Sourcing strategies #1: Search with Imagination

Sourcing strategies #1: Search with Imagination

Candidate sourcing is starting point of the Recruiting Process. In a series of blogs I will try to capture some of the nuances that I have learnt.

In the first part, lets look at maximizing the results from job boards like Monster, Dice, Hotjobs etc. They are a great resource for finding active job seekers. But the common complaint from every client is that they have either seen the candidate profile already or they do not have the ideal skills/competence etc. Why so?

The reason is that every recruiter looks there and looks at the top few pages of results. No doubt that one should look for low hanging fruit and quickly pounce on new candidates. But good recruiting also means looking beyond the most obvious and easy to find candidates. That’s where your IMAGINATION comes in to play to hunt down the right kinds of profiles in the vast repository of millions of profiles. Here are some ways to do imaginative searches to look for such candidate profiles:

  • Competence search – This is the most basic searches where you are trying to match competency/expertise requirements of the job. For example, if you are looking for C# and .Net developers with Networking experience, you will use those keywords in your search. Here again looking for alternative representation / expressions of the technologies, tools etc. will certainly help (for example look for “protocol development” or “TCP/IP” while looking for Networking since they are similar)
  • Company / Competitor search – Look for companies that are similar to the company you are looking to hire for – they could be competing companies or complementary to the business. So add a bunch of company names in addition to some technical competency for example (“Intel” or “Honeywell” or “Yahoo” or “HP”) and (“.Networking” or “Protocol development” or “VOIP” or “TCP/IP”). That way you will likely located people who worked in these companies before or worked on projects for these companies
  • Top universities / school search – always produce good candidates; identify top schools and try to put them in your search term as “OR” options so you will likely find good candidates – For example looking for Indian universities can be (“IIT” or “Indian Institute of Technology” or “NIT” or “Anna University” or “SJCE”) and (“.NET” and “Networking”). Some examples of top university lists –
    There are plenty of such lists
  • Ethnicity and locale search – Certain pockets of people / ethnic groups or universities have made a name for themselves and become specialized. For example I have seen many Russians are extremely good at Maths. So for positions that require good analytical skills, they are a good ethnic group to look at. So your search terms can include special groups in addition to some competencies like (“Russian” or “Russia” or “Poland”) and (“.NET” and “Networking”) so you are looking for specific pockets / ethnic groups that are normally successful.

One word of advice is that when you are adding specialized keywords like university or ethnicity, then expand your search to include candidates who have updated resumes in past 6 months or 1 year as well. That way you could dig deep into great candidates who might be dormant for a while.

Next up, lets look at Social Networking.