Most of us have target companies in mind when we search. For some of our jobs at Brain Gain Recruiting the target companies are the “Big 4” and other large consulting companies. LinkedIn conveniently offers us to search by past or by present companies. If you start typing a company name in the advanced people search dialog, it prompts for including companies as you type.
There are some subtleties though and I’d like to point out some of them today.
- How many Big 4 com companies do you think there are? Correct, those companies merged, bought each other and split businesses in the past. However, it’s not the end of our investigation. Companies on LinkedIn are entered and edited by employees. As a result, as an example, these companies are listed as different ones: Deloitte Consulting and Deloitte; PwC Consulting and PwC; Accenture and Accenture Technology Solutions. If we work with the company prompt in the people search dialog, we need to take this into account: look for and use all possible spellings of a company name.
- Looking this way we will still miss some people, because they entered their company name in an unusual format or with some additional info. This LinkedIn member lists his employers as “Accenture – Large Consumer Electronics Retailer“, “Accenture – Large Semi-Conductor Equipment Manufacturer“, and “Accenture – South African Mint“. He can be found by searching in the keywords field but not by picking the company from the menu list.
- Further, LinkedIn allows people to add new companies to their profiles and not close the date on the past company. This is reasonable, but it’s important not to miss a current target company. This profile (found by this string by the way) has 3 current companies listed.
- Finally, those of us with paid accounts have access to “total years of experience” or “years of experience at a company”. We need to keep in mind that poorly filled out profiles (which doesn’t mean poor candidates at all) will not show up in the right place in those searches; here’s an example.
Many of the same considerations can be successfully applied to other candidate search systems.
Hope that helps. 🙂