A LinkedIn Recruiter Flaw You Should Know About

booleanstrings Boolean 3 Comments

I have a European client who keeps coming back with the same request, to source for a particular job opening. They are growing and are looking for multiple people who match the same requirement. By now, the number of profiles I have sourced for them is getting close to 1,000. As I repeat the search, ideally, I would like to skip the profiles that I have already viewed and either submitted to the client or rejected, and review the ones I have not seen.

LIR (LinkedIn Recruiter) offers a seemingly convenient option to “hide previously viewed” (in the last 3 or 6 months) profiles. You do a search, pick that option and do not see the previously viewed candidates. I have been using the option and have found out that it doesn’t do what I expect it to do.

You’d think you select “hide previously viewed,” do a search, go through the pages of the search results and find all you haven’t viewed. Wrong.

The way Recruiter has implemented this feature can deprive you of viewing profiles that you haven’t seen. Here is why. You look at the profiles on the first search results page, view some of them, then move to the second page. At this point, LIR recalculates the search anew. Now, the first page has some results you haven’t seen! Not only does LIR shift the results up – the order of the results in the new search that LIR executes as you move to the second page may change – LIR sometimes reshuffles the results.

So, when you select not to see previously viewed profiles and do a search, you shouldn’t go to the next page. Instead, refresh the first page of the results, and you will see new profiles. Continue refreshing the first page until you haven’t viewed any profiles on it. Only then you should move to page 2. Then, continue refreshing page 2, until you no longer open any results on it, then go to page 3, and so forth.

The same is true if you set the filter to not show the profiles that you have added to a project. If you search using this option, then add any profiles to a project on the first page, you need to continue redrawing the page, and you will see profiles you haven’t seen before.

Please check out our online class Mastering LinkedIn Recruiter in the Sourcing Training Library. You will learn many other useful tips and techniques. One month of support is included with all presentations.

How to Find Facebook Graph IDs for Job Titles

booleanstrings Boolean 3 Comments

To find potential candidates or prospects on Facebook with the help of the Graph Search, which I covered in the previous post, we need to use Facebook IDs (long numbers) for Job Titles. These IDs are not always easy to identify.

For a particular job title, the ID in question is the ID of the page corresponding to the job title. I.e. it needs to be the page with the appropriate name (such as “Software Engineer”) that is the most popular. We can search for those pages like this:


However, in many cases, the choices presented by the search above do not point to “the” page we need to use. I recommend to use a search for a Work Position instead:


(replace Sofware+Engineer with your term) – it will likely show the page you are looking for. The long number “117968858296276” in this search is not a Facebook ID; rather, it tells Facebook that we are looking for a Work Position.

So, the correct page for the “Software Engineer” is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Senior-Software-Engineer/110265725662722 and the ID to use is 110265725662722. Now we can search for Software Engineers like this: https://www.facebook.com/search/110265725662722/employees

This helpful post shares quite a few IDs corresponding to job titles across industries. You can also find many IDs using the tool Search Is Back, by selecting a job title from the drop-down menu.

Here are some examples of searches for the IT industry using job title IDs. You can combine these with additional search filers, such as locations:

Happy Facebook Graph searching!

Facebook Graph Search Important Changes

booleanstrings Boolean 28 Comments

Many people have noticed that tools that provide access to Facebook Graph searches, such as Shane McCusker’s Chrome extension or Searchisback, sometimes don’t produce results any longer. Using the Graph search directly, via URLs, we now also see some searches leading to empty pages. I want to bring some clarity to what has changed in the searches we have been using for sourcing and suggest some fixes.

As we know, we can search “by a string,” with the URLs including a) “/str/” b) Facebook IDs. For example, people who like pages named “Python” can be expressed as https://www.facebook.com/search/str/Python/pages-named/likers or https://www.facebook.com/search/7899581788/likers.

Here is the summary of changes:

1.  The “/str/” searches that include either “employees” or “students” no longer work. I.e., we can’t search “by a string” for employers, job titles, schools, and majors. (Example of a search that no longer produces results, only shows an empty page: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/google/pages-named/employees.)

2. Searching by IDs, we need to replace:

  • /major/students by /students
  • /job/employees by /employees

– then the searches involving those will start working again.

(Tools that will update the searches that they run in the background will also produce results, except for the searches outlined in “1.”, above).

Here is a variety of searches on Facebook that work.


There is one additional change I am aware of: “groups of a user” was https://www.facebook.com/search/100000155790214/groups – now (oddly) needs to be https://www.facebook.com/search/str/100000155790214/groups.

Please check out our fully updated online class Facebook Sourcing Mastery.

Automated Search? Not Any Time Soon

booleanstrings Boolean 9 Comments

Last week at the Sourcing Summit UK (a wonderful, content-rich event that I loved being part of), Karen Azulai predicted that hands-on search is going away. (I know that Karen is an expert in HRTech and her point of view is well backed-up with her knowledge.) Johnny Campbell presented an interesting overview of the dynamics of Sourcing over the years and shared some authorities’ predictions about search being fully automated in “X” years.

It’s good to compare different points of view, right? I have to say, I doubt that productive, exhaustive search can be automated any time soon. Here are just a few reasons why.

Aggregated information gets outdated

People Aggregators like AmazingHiring and HiringSolved help us to search by collecting and combining profiles from the web. Using people aggregators, we can find potential candidates that we won’t locate otherwise because these tools put together profiles from different sources into one searchable database. However, these tools all keep cached copies of the information collected. As the time goes, even if a tool tries to refresh the data often, the cached info gets outdated, because “live” profiles change all the time. Also, aggregators may fall behind in including new, fresh sources such as niche social networks.

As fast as Googlebot runs through the pages, even Google’s Index (where we search when we Google) gets out-of-date. It’s always advisable to verify the cached data you get against the current live data.

Tools can’t easily combine public and logged-in information

Most tools out there help to search in the public, “surface” data, that is the same for everyone and doesn’t require any memberships. When we are logged into social networks, we can see custom information that is largely invisible to the tools. Some tools, like Shane McCusker’s Facebook Chrome extension, do offer to run searches as we are logged in. But those tools offer searches only in particular sets of data (like Facebook profiles).

Some of the best tools allow to search across both publicly available data and internal data – such as ATS resumes. However, combining logged-out and personally logged-in info is technically hard and would raise some privacy concerns as well.

Auto-matching is hardly possible because job descriptions and resumes are poorly written

Automated search is like finding matches from the profile data “out there” with your requirements. We are seeing a flood of machine learning-based tools that can automatically pull matching resumes and profiles – from the web or your ATS – based on a job description. However, as any hands-on Sourcer has surely experienced, job descriptions and resumes can be improved, to say the least! Matching poorly written documents is hardly possible.  Additionally, a machine learning system needs a lot of “pre-executed” matches to provide us with good results. Most existing systems don’t have enough of that “matching” data to give us good results – especially so if those systems are universal, work across industries and locations.

Should we be using tools that help to search? Absolutely! Hopefully, we’ll get more intelligent tools in the days to come. But we must understand what each tool can and cannot provide. We will do best by combining tools and complementing them with hands-on searches (yes, including the good old X-Ray) and verification of the results we get. I don’t see this changing any time soon. Sourcers won’t be replaced by machines for quite a while.

I would be glad to hear your thoughts!

New Email Extractor/Collector

booleanstrings Boolean 7 Comments

I want to let you know about the new free Chrome extension that we have developed.

The extension has two modes. In one, it collects all emails on a page, including hidden emails (hyperlinks). There are other extensions with the same functionality – however, ours has a superior formula for extracting emails and does a better job than others. You will see the number of emails over the extension icon. When you click the icon, the emails are copied to the clipboard so that you can paste them in a document.

The second mode, that you can select by right-clicking the extension icon in the toolbar, is unique – there are no free tools that do the same. It extracts and collects all email addresses on all the pages you visit. Example use cases are going through the pages of search results on Github or Google or some other site. As you go to the next page, and the page after that, emails are appended to the collected set, and you can see the accumulated number of emails over the icon. Then, when you click the extension icon, all of the collected emails are copied to the clipboard, and you can paste them in a document. There is no limit on the number of pages where the tool collects emails or the number of emails.

In both modes, the tool deduplicates the list of emails.

To access the new tool go to http://bit.ly/emailcollector.

Here are example searches you can use to test the extension:

Hope you will find the tool useful!

Create Search Alerts via IFTTT and RSS feeds

booleanstrings Boolean Leave a Comment

One of my favorite applications for social media monitoring is IFTTT. The tool has “triggers,” fired when something happens, and “actions,” that are executed if triggers happen, by the rules that we can define.

IFTTT offers RSS triggers:

As an action for an RSS IFTTT trigger, we can, for example, send ourselves an email, or save the item in Evernote, or tweet. Thus, we will be alerted and can keep track of the new important content for ourselves – or share the content with peers or on social media.

Here are several ways to create RSS feeds out of search results.

1. Google Alerts have an option to deliver results to an RSS feed:

2. Google News Search Alerts were deprecated in December 2017. However, in Google alerts we can set the “Sources” to “News” – and get an RSS feed of news.

3. Did you know that Bing supports an RSS feed of search results? To get an RSS feed, just add &format=rss to the Bing search URL. Example:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=layoffs&format=rss – this RSS feed will be getting new items when Bing finds new search results containing the word “layoffs”.

By using IFTTT, we can be alerted when new search results appear in the RSS feeds, described above, and collect or share the new items. For example, we can collect news about layoffs that Bing finds. Or, we could collect search results that mention us or our company, tracking our brand. The uses are multiple.

Watch a Social List Video

booleanstrings Boolean Leave a Comment

Social List is a powerful yet simple to use sourcing tool. With Social List, you can:

  1. Find precisely targeted social profiles from a number of networks, including LinkedIn
  2. Populate the records with email addresses, and
  3. Export the results in an Excel format

– all this in a matter of seconds and without needing any advanced Boolean syntax commands.

Please watch a Social List Video:

For a limited time we are offering a 7-day trial (no credit card required). Watch the video and, if you haven’t, join hundreds of your colleagues and sign up for the tool at


I would be glad to hear your feedback or answer any questions – please email irina@sociallist.io.

Improve Your Writing Using Google Suggestions

booleanstrings Boolean 2 Comments

These two simple methods for raising SEO of your pages also help to improve the readability and the writing style.

1. In your writing, use the words appearing in Google Suggestions. You will see some phrases as soon as you start typing your query in Google. For example, here is what Google shows in response to “sourcing training”. If you were to write an article about “sourcing training”, here are some words to use:

2. In your writing, use the words from “related searches” in Google. You will find the suggestions at the bottom of the page with the search results. Here are, for example, some suggestions for the same term:

Of course, using these suggestions will improve your pages’ SEO rating as well.

Sourcing Training

booleanstrings Boolean Leave a Comment

Recruiters: want to become better Talent Sourcers? We are the Sourcing Training and Certification providers and have developed a large number of training courses for Recruitment professionals and all interested. The sourcing training materials and webinars that we offer cover every topic in-depth. For the fans of Boolean training – we have the largest set of classes covering the favorite topic. The classes cover beginner, intermediate, and advanced topics. As our unique offering, every Sourcing training class comes with one month of support for all who sign up.

Our Sourcing Training Library includes 19 in-depth modules on all Internet Sourcing techniques:

  • Sourcing without LinkedIn (most popular!)
  • What Every Recruiter Needs to Know About Sourcing
  • How to Clean, Refresh, and Enrich Your Recruitment Data
  • Sourcing Methodologies
  • Overcoming LinkedIn’s Limitations
  • Mastering LinkedIn Recruiter
  • Facebook Sourcing Mastery
  • Sourcing without Boolean
  • Boolean Strings Basics
  • 300 Best Boolean Strings
  • Improving Candidate Response Rates
  • How to Find and Attract Tech Talent
  • Sourcing for Diversity
  • Recruitment Research – What, Why and How
  • How To Find Clients & Vacancies for Your Agency
  • Sourcing Internationally
  • Data-Driven Recruiting
  • Productivity Tools for Sourcing
  • Custom Search Engines for Everyone

Check the Training Library out at https://sourcingcertification.com/webinars/.

We regularly run live Sourcing training classes, with a mix of Lectures, Practice sessions, and workshops. The most popular workshop has been the Advanced Google Sourcing Workshop.

Our yearly Sourcing Training subscription is the best deal, with over 75% savings on the training modules, and additional offerings. The subscription includes access to all the modules in the Training Library, as they are updated throughout the year, live Sourcing workshops, the Boolean Strings Book, and the Sourcing Certification Exam, that hundreds of your peers have taken, becoming Certified People Sourcing Professionals (#CPSP).

Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Know About This…

booleanstrings Boolean Leave a Comment

We have recently discussed how to identify the LinkedIn profile from an email address and how to find Twitter profiles from a list of email addresses.

What’s next? It’s Facebook! Here is how to find the Facebook profiles from a list of email addresses. This technique is especially useful now that Facebook has stopped showing profiles behind email addresses entered into the search box.

From the description below, it may sound complicated, but it isn’t!

Step 1. Prepare a text file that contains the email addresses in question (no names or any additional info is required).

Step 2. Go to Find Friends; enter (any) Gmail address – it can be, for example, 1@gmail.com – and any password. Press the button “Find Friends.”

You will see this:

Step 3. Ignore that message about downloading your Gmail contacts in the CSV format. Instead, click “Choose File”; upload the text file with the list of email addresses – and you will see everyone identified on FB. It will look like this:

That’s it!

(Of course, you shouldn’t be sending friend requests to people who don’t know you).

After uploading, you can find the names of the identified Facebook members in your invite history.