Over the past month I’ve been asked several times by different individuals, what are my top 3 sites for sourcing and what are the tools I would recommend. Got money to burn? Think I’ve got nothing to do? I don’t know. I’m happy to chat with you all you want, but I don’t know that I’m necessarily going to give you the answer you are looking for, every sourcer is different, every recruiting budget is different.
Here’s the deal. There’s no rote answer. You give me a laptop and an internet connection, and I’m going to find you people. That’s my day, every day. In my world, that is the world of the third party researcher, I deal with a variety of different positions. I have ones I love, and ones I hate, but they all pay the bills. I do not have a set list of sites I go to for each search. I do keep track of past performance and am aware of what resources and search strings produce results regularly. I’ve got bookmarks and file folders and can easily throw these winners back into play at any time. The reality is the internet is fluid and new resources appear all the time…I would not be doing my job if I didn’t recognize I need to check for these with every search.
My day would be done, and quite dull, if I could get every single hire off of LinkedIn. Don’t get me wrong, I do get a lot of hires off of LinkedIn. And I do like to test it. But because it relies so heavily on user generated content, sometimes I’m better off generating a name first via lists or directories or industry articles. Or maybe I’m sifting through a company’s website, annual report, Hoover’s or ZoomInfo. And no, I’m not doing that click by click….there are automation tools for that. But if I had to, I could do it that way. I’ll dabble in Beknown….because every once in a while it yields interesting search results and I do want a call of Facebook hires in 2012. But so much of where I’m going to go and what I’m going to do is determined in a 30 minute strategy call with our lead recruiter. That’s vitally important. Gathering information, running search strings, shooting information back and forth that’s critical. And this is where my most important tool comes into play, if I didn’t have it, my work day would be completely hamstringed and I’m quite certain I’d crash our mail server; it’s………Google Docs.
Did you know Google Docs is searchable? If you’re retaining candidate information in there, it can function as a mini ATS. And did you know that if you’re using site: to search LinkedIn via Google or Bing because you’ve got a thrifty recruiting budget, well I’ll be darned if you aren’t going to see different results for the same searches. And if you save those searches in different documents, or spreadsheets, you can combine them into one massive big daddy spreadsheet? That’s searchable. From the main google docs search bar as well as within the document itself? So if you’re absolutely sure you’ve seen Joe Knickerbocker before…you can figure out if you have or not in this pre-ATS tracking system.
And then there’s calibration….and re-calibration. Where we, the Lead Recruiter, the research team and I, really hone in on what’s generating the best results, where should we focus our research hours and where should we call it a day. Again…Google….Docs and now Google Chat comes into play. When I’m working with a Lead Recruiter I don’t have to coordinate a webex or livemeeting….we can just jump into a document and simultaneously update. And all of our recruiting team can track me down when I’ve shut down everything else to get my head in the game, because they know now I’ll be in Google Docs and with one click they’re asking me a super quick question via Chat.
So while I could suggest you invest at least 30 minutes a day honing your search skills on Google, Bing and Devilfinder (either do some training or find a mentor) or investigating tools like Scavado, The Boolean Bar or Broadlook, I have to tell you that the key to my success in 2012 will be Google Docs and the team I work with, the people I work with are so strong in recruiting and dissecting every opportunity we staff, that the rest is easy. Those are the things I need to be successful in the TPR world. The rest is icing on the cake.
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.