Attitudes to Social Media for Recruiting & Sourcing

Growing Social Media by mkhmarketing

There seems to be two camps in the recruitment community.

  • The blasé – they’re not convinced by Twitter or Facebook as useful for recruitment and they’re certain that they couldn’t possibly search or use LinkedIn any better. Don’t even mention Google+ or Foursquare without getting laughed out of their office.
  • The worriers – they seem very concerned that if their recruiters don’t know about every online search tool and technique going then they’re missing out on something fundamental to their success.

I think both could learn a lot from each other.

The first camp is well grounded, not ready to waste time on something that might not work when they could be doing something that they know will give results. The vast majority of the time, candidates are hanging out just where you would expect them to be. If you have 5 great candidates in your database or ATS, why wouldn’t you contact them first?

The second group is curious, hungry to learn and always think that they could be doing better. When their network is all tapped out and LinkedIn isn’t giving them the results they need, they have more ideas up their sleeve.

On the other hand, the blasé are closed minded and almost definitely missing out on great opportunities. The worriers are too concerned about finding talent via “the next big thing” instead of just finding the best possible person for the job.

Open mindedness without drinking too much of the Kool-Aid – is that the sweet spot?

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Have you tried our LinkedIn Profile Search tool?

LinkedIn by Diego Cornejo

By far the most popular page on the UK Sourcers site in 2013 has been our LinkedIn profile Custom Search Engine.

The tool uses the X-ray (or site: search) technique to search for only UK LinkedIn profiles via a Google Custom Search Engine.

I received a message from Dennis Patel of IT Mob Ltd in July 2013 thanking me for the tool, which was a great feeling.

Thought I’d say Hi, and thank you for the great google tool for searching linkedin profiles. Heck…..I’ve just made my first placement using it!

Dennis also asked about adding more location filters to the tool, so I added the ones he suggested. Do let me know if there are any you would like too.

I hope you have found the UK Sourcers blog useful in 2013. We are delighted to be Finalists in the UK Recruiter Recruitment Blog of The Year Awards. If you have any suggestions for 2014 please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! 🙂

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LinkedIn has closed the door on a useful group member search hack

Closed on Flickr

I wrote about a LinkedIn URL hack on The Undercover Recruiter blog several months ago.

This little trick was brought to my attention well over a year ago by the very knowledgeable Martin Lee. This allowed anyone with a LinkedIn account, Basic or paid for, to search the members of ANY group.

To search the members of any LinkedIn group with a basic LinkedIn account, you will need to have two windows open in your browser, both looking at LinkedIn. In the first window, run a simple search looking for the keywords you hope to find on profiles. In the second window, find the group whose members you want to search (for those keywords).

Once you have found the group you are interested in and opened it up in your browser, you need to look in your browser’s address bar at the URL of the page and find the groups ID number. The URL is usually in the format:

http://linkedin.com/groups?gid=TheNumberYouWant?trk=…

Copy (Ctrl +C) the group ID number from the URL, the number is usually 4 to 6 digits long.

Now return to the keyword search you did in the first tab. Using the filters on the left hand side of the screen, select one of the groups you ARE a member of to filter by (it doesn’t matter which one). Now look for that group’s ID number in the URL of the sear results page – The number is often right at the far end of the URL – so click in the address bar and hit the End button on your keyboard to go straight there. Replace it with the number of the group you DO want to search.

Hit enter and voila, you have searched members of your chosen group for the keywords you need without needing to join.

This was working three weeks ago, as I demonstrated the work around to a group of Executive Researchers, but LinkedIn had closed the door by Thursday 14th November when I came to show the trick to another group.

To be honest, I am quite surprised that LinkedIn did not fixed this bug sooner. Still, it is a little trick that I will miss having up my sleeve.

For now, it seems our best method for finding members of a groups we cannot join is to do an X-Ray site: search of LinkedIn looking for the group logo displayed on public profiles. This will not find all group members, of course. Not everyone will choose to display all the groups they are a member of on their profile, not all group members will have a public profile and Google is unlikely to have indexed all of those that do.

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Sourcing Techniques for Business Development

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 15.15.57

 

How many recruiters think about using sourcing techniques for business development? Well, if you don’t, it is time you did. That was the message from Shane McCusker‘s session at the Discover Sourcing Conference. As Shane said . . .

Using social recruiting tools to source candidates is only the half of it. You can use all sorts of clever social recruiting techniques to find vacancies and get new business.

He kicked off his session on Sourcing Business Development Opportunities by asking delegates how they would search for vacancies – and by that he meant vacancies that were fresh i.e. had not been advertised for months.

He then gave some answers. Shane split his approach into internal and external intelligence.

Internal intelligence

Recruiters are already sitting on a lot of information that can help them identify new vacancies. For example, a candidate comes to you saying they are looking for a new role. What does that tell you? That there will soon be a new vacancy in the company they are leaving.  The challenge for recruiters is how to manage this information so that they get some value (i.e. new business) from it.

External intelligence

Shane showed an example of how to gather information on upcoming vacancies on LinkedIn. To do this you can do an Xray site search on a particular company using the word “past” to identify leavers.

The search would look like this:

site: linkedin.com “past * * at companyname”

That on its own is not enough, however.  By doing this you will get a long list of former employees. As a recruiter, you want to be alerted to when someone has changed their status to “past” on LinkedIn so the next step is to create an RSS feed of alerts (using Google alerts, for example). You will then be alerted as soon a someone changes their status.

James Mayes wrote a live blog on this, which you can read here. Check out the comments because there are some useful tips and insights into identifying vacancies ahead of time.

Shane also shared some tools he uses to scrape data from the web.

He has also showed a custom search engine for LinkedIn which can be accessed on his site at:  http://www.intel-sw.com/search

Shane is more hacker than recruiter, which was reflected in some of the tweets during his session . . .

Geek Rating going through the roof with @1ntelligence

Upping the geek rating!
He uses his software engineering skills to build tools and hacks that find information to help recruiters source candidates and grow their business.

Whilst showing delegates a bulk email button he created for LinkedIn, he said:

You guys really need to know how to hack Linkedin.

He certainly does: he uses a Chrome extension that enables incognito searches on LinkedIn profiles, which means you can reveal more of the profile of third degree connections.

For plenty more of Shane’s tips and tricks, check out his regular webinars, which you will find on his blog: http://www.intel-sw.com/blog/

Visit our content round-up for all the content and resources from Discover Sourcing.

Are you making the best use of links on your LinkedIn profile?

This post is inspired by today’s New Year Sourcing Assignment.

Today we’re looking at improving your LinkedIn profile in 9 different ways to get you more views, more business and a higher response rate when you contact people.

Here is a breakdown of just one point from the 9 point LinkedIn profile checklistin today’s assignment:

Making the most of Links on your LinkedIn profile

The Contact Info on your LinkedIn profile

You can add up to three links to your LinkedIn profile in the Contact Infosection. Here are some ideas of what you might link to:

  • Your company website
  • Your company’s career pages if you work in an in-house team
  • The jobs section of your website if you work in an agency
  • A Facebook page or a LinkedIn group that you want to promote
  • Your own personal webpage

You should also customise the text of the links. Company Website does not tell people anything. Something descriptive like Careers at XYZ Company will make people much more likely to click as they know where they will end up. To customise the text of the link, select Other from the drop down menu rather than Company Website or My Blog.

Change the anchor text of links on your LinkedIn profile

This is also good Search Engine Optimisation for the sites you link to – Google will see a link from LinkedIn (a reputable and popular website) with relevant keywords in the anchor text.

If you have the new style LinkedIn profile then you can also add links to videos, pictures or presentations to enhance your profile. This is a good way to drive traffic to any corporate videos you might have made or presentations you send to prospective clients or candidates.

Join the UK Sourcers LinkedIn group to see the full LinkedIn profile checklist and join in with our New Year Sourcing Assignments throughout January.

LinkedIn Scrap Their Events App – Now What?

LinkedIn have announced that they will be shutting down the LinkedIn Events App on 26th November 2012.

LinkedIn Help Center: LinkedIn Events - Shutdown

I think this is a real shame as it can be a great sourcing tool. I have spoken many times about how powerful events can be for sourcers and that Social Media sites offer you the opportunity get something out of an event even if you are unable to attend – who has the time or money to go to everything?

If you’d still like to let your LinkedIn network know what events you will be attending then using LinkedIn’s status updates could be a good alternative. This also gives you the opportunity to say more about why you’re going than just using LinkedIn Events would have done.

LinkedIn’s Events App is, of course, only one small way to follow the plethora of breadcrumbs left online by event attendees. So, what other apps could we start using to discover events, promote our own events and source names of interesting people to talk to?

[Note: If the search strings in this post seem confusing then check out my Search Engine Handbook for Recruiters – it will explain everything.]

Eventbrite

Event organisers use Eventbriteto manage ticket sales for their events and as a promotion tool. This makes it a huge, fully searchable, events directory. I would guess that most people reading this blog have registered to attend an event through Eventbrite at least once before, but have you ever used it to search for events?

Search for events on Eventbrite

Some event organisers make the attendee lists of their events publicly visible. This is really useful for us! You can search for events very effectively from inside Eventbrite or if you just want to find events that are displaying a list of attendees then try X-raying Eventbrite via Google or another search engine like this:

“industry keyword” (location OR location) “attendee list sort by” site:eventbrite.com

Eventbrite is particularly good for: Event Discovery & Name Sourcing (if the organiser has chosen to display an attendee list). Similar Tool: Amiando

Facebook Events

Not every event on Facebookis for “Toni’s 30th Birthday Bash”. A lot of big conferences and smaller networking groups promote their events on Facebook. Try X-Raying Facebook to find events in your industry. A string like this might help you get started:

site:facebook.com inurl:events “industry keywords” location

The intitle:operator can be useful here as event names form part of the page title.

Social Developers London November - Facebook Event

As you can see above, there are often lists of those attending, invited, maybe attending… and you can see all their names just by clicking. Of course, some networking and event communities have Facebook pages. Take London’s Digital Sizzle community, for example. At the time of writing they have 512 likes on their Facebook page – if this is the sort of talent you’re looking for then these people are probably of interest. Facebook might not let you see those 512 names, but if you take a look at the page’s most recent posts and hover over where it says “3 people like this” – then you will see the names of those three people. No doubt three people very engaged with that page and those events. You can also see who has commented on and shared posts made by a Facebook page.

The names you gather on Facebook can be cross referenced with a Google or LinkedIn search.

Facebook Events are particularly good for: Name Sourcing
Further Reading: Cracking open Facebook by Balazs Paroczay

Lanyrd

Lanyrd is an app that helps people discover events via their Twitter networks. If you use twitter then you probably have quite a chunk of followers that work in a similar niche to your business.

Sign in at Lanyrd with your Twitter credentials to find out what events your network is going to be attending. You can even get weekly event suggestions sent to your inbox. Build 2012 seems to be very popular in my network this week:

Build 2012 on Lanyrd

Lanyrd allows people to register both that they are attending the event or if they are just interested and would like to track the event. This means that you often get a lot more useful names (with links to their Twitter profiles) than you would do from a straight forward attendee list.

If an event is popular on Lanyrd then its attendees are probably going to generate quite a lot of tweets on the day too – remember to set yourself a reminder to monitor Twitter on the day of the event to find more attendees. The page above tells us to use the #buildconf  hashtag. I’ll say more about hashtags later.

Lanyrd is particularly good for: Discovery and Name Sourcing.
Similar Tools: Plancast

Meetup

Meetup is a great hybrid of community and events. Some people join an event community on Meetup but never actually attend an event. Like Lanyrd, it gives you that bit extra compared with a standard attendee list. PHP London on Meetup.com

The URLs for groups and people profiles make X-raying Meetup really easy too.

Take the PHP London meetup group. It has 1,696 members who will all have a profile page. If I wanted to find developers with experience on eCommerce sites I might try a string like this:

(magento OR ecommerce OR “e commerce”) site:meetup.com/phplondon/members

Meetup is particularly good for: Name Sourcing, Promotion
Further Reading: How To Source On Meetup by Peter Kazanjy on the SourceCon blog

Twitter

Not everyone on Twitter will be active on Lanyrd or Plancast. Once you know about an event, Twitter can be a really powerful to way to discover who is attending and why.

These days most events have a #hashtag. If you are unsure how hashtags work then take a look at my post explaining how recruiters can use hashtags.

An event’s hashtag can sometimes be slow to emerge. It is worth leaving a search running for “the name of the event” in quote marks weeks, even months, before a big conference or expo.

If attending or sponsoring an event, I will often build a Twitter list of all those I find that look like they will be attending. It’s then easy for me to spend a little time ahead of the event interacting with those people via Twitter. This makes meeting up on the day much easier as you already feel you know each other and feel part of a community.

Twitter is particularly good for: Being there even when you can’t attend, Name Sourcing, Discovery & Promotion.
Further Reading: What is a #Hashtag?

Do you use any other sites to identify great events and the talent that attends them?

LinkedIn Changes – Posting Jobs in Groups

LinkedIn announced yesterday that you can no longer post a job for free in a LinkedIn Group.

The Jobs tab is now comprised of two parts;

Jobs

These are jobs advertised on LinkedIn (directly from paying employers) that match key words specified by the group manager or that have been shared into the group by any of its members.

If you are a LinkedIn Group manager, you should look into setting up this keyword search ASAP otherwise your jobs tab will probably be empty.

If your company already advertise on LinkedIn, this is great because you now have more exposure for your jobs. You can push your jobs out to relevant groups you are a member of yourself. To share a job into a group, simply use the share options on the top right of the job ad page.

Post_job_linkedin_1

Career Discussions

This is free.

I would guess that LinkedIn Group managers will be more likely to mark your job ads as spam if you post them here too brazenly, so be careful.

There is nothing to stop you starting a career discussion about where you might the perfect candidate for your latest vacancy though.

Katharine Robinson
@TheSourceress

Leaving a LinkedIn Group

LinkedIn have recently changed groups to make it a little harder to find the “Leave Group” button.

As a sourcer you probably swap groups all the time. This lets you use the 50 group limit to maximise the size and relevancy of your network. It also gives you the ability to send messages to those people that share a group with you.

How to leave a LinkedIn Group:

Go to the Group page:

Under the More… tab you will find My Settings

Linkedin_groups

The Leave Group button is at the bottom on the right hand side.

Leave_a_linkedin_group

Katharine Robinson
@TheSourceress