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Thursday, 14 December 2017 02:54

Basic Sourcing Techniques You Can Use Today

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What are your most effective sources for finding talent? Do you leverage job postings? Ask for employee referrals?

These are both successful ways to fill a position. In fact, each one can play an integral role in your recruiting.

The only downside is that they’re reactive. You have to wait for the talent to come to you, in hopes that the right candidate is among them.

What you need is the ability to aggressively seek and go after ideal candidates. You need to build an active pipeline to fill today’s requisitions, make connections for hard-to-fill roles, and prepare for future needs.

You need to be proactive.

Luckily, there are several sourcing techniques you can start leveraging right now:

Boolean Sourcing for Google

Boolean sourcing allows recruiters to search for candidate information from all over the web.

You can find resumes and cover letters that are stored within personal websites, job boards and social platforms by using a unique set of search commands.

These commands tell search engines exactly what you’re looking for, and help drill down your search results to reveal the candidates who truly align with your requisition.

Getting started with boolean sourcing is as simple as learning some basic commands. The following operators work best when used within Google.

OR The command OR will return results containing at least one of your specified keywords or phrases. For example, entering programmer OR developer OR engineer would produce results containing any of these terms but not necessarily all of them.
"" Use quotations to return sites containing the exact phrase you’re searching for. For example, the senior manager would return pages containing either of these keywords, but "senior manager" would only return pages containing that exact phrase.
- Use the minus or dash command "-" before a keyword to return pages that exclude that word. For example, if you searched "marketing -manager" your results would exclude any pages that contain the word manager.
* Use the asterisk (*) within your query to identify a placeholder or wildcard terms. For example "Master's degree in *" would return pages containing the phrase "Master's degree in Marketing," "Master's degree in Computer Science, " etc.
() Brackets are for grouping Boolean phrases, and are generally used in more complex search strings. For example, if you searched for (Engineer or "Software Developer")(CISCO OR Microsoft OR HP), your results would show pages containing any of your job title keywords that also contain one of the company keywords. This is a great combination for finding talent who has worked for one of your target competitors.
site: Use the command site: to search pages within a specific website. For example, search for Facebook profiles by entering site:facebook.com. Searching for site:facebook.com "web designers" Phoenix would return Facebook profiles containing both keywords Web Designer and Phoenix.


Use these basic commands to create more elaborate search strings and effectively find candidates through Google. By adding more criteria to your search queries, you can produce more relevant results and ultimately find the best candidates who align with your job.

Job Board Sourcing

You can also leverage most online job boards to proactively source your candidates. Look for the option to search or source the job board's resume database by using common keywords your prospects would use.

Social Sourcing

Leverage the social platforms where your prospects already spend a lot of their time. Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook offer unique tools to proactively find your next great hire.

In March 2013, Facebook released Graph Search. It’s a free tool that allows anyone to use specific queries to search for individuals. Find people who work for a specific industry, near a special location or for a particular company.

Here is an example of a common Facebook Graph query:
Facebook Graph

Twitter is also a great tool for sourcing candidates. Use its search engine to identify professionals by specific keywords, phrases, and locations. The best part is that Twitter is an open network, so you’re free to connect with anyone.

You can also find candidates on LinkedIn by using the Boolean logic you’ve already learned. After you replace the italicized words with your keywords, enter this powerful search string into Google to return precise LinkedIn profiles:
site:linkedin.com "web designer" "location * Greater Phoenix Area"

Go After Your Talent

Identifying qualified candidates is the most critical part of the recruiting process. It can also be the most difficult—especially if you're waiting around for the right job seekers to apply. Instead, set yourself up for success by proactively finding them yourself.

But before you get started with methods like Boolean, job board, and social sourcing, make sure you have a clear understanding of the job you’re recruiting for and the keywords your prospects may use during their job search.

Knowing how your candidates describe themselves and which terms resonate with them will give you a head start on your proactive search for talent.

Initiate Conversation

When you finally find the candidates you’re looking for, connect with them! Send them a message about your available position and ask if they would be interested in the opportunity. For more tips on reaching out to candidates, read Candidate Sourcing: Get More Replies to Your Contact Emails.

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