message people on Facebook (there is more than meets the eye, as you will see), and many sourcers and recruiters seem to get caught up on thinking that people will be “weirded out” by getting messages from them on Facebook – I’ll be addressing this as well. Continue reading

Video: My thoughts on Sourcing & the Future of Recruiting


At LinkedIn’s 2014 Talent Connect event in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to be interviewed on the topic of up-skilling recruiting teams.

Watch this short video to hear my thoughts on the ideal sourcing/recruiting team alignment, critical skills for any recruiting team, and the future of recruiting (hint –  it has something to do with data).

Important Facebook Graph Search Developments


It is difficult to ignore the potential of Facebook when it comes to sourcing and recruiting given that it has 1.38B monthly active users and 890M daily active users.

When Graph Search was introduced back in 2013, it was an amazingly powerful people sourcing tool.  However, recent changes have somewhat reduced its efficacy. While some people might think that Facebook’s Graph Search is effectively dead, it is still very much alive. In fact, Graph Search is now live on mobile (more on that in a bit).

Although it’s not what it used to be, Graph Search still allows you to write some very effective natural language queries to retrieve Facebook profiles, as you can search by title, company, location, languages, etc., and Graph Search is still a ridiculously powerful gender diversity sourcing tool (where legal, of course).

Here’s a search for female software engineers who work for Google, live near New York and speak French.

Facebook Graph Search 2015 Diversity Google Software Engineers Near New York who speak French

That’s some good stuff right there!

While people searches like that will satisfy the average user, hardcore sourcers might lament the loss of the ability to create the more advanced and inclusive queries they used to in the past, and the extensive search refinements associated with Graph Search on the right rail are now gone, with trending posts now taking up that screen real estate.

Once you try to go much beyond searches like the one above, Facebook will humbly apologize for not being able to find any results for your search. Continue reading

Insights from LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Survey


LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends

Job boards vs. social media: What’s the most significant source of hire for companies globally?

LinkedIn recently surveyed over 4,000 talent acquisition leaders in 31 countries, gaining insights into source of hire, quality of hire, quantity of hire, talent brand, the future of recruiting and more, so if you haven’t already downloaded and reviewed LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends e-book, I highly recommend you do so by clicking here.

While I’m going to share a few of the insights from the Global Recruiting Trends e-book (including the job boards vs. social recruiting), I highly encourage you to compare them with LinkedIn’s country specific recruiting and staffing e-books (Southeast Asia, Australia, India, U.K., Italy, Belgium, etc.) which can be found here. There are some significant differences, specifically when it comes to source of hire.

Continue reading

Facebook’s Hiring Surprise is Good For Sourcing & Recruiting


Nearly a year ago I stumbled across an interesting post on LinkedIn that revealed that Facebook’s single biggest recruiting focus was NOT what most people would assume.

Can you guess what it might be?

Facebook Open Jobs and Recruiting Needs

Software engineering? Nope.

Infrastructure? Wrong.

People and recruiting? Not even close. Continue reading

How to Get Unlimited LinkedIn InMails


Pile of Mail by faungg

What does LinkedIn’s new InMail policy mean for you? That depends on how effective your InMails are and the response rates you can achieve.

If you have a premium account with LinkedIn and haven’t been living under a rock, you are aware of LinkedIn’s InMail policy change which will, for most people, reduce the total number of InMails they are able to send.

However, their new policy does open up the possibility of unlimited InMails, provided you can achieve a 100% response rate.

Yes, it really is that simple. :)

Of course, even for folks with ridiculously effective messaging, there are a number of reasons why it is practically impossible to get a 100% response rate (e.g., people respond via email instead of through LinkedIn, people not logging into LinkedIn for long periods of time, people simply ignoring InMails, etc.).

However, if you can figure out how to get a much higher than average rate of response, you can actually end up with more InMails under LinkedIn’s new policy than the old.

Let me show you. Continue reading

LinkedIn Recruiter Search Result Discrepancies Explored


LinkedIn Search Results can be different across free and premium accounts, including Recruiter

LinkedIn search results can be different across free and premium accounts, including Recruiter

Irina posted an interesting piece on discrepancies in search results between LinkedIn Recruiter and a free LinkedIn account which prompted me to do a little digging as I don’t think I’ve ever come across materially different results in actual use.

While the discrepancies are definitely interesting, and I would love to know exactly what’s causing them, I don’t find them particularly troubling. Read on to learn why.

Even if you don’t have a LinkedIn Recruiter license, you will likely still find this post interesting, as it examines search logic and strategy which can be applied to sourcing via any site/resource.

In the C++ 3D iOS “computer games” example, where a free account returns 150 results and an LinkedIn Recruiter account returns 43, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to search for “computer games” as a keyword as it is too limiting. If the goal is to find people who develop computer games, I would run a broader, more inclusive keyword search than exact phrase of “computer games,” which many people who actually develop games would not use in their LinkedIn profile. Continue reading

Talent42 Keynote: Building Talent Pipelines


Glen Cathey - Talent42In theory, building a talent “pipeline” sounds like an ideal strategy, ensuring that you always have a steady supply of the talent you’re looking for.

In reality, there are many issues with building talent pipelines, and they all “leak” extensively.

I recently delivered the closing keynote at the always excellent Talent42 technical recruiting conference where I explored the core issues associated with building talent pipelines, proposed that talent acquisition is essentially responsible for managing a company’s human capital supply chain, and challenged the audience to see that the “war for talent” is really a supply chain management competition.

If you have a difficult time seeing the parallels between talent acquisition and supply chain management, take a look at the definition of supply chain management according to the CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals): “Supply chain management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing, procurement, conversion, and logistics management…It also includes the crucial components of coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third-party service providers, and customers.”

Talent acquisition certainly involves the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing, procuring/converting candidates and all associated logistics – as such, I believe HR/recruiting organizations need to leverage proven production and supply chain management principles (e.g., Lean, kanban, Just-In-Time, etc.) in their recruiting processes and strategies to gain competitive advantages.

Unfortunately, many companies seem to be very late to the game in this regard. As the ultimate owners of talent acquisition, HR/recruiting should be the experts in human capital supply chain management and processes, leading innovation in this space. However, I have found several examples of global I.T. professionals innovatively leveraging Lean principles to recruit people for their own teams and to manage recruiting processes that should serve as a serious wake-up call to HR/recruiting organizations.

If you’re curious about the core problems associated with proactively building talent pipelines and would like to learn about the many benefits of applying lean principles to the recruiting process, including reducing the “7 deadly wastes,” employing kanban and enabling Just-In-Time delivery, take some time to navigate through the Slideshare below.

My live presentation deck was comprised mostly of images, so I’ve published a modified version that can be consumed without the benefit of hearing me speak to the concepts.

Enjoy, and please do share your thoughts.

How to Find Active & Passive Software Engineers on Stack Overflow


Stack Overflow CareersDo you source and/or recruit software engineers?

Would you like to know how to find software engineers on Stack Overflow who are actually interested in hearing about new career opportunities?

For free?

If you answered YES!, YES! and YES! – you’re in in luck, because I am going to show you how to find active and passive job seekers on Stack Overflow for free. Continue reading

Sourcing vs. Recruiting – What’s the Difference?


While you may not  know that Balazs Paroczay recently posted a rebuttal of my proposed definition of sourcing, I strongly suggest you read his argument, as I appreciate his perspective as well as the fact that he disagrees with me on the definition of sourcing and I’d like to hear your opinion.

I believe disagreement is important and valuable, because it fuels critical thinking and forward progress.

Before I get to Balazs’s post, I’d like to get your take on a recent disagreement I had with Recruiting Animal. Continue reading

Twitter Sourcing Tool Tactics Cloud Shuts Down


Tactics Cloud NoticeI hope my blog post wasn’t somehow the kiss of death for Tactics Cloud, but in only a matter of weeks after writing about how awesome I thought their Twitter search solution was, they will no longer be offering Tactics Cloud as they have decided to focus our efforts on new opportunities.”

Although Derek Zeller discovered that you could still access and search Twitter with Tactics Cloud via this link, the Tactics Cloud crew said they will be shutting that down shortly. At the time of this post, that link was still working, although I am sure that won’t last long.

Enjoy it while you can, before your only real option for searching Twitter bios is Followerwonk and good ol’ fashioned X-Ray searching. Continue reading

Excellent New Twitter Talent Sourcing and Recruiting Tool


Tactics CloudDo you leverage Twitter in your sourcing and recruiting efforts?

If NO – I strongly recommend you read my 14 Tips on How to Use Twitter for Social Recruiting and see the two comments from Matt Chiasson.

If YES – would you be interested in a better way to search for and find people in your target talent pool on Twitter?

Look no further!

I received a notification from the Google+ Social Recruiting community last week that Hung Lee believes he found something that “pretty much destroys FollowerWonk as a Twitter sourcing tool.

“Destroy” is a strong word, but I would say Tactics Cloud gives FollowerWonk a thorough beating and I will be using Tactics Cloud as my primary tool when searching for people on Twitter. Continue reading