Sourcing Certification Program News – April 2015

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The Program created to keep Recruiting professionals and teams on top of all things Sourcing and Searching and to allow fair measurement of Sourcing skills, is thriving and has evolved. We have made some changes in the format and content, based on our significant experience and user feedback.

We refresh the materials in the Guidebook monthly, to reflect everything important that has changed and the top new tools.

Sign up for the Info Session to find out the details about the Program. Here, I will briefly outline the news:

Subscription. The Program now offers a yearly subscription to online multimedia materials that a participant can access at any time. The modules cover “everything” sourcing, from Search Engines to Social Networks and LinkedIn “hacks” to productivity tools. The formats include how-to posts with screenshots; videos; practice tasks; quizzes; and Tip Sheets.

Teams get special treatment: group discounts and interactive custom sessions.

At this time, we are also adding extra modules covering: candidate engagement; phone sourcing; and specific sourcing tips for various locations – in the US and worldwide – and industries.

Support. An outstanding feature of the Guidebook is that everyone receives support in navigating and applying sourcing skills for the whole year. (This alone is worth the price of the subscription!) We’ve been praised for caring about our customers.

If you feel you are ready, go ahead and subscribe.

Exams. While we now allow to take the exam and get certified without the subscription, practice shows that our subscribers do significantly better in the exams testing hands-on sourcing skills. The cost of the Exam is included with the Sourcing Guidebook subscription.

Reference Library. In addition to training and practice modules, the Guidebook contains Reference Tip sheets, including Boolean strings syntax, a library of “top” Boolean strings, lists of tips for sourcing on LinkedIn, lists of tools and browser extensions, and more. Keep it open while sourcing.

Tools and Premium Subscription. We provide lists of Boolean strings and Custom Search Engines for participants to use.

As a new addition, we are excited to have a partnership with the people aggregator HiringSolved – the only people aggregator that searches across all locations and industries. Combined access to our training and reference platform is offered as a premium subscription (already available as an option) and provides outstanding ROI, as an All-in-One Sourcing Training/Reference/Tools solution.

Reports. We know that the measurement of training and sourcing performance is critical. At the request of team managers, we have developed reporting tools on the Guidebook and the tools usage.

Please note, all subscription prices go up on June 1st, 2015. Our solution will still remain the best in terms of ROI.

Sign up for the Info session or reach out to our Customer Support Manager George Glikman for more details.

Everything You Need To Know About XING X-Ray

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German holds the second place among the most spoken languages in Europe.  The top Social Network for the German-speaking people is XING.com. More than a half of XING members, about 8 MLN, are German-speaking people from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In Germany, there are more XING members than LinkedIn members:

Members-XING-LinkedIn-DACH-spring-2015

XING allows to message members; you need to have a premium account for messaging non-connections. This messaging ability is a clear advantage for a recruiter in Germany since reaching out to “passive candidates” has legal limitations there. (I am no specialist to explain further – check the appropriate sources if you need to know the details – but these restrictions do exist).

If your searches are targeting the DACH population, XING is a must-go-to.

Let’s look at XING X-Raying.

Here’s what a public profile looks like (note that you will see the profiles in German or English depending on where you are searching from). Clearly, you can X-Ray for a name and a job title.

xing1

An X-Ray Google string would look like this:

site:xing.com/profile <job title>

or, for better precision, search for:

site:xing.com/profile intitle:<job title>

Myth #1. You can’t X-Ray XING for company names. The company names are seemingly hidden from viewing unless you join the network. But, in fact, the company names are here, in plain sight:

xing2

The company name is present in the title of a XING public profile. So, to X-Ray by the company name, you can search for

site:xing.com/profile intitle:<company name>

Of course, can be combined with the job title search and keyword search.

Myth #2. You can search for locations in XING X-Ray.

That is not true. Public profiles have the locations hidden. You will get some results by including a location name in X-Raying, but the results will miss many members at that location. The results will also list some members that have the location name on their profiles for some other reason than living there.

You can only view the member location while logged-in:

xing3

 

Signing up for XING is free. It’s best to view the search results while you are logged-in.

(You may wonder if you can view the obscured member photo in the first image above without signing up, and the answer is yes, but that is probably not much of practical sourcing interest.)

Summary: here’s your basic X-Ray template:

site:xing.com/profile intitle:<job title> intitle:<company> <keywords> location

Example: site:xing.com/profile intitle:Oracle sales

X-Ray for more info – in German

While XING is friendly to those of us who speak English, to X-Ray, you must have in mind the profiles in German. Here’s an example:

xing4

X-Ray for languages:

site:xing.com/profile “Sprachen, die” Englisch

(Searching for “languages spoken” will not do much good; just try it and you’ll see.)

This covers the basics for X-Raying XING.

Like LinkedIn, XING can be X-Rayed and can be searched using the provided member search functionality. Just like LinkedIn, XING restricts some advanced search filters and, most importantly, the number of fully visible search results from a basic viewer. But, unlike LinkedIn, XING charges under $10 per month to lift these limitations. If you must remain a free user, X-Ray is helpful. Otherwise, searching XING from a premium account may be less fun, but would probably be more productive than X-Raying.

Searching globally? I recommend signing up for our upcoming webinar

Sourcing Internationally

debuting this Wednesday April 29th, 2015, and learn about searching and X-Raying in ALL major social networks worldwide. As always, the webinar comes with one month of support on all “Sourcing Internationally” questions. Please hurry, the seating is limited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sourcing Internationally in Non-traditional Ways

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A true Sourcer needs to be open-minded, resourceful, and creative. While some sites and tools may seem to cover the “wrong” territory, many can be used quite productively if you give them a chance and dig a little deeper.

To illustrate, let’s take a look at ZoomInfo, one of the oldest sites to source for professionals, which is still going quite strong. It’s one of my favorite sites to use in sourcing. Accessing it is paid (and decisions to subscribe are all yours) but it’s also X-Rayable via Google.

Let’s take a look at the site through an incognito window, without logging in. Here is the Zoominfo people search dialog:

zm

From a quick look, the site covers contacts in the major English-speaking countries only.

However – the site can also be used (as an example) for sourcing in the Netherlands – specifically, for professionals from global companies with offices in that country. Since we won’t be able to search by that location, we can try to imagine what the found records would look like, to help to design a search strategy.

Many companies in the Netherlands have “B V” as part of their name. A “B V” is a private company with limited liability, similar to LLC in the US, Ltd in England, and GmbH in Germany. Knowing that can help to uncover thousands of profiles. A search for B V as the company name in Zoominfo yields over 90K results, most of which will be professionals working for an office in the Netherlands.

zm1

If you don’t have a ZoomInfo subscription, you can still use that insight and X-Ray. The general X-Ray template for the site is:

site:zoominfo.com/p (add keywords).

Here is an example search for professionals working at a specific company at a specific seniority level:

site:zoominfo.com/p “Elsevier B.V” Vice-president

Note: I used the local Google for the Netherlands – Google.nl – for better results.

Like the approach? Here are a couple of exercises to flex your sourcing muscle:

1) Generalizing the above tip, try to come up with search strategies for more contacts in the Netherlands and for contacts in a few other non-English speaking countries.

2) Can you X-Ray Zoominfo for a specific location in other ways? Take a look at a public Zoominfo profile to come up with some suggestions.

 

Numbers of Social Shares on LinkedIn

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How many times was a LinkedIn post (such as this one , for example) shared – on LinkedIn and on other social sites? When you view a LinkedIn post, you see the numbers of “views” and “likes”, but not the number of shares.

There used to be a hack to look up the numbers of shares – by opening the posts in an incognito window. That no longer works. However, LinkedIn doesn’t make a secret of the number of shares. In fact, LinkedIn has an API call that returns the number of shares for any URL.

If you do not write software code, you can still access this API call directly, via the following URL:

https://www.linkedin.com/countserv/count/share?format=json&url=<URL>

Replace the <URL> above with the actual URL of the page that interests you. As an example, here is the number of shares for my yesterday’s post:

https://www.linkedin.com/countserv/count/share?format=json&url=https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/breaking-5-major-boolean-syntax-changes-irina-shamaeva

Note: if you are copying a URL, make sure you strip off any parameters, i.e. the part that goes after the question mark (if present). For example, for the URL above, you may land on https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/breaking-5-major-boolean-syntax-changes-irina-shamaeva/edit?trk=pulse-edit-nav_art – just remove the part starting with the question mark (?trk=…) before checking the number of shares.

Of course, the above method is clunky and lacks user friendliness.

Other social networks have similar API calls that provide the numbers of shares for any given web page.

My favorite tool that takes advantage of those API calls on several social networks is the Chrome extension called ShareMetric. It provides the numbers of shares for the currently open URL on various networks. Here is what its display looks like:

sharem

View my LinkedIn posts and please feel free to share. :)

 

Breaking: 5 Major Boolean Syntax Changes and #GoogleNose

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Things change so fast in our profession!

Here are the five major elements, that have just changed in Google‘s Boolean search syntax. If you are reading this blog, you will be one of the first people to know.

1. Synonyms in searching. Much to our delight, Google has restored the operator ~ (tilde). You can force Google to search for synonyms, again, using it right in front of a keyword (no spaces):

~resume

(Yay!)

Note: At the same time Google has stopped searching for synonyms automatically. This was a failed initiative (named “knowledge graph”); this code has now been removed from the search engine giant.

2. AND. Google has added a new operator AND to the set of its basic operators. It is a Boolean operator.

Note: you must write this operator in all-caps for Google to recognize it: AND.

3. The location operator. Unfortunately, the location operator loc: that used to work on Google pretty well, uncovering search results in specific locations, has stopped working. It was a big help in sourcing, as well as in “social engineering”.  That change happened on March 23rd, 2015.

Well, it was great while it lasted!

4. Parentheses. While Bing allows to change the order of the Boolean operators using the parentheses (), Google did not provide this capability – until today. You can now use the parentheses to control how your Boolean statements are executed.

Note: If you are new to searching, be careful if you decide to use nested parentheses; don’t forget to write as many (‘s as )‘s. There’s a new Chrome extension to help with that.

5. Email Search. Finally, the following syntax for searching for email addresses

“*@companyname.com”

has started working! It finds email addresses at the companyname.com mentioned in any web pages. Previously, Google interpreted the asterisk * as “any word” and ignored the special character @.

We can easily hunt for email addresses now. (I am investigating some Boolean syntax to reliably find phone numbers, but it’s too soon to tell what works and what doesn’t.)

The above report covers the major Boolean changes, globally, as of today, April 1st, which is also known as April Fool’s Day.

Additionally, for some interesting sourcing possibilities, check out a past Google innovation that you may have missed: Google Nose (still in Beta). We’ll be sharing some tips on that soon.

Happy Searching!

 

 

 

How to Source on About.Me

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When a specific site may have target professionals, there are always two complementary ways to try to source them from the site:

  • Deep Web Search, i.e. using the site’s search dialog(s)
  • X-Ray, i.e. searching for the information  on the Surface Web, using a search engine’s (typically, Google’s) operator site:

Let’s apply the two approaches to sourcing on the site About.me.

Deep Web Search

 The About.me search dialog offers to enter “an interest, place, organization, or name”.

Apparently, the dialog interprets any entered keywords along these categories. For example, if you enter Microsoft, it is interpreted as an organization; if you add Seattle, the search is narrowed down to a place.

To control the searches better than the search dialog offers, you can use the syntax of constructing the search URL, filling out one or more of the search facets:

https://about.me/search/keyword:<keyword>/org:<organization>/place:<place>/name<name>

 X-Ray

 Obviously, you can X-Ray for keywords that are likely to appear on the profiles:

site:about.me microsoft seattle software

Notice that the employer, location, name, and education are often present in the titles of the about.me profiles. You can try X-raying in a more precise manner by using the operator intitle:

site:about.me intitle:microsoft

Here’s an X-Ray for contact information example:

site:about.me C# gmail.com

Finally, for those who really dislike advanced Boolean operators, here is an

X-Ray About.me Custom Search Engine

Use the Public URL: X-Ray About.me – or

Search here:

Want to Source like a Pro? Register for the repeat of the previously sold-out workshop “Sourcing without LinkedIn”

Date: Thursday, April 2, 2015
Time: 9AM PDT / 12PM EDT (Check Your Local Time for this Webinar)

The workshop is recorded and comes with one month of support on anything “Sourcing without LinkedIn”. Additionally, everyone who gets enrolled will get a Tip Sheet outlining various Sourcing sites, tools, and techniques. Sign up early; based on the previous experience, we expect the event to be sold out.

Review the outline and register

Diversity Associations Custom Search Engine

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We all know how much positive influence diversity provides in the workplace. As a follow-up to our recent, well-attended and appreciated Sourcing for Diversity Webinar, and to help to source from diversity pools of candidates, I’d like to share the new Custom Search Engine (CSE).

Public URL: Diversity Associations CSE

Shortcut: https://bitly.com/diversity-assoc

Here is how to use it: enter a location name or industry name, then use the refinements (Women, Hispanic, Black, Asian-American, Gay/Lesbian, Veterans, Disabled, or Minority) to find the specific associations to source from.

As an example, enter engineering as a keyword and use the Women refinement. Or, search for Texas and use the Black refinement.

Tip: to find associations with publicly posted member lists, search for one of:

  • Member list OR directory”
  • “Find a member” OR “search for members”

Try searching here – enter your keywords first:


Workshop “Sourcing without LinkedIn”

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loli1Announcing the online

Workshop “Sourcing without LinkedIn”

If you are searching for professionals, you cannot avoid using LinkedIn. However, everyone is performing similar searches and finding the same profiles; premium accounts are expensive; and, most importantly, about 85% of professionals are either not on LinkedIn or have “shallow” profiles with too few keywords to be found. (Even if you subscribe to “LinkedIn Recruiter”, you won’t find those potential candidates.) Don’t put your eggs in one basket! Anyone who wants to be productive and competitive in finding and reaching out to target professionals must use the multitude of resources and tools that exist outside of LinkedIn.

I invite you to join Head Sourcing Certification Program Instructor David Galley for an interactive, information-packed 90-minute workshop on “Sourcing without LinkedIn”. (The webinar with the same title has been the most popular webinar we’ve had for the last two years!) Watch a multitude of quick how-to demos on finding resumes, CV’s, profiles, and lists of professionals – on associations, forums, meetups, vertical sites, custom search engines, and more. The majority of the tools covered in the workshop will be free or low cost.

If you attend “live”, you’ll be able to request demos on specific searches and tools. If you can’t attend live, send your questions, and we’ll make sure you get the right information for your searches.

Who should attend: everyone who searches for professionals, including Recruiters, Sourcers, and Talent Acquisitions Managers. Some familiarity with Google searching would help to get the most out of the workshop.

Why you should attend: you will be able to instantly enrich your Sourcing toolbox and apply new methods to find potential candidates you couldn’t find before, and those that your competitors may miss.

Date: Thursday, March 26th, 2015
Time: 9AM PST / 12PM EDT (Check Your Local Time for this Webinar)

The workshop is recorded and comes with one month of support on anything “Sourcing without LinkedIn”. Additionally, everyone who gets enrolled will get a Tip Sheet outlining various Sourcing sites, tools, and techniques. Sign up early; based on the previous experience, we expect the event to be sold out.

Review the outline and register

 

 

What Doesn’t Work on LinkedIn

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I love LinkedIn and use it every day. LinkedIn has changed our profession, revolutionized sourcing and recruiting, and continues to be the #1 go-to site for the majority of recruiters, with no competition in sight. I am glad to share creative LinkedIn Sourcing techniques with my colleagues in blog posts, discussions, webinars, and as part of the Sourcing Certification Program. I moderate several LinkedIn groups, including the largest online community dedicated to Sourcing.

Lately, I’ve been running into some LinkedIn functionality that seems temporarily broken. Unfortunately, LinkedIn customer support (which was my first resort in getting bug fixes resolved until a few years ago) has not been helpful in fixing the issues, on multiple occasions.

I am sharing a few items here in this post, so that my colleagues are aware of them, and also with the hopes that these issues would be fixed!

I have tried my best to describe things precisely. If you encounter any of these, please comment and support me in helping to make the platform better. If the issues get fixed, I’d be very happy to report back to the community.

1. The area in LinkedIn that provides fantastic functionality and yet is currently seriously broken is

– Contacts –

It’s available in the menus, under “connections”, and it’s broken for everyone, I suspect. These observations were confirmed by several dozen of my colleagues, with large or small networks, paid and unpaid accounts.

contactsSo, what works and what doesn’t work in the Contacts?

To the best of my knowledge, none of the contact-populating functions – the ones within the outlined border in this screenshot below – currently work. These functions have been broken for about 6 months now.

contacts-not (1)

As an example, if you add contacts to the connected gmail account and “sync”; or create a new gmail account, add a few contacts and sync; or if you upload an Outlook file with contacts, even a file with a handful of records – that does exactly nothing. (No error message is being shown in these cases.) Adding contacts this way is “asynchronous”, so it requires some time to watch and see if there’s a difference. But there isn’t a difference anymore, even days later.

The Search for Contacts is (just slightly) broken. As an example, enter the word MBA in the search field, and you will see that the first 10 results have it, the rest of them, that you see as you scroll down, don’t. It is the same with any search by name.

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NETWORK VISIBILITY

Some LinkedIn users were not happy with the new Commercial Use Limit on Search. I personally find this reasonable (sorry :)) and was glad that at the same time the basic users got to see their networks, including the full profiles of the 3rd level contacts.

However, there’s a bug, for those of you with the basic accounts:

IF a person is your 3rd level and ALSO you have a group in common, you will see this “old” restricted view:

3rd-grp

BOOLEAN JOB SEARCH

It currently works for me, but I know that for a good number of members the Boolean job search is broken. As an example, here’s a colleague’s view of the search results for jobs at Apple OR Google:

job-search

In my account, I currently see 2,641 results for the above search.

BOOLEAN SEARCH FOR POSTS

OK, you cannot use Boolean search for posts. When you search for posts, all the keywords are simply combined. I wouldn’t say it’s a bug, but it is confusing to see the unified search include the types of searches that take different search syntax.

POST-search

 

GROUP MODERATION

It affects only group moderators; I’ll be brief here.

1) If a member posts spam and, as the group moderator, you would like to block the member from the group (or perhaps just make sure that this person’s contributions are always looked at before posted on the group). Previously there was an easy way to access these controls right from the offensive post. Now, the group manager has to: copy the member name; go to the list of members; search for that member; then apply the filters. Search for the group members is not reliable either; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

2) Previously, if you invited new people to join the group: a) people who are already group members, did not get the invitation; b) invited people, whose profiles were found on LinkedIn, were identified in the “invited” list. Now, both a) and b) are broken.

That’s it for now. Your comments are appreciated.

Search Outside of a Geo-Area on LinkedIn

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I’d like to share a tip on how to search LinkedIn for the members outside of a certain geographical area.

There are at least two good reasons to search outside of an area:

1. If you search by keywords, with no location specified, you are likely to see the top results from your own area – LinkedIn thinks that finding people who live nearby is a high priority.

To illustrate, here’s an example search from an account, whose owner resides in the San Francisco Bay Area:

my-area-default

If you want to see some profiles outside of your area, with the existing search UI, all you can do is specify each of the other areas and look there; not exactly convenient.

2. If you are a Recruiter and you have exhausted searching in a target area, and now want to look for people who might want to relocate, you would want to search outside of that target area. That’s the second case.

Before LinkedIn switched to the Galene search algorithm, we couldn’t do much about that type of a search. Galene brought in all sorts of changes. One new search feature – that is not described in any documentation, by the way – is that geo-location names and industry names on LinkedIn profiles are now included in the search index. I.e. you can search for “San Francisco Bay Area” or “Auckland, New Zealand” in the keywords and find people from those areas. (Sure enough, there might be “false positives” – members who used these words in the body of their profiles. However, company locations are not included in the search index; so it’s “not too bad”).

With that in mind, it’s quite straightforward to construct a search that will be looking outside of an area; just add NOT <area-name> in the keywords to the search:

outside

So, to address the two search challenges outlined at the beginning of the post: when you are searching without a location specified, you might want to also search excluding your own area, as shown above. If you are a Recruiter, you can search for non-local candidates, who might relocate. Say, you can search for professionals in the US outside of the Greater Chicago Area.

To summarize:

Tip: exclude, using the operator NOT, the full geo-location name in the keywords in a LinkedIn  search, to find members outside of that geo-area.

When you use the tip, look up the way LinkedIn spells out the target area – it’s best to include its exact name in quotes:

…NOT  “Greater New York City Area”

…NOT “Amsterdam Area, Netherlands”

(etc.)

That’s it!

Now – sorry – I have mislead you a little bit. The above is almost true, but not 100% true. Some profiles of the members in a given area will still be found if you exclude the area name in the keywords field. Some of those might be members who spelled out, as the location, their town vs. the standard geo-area name (e.g. “San Francisco, California” vs “San Francisco Bay Area”). Some other profiles are included for no apparent reason. However, those profiles constitute only about .1% (based on the tests I’ve run), so that should not diminish the technique’s usefulness.

LinkedIn Recruiter (LIR) search is different (surprise!) – it firmly excludes everyone in a location if you exclude the location name in the search:

area-name-LIR

(They show a nice Unicorn icon for “no results” in LIR.)

Let me know how the described tip works out for you.

P.S. As a warning, please don’t jump to conclusions, trying to exclude a whole country vs. a LinkedIn-named geo-area; it may not work as well. Galene remains, for the most part, a mystery.