UK Sourcers News – 7th January 2013

UK Sourcers News

We have our second UK Sourcers Meetup this week. On Friday, Amazon will be hosting us at their new Development Center in London. We are delighted by the interest in these events and regret that everyone that requested a ticket did not get one – but by keeping the events small, we make sure everyone gets something out of it and has a chance to share.

Our second New Year Sourcing Assignment will be posted in the UK Sourcers LinkedIn Group on Thursday. This week we will be looking at improving the job ads we write with some great tips from Alastair Cartwright of Ingenium.

Toby Culshaw from Thales won our Christmas Sourcing Challenge! Well done Toby – we hope you enjoy your Cadbury’s Chocolate hamper from Sourcing Hat Ltd.

We posted a list of our top content from 2012 – have you missed any of it?


Want to know who has viewed your LinkedIn profile? Here’s an interesting little “hack” from Life Hacker.

Have you clicked on a University name on a LinkedIn profile recently? An interesting feature that you might have missed.

Last week we asked if you are making the best use of links on your LinkedIn profile.

Social Media

We have a fresh Social Network Map of The World for 2013 – Facebook now dominates in 127 out of 137 countries.

World Map of Social Networks - January 2013


10 Ways to Speed up and Beef up your Google Searches – Another useful list from Lifehacker.

Detailed clarification on some of the finer points of Google and Bing search syntax from Boolean Strings

Is there anything I have missed? Do let me know if there’s something you’d like me to share in a future News post.

Your Basic Search Engine Handbook from UK Sourcers

Search Engine HandbookHave you ever wished you had a reference that would talk you through the basic building blocks of using Search Engines and Boolean?

The idea of using a Search Engine to find information about people is natural to some and a totally new idea to others. Search Engines like Google and Bing can be a valuable addition to your candidate sourcing toolbox.

When you have searched your database, checked the job boards and scoured LinkedIn, do you then turn to Google or Bing to access information available to all on the Internet?

This handbook aims to explain the basics of querying a search engine – add in your own industry knowledge and creativity and you should be able to track down anything (as long as it is out there in the public domain to be found).

We will start with AND, OR and NOT (the three Boolean operators) then look at other commands that will make your searches more targeted.

Download your copy of the  UK Sourcers’ Basic Search Engine Handbook for Recruiters by Katharine Robinson (aka TheSourceress)

A copy of the handbook will be given to all attendees of tomorrow’s Talent Sourcing conference in London. If you are not coming along to the event then follow proceedings via Twitter using the hashtag #TSUK – if you are unsure what a hashtag is, then check out this guide to hashtags that we published earlier this month.

If you have any feedback, please get in touch.

A Recruiter’s Guide to RSS Feeds and Using Google Reader

RSS IconA lot of Recruiters I meet are not sure what RSS means.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. You will find it on any website where there is regularly updated content – like news sites and blogs.

If you regularly check out more than one or two news sites and blogs during the day then using an RSS reader might be a big time saver for you. The most common RSS Reader used is Google Reader. A tool like Google Reader allows you to bring in feeds from all your favourite new sources and blogs to one location. This means that you will only have one place to check for new posts and articles while you enjoy your morning coffee.

You can find Google Reader by visiting If you already have a Google account, then you already have Google Reader without even knowing it.

Add some subscriptions

To subscribe to this blog, simply type the web address into the subscribe box on the top left of the page. You can do this for all your favourite blogs.

Subscribe to UK Sourcers

You should also add subscriptions to any blogs and news sites that you regularly check for new updates. This will ensure that you don’t waste time or miss anything important.

For example, the BBC segments their news into a number of different news feeds. You can get just the things that matter to you delivered to your reader.

You might also want to subscribe to any news feeds your company might have on its website, or blogs written by your company’s employees. You could do the same for your competitors too.

It is also possible to get alerts brought to your Google Reader every time a new webpage is indexed by Google that matches your chosen search criteria. You could use this if you’ve found a particularly good Boolean string for identifying candidates or you could use it to listen to what is being said about you or our company. Use Google Alerts to set this up.

When working in a recruitment business, I have used RSS to keep up to date with job feeds on the company websites and even niche job boards – great for marketing!

Manage your subscriptions using Folders

You can organise your feeds into folders, in much the same way that you probably use folders on your computer.

You might choose to have a folder for work feeds and a folder for personal feeds, keeping the news about your favourite sports teams separate from the latest recruitment updates.

You could go further and make some folders like this:

Google Reader Folders

Reading Posts

Latest posts from the blogs and websites you subscribe are automatically added to your Google Reader when they’re published.

The number of unread posts is shown in brackets next to the folder name (as in the picture above).

Log in to your Google Reader account. Click on the folder you want to read. Make sure it is set to Expanded view so you see the full post.

Google Reader expanded view

Just scroll down through the posts in the folder to read all posts. You can use the ‘J’ and ‘K’ keys on your keyboard to hop up and down between posts.

As you scroll the posts will automatically be marked as read and the number of unread posts listed next to the folder name will decrease.

Just click on the post’s title to visit a post and add a comment or share it via Social Media.

Sharing Posts from within Google Reader

It is easy to share posts that you think your network will like to your Google+ profile directly from within Google Reader. There is a button below every post.

If you haven’t set up a Google+ profile yet, I would recommend doing so. It will make you much more discoverable via Google search and more people are using it then you might realise. If you do, don’t forget to look me up.

If you want to share to another social network like Twitter, then you can either click through to the article where it is hosted on the author’s website and share as you normally would. Alternatively, you could set up a rule using Ifttt is a handy tool that allows you to create rules for many social sites. For example, you tell ifttt to share a link on Twitter every time you “star” a post within Google Reader.

Do you already use Google Reader? What is your experience?

UK Sourcers’ News – 25th June


This week marks the return of the Social Recruiting Conference from Crexia. If you haven’t got a ticket yet then why not snap one up while there is still time?

If you can’t make it to the conference on Thursday then I’ll be providing live tweets and more on the day, just follow the #SRConf hashtag on Twitter to keep up to date.

You can also join us on Twitter on Wednesday evening at 8pm for #SRCHAT, Crexia’s weekly Twitter chat. The topic this week will be “Key features of a social careers website”.


RPO Resourcing Manager – Ochre House, based on site at United Biscuits in Hayes
Recruitment Resourcer / Researcher Team Leader –, Manchester
Experienced Recruiter (Merchandising) – Success Appointments, London

Social Media

Last week I seemed to be campaigning for more profile photos on Twitter. You are your avatar on Social Media, so don’t be an Egghead on Twitter!

Google Plus is arguably the most powerful resource to emerge for sourcers and people researchers for a long time. Irina Shamaeva shared a great post on the SourceCon blog about Google+ for People Sourcing.

If you represent a sizable brand and have not heard of, then it might be time to check it out. Glassdoor is a site where people can share information about companies from salaries to company culture to what an interview is like. The site is mainly US focused but is starting to see some usage in Europe and the UK. You might also find this video interview with Samantha Zupan, Corporate Communications Director at, interesting.

If you have anything you’d like to share on our weekly news round-up then do let me know – are you hoping to hire a sourcer or an Internet savvy recruiter, planning an event or know of a great tool? Then get in touch.


Show Off Your Internet Sourcing Skills With Smarterer

If you know you’ve got mad Google search skills, or you think you know LinkedIn better than the back of your hand, why not show off with Smarterer’s short tests and funky badges.

You can take tests in all sorts of things from Web Development skills to using Powerpoint. Of most interest to us Sourcers are probably the tests in Google Search and LinkedIn.

I have taken a few tests and here are my results:

You can see even more on my Smarterer profile.

If you take a test, share the link to your profile in the comments and show off!

Thanks must go to Bill Boorman for pointing out this tool 🙂

Live Sourcing at Reconverse

Last week I was the guest speaker at Reconvers’ Direct Sourcing event in London.

Jamie had asked me to show the group what sort of candidate information is out there on the web and freely available if you know how to look for it.

I gave a very brief intro to sourcing, and Internet research in particular, followed by a live sourcing demo, just to show what you can find with a little knowledge of search engines and boolean logic. I asked the recruiters in the room to give a profile they were looking for and I started a search there and then.

Example – Interim Datastage Consultant in Watford

One attendee was looking for an interim contractor specialising in an old IBM product called Datastage. This person would have to work in Watford.

I started by using Google Maps to look at the area surrounding Watford and choose some appropriate place names to include in my search – something like this might work:

(London OR Watford OR “St Albans” OR Slough OR “Hemel Hempstead” OR Cheshunt OR Enfield OR Luton OR Harlow OR “High Wycombe” OR Stevenage OR Dunstable OR Uxbridge OR Amersham OR Hatfield)

Then because we were uncertain how candidates might write Datastage, we included in our search string some different permutations. I also added some job titles to help us find pages that were mentioning people:

(datastage OR “data stage”) (developer OR programmer)

We’re now running into lots of job postings, so I look to take out some words that commonly appear on job ads. I also include words that will help us find people willing to work on a contract basis. Giving us a final boolean search string of:

(London OR Watford OR “St Albans” OR Slough OR “Hemel Hempstead” OR Cheshunt OR Enfield OR Luton OR Harlow OR “High Wycombe” OR Stevenage OR Dunstable OR Uxbridge OR Amersham OR Hatfield) (datastage OR “data stage”) (developer OR programmer) (interim OR contractor OR freelance) -job -jobs -vacancy -required

Because the key difficulty with this search is that we need someone still working with an old technology, we need to look for people that are using Datastage in their current role.

You’ll notice on LinkedIn profiles that your current job is listed separately to your past positions. So if we tell google to search for UK profile pages with the word “current” near to the word “Datastage”, we should get what we’re looking for.

“Current * Datastage”

Google brings us LinkedIn profiles that look relevant. You might also choose to add our list of place names onto this string to make sure you are getting people in the right part of the country.

I had an excellent question from the Reconverse crowd about using search engines other than Google. If you put the search query above into Bing then you get some great results on the first page, but not as many results in total.

I always recommend mixing up the search engines you use and trying your strings on more than one.

I use brackets (or parentheses) in my search strings above. This is purely to keep my own thoughts in order – Google actually ignores brackets completely. Bing does not ignore brackets, but that is a post for another day.

For more details of my “Live Source” – check out this video recording. Unfortunately you can’t see what I am typing or the results on the screen, but the audio, despite being quite quiet, might prove informative.

Check out the Reconverse website for more great events. I think the glass of wine to one side of the shot above sums up the atmosphere nicely! 🙂

Capital Letters – The Key To Boolean Success

I’m about to share one of the most common things that people don’t realise about Boolean searching.

Boolean Ven

Boolean logic covers the operators AND, OR and NOT. The name comes from English born mathematician George Boole – his work with algebraic logic is the basis of the modern computer.

When were you last nagged about using capital letters? When you were in Primary school? Not if you’ve recently been in a training session with me.

When using these Boolean operators with a Search Engine, like Google or Bing, it is important to capitalise them.

A Search Engine automatically strips small words like and, or, if, but etc. out of your query. It only searches for what it considers to be a real keyword. By capitalising AND, OR and NOT we make sure the Search Engine takes notice of them as a Boolean operator.

Most job boards do not enforce this rule, so if you don’t usually capitalise your ANDs, ORs and NOTs you have probably still been having success when you search there. I tend to capitalise these operators as a rule – then my string will work everywhere.

The only problem is, I now automatically capitalise OR all the time – not just when I’m searching – Doh!

3 Sites You Have Never Thought About Sourcing From

Do you see sourcing opportunities everywhere you go? You should.

Here are three sites not usually associated with unearthing talent…

Wikipedia Logo

1. Wikipedia

We already know that Wikipedia is a great site to have in our sourcing tool kit, but what about actually finding candidates there? The thing to remember about wikipedia is that anyone can edit it. It stands to reason that the people editing or creating the articles have some expertise in that area. For example I can see that the page on Sourcing (personelle) was created by Rob Macintoch, one of the founders of SourceCon and all round sourcing legend.

Let’s say that I am trying to track down some games designers to work at a tech startup in London. If I check out the wikipedia article on Game Design then I not only find a lot of handy info that will help me with keyword identification, I also find a list of people. “Where?” I hear you ask.

On the top left of every Wikipedia article there is a “View History” tab. This allows you to see all the changes made to that article. Some people edit anonymously so you can only see details of their IP address on the history page. Other people have set up a User profile on Wikipedia and I can see their usernames against the changes they have made.

I start to look for users with profiles that have made changes to the section about the different roles of a games designer, it’s most likely that these are actually people doing the job. The first one I come across is Tom Edwards. He lists the company he works for on his profile, they just happen to be based in the UK. This is a rather hit and miss approach, so I look to use Google or another search engine to find these people more efficiently. I now know that user profiles have the word “user” in the url of the page so I can start to build a search string.


this will give me wikipedia user profiles. I can add keywords and phrases to find the people I want e.g.

inurl:user “game designer” (uk OR “united kingdom” OR london)

I could also include the names of particular games or game makers in my search string.

2. Amazon

Amazon Logo

Next time your boss catches you browsing Amazon while at work you will have a legitimate reason for being there. You’ll be sourcing talent.

One of the most useful shopping features on Amazon is the product reviews. This is the bit that is useful to us for sourcing too! Think about it, who is going to be reviewing books on game design? You could either look through the reviews of particular publications or use a search engine to find reviews that contain certain words and phrases.

“game design”

will find me product review on amazon that mention the phrase “game design”. I might need to narrow that down with some more keywords once I assess the quality of the results. We can now look at the profiles of the people that wrote those reviews. Amazon profiles don’t usually contain much information, but it’s usually enough to get you a name, which you can then put back into a search engine to find out more about a person.

You will also notice that profiles on Amazon contain the word “profile” in the URL, allowing you to search for people profiles that mention certain keywords – by doing this you will probably find profiles that have been filled in with more detail. e.g.

inurl:profile “game designer”

You will also want to consider using sites like in a similar way.

tumblr Logo

3. Tumblr

Tumblr is a blogging platform that makes it really easy to share a wide range of media types very quickly. It lends itself very well to visual content. It is definitely a darling of the social media world but not talked about very much in recruiting circles. At the time of writing, tumblr has over 57 million blogs.

Just like any of the myriad of blogging platforms out there (wordpress, blogger, posterous etc…) it is worth site: searching tumblr to see anyone you are interested in is using tumblr to demonstrate their expertise.

Sticking with our Game Designer example;

“games designer” (uk OR “united kingdom” OR london)

Among other things, this brings up a post from a Tiggy Tuppence actually showcasing some work. Tumblr does allow users to connect up Twitter and Facebook accounts but not all choose to do this. The only way to get in touch with this user through tumblr is to use the “Ask a Question” feature. I decide to google her username first though to see if it’s being used elsewhere. I’m lucky, I quickly see that Tiggy Tuppence exists on Twitter and Google+ too. I could also run the username through to find other online profiles.

What unexpected places have you unearthed talent from?

UK Sourcers News – 28th May 2012

New to UK Sourcers

This week I have added a Useful Tools page to the UK Sourcers site, including a custom search engine to find UK LinkedIn Profiles. Take a look and give the search engine a try.

I also put together a post for new sourcers with some tips, some events to attend and some great people to keep an eye on.


Don’t forget, for first Social Recruiting Twitter Chat (#SRCHAT) takes place this Wednesday at 8pm.

Next week, Onrec host “The Gravity Recruiting Conference” in London. Get a ticket while there is still time!


Talent Acquisition Specialist – Gilead Sciences, Uxbridge
Research Associate – Carmichael Fisher, London

Interesting Links

Google Chrome now the no.1 web browser worldwide
Meet a Sourcer – A profile of Wojciech Smalinski, Google Ireland. By Bill Boorman

UK Sourcers News – 21st May 2012

Search Engine News

Google launch Knowledge Graph

Social Media News

By far the biggest news in Social this week was Facebook’s IPO. The Social Networking giant filed the paperwork for its initial public offering on 1st February and began trading last week. Mashable have a section dedicated to the Facebook IPO where you can find out more.

Twitter Confirms 10 million active users in the UK.

Another Pinterest CV caught the attention of the guys over at Simply Zesty this week.

Social Talent Search – Looks like it would be an interesting tool. “Like” on Facebook of follow on Twitter for news.


Jobs for recruiters and sourcers:

Talent Attraction Specialist – Ochre House in Twickenham, UK
Resourcing Manager – in the Clothing team at Tesco
Head of Sourcing – Amazon
Senior Recruiter – NVIDIA – Bristol, UK
Research Associate – EH Partners Executive Search – London
Talent Acquisition Researcher (contract/perm) – Verizon Business in Reading, Berkshire
Recruiters with 10+ Years Experience – Find The Engineer in Bristol

Recruiters and sourcers looking for work:

Senior Recruiter looking for an opportunity in IT/Banking/Finance in London or Sussex

Do you have something you’d like to share with the community? A job, an event or a new product – Just let me know 🙂