People Aggregators, Unique Names, and X-Ray

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When assessing a people aggregator like SeekOut, Entelo, AmazingHiring, HireEZ, and others, or even the general-purpose Zoominfo, two points are critical:

  1. How complete is the coverage (for your target audience)?
  2. How up-to-date is the data?

My idea is to run searches for unique names. If a combination <first, last> is unique (or even unique only in a given industry and location), then searching by the full name within an aggregator will reveal:

  1. No results? The person is not in the database.
  2. A match? Compare the rest of the data to see if the companies and titles match those on LinkedIn or whether they are outdated in the aggregator.

Hopefully, the aggregator will allow to mass-search for these professionals. Enter a long OR string of the names (use a copy of LinkedIn Boolean Builder; also, try the resulting search string on LinkedIn itself to verify that each name finds just one profile). Running a few sample sets will test the aggregator.

How do you find unique names? Since LinkedIn has the phrasing “see others named” on public profiles if other profiles with the same name exist, I first thought that this X-Ray would bring up unique names:

site:linkedin.com/in -“see others named”

(I came up with the search first, considered it fun but perfectly useless, and then thought of its application I am describing.)

However, there is a subtlety that may lead you to finding non-unique names with the string. The “see others named” links appear on public profiles when there is a /pub/dir directory. These directories are different if there is an addition to the last name, like a certification or degree abbreviation. For example, these are two separate directories:

  • https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Jim/Smith%2C+Mba
  • https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Jim/Smith

Having that in mind, by manipulating additional keywords in the above X-Ray string, you can land on lists of “truly” unique names in the locations and industries of interest. (I would be curious to hear what your strategies might be; maybe there will be another post.) Then, collect the names and proceed to test.

There is a wealth of ways to X-Ray LinkedIn! Please join Mike Santoro and me this Thursday for

The Complete LinkedIn X-Ray Masterclass (A Benefit for Ukraine)

We promise not to disappoint you.

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