Basic LinkedIn Searches NOT in Recruiter


For those of us who have the expensive LinkedIn Recruiter license (I have it too), there’s a danger of spending all of the sourcing time with the “paid” search capabilities, while missing some ways to search, that are not as “mainstream”, could provide the desirable additional results and make us more competitive!

Last week I we held the Powerful Sourcing Contest asking for three searches on LinkedIn that are NOT available in LinkedIn Recruiter, but are available in a Basic (and any personal) account. Here are some:

1. Find Alumni

This search is just amazing and is often missed by Sourcers. It has lots of ways to search, that the advanced people search dialog doesn’t provide, – not in a personal account and not in LIR (LinkedIn Recruiter). Start using it now (change your school to a different school and use the multiple available search parameters on two screens, as well as Boolean keyword search):

Find Alumni

2. Search for Connectionsconnectionssearch


You can search for all connections of – and narrow the search further down using other search facets:

  1. Yourself
  2. Your 1st level connections who have chosen to show their full list of connections with their connections in the preferences. (Sorry for the confusing language but it reflects what’s true.)

The URL for the search is

Add your LinkedIn member ID, or your connections’ ID, to get to the search. Or, start by searching for the connection, as on the screenshot above, and click on the (highlighted in red) link with the little people icon.

You can search for connections in common- and narrow the search further down using other search facets – for:

  1. Any of our 1st level connections
  2. Any of our 2nd level connections

The URL is the same as above with an additional piece pointing to the 1st level connections (f_N=F). Indeed, the connection in common are the connections of the other member who are your first level connections:

3. Search for Similar

The search for “similar” is available when you click on the green Similar link in the search results. The link is available for members who are in your network.



The challenge with any sort of “similarity” is that it needs to be defined in a context. What matters most – company, job title, location, or skills? The advantage of the Similar search is that it can be further refined by using other search facets.

The URL is

From our experience, LinkedIn has 100 “similar” suggestions for any member. Interestingly, some of the similar for out-of-network members can be discovered by viewing their profiles.

There are more ways to search from a personal account, and some nuances, that may help you to find extra target professionals. Sign up for the (sold-out last time) webinar Powerful Sourcing on LinkedIn on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014, to learn much more, get 100% up-to-date on LinkedIn search capabilities, and learn ways around its new limitations.


Powerful Sourcing with LinkedIn – Webinar 9/10/2014

UPDATE: the webinar was sold out and will be repeated once more on September 10.

The webinar got rave reviews from the participants, naming it a “fire hose” of information; “informative and intriguing”. Other feedback: “Great information for users of all experience levels.”; “learnt really good little tips I never paid attention to”; “it was great.  Learnt so much”. (& more)


Attend this new webinar to get completely up-to-date on the ever-changing Sourcing functionality of LinkedIn. Learn creative ways to uncover potential candidates, whom others won’t find.

Seating is limited, so be sure to register today.

Powerful Sourcing with LinkedIn

With the “retirement” of many LinkedIn features, the perception is that the available Sourcing options are shrinking. Nothing could be further from reality! LinkedIn has also added many new features that provide new ways to search for and connect with professionals, no matter what industry or location you are targeting.

In this information-packed webinar, you will learn:

  • What has changed in LinkedIn’s functionality and its search algorithms, and how it affects us
  • How to control the people search dialog and overcome its limitations
  • How to utilize the LinkedIn Contacts to source, cross-reference, and verify contact information, (all from a free Basic account!)
  • …and more.

While most of the material will be applicable to everyone’s practice, no matter what type of account you might have, there is also coverage of the most interesting functionality of the Talent Pipeline (often overlooked by busy LinkedIn Recruiter users). We’ll also cover Sourcing features that are only available from personal accounts and are not available in Recruiter.

Additionally, you get a tip sheet with a list of top LinkedIn URLs and hints to keep around while you are sourcing for professionals.

Who should attend

Recruiters, Talent Acquisition, Staffing, Sales, Marketing, Business Development, Management, Social Media specialists and everyone who wants to utilize the top business network in all possible ways and to understand the scope and the impact of the numerous recent changes.

What you will learn

If you “have already searched on LinkedIn”, chances are that after the webinar you will be able to find other target professionals and information, that others may have missed, will find more information about people who are already in your target lists, and your performance will skyrocket!.

Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Time: 9AM PDT / 12PM EDT — (Check Your Local Time for this Webinar)

Can’t make it? That’s okay! Anyone who registers will receive the complete recording, slides, bonus tip sheet, and one full month of support – whether you attend live or not.

Duration: 90 minutes
Included: The slides for the webinar, a complete recording of the webinar, and one month of Unlimited Support.
Included: A Tip Sheet of “Top” LinkedIn Shortcuts.

–> SOURCING CONTEST (is now closed)

Name three (distinctly) different searches that you can perform from a personal (basic) account and cannot perform in LinkedIn Recruiter (#LIR) – and attend the webinar Powerful Sourcing with LinkedIn  as a guest.

Please email me the answers.

Good luck! :)

Databases @ Your Library


If you do online research, don’t overlook your local public library. It’s an excellent resource of online information, not just on books and publications, but also on businesses. In this post, I will specifically write about the US Public libraries. Many other countries would have similar services offered at public libraries.

While Librarians are certainly skilled at organizing and searching for info, guess what… there’s not even a list of all the libraries or “just” the public libraries in the US. As the American Library Association points out,  “A directory of all libraries in the United States does not exist. ”  Currently there are about 9 thousand public libraries.


To get access to online info via a public library you would need a library card number, also called a barcode (there’s a barcode on the physical card). Some libraries would only hand those (physical cards with numbers on them) out in person. Some other libraries offer online registrations that lets you to obtain a card number. Some libraries offer to issue cards for non-local people; in some cases, for a fee within a couple hundred dollars. The rules vary.

Bottom line, if you live in the US, you can get access 1) to the databases provided by your local library and, possibly, 2) to databases provided by some other libraries. However, you are on your own for the research on the latter; there is no official way to search on that (and, as we know, there’s no library list either).

It goes without saying that when you use a database, it’s important to comply to the rules for its usage via the library.


The details of sign-ups for various libraries wouldn’t have mattered if all public libraries gave us access to the same business info. But they don’t. Libraries sign up for the databases of their choice, to offer access to their library card holders.

There are several databases, offered by public libraries, worth our (Researchers’) attention. The first one is Reference USA. It should be obvious by now, that there’s no way to find out which libraries subscribe to Reference USA – or to any other specific database, for that matter. A work-around is Googling for that.

The post, so far, contains information that I had figured out by doing online research and comparing various library sites. (Please let me know if you see any errors in the provided overview). The rest of the post, below, is just a quick glance at this first database of interest. I will follow up with another post about more databases.

Reference USA

Take a look and you will see several databases it’s comprised of, on the home page. (Note, however, that your library will usually only subscribe to a subset of those, not to all). ReferenceUSA offers the listings of 24 MLN US-based businesses, along with lists of managerial names and titles; 855K-strong Healthcare Professionals Directory; accurate White Pages with 89 MLN listings; and “US Consumers/Lifestyles” database (that can at least help you to verify where someone lives if their phone number is unlisted). Plus, there’s similar info on Canadians, and finally, a “OneSource” Database with international companies (that last one, I have not seen first-hand).

Here’s, for example, what the result for searching for Fortune 1000 companies in ReferenceUSA looks like. A limited number of records can be downloaded in Excel format.


Here’s what one company record looks like. Interestingly, at ReferenceUSA they show two diversity fields, gender, and ethnicity – on which you can also search. (You will not find that on LinkedIn!)



I will provide an overview of one or two more databases, accessible via public libraries, in an upcoming post.


Talent Mapping = Sourcing + Competitive Intelligence

“…one of the most overlooked techniques for companies to employ.”Minolta DSC


I’ve long wanted to write a post about “Talent Maps”, which I see as a tool, as well as a strategic part of Recruiting and Sourcing. This post was triggered by several recent interactions with colleagues.

Apparently, in the UK, as well as in Australia and New Zealand, Recruiters are fans of “Talent Maps” (also dubbed as “Market Maps”). Unsurprisingly, definitions vary. However, Talent Maps don’t seem to be a popular way to Source and Research here in the US or in Canada. I wonder why! It’s known here and there, but there’s not much discussion on that; and, simple Googling would mostly take you away from North America.

Should companies in the US include “Talent Mapping” as a best practice? Would there be a market for those services, to cut recruiting costs? I am especially interested to hear from those who have heard about Talent Maps but haven’t implemented in practice.


Here is a definition from a UK-based site:

Market Mapping/ Talent Mapping: this involves delivery of a robust map of your competitors within defined target organisations, further broken down into segmented groups or teams[…] identifying target pools of candidates according to your set criteria, for example by title, seniority or location […]

Here’s from an Australian site:

Talent Mapping is the targeted identification and engagement of people with skills to fill both existing, newly created and future roles in your organization. […]

As you can already see from the definitions, Talent Mapping is not “just” Sourcing or “Pipelining” for a role. It is also Competitive Intelligence Research, and reveals the big picture, along with identifying target professionals.


I’d like to share some observations “from the field”.

Based on our interactions with several attending Recruiters and Managers at the recent Sourcing Summit, Talent Maps sound like a common practice for both corporate recruiters and agency recruiters (those who get repeated business). There are also firms specifically producing Talent Maps on demand.

“Talent Maps”, as an Australian colleague told us, are often stored in excel files, listing professionals with contact info, roles, companies, locations, some social links, some news info, and some sort of a status for each. However (as opposed to an output for a Sourcing Project for a role), Maps include “everyone” (not just some target professionals), for a given specific background. Updates with a “may be ready to make a move” status are made on a regular basis; those often simply come from networking (calls, emails).

These Maps serve as pipelines for repeated recruitment requests – but with the additional quality that they cover pretty much everyone for an industry/location/seniority/job title combination. Because of that, Maps also serve as a source of Competitive Intelligence. They provide: full identification of competitors; their locations (i.e. where the talent is/isn’t); “mapping” for the titles for similar job roles across competitors; and industry news summaries, as to what the competition is doing (hiring/firing/restructuring, etc.)

To provide for a more complete description, the Talent Map data can include other fields, such as: salaries; moves and promotions; and some reporting structure. In addition to some table data, a Map can include data in different formats, such as graphical representations, geographical maps, or org charts. (Of course, creating organizational charts for is different from Talent Mapping – that would include profiling “everyone” for a company vs. “everyone” for a role.)


My recent Sourcing Project was finding “everyone” in a specific executive role in the Construction industry and a specific sub-industry at a private company There were probably only about twenty-five people who fit the bill altogether. That was certainly a request to create a Map! An associate helped me to touch base with each person, to get a sense of their potential interest for a move; that we also included in the output for the client.


My good friend Martin Lee, who is now VP, Head of Sourcing & Research at EMEA & APAC at Kelly Services, used to supervise Talent Maps’ creation at his past company. He says: “I think it is one of the most overlooked techniques for companies to employ.”

Martin explains, “[Mapping] is done in two stages, Identification and Approach. Research companies charge for one or both but the Approach is the most revealing and best done by telephone so to do it properly requires cultural and multiple language capability”.


In her talk at the Sourcing Summit Australia, Lauren Stanton, a Talent Sourcing Manager at EY, shared commonly used “mind mapping” tools that can be used to create visual representations, complementary to the Excel data of Talent Maps. Those included: MindMeister; XMind; MindManager; and Coggle.

That’s it for now.

If you are recruiting:

–        Do you currently include Talent Maps creation as part of what you do?

–        If you don’t, would a Talent Map service be valuable?

Your input and comments are welcome.





What Google Can’t Find in Australia and NZ

(This post is about what Google can’t find, with Australia- and NZ- based examples. It should be useful for everyone, no matter where they live.)


At the recent Sourcing Summits NZ and Australia I asked the audience to name some cases where web pages would not be found by Google. Examples provided included: “some people are not online” (at all!) and “if I am logged in to my bank, I hope Google doesn’t find this info”.

Further, we agreed, that if anyone is logged-in to a member site (whether paid or not), then the pages seen by that individual contain “inside” data, often personalized to the member, and therefore, in most cases, cannot be found by Google.

Another example brought up was “a page with search results”, using a search engine, or using any site providing search. Those results are pulled onto one page just for us to look at them that once. The pages with search results are usually short-lived; Google will not find them.

There are a few more general categories of web pages, that Google will not find, not covered by the above. One case to remember is that webmasters can tell Google to stay away from some pages. Websites can prevent Google from indexing portions of the sites, by providing directives in the file named robots.txt. Google will respect the rules.

It’s not true that Google can find “most of it” either (as someone said they’d hope). Here’s what the big picture looks like:


(By the way saying “Deep Web search on Google”, an expression I heard from an American colleague -who also claimed good skills in that – is not right. Deep Web is, by definition, what Google can’t find.)

Of course, Google finds LOTS and is worth extensively using for research.

It’s important, however, to straighten the expectations about what can be found and what can’t. Here’s a specific case that may not be clear upfront. Even if you do not have to log into a site – some of the site’s pages, dynamically created in response to a search, or, more generally, pages, pulling out from a database and including some info “dynamically”, just to show the page, may not be found by Google.


As an example, let’s consider a search for corporate members on the Recruitment Association RCSA


Sure enough, the page depicted above is “constructed dynamically” – and will not be found by Google.

Let’s also look at one of the results:



This page, while being “just” a listing page for a member, cannot be found by Google either! None of the four member listing pages found in the search above, can be found by Google. If you are in doubt, you can try searching for them: “”

Generally, if you see a question mark ? in a page’s URL, like for the page above, chances are split in terms of Google finding the page. It may, it may not; it depends. (We’ll go into investigating a bit deeper in a future post.)

The moral of the story is: if it’s not straightforward whether a site can be “fully” X-Rayed for content, it is always a good idea to try searching both by X-Raying and “internally”. You might be finding more results by combining both ways. In the RCSA example above, internal searches will provide about 98% listings that X-Ray won’t.

For an in-depth Sourcing Methodologies study and specific Australia- and NZ-based examples to illustrate and work with, please check out my upcoming Webinar (Aug 26, 2014).

Sample Sourcing Certification Exam Questions


Are you interested in getting certified?

Our – substantially reworked and improved in 2014 – Sourcing Certification Program now offers to take the Exam and Getting Certified independently of signing up for subscription to the interactive materials, as we have called them, “The SourceBook“.

You would definitely be well prepared if you subscribe to the material. But if you feel ready and confident, you can give the Exam a try and become Certified. The Exams are offered monthly, at the end of each month. The next round is coming up at the end of August 2014, and we already have quite a few folks signed up for it.

For those who are curious, here are a few sample Exam questions. Please note: no answers will be provided to these; of course, you are welcome to compare the notes in the comments. The questions are not too difficult, but you’d need t do a bit of research for each one. The Exam has 60 questions to answer.

Q1) For the person whose work phone number is 413-794-3248, what is her work email address?

Q2) Find a page on the High Country Fusion Company website, listing the company’s Australia staff. One of the people listed on the page does not have a LinkedIn account. What is the last name of that person?

Q3) One of the Engineering staff listed in this Directory has a work phone number publicly shared on his LinkedIn profile. What is that number?

Q4)  The site  has an Excel file (the xlsx type) that contains a long list of professionals with the names, company names, titles, emails, phone numbers, and addresses. How many records does the list have?

Q5) Complete the search string by replacing the ??? by a word, to create a Google search for profiles of members of Florida Direct Marketing Association:

Q6) Which of the following search strings on Google will find not only the pages with the word Programmer, but also some pages with of its synonyms?

  1. Programmer
  2. ~Programmer
  3. Programmer OR Developer OR Engineer
  4. Any one of the above will work

That’s it for now! Additionally, you can test your Sourcing knowledge on the site and get a response from an auto-checker.

The informational materials on the Sourcebook, including an outline and a sample video – can be found on the Certification site.

Roads Less Taken


By all means we should be reaching for the “low hanging fruit” first. To find the target potential candidates we should first go to the ATS, search on Job Boards and on LinkedIn. It would be silly to ignore the easy available sources and do something “exotic” instead.

However, everyone else is also going to the same search dialog on LinkedIn and typing in similar, if not the same, keywords, based on the role. As a result, for the popular roles, the same LinkedIn members get similar-sounding InMails. This leads to: 1) their annoyance and 2) our drop in productivity.

Yet some professionals do have profiles on LinkedIn, could be perfect matches for the roles, and are rarely found.

Here’s how to

Find Hard-to-Find Professionals That Others Don’t

The below Sourcing Scenario is based on using MS Outlook Social Connector that I wrote about earlier, describing how to find almost anyone’s email in that post.

I’ll use an example just discussed at the Sourcing Summit in New Zealand. As you will see, some of the professionals identified this way would not be found by the above LinkedIn search – even using a very long Boolean OR statement.

Step 1. (Step away from LinkedIn for a bit.) Search for JavaScript Developers on Github in NZ:


 Step 2. Collect the email addresses using an email extractor of your choice; then go to the Outlook Social Connector:


Step 3. Review the profiles.


As you can see, this way you may find skilled professionals, whom others are not likely to find. This is a road less taken – but it’s not hard to take at all.

The MS Outlook Connector is not the only way to perform this kind of “Lazy” Sourcing (where I described the general concept) but it is certainly an excellent sourcing and a general productivity tool. I recommend using it.

P.S. Sourcers –  Any guesses where the above photo was taken? :)

Sourcing Methodologies – Thu July 24th, 2014



In this newly developed webinar, “Sourcing Methodologies”,  I will cover several innovative sourcing and research concepts, that, once put to work, are going to make your Sourcing soar to the new heights! (See the registration link below.)

“X-Raying”, “Flipping” and “Peeling” are ways to source talent, that were named and conceptualized fifteen years ago. While they remain perfectly applicable and useful, today’s Internet has a gigantic volume and much more complex structure, compared to back then. The modern Sourcing Theory, that I will cover, takes full advantage of what today’s Internet offers. The material is as an outcome of creative (my and colleagues) hands-on Sourcing Practice across industries.

I have named some selected concepts below; sign up for the webinar for the full, detailed coverage, along with plenty of examples.

1. “Visualize Success”: imagine what you are going to find, then use that to find the target pages. While this sounds like a common sense approach, some of its “extreme” applications may surprise you.

2. “Follow the Leads”: identify your ideal candidate online, then find other promising profiles by looking up that professional’s traces online. Consistently following those traces (as described in a post sometime ago) works wonders, especially if your target professionals are members of committees, associations, or other professional “gatherings”.

3. “Sourcing without Searching” (described in the previous post as  “Lazy Sourcing”): obtain a set of data with known structure (such as emails, resumes, or lists of contacts) from the web, then, parse, sort, and filter. There are some true gems that can be found this way. Existing tools make it doable by anyone, not just by “geeks”.

4. “Cross-Referencing”: starting from incomplete initial data, build up professional profiles by locating and assembling the professional bio details. It’s now powered by Social Lookup tools (such as MS Outlook Social Connector) and by creative uses of existing functionality of Social Networks.

While you may already be using some elements of these concepts in your day-to-day sourcing, being aware of the theory behind it will facilitate consistent productivity – and enjoyment – of your work. Get on the phone with that potential candidate faster!

Who should attend: Recruiters, Sourcers, and everyone looking for professionals online.

The webinar will be especially useful for those who feel that their resources are getting exhausted, or that their sourcing is too labor-intensive, and are looking for new ways to source.

Date: Thursday July 24th, 10 AM Pacific Time
Length: 90 minutes
Register: [NOTE - JULY 24: THE REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. PLEASE CONTACT GEORGE@SOURCINGCERTIFICATOIN.COM WITH QUESTIONS]: (you will receive the login instructions within 24 hours after submitting a payment; you will get all the materials one day after the webinar)
Included: Slides, video-recording, and one month of support applying theory to practice

Seating is limited; sign up early.

“Lazy” Sourcing


I imagine that you would agree with me that advanced Boolean searching for talent on Google is harder than searching on a job board or on LinkedIn, which, in turn, is harder than sorting and filtering a list of professionals in an Excel table. Sure enough, advanced search offers control over the results, but in some cases it becomes very elaborate even for skilled Sourcers – and inefficient as well.

An example is searching for “all” women names in searches for diversity. The challenges would be: limits on the length of the search string and the number of keywords; (severe) limits on the numbers of results displayed for any search; and some names that can be either male and female, to name a few.

As another example, an exhaustive Boolean search using job titles would require significant upfront research for what these professionals are called at target companies (that could vary greatly!) and will run into the search limitations as well.

Yet even if there’s a large Excel file, and even if some records have no relevance to the target whatsoever, you might pick up the promising records quickly. More generally, if you put your results into a system capable of searching, sorting, and filtering, that would make a difference in searching efficiency and the results. Searching in a set of records is much easier than searching among volumes of unstructured web pages.

So here’s a concept of  “Lazy Sourcing”. Post a job… no, I didn’t mean to talk about that.

“Lazy Sourcing”: get tons of info, perhaps most if it being irrelevant, then filter out what’s good.

As one example, you could search for text and Word files, that are, potentially, resumes, using simple, open-ended searching (vs. exhaustive keyword combination searching) and save them on your hard drive using Outwit Doc; then, search within the files. If many of the found files are not even resumes, that is fine too and is easier to digest when you have the files handy. (You can do the same with PDF files, but then you might need additional software for searching within the set – actually, if you have one to recommend, please do.)  Use a resume parser if you have access to one.

Another example would be collecting email addresses on an Association site (if it’s doable, of course), then cross-referencing against LinkedIn (just use the technique described in the referenced post) and only reviewing the records matching your target locations and companies. Note that this would not require any keyword searching at all. Additionally, if you did search with keywords you wouldn’t be finding many of the records that show us using this technique.

You would certainly need to eyeball the results before taking any action, but that is necessary no matter how you begin.






Searching for Contact Info

email-linkedinHere’s a brief note on searching for contact information on LinkedIn. Positing visible contact info on the profiles is discouraged; but, as we know, many members do, particularly those who are Recruiters, Sales, and “Open Networkers”.

At the same time, LinkedIn quietly takes some measures for us to see less of that contact info.

As an example, a search for “” in the UK population returns about 250 results, while an X-Ray for “” returns “About 3,570 results” and shows about 700. Sure enough, there may be false positives in the X-Ray, but it’s easy to locate some profiles found in X-Ray that are not included in the above LinkedIn internal search. If you are still in doubt, here is a more narrow search; compare internal search vs. X-Ray for the London, UK Area.

Here is another interesting example, showing the same tendency. Search for “com” in the last name, narrow to a the Greater Chicago Area; compare Internal search (under 200 results; 3 more if you search in the first name field) vs. X-Ray (About 460 results).

The moral of the story is that X-Raying for gmail-based email addresses and, possibly, anything else that points to an email address included in the profiles, would bring much better results than internal search.

As a side note, there’s quite a bit of other interpretation going on in the LinkedIn internal search, which didn’t use to happen. Somehow the internal search often recognizes keywords that sound like last names and would interpret the search as if you put the keyword in the last name field. That means that profiles mentioning someone by name would not be found. More on that later…