2017 Changes to Four Major Tools

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Long ago, in a previous life, I was interviewing at a start-up, and a tired interviewer, noticing that my degree was in Math, sighed and said: “Mathematics is great! The fundamentals stay the same, always. You can count on them not to change”. True! (Obviously, the amount of change at that company was overwhelming at the time). Axioms are true and stay the same, by definition – what we make computers do, on the contrary, is in constant flux. Not only our tools constantly change. Some software tools machine-learn from experience and rewrite their own code to adjust!

I’ll write a post about the new tool concepts, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence in application to Sourcing soon, but this post is not it. Here I’ll run a quick overview of the recent changes in a few familiar tools and sites. I’ll be also updating the Tools page. A lot more Sourcing Tools, their assessments, and “how-to’s”, we will discuss at the once-a-year Productivity Tools Webinar next week (you shouldn’t miss it!)

Here are some notes for hands-on practitioners.

ZoomInfo (which was acquired this year) has redesigned its public profiles, leaving much less “stuff” to X-Ray. Still, we can “catch” email formats for larger companies by X-Raying or via the mentioned Custom Search Engine. With the new ZoomInfo UI, we all can see the names on the previewed records (which wasn’t the case before), but without a paid subscription, the search is too rudimentary.

Conclusion: Too bad about X-Ray – some may consider a subscription.

Indeed has redesigned public profiles, leaving people’s names out. You can only see the names when you are logged in. The change, of course, affects X-Raying. However, after a close study of the information that Indeed shares with Google, we don’t feel it’s important. Indeed.com (surprisingly, and quite differently from LinkedIn) doesn’t make a big effort to make public profiles indexed by the search engines. Some pages, such as jobs posted on Indeed, for example, are not indexed at all – by design!

Conclusion: do use Indeed (and its own search, which is excellent) as one of your sources.

(Side Note: another site that is “unfriendly” to X-Raying is Craigslist).

Starting sometime in 2018, we’ll need to message on Indeed via a subscription. Sounds fine. We can also source the contact info if necessary. It looks like the resume search remains free.

Github has removed public email addresses from logged-out profiles. (That presents a bit of a challenge for tools that scrape the addresses, such as People Aggregators – their data will be harder to update).  If you want to see public emails, log in; you will need to create an account just for that, but any “account” activity is non-existent (unless you write code). Google still “remembers” quite a few public emails that used to be on profiles but their number is diminishing.

Conclusion: combine X-Ray and the logged-in search.

This year, we got a zillion Github-related tools, including one that shows the “dominant” language.

LinkedIn is now Microsoft, but we are not sure yet what this means. And, LinkedIn is a site where pinpointing change is not easy and reporting once a year would be far not enough! Some of my posts this year examine how search algorithms worked at various given points, differently from one month to another. “Higher” paid products such as Recruiter, use a flawed design (“Boolean or company”, etc.) that is hard to digest for most users, myself included.

Conclusion: While searching on LinkedIn, just use Boolean where possible, to avoid confusion. Keep an eye on unexpected LinkedIn interpretations.

LinkedIn continues to expand its data – not just in new memberships. With the introduction of the “open to new opportunity” flag and data, posted content, job applications, etc., LinkedIn continues to acquire data and remains at the core of professional searches, globally. No way it can be “replaced” by another tool.

With (even paid) LinkedIn search powers, unfortunately, diminishing this year, we’ve figured out precise ways to X-Ray LinkedIn – and created the new tool Social List, that we are taking to a new level in January 2018.

What changes have YOU noticed in the tools and sites, as of December 2017, that would be useful to know about?

For tons of information about productivity tools old and new, please check out the Tools Class in our Training Library.