New! Diversity Sourcing Training & Certification Program

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With the unmistakably fast-growing demand for diversity sourcing in 2020, we at Sourcing Certifications have developed and are opening, as of today, a Diversity Sourcing Training and Certification Program.

I am excited about the new offering! It will include:

  1. Webinar on sourcing
  2. Webinar on diversity sourcing
  3. Interactive diversity sourcing practice
  4. One month of support
  5. Certified Diversity Sourcing Professional (CDSP) exam

One cannot be a skilled “diversity recruiter” and mediocre recruiter. Our Program will help you in all aspects of daily sourcing, not just sourcing for Diversity.

We have built the main class content from our class Sourcing for Diversity, custom presentations for recruiting teams, and extensive experience sourcing.

We have added an initial introductory webinar on the foundation of sourcing to ensure the participants and we are on the same page, and they are ready for the main content. The first webinar is not just for beginners; as an attendee said, “If you are new to Boolean search or a Boolean search expert, you will get something out of the class.”

We follow the first foundational sourcing class with a webinar and an interactive practice on diversity sourcing. Participants are encouraged to practice the techniques on their own after the presentation. (Otherwise, what is the point?) If you take part, you can ask any relevant sourcing questions during the month of support (a value of its own by the way!)

You will find a detailed outline of every step on the sign-up page.

Diversity Sourcing Certification Exams will be similar to our general Sourcing Certification Exams but 30% shorter and specific to the skills we are testing.

Additional resource: we have published a practice book for the Sourcing Certification exams that would serve well to prepare for the Diversity exam in addition to the Program material. (Statistics show that everyone who got the ebook passed the exam.)

Please do not wait and go to the Diversity Sourcing Program Registration. The initial offering is limited to 30 people.

If you have questions about the upcoming Program or wish to custom-train and certify a team, please contact us.

Google’s Hidden Gigantic Visual Repository

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As I was reading through Searching for images with filetype: on Google? by Dan Russell of Google, I was not that surprised that filetype: takes different arguments and finds different things on and image search. I had seen this behavior. But this was stunning:

“to find an image, you have to use “

Dan’s post implied that

Google’s index for images is separate from its main index.

I emailed Dan and asked whether it was, indeed, true. Yes, he replied:

“Images, Videos, News, Web, Scholar (etc.) are all in separate indices.  Normally we blend all of the results together, which is why you’ll see images in a query.  BUT if you search “All” for image filetypes, you won’t find them because they’re in a separate index.  No blending is done with specialty operators (e.g., filetype: inurl: etc.)” 

I have observed some search strings returning no results on Google but some in Google images and was wondering why. That explains it.

Google’s images are on the surface web and can be easily discovered. But those that did not make it to the main index are rarely found because people do not search in Images.

The same is true about all other Google’s specialty searches (such as Google Scholar), as Dan confirms  – they, too, have separate indices.

Very interesting! There are implications for OSINT, sourcing, and any type of research. Live and learn.

Social List Gets its First Diversity Agent

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Are you sourcing for diversity? Those of us who are, know how laborious sourcing can become if you aim to be genuinely inclusive.
As a solution to some of those sourcing pains, the Social List Team is happy to introduce –

LinkedIn Agent – Diversity – Females.

(If you are unfamiliar with our tool Social List, it allows you to find instantly, enrich, and export target lists of pubic profiles from various social networks. The tool is subscription-based, with a 7-day trial.)

The new Diversity Agent has the same UI as LinkedIn Agent (see the blurred screenshot above) but will return only (or mostly) women’s profiles.
Note that, while you get instant results, do not expect them to be “perfect” (at least not until we have polished the algorithm):
  1. Social List may miss some matching results (this applies to any Social List search and Google search as well)
  2. You may see some false positives (i.e., men) for some queries. Please report those to us; it will help us to come up with a workaround. You can copy and paste a past search URL into your report if you click on your name in the top right corner on Social List.
With the new Diversity Agent, you will get lists of potential candidates to process in seconds, usually on target. (You may see some “wrong” images in the UI, but the results will be right.) There are few tools like that.
If you are not a Social List subscriber yet, you can sign up and get a 7-day trial. We require a CC up front, but we will not charge your card if you cancel in the first seven days.
P.S. FYI, we offer a hands-on Diversity Sourcing Class. It is informative and up-to-date.
We are about to expand the offering to a class for any skill level combined with a newly-designed Diversity Sourcing certification exam. Stay tuned!

Sourcing in LinkedIn Events

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While Facebook has stopped showing event attendees in most cases, LinkedIn has started doing so, for our benefit.

LinkedIn has just introduced Event search. Pick an event that is of interest to people you would like to connect and mark yourself as “attending.” (Marking means an intention to attend). You can then not only see the full list of attendees but can also search within it by the usual filters like company, title, and location.

As an example, here is, for our Online Sourcing Day 2 on Nov 4, 2020 (which you should attend if sourcing interests you!), LI Event

Mark yourself as attending, and you can search using any filters within the group of attendees:

What are some use cases for searching for professionals in an event?

  • Connect and network with people attending a conference in the same industry
  • Find colleagues to hire or an opportunity to pursue
  • Find a conference attended by potential candidates in your industry and source them the same way. It might help that you saw their interest in the meeting to qualify and start communicating with them.
  • If it is your event, learn about participants’ backgrounds to improve content delivery; communicate with them on feedback and future events.

And please sign up for OSLD-2! That is going to be six hours of awesome sourcing content.

Fifth Edition of “300 Best Boolean Strings” & One More String

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I am glad to announce that you can preorder the fifth edition of my popular eBook “300 Best Boolean Strings” at

For the 5th edition, I had to replace about 35% of strings that no longer brought up remarkable results, and added new strings.

And here is a new String for you. To X-Ray Facebook for specific content, use this (replace keywords with your terms): “text that says * <keywords>”

For example,

Get 300 more strings in the new edition of the eBook!

The Unconventional Boolean

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I have realized that I have been using some “unconventional” Boolean Strings in sourcing. This technique applies to LinkedIn or any database, but not to Google (where ORs are rarely helpful and long ORs are tricky).

Let me explain. It is straightforward to search by ORs of synonyms, for example,

Title = (Senior OR Sr. OR snr.) (software OR java) (developer OR engineer OR coder) (etc.).

On LinkedIn, we must do this because its semantic interpretation is flawed. But here is a twist.

Collect keywords intended for the title field and keywords, and, optionally, employers, and skills. Give the word “weights,” depending on how important they are. For example:

  • Java – must have
  • Back-end OR Full-Stack – must have
  • Developer or its synonyms – must have
  • Javascript OR Python – nice to have
  • Elastic search – nice to have
  • MongoDB or similar – nice to have
  • Scalable or its synonyms – a plus
  • Healthcare OR Medical Device industry – a plus

Group must-have, nice to have, and the “plus” keywords into OR statement, and search for the resulting string. (If you wish, use more granular weights.) Depending on the resulting quality and number of results, put the expressions either all in the Keywords or some, in the title and other fields separately. Run something like this:

Keywords = Java (Back-end OR Full-Stack) (Developer OR engineer) (Javascript OR python OR elastic OR mongodb OR nosql) (scalable OR performance OR healthcare OR “medical device”).

Then, you can expand each of the ORs in the string to accommodate the most essential and optional terms and add exclusions if you see false positives (for example, managers). You can also move the terms from the keywords to the title to see if you get more targeted results.

You will be un-digging results that nobody else does.

Try it!







How to Read the News Behind Paywalls

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I love reading Recruiting Brainfood and the industry discussions that Hung holds so well.

Unfortunately, in the newsletter and in Facebook discussions great shared content is often behind a paywall. Here is what you can do about it.

  1. Copy the URL and rid of its part after ?
  2. Use the operator cached: followed by the URL, for example:

Read the post uninterrupted!

If the cached copy does not come up, use Plan B.

Google for a phrase from the news piece, for example: “The robot revolution has arrived · Machines now perform all sorts of tasks…” You are likely to find the full story there.

You will not find this material by any Googling though.



X-Ray LinkedIn for the Length of Employment and Five More Filters

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For the obvious reason, recruiters do not want to see profiles of people who have been employed for less than a year at the current company. The X-Ray technique I describe below allows you to:

  1. Narrow down to longer-term employees
  2. Search better for #opentowork
  3. Narrow to location
  4. Search within the Headline
  5. Search for a keyword within the current job description
  6. Search by school and years of graduation.

Once you follow the steps, you may not need the expensive Recruiter or Sales Navigator subscription! This is free and unlimited.

Here is the idea: if you scrape fields of interest, such as the length of employment, from each result and export that, you can filter out those who:

  1. recently started working at a new employer
  2. liked someone’s #opentowork status or one of “people also viewed” had it on the profile
  3. have worked at the location but live elsewhere
  4. filter by the headline
  5. scrape the last job description and filter by it
  6. scrape school name(s) and filter by it
  7. same with the school dates.

As always, be careful when scraping.

As many times before, there is nothing new in the hack, except you now have a choice of five intelligent scraping tools that do not require coding and facilitate deep filtered search.

Who does not like hacks like this?

The First Name @ Mass-Email-Finding Hack

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Our online lives depend on little things. Slow performance and lack of functionality caused by limited computing power restrict our data gathering ability in seemingly small but consequential ways. (As always, our perceived needs run before computers’ ability.)

As an example, Google will not search for the symbol @ as a part of an email address. At this time it would be too expensive.

Google does, however, notice the periods, and we can take advantage of that.

While figuring out how to massively source emails, I noticed that many companies predominantly follow the [email protected] format. And some, follow it diligently.

Here are the unique stats we have collected: of Fortune 500 companies, 72 are E100, and of those, there are 56jane.doe”s and 10jdoe”s:

I am assuming that companies that deviate from the preferred format still have a high percentage of jane.doe emails.

The vast majority of corporate emails start with a first name followed by a period and end with a .com or another extension.

Google handles both the name and .com as separate words. Realizing this gives us instant sourcing power. We can un-dig pages with emails and contact lists that Google won’t rank high otherwise.

To run such searches, first, Google for common first names. Start with a couple of first female and male names. Add professional keywords as usual (but not too many). Do not forget to put “at” before the name. You can generate a series of queries in Excel, run, and collect all emails with our Email Collector.

Here are two sample searches:

The British say “on,” not “at,” so you can collect a few more.

Just dropping “at” is also an excellent idea!

Join us for the always-popular and practical workshop “Find Anyone’s Contact Info and learn various email- and phone-finding techniques this week.

P.S. Notice how many of my latest posts reveal approaches that have been available for years. There is so much more to discover!

Visual Research and Validation

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In this post, I outline two uses of image search in sourcing. For these purposes, searching in Google images is “good enough” but Bing and Yandex will also work.

Visual Research

My sourcing projects come from different industries (which I love.) There is a particular way I identify target companies for initially unfamiliar industries. To figure out what a company does, I search for its name in images.

Here are two recent examples.

In a project to hire aviation professionals for a large airliner, I needed to narrow down to companies that do the same. Companies making small airplanes, helicopters, spaceships, or military planes were the wrong targets.

First, I found a list of companies that employ these specialists. I searched on LinkedIn using the job titles and terminology and seeing which companies come up. (It is easily done with Recruiter’s “View Insights”). I then searched for each company name in Google images to find out what they make:

Depending on what I saw, I kept or excluded the companies from the search.

In another project, we were looking for Hardware Engineers to work with complex biotech equipment. Googling company names in Images, I could see what each company makes.

Image search can also help to find out what a word (perhaps in a foreign language) means. You can use it, for example, when searching for unfamiliar job titles:


Visual Validation

The second use of image search is verifying whether your Google search is on target. It is obviously applicable to Diversity sourcing.

Here is an example showing that the Boolean String produces the right results:

Having visually verified that your search works right, you can go back to “all” results for review.

Check out our “Sourcing Hacks” book, 3rd edition, almost ready for shipping!

Tomorrow, Friday, I am giving a lecture on all the material (and all our webinars come with a month of support).