Texting While Sourcing – By @Arron_Daniels

Author: Arron Daniels

Disclaimer: These views are Arron’s and not necessarily mine, but I think it’s a great topic to discuss. Big thanks to Arron for offering the post and also for recently holding one of the most engaged Bi-weekly Chats on the Sourcer’s Network.

text

(photo credit)

I had the privilege of co-moderating Boolean Strings Network’s  Bi-Weekly People Sourcing Chat last week. Our chats can vary from tools, best tips/tricks, hacks, etc., but last week we spoke quite a bit regarding texting. There were many members who did not use texting as part of their communication with prospective candidates, and some who used it for follow up.  The biggest point of contention was the use of text messaging if there was no response from initial phone calls, or as cold texting as a first attempt.

I am a fan of texting at any point in the conversation, but it all depends on the user and their comfort level.  I wanted to share a few points of why I believe texting is relevant and how you can use it in your outreach process.

Before you text…

  • Understand your target– A smart sourcer once told me, “For us (sourcers), candidates are our currency. It doesn’t matter how we initiate conversation, as long as the message is clear, respectful of the person, and we know what we’re talking about…”  When you text someone, do your research. Once you get an opportunity to speak to this individual, it makes the conversation go a little smoother.
    • Know the role – Understand a “day in the life” as best you can to include a basic understanding of the technology/skill you are going to eventually ask this person about
    • Know “who” they are – Publications, white papers, college/certifications, awards, and anything else that can distinguish you from other recruiters/sourcers
  • Don’t blather- No one likes a rude, uninteresting, or long winded message. Test your messages with co-workers or professionals that you know in the same business as your target candidates.

Text with care…

  • Leave an impactful message- Don’t beat your prospective candidates into submission with a “apply here” link or even worse, sending the job description (even by text) when they don’t know who you are or they never asked for it. Here is an example I used in our chat:

arron

  • Get to the point- Let them know who you are, what you want, and something to garner their interest. You’re not writing a book; you are getting them to call you/schedule a time to call you.

Texting isn’t for everyone…

There are still recruiters and sourcers out there who will not embrace texting either out of comfort or their candidate market doesn’t align with texting (and in some places outside of the United States it’s illegal). If you haven’t tried texting because you think it’s “spammy” or impersonal, I have a few questions for you.

Have you given it an honest try?

  • Texting one or two people without result is not an honest try. Build it into your outreach methods and track time to response and response rate

What’s the difference?

  • What is the difference between an impactful message in an unsolicited email versus an unsolicited text message?  Response rate.  Depending on the article/study you read, they will differ, but text messages are consistently in the 90%+ open rate while emails (on a successful campaign) are anywhere from 60%-75%

Are you texting from your phone?

  • Texting from a phone (personal or company) is a pain. This is a chief complaint I get from non-texters. Why jam your fingers into a tiny screen when you have the ability to send messages from Google Voice (great Chrome extension for Google Voice)?

Texting isn’t a revolution for everyone, but it can be a new beginning if it’s uncharted territory. Give texting a try and comment below on what text platforms you use and your thoughts about texting prospective candidates.

Be sure to tune into next week’s chat on July 23, 2015, 11:00 am EST where @Megan Calimbas will be the moderator.  Happy Sourcing!

Sourcing on Facebook, Twitter, and Google-Plus: New Webinar!

fbtwg

As Sourcers and Recruiters, we face increasing costs for searching and messaging on the dedicated professional networks and decreasing performance on job boards. It’s time to review the sourcing capabilities of the “other” major Social Networks: Twitter, Facebook, and Google-Plus. These Social Networks do not identify as the designated sites to recruit professionals, yet they contain huge volumes of professional information and provide incredibly easy ways to message target professionals.

Join the webinar to get up-to-date on the searching and messaging tools Twitter, Facebook, and Google-Plus offer. Learn how to take advantage of the recently changed software features and the new tools . We’ll provide comprehensive coverage of Sourcing tips and strategies for each of the three networks, to help you decide what percentage of your time to spend on each one for the optimized ROI and which tools would serve you the best.

The webinar will cover many hands-on sourcing tips, including accessing the Facebook Graph search (that is “officially” gone); searching the  Twitter’s Firehose; X-Raying Google-Plus and other sites based on semantic markup; emailing Facebook members without using the messaging system; using new Twitter messaging and retweeting capabilities. Additionally, we’ll go over social lookup tools that locate professionals on these networks, get additional data on their professional skills, and make the initial messages highly relevant and initial calls – warmer.

The webinar registration is now open. Dates: Lecture – Tuesday, July 21st, 2015; optional Practice – Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015. Hurry! Seating is limited.

Searching for Persons on the Internet Using Semantic Markup

person

Since search engines index all sorts of pages, finding the pages only with profiles of people is a challenging task.

Our usual way to find profiles only is:

  1. Narrow down the search to a site that has profiles (X-Ray).
  2. Add some keywords common to all profiles and rarely found on other pages (often in the titles or URLs of the profiles), and then add other keywords.

Sometimes this results in long and awkward search strings, that may bring up some false positives as well.

While web pages can have any content, webmasters do have some ways to tell search engines what kinds of objects a web page contains, by adding a special HTML code to the page. In this post, I am not going to dive deep into technical details. I will cover the underlying technology very lightly, explain how to build custom search engines, and share a CSE for Google-Plus Profiles. (Skip the technical parts if you like).

SLIGHTLY TECHNICAL PART (FEEL FREE TO SKIP)

The site schema.org has definitions of many objects that search engines will recognize; a “Person” is one of those types. To point to an object of a particular type, a web page needs to have a piece of HTML, naming that object. As an example, a web page can “tell” the search engines that it has a “Person” object.

This schema.org/person code is not visible when we look at the pages. There’s no easy way to search for it using Google or other search engines either. However, Google Custom Search Engines now offer a way to narrow the search down to only pages with a given type of an object. We can take advantage of that.

CUSTOM SEARCH FOR PERSONS 

In the Custom Search Engine setup dialog, point to the site to X-Ray and add the “Person” object as defined by Schema.org. In the screenshot, I have entered Google-Plus as the site to X-Ray for profiles:

cse

If the site supports the “person” markup – that is all we need to do, to create a custom search engine to look for Persons only! Not surprisingly, Google-Plus does support the markup.

Here’s the

CUSTOM SEARCH ENGINE TO LOOK FOR PEOPLE ON GOOGLE-PLUS

Public CSE link: http://bit.ly/Google-Plus-Persons

Here’s an “unofficial” CSE link to get up to 1,000 search results:

http://bit.ly/Google-Plus-1000

I will cover the topic of Sourcing on Google-Plus and other major Social Networks at the upcoming webinar.

Googling for LinkedIn Profiles

xray

This is a refresher on searching for LinkedIn profiles via Google (“X-Raying” LinkedIn) and links to a Custom Search Engine for those who don’t want to write complex Boolean Strings.

LinkedIn has many public pages that Google indexes: profiles, company pages, job posts, and more.

Public member profiles have URLs that include either “/in” or “/pub” after “linkedin.com” – for example, https://ch.linkedin.com/in/sarahsantacroce and https://www.linkedin.com/pub/sarah-santacroce/72/b33/508

To find any pages on LinkedIn, use the search string site:linkedin.com on Google.
To find public profiles, use
site:linkedin.com/in OR site:linkedin.com/pub

To make things slightly complicated, LinkedIn puts “directories” of profiles under “/pub” as well;  for example:
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Sarah/Santacroce

To exclude those directories in the search results and see the public profiles only, use exactly this Boolean String template on Google:

site:linkedin.com/in OR site:linkedin.com/pub -pub.dir (add keywords).

To avoid the “/in’s” and “/pub’s” in the search syntax you can use this Google custom search engine:

>>> https://bitly.com/Search-LI (just enter the keywords)

To see more search results (up to 1,000), use this variation of the custom search engine:

>>> https://bitly.com/Search-LinkedIn

Top 25 Fake Profiles

LinkedIn-search

In this post, I am sharing some observations about the new (and unusual) public LinkedIn pages in the “Title Directory” and ways to discover them by X-Raying.

Note: To try out some of the following content and access the right links, it’s best to log out of LinkedIn.

The LinkedIn.com home page has links to various directories:

directories

It includes a Title Directory. If you browse the directory, you will see the “endpoint” pages that look like this: https://www.linkedin.com/title/benefits-specialist-at-ibm. (Don’t forget to log out or use an incognito window – it’s the only way to view the right content). The URLs for these pages start with linkedin.com/title; the page titles usually say something like “Top 25 (or 24, or 23)  <such-and-such specialists> at <company>”. Some page titles also include location names. What “Top” means in this context is a mystery! We’ll skip investigating that at the moment.

As all public pages, these “/title” pages help to drive traffic to LinkedIn. It’s an SEO (search engine optimization) thing.

Using Google, we can X-Ray the title directory in this fashion: site:linkedin.com/title (add keywords). This X-raying capability is not new; we have been able to X-Ray the title directory for several years now.

A few months ago the “title directory” started being populated with pages that sound different from the above example, “benefits-specialist-at-ibm”.

Without going into much detail, I will share some example results that come up in X-Raying the /title directory. Here’s an example using my name and a couple keywords:

“irina shamaeva” sourcing certification site:linkedin.com/title

(Somehow, at this point, the results contain “top 25 webmasters”; I have never been a webmaster!)

You can do similar X-Ray searches for your name and other professionals’ names. Add a few keywords, as in the example above, to make sure it’s that professional’s profile that will appear in the results. Let me know what you find!

Then, here are some other searches:

1) site:linkedin.com/title/fake (42 pages at the moment)

fake

2) site:linkedin.com/title/what (currently, 265 pages in the results – including the Top 24 What Not Profiles!)

3) site:linkedin.com/title/not is also interesting:

not

Though I saw some concerns from some members who also noticed the /title pages indexed by Google, I don’t think there are privacy issues related to it. I do know that there are new ways to Source using this relatively new expansion of public LinkedIn pages.

I will teach some related sourcing insights at the upcoming repeat of Overcoming LinkedIn Limitations webinar on July 7th.

Boolean Strings Sourcing Community Milestone

30K

The LinkedIn Group Boolean Strings – The Internet Sourcing Community, along with the Boolean Strings Ning Network, is the largest (by far!) community of professionals that talk about all things Sourcing.

A few days ago our LinkedIn group passed 30K members.

Compared to the time when I started the group, back in 2008, the Internet “traffic” is much heavier, yet we have kept informative, engaged conversations going within the Group all along. New members join us every day and everyone benefits from ongoing discussions.

I wanted to share some statistics.

CONTENT. On most LinkedIn groups, members see links to online posts as the most or all of the content. Few other groups – Recruiting-related or not – have the healthy balance between posts and discussions comparable to our group’s:

discussions

(In fact, I would challenge you to find any other LinkedIn groups that have more comments than posts! If you want to take a look, LinkedIn shows group statistics and activity for the groups under the settings icon in each group).

If you are a member, you are always welcome to post questions and comments on the group. We also allow posting jobs for Sourcers (only) in the Discussion section.

GROWTH. As of today, the group has 30,500+ members. Here are the growth charts:

growth

During the work hours in the most-represented locations, we have a new member join every 1/2 hour.

COUNTRIES. The Group has members from 123 countries! The largest countries represented are the US (~20K members), India (2,700+); United Kingdom (~1,800); Canada (~800); Australia (~700); Ireland (500+); Philippines (500+); Netherlands (~400); and Poland (200+). Other countries with larger representation include South Africa, Germany, Singapore, Hungary, UAE, New Zealand, China, Switzerland, Romania, France, Czech Republic, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Israel, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Mexico, Japan, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Italy, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Nigeria, Vietnam, and Finland.

INDUSTRIES. Not surprisingly, the majority of our members – 35% – come from the “Staffing and Recruiting” Industry, followed by HR, Information Technology, Computer Software, Internet, and Financial Services.

The “sister” Ning Network has 7,5K+ members from 88 countries. We’ve kept the popular free bi-weekly Sourcing CHATS going there for over five years now. Check out the upcoming Chats and Events.

Thanks to all members for your participation and let’s keep the conversation going!

 

 

 

Overcoming LinkedIn Limitations – Webinar

overcome-limitations

Overcoming LinkedIn Limitations

Double-Webinar: Lecture – Wednesday June 24, optional Practice – June 25

In 2015, we are witnessing tighter limits on using LinkedIn for Sourcing and messaging than ever before. All accounts, basic and paid, and even LIR (LinkedIn Recruiter) have newly introduced restrictions. Depending on the account, members face the limits on the numbers of search to perform per month; numbers of search results displayed; profile visibility; group messaging; and InMail usage. Additionally, X-Raying LinkedIn through Google has lost some of its power due to the recent public profile redesign.

It is everyone’s individual decision as to what type of LinkedIn account works best. However, no matter what type of account you have, you can increase productivity by using clever workarounds and “back doors”. In this new webinar, I will go over all the new limitations that slow down searching and messaging on LinkedIn and explain the ways to work around the restrictions, for every type of account.

Note: By signing up for the webinar, you commit to NOT sharing any of the tips online.

Overcoming LinkedIn Limitations – Lecture (Irina Shamaeva) – Wednesday June 24, 2015, 9 AM-10:30 AM PDT

Overcoming LinkedIn Limitations – Hands-on Practice (David Galley) – Thursday June 25, 2015, 9 AM-10:30 AM PDT

Included: the slides, video recording(s) for everyone who signs up to keep, and one month of support.

Seating is limited for both sessions.

Register for “Overcoming LinkedIn’s Limitations” now.

Expect to get the login information within one business day after your submit a payment.

 

 

 

 

Understanding the Universal Search on LinkedIn

LINBool

LinkedIn provides a universal search box on top of the home page, to Search for people, jobs, companies, and more…

You can search for “everything” or select the type of objects to search: People, Jobs, Companies, Groups, Universities, Posts, or Inbox.

In this post, I will cover the searches for each type of the object in the Universal search dialog.

If you think you can type a Boolean expression- as an example, (Developer OR Engineer) NOT Manager – and find any of those types of objects as the Boolean logic dictates, think again. It’s actually NOT the case.

Searching for each type of object has its own rules and they are NOT the same.

  1. Search for People accepts the Boolean syntax – AND, OR, NOT, ().
  2. Search for Jobs accepts Boolean (for me, but I heard others complaining that it doesn’t)
  3. Search for Companies accepts Boolean
  4. Search for Groups is not Boolean – it always works as an AND search – compare, for example, Group search #1 and Group search #2 – the results are identical
  5. Search for Universities is not Boolean – it always works as an AND search – compare, for example, University search #1 and University search #2 – the results are identical
  6. Search for Posts is not Boolean – it always works as an OR search – compare, for example, Post search #1 and Post search #2 and Post search #3 – the results are identical
  7. Search in Inbox  is not Boolean – and it’s up to you to find out how it works :)

Are you surprised? (Do you think it is a little confusing how this works, given that all these searches are combined in the Universal dialog?)

There are other search dialogs in LinkedIn that do and don’t support the Boolean search syntax.

Googling for Resumes is Obsolete

CV OR Resume

There are still many resumes on the Internet. Google is still by far the best search engine. However, Googling the world wide web for online resumes has stopped being productive for the majority of locations and industries, with few exceptions.

I’ll share some thoughts, as to why Googling for Resumes is Obsolete, shortly. Let us first look at a typical Google “Boolean String” in the style still taught in some Sourcing classes or auto-created by a “Boolean builder” system.

jquery javascript (engineer OR developer) (415 OR 650 OR “Bay Area” OR “San Francisco”) -embedded -expected -student -professor -designer -manager -scientist (filetype:pdf OR filetype:doc OR filetype:docx OR filetype:txt) (intitle:”CV” OR inurl:”CV” OR intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) -job -jobs -sample -samples -template -linkedin

In this example, I have used a “light” target keyword set – jQuery JavaScript (engineer OR developer). I have excluded some keywords (embedded, etc.) to make the search more focused. I have used some location keywords. The rest is a typical “template” search string.

Even with a search this “open-ended”, the number of results is small – and there are still plenty of false positives. We have found fewer than 100 resumes worth viewing; some of them are outdated.

(Note that the target here is Software professionals who are more likely to own websites and more comfortable posting content than many other professionals. In a search for accountants or registered nurses, chances to get any results at all would be slim.)

Compare the above Google search with these searches. (A comparison can only be approximate, of course; I am trying to look for similar target profiles):

You see? Way fewer people post resumes online on their sites, compared to ~10 years ago. Many more people post professional information on various social sites.

Here are some additional reasons why Googling for Resumes in the above “old style” is not productive.

  1. The location keywords are less precise than they used to be. Almost nobody lists zip codes on resumes (remember the Google numrange trick to look for those?). People list mobile phone numbers – so the area codes “travel” with their owners to the “wrong” locations.
  2. There are more online resumes in “document storage” type of sites (such as docstoc.com) than on personal sites – but a Google search like the above will not find them, since the template uses the operator filetype:
  3. Sites that want to sell resume search, have learned how to best structure their pages. Searches like intitle:resume OR inurl:resume OR intitle:CV… will often show teaser pages from those sites, with no useful info. This just complicates the search by creating a need to exclude these results.
  4. A long time ago, Google was showing the first 1,000 results if there were more results than that. Now, Google often “decides” to show 200, 300, or 600 maximum. Google usually responds to very long search strings with fewer results.

It’s time to stop Googling for Resumes “old-style”. I have and will be sharing ideas and methods that do work for Sourcing on this blog and elsewhere. You can count on that.

If you feel like seriously updating your Googling Sourcing skills, I recommend coming to the Boolean Basics presentation. It is a repeat of a recent webinar, now scheduled for June 16/17, 2015, in response to multiple requests. Here are three fresh quotes from the attendees: “great presentation and learned a few new tips.” “That was very informative and really wonderfully relayed.” and “This is the most in depth lesson I have had.”

Your Favorite Boolean Strings

favorite-strings

I have created the above word cloud out of the “Favorite Boolean Strings” submitted by the members of our Boolean Strings Sourcer’s Network on the Ning platform.

If you are a member, you can see everyone’s “Favorite String” when looking at their profile. You can also search for members’ search strings in the Member search dialog.

Prompted by the recent “Boolean Strings Basics” webinar, I took a look at this crowd-sourced library. Here are some data and reflections .

The most common words (operators) used are:

  1. OR – mentioned 2397 times
  2. AND – 707 times
  3. inurl: – 643 times
  4. site: – 224 times
  5. intitle: – 212 times
  6. filetype: 122 times

The most common keywords:

  1. resume – 107
  2. linkedin – 198
  3. jobs – 125 (perhaps being excluded from searches)
  4. cv – 120
  5. java – 102
  6. vitae – 76 (wow!)

Here are some observations on this crowd-sourced String Library.

1) Some search syntax has changed since members had posted their Boolean Strings. For example, the tilde ~ no longer works as a special symbol on Google.

2) Some search strings do not follow the correct search syntax. Mistakes in syntax include:

  1. using AND as an operator on Google
  2. searching for the symbol @ to look for email addresses on Google
  3. using an asterisk * as a wildcard (to look for part of a word) on Google.

I’ll publish a separate post about the most common Boolean Syntax mistakes.

3) The operator OR is overused. In some rare cases, perhaps more on LinkedIn than on Google, long OR statements continue to make you productive. In many cases of Googling, they would not.

4) A good number of the Favorite Strings are copied from a template that perhaps everyone has seen at some point:

…intitle:vitae OR intitle:CV … OR inurl:vitae (etc.)

The syntax is correct… However, these search strings were useful about 10 years ago – they rarely provide anything useful these days. Why? Few people publish their online resumes outside of some social networks or sites like about.me. Many vendors, who know how recruiters search for resumes, have flooded the internet with the sites having “resume”, “CV’, and “vitae” as part of their site URLs- only to try and get you in and pay for their services. There will be another blog post about that.

So – what is your today’s favorite String? :)

Let us know? Please edit yoru string on the Ning profile and please share on the Forum or on our LinkedIn Boolean Group.

Hint: You can source Boolean search strings on Google by searching for something like

Google site filetype inurl OR intitle

If you “borrow” one of the strings published somewhere, just make sure they follow the current search syntax and produce useful results.