Social List Trial! Sourcing Contest!

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I am happy to announce a Social List Trial and a Sourcing Contest, running in parallel this week.

Social List ( is a tool for Recruiters and Salespeople. It allows to instantly collect and export lists of public Social Profiles matching your requirements. Social List brings precision and intelligence to X-Ray searches. It is easy to use and boosts your Sourcing productivity. Here is a short overview of the tool.

THIS WEEK, March 19-25, 2018:

SOCIAL LIST TRIAL: We have opened up Social List for a one week trial. You can sign up and experience the tool until March 25th at

CONTEST: The Sourcing Contest is open for your submissions until March 25th. At the end of this period, we will select a winner. The prize is three (3) months subscription to Social List.* Best of luck, Sourcers!

You don’t have to run a trial of Social List to solve the contest. (But it would come in handy, you’ll see!)

You don’t have to participate in the Contest to run a Social List trial. We are glad to help you to make the most out of your trial. Any questions – please feel free to reach out to me at

*If you are already a subscriber, you would win 3 free months of the tool usage.

Facebook Graph Search – New Tips

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Here is a new site helping with the Facebook graph search queries – Who Posted What (Idea by Henk van Ess, Developed by Daniel Endresz,) The site (still in Beta) offers to search for comments by a user with a given keyword or posted within a certain date range. The Facebook ID that is required can be easily found via

Apparently, the template string to search for somebody’s posts with a keyword is –<FB ID>/stories-by/str/<keyword>/stories-keyword/intersect

Example search for posts.

Now, if you wanted to find comments containing a given keyword by a certain person, the template, similarly, can be, as I have discovered –<FB ID>/stories-commented/str/<keyword>/stories-keyword/intersect

Example search for comments.

I find these searches helpful in locating posts and comments from given people on given topics of interest.

Please check out our popular Facebook Sourcing Mastery class for a thorough coverage of Facebook Sourcing.


Five Hidden Google Operators

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Many Sourcers know that adding “&filter=0” to the search URL would “tell” Google to “search with omitted results included”.

There are several other ways to control search results that cannot be expressed through the Google advanced search operators.

These include:

  • narrow to a language – set in the Advanced Search Dialog
  • narrow to a country – set in the Advanced Search Dialog
  • search Verbatim (i.e. without interpreting the search) – available through “Tools” after we have searched
  • search within a date range – available through “Tools” after we have searched

Just like “&filter=0”, these filters are expressed through various additions to the Google search URL. We can set these options via appending the search URL with the appropriate strings.

URL addition Meaning Example
&filter=0 include omitted results
&lr= narrow to a language &lr=lang_af
&cr= narrow to a country &cr=countryAF
&tbs=li:1 search Verbatim
tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:<date_start>,cd_max:<date_end> search by date range &tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:3/1/2017,cd_max:2/1/2018

You can find documents with more URL parameters explained by searching for some of the parameters.

Please check out the Boolean Basics class that covers all things Boolean.





The Full List of Google Advanced Search Operators

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Operator Meaning
Pages containing keywords in:
allinurl: / inurl: – the URL
allintitle: / intitle: – the Title
allintext: / intext: – the text
allinanchor:  /  inanchor: – the anchor text
filetype: – after the last period in file name
site: Narrow results to a site
related: Shows similar sites
info: Shows page info
define Gives a definition
The quotes (“”) Search for a phrase
The minus (-) Exclusion
OR Alternatives
Numrange (..) Search for a range of numbers
Asterisk (*) Stands for a word or a few words
AROUND (n) Proximity search

The above chart show all of the currently supported advanced search operators in Google. (Google’s help no longer lists most of them!)

Get the Boolean Basics class for an extensive coverage of all things Boolean.

LinkedIn Recruiter: More Confusion

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Remember, LinkedIn Recruiter finds more results when we enter a company name vs. point to a company object? We discussed this in LinkedIn Recruiter: Not WYSIWYG.

Well, it turns out that, when searching for job titles, it is the opposite: selecting a value (Software Engineer, in the screenshot) brings many more results than entering the same words in quotation marks – or even writing Software AND Developer.

So what is going on here, why is there such a difference?

The answer to that is: in the first case, LinkedIn Recruiter also brings synonyms of the job title (the way it guesses them). By using the quotes or the operator AND, we eliminate any such guessing and Recruiter brings only the results for members whose title is Software Engineer (or, perhaps, Senior Software Engineer).

How well does LinkedIn identify synonymical job titles? Sorry to say, not so well. Here are some job titles that came up as synonyms for Software Engineer. Only some are correct – others are not:

  • SDE
  • Architect/Programmer
  • Java Developer
  • SAS Programmer
  • Quality Control Inspector/ CMM Programmer/Operator
  • Recruiting Coordinator – SWE (OOPS…)

To avoid getting these false positives in your results, it’s best to use the Boolean search syntax for job titles, i.e. add the quotation marks, AND, OR, or NOT. Or simply add a space at the end of Software Engineer.

Recruiter Lite has the same deficiency.

LinkedIn interpretation of its data can be improved.

P.S. The Mastering LinkedIn Recruiter class on March 7th will cover these and other recent LinkedIn Recruiter changes and challenges. Check it out and register soon, seating is limited.

Sourcing Training Library and Certifications

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Our Sourcing Certification Program is now in its sixth year. We have had hundreds of professionals enroll in our Subscription and take the Exam. I wanted to update everyone on our offerings.

The Training Library has twenty recorded classes, to study at your own pace. The classes cover a variety of sourcing topics in-depth. Some webinars include two sessions, a Lecture, and Practice. Every webinar comes with one month of unlimited support on the topic.

We also offer interactive workshops on “Sourcing without LinkedIn”, “Finding Contact Info”, and “Advanced Googling” – you can always find the scheduled live classes at Upcoming Sourcing Webinars.

We administer the Certification Exams quarterly; the next upcoming dates are in April of 2018.

You can get all of the above – full access to the Training Library, the Exam, and, additionally, the Boolean Book by joining the Training Library Subscription. The Subscription costs just $99 per month ($1188 billed annually); that is an over 75% discount compared to getting webinars and the Exam individually.

While many people choose to subscribe, some have also taken five or six webinars from the Library (contact us for suggestions) and taken the Exam. The most requested classes have been:

If you are interested in the Program, you may want to take a webinar first. You can then upgrade to the full subscription, saving the cost of the webinar.

Finally, we have trained multiple Teams. We have customers who have subscribed their recruiting teams and have all Recruiters take the Exam. We have also delivered series of customized sourcing classes to various teams, both online and face to face. Our customers include a number of Fortune 100 companies and large recruiting agencies. To inquire about your Team training, please reach out to us.




LinkedIn Recruiter: Not WYSIWYG

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Well-designed user interfaces follow the rule of WYSIWYG – “what you see is what you get”. Unfortunately, LinkedIn Recruiter doesn’t do the best job in this regard. Just look at the screenshot of two searches for company=Apple I have done. Which number is correct, on the right or the left?

The secret in the two different numbers displayed is that, on the right, I have added a space to the company name: Apple<space>. I’ll get the same number as on the left if I enter Apple in the quotation marks (a slight difference in large numbers of results is to be expected).

What is happening here? If we choose the company Apple from a list of company choices, the results are employees of the company Apple. But, if we enter a space after Apple or put the word in “, we get employees of companies whose name contain the word Apple, such as Apple, but also Apple and Associates, Apple Vacations, etc. Some of the companies found may be Apple’s affiliates, but not all.

To negate each of the above conditions (company equals Apple, and Company name contains Apple) in Recruiter we have two different types of UI: negating the company Apple or the word in the company name:


Take a note of it.

P.S. And here is another story on the subject.

LinkedIn Locations and Traffic in the Bay Area

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The traffic in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live, is pretty bad. What the commute is like is a serious consideration for anyone looking for a job. Let’s take a look how LinkedIn job posts treat locations – posted and searched for.


LinkedIn has 1) “area” locations and 2) specific cities as locations. The city locations are part of the “area” locations. For example,  San Jose, California; San Francisco, California; and Berkeley, California (which are at a distance from each other) all belong to the San Francisco Bay Area.

When we post a job, we are given both “areas” and cities as location choices.

When we search for a job, the same location choices are available:

Given the commute times, we can expect job seekers to enter the city closest to where they live when searching for a job.

However, when we search for jobs, LinkedIn treats all Bay Area location the same. Even that I have entered San Francisco in this search, the second result is in San Jose (quite far from San Francisco). (This is not very helpful!)


  1. When posting jobs on LinkedIn, it is best to enter a specific city name (e.g., San Mateo, California) vs. an area name (e.g., San Francisco Bay Area. When potential applicants see the post, they will know what their commute is going to be.
  2. When people search for jobs near their locations in the Bay Area, they, in fact, see job posts from all of the Bay Area, even if they enter a city name as location. The same LinkedIn rules apply to other “areas” and cities. Quite inconvenient for job seekers! But it is how it works.

Increasing Candidate’s Response Rates

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This is a guest post from Martin Lee.

We can be as creative as we like with our sourcing, writing killer Boolean strings, utilizing the latest tools and unearthing profiles that others wouldn’t, but without a response from prospective candidates we have only done 50% of what is required.

According to a number of sources the average user spends 17 minutes on LinkedIn.

When we reach out to prospects – it’s about them, not us. Too many recruiters’ (agency & internal) messages lead with a job they are trying to fill. Often this is based purely upon a keyword search and an assumption that the person is a fit and is actually interested in the position.

If our target candidates spend 17 minutes on LinkedIn and they receive a lot of similar looking messages what chance do you have of getting a response if you do the same as everyone else ?

The purpose of the first message is always to motivate the potential candidate to want to have a conversation. It should be casual, no commitment or resume required. Internal recruiters should have ongoing interesting vacancies and should lead with a “career discussion” approach. There could well be live vacancies that this person is suitable for but unless you know their personal situation and motivations & timings to move you can not make a match. Agency recruiters have it slightly tougher but if they’re credible and market specific they too should be able to convince someone to at least have a talk with them. A conversation focused on the candidate shifts the emphasis from a job we are trying to fill to talking about them, so more people will respond.

The first message is your chance to show you have read and understand their profile(s) and to cut through other recruiters’ messages. Using personalized messaging is key whether using their name, skills, current company (and technology used), location, projects, etc., are all indications that you are being specific about them. It’s better to send fewer more personalized messages than using obvious templates.

Asking for referrals or resumes at the first message is a definite no-no.

In addition to electronic messages many recruiters are being more creative these days. Personalized videos to specific people are being used successfully now. “Hangouts” where technical people can look around the offices, ask questions to other techies are popular.

Big corporations marketing can sometimes be seen as cheesy and fluffy. We remember an example of our friend Jim Stroud who promoted working at Microsoft Canada over 10 years ago by shooting a video only on his Iphone. That video still ranks highly on YouTube as he uploaded it from multiple sources.

Check out our online class thoroughly covering the topic Improving Candidate Response Rates, and supplied with one month of support.

Learn to Search for Diversity

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We know that diversity in the workplace positively affects outcomes. Including a diverse pool of candidates in the talent  pipeline is a must for any forward-thinking recruiter and hiring manager.

When we search for diversity candidates, the same sourcing principles apply, as always – look for “what you are going to find”, “visualize success”. Here are some diversity Boolean search strings, based on that principle.

And here is a Diversity Associations Custom Search Engine –

Join us and learn how to Source for Diversity in the upcoming class – Tuesday, February 6th (lecture) and Wednesday, February 7th (practice).