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! 🙂

Event: #rcnvs Direct Sourcing – Thursday 14th June 2012

If you’re interested in advancing your direct sourcing model, you’ll love the next in the series of Back To Basics events from Reconverse.

Reconverse will be hosting a day on Direct Sourcing in Central London featuring a live-sourcing session from me.
What Reconvese say about the event:

In our unique speed meeting format, delegates will get a chance to meet a number of new suppliers that can help empower your recruiters and rely less on third parties when it comes to finding the passive candidate market.
Then after lunch, the afternoon session will start with an introduction to Sourcing from Katharine Robinson, followed by a live demonstration of what you can do using only Google as a sourcing tool. We encourage delegates to bring along roles they are currently working on in order for Katharine to find you some names and demonstrate the power of real sourcing. Katharine Robinson started out in Internet sourcing with an Executive Search firm; she has also had In-house sourcing experience with Capgemini Consulting. Katharine’s work as a freelance consultant has given her research experience across many industries and roles and we’re delighted to have her along.
We will then break into the round table discussion, where delegates can choose to be as involved as they like. Our round table discussions are now somewhat legendary in the market, having lead to heated discussions, innovative conclusions and real peer to peer learning.

If you need more convincing, here’s a video from a previous event:

Reconverse from Jamie Leonard on Vimeo.


UK Sourcers News – April 2012

UK Sourcers is back with a new website!

I started UK Sourcers in 2009. I think I finally have the time to show the project the love it deserves. I have started by putting together this brand new blog. I have imported a few of the best posts from the old UK Sourcers Posterous here to keep things all in one place.

You can get regular updates about Sourcing, both finding and attracting talent online via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook too 🙂

Search Engine News

Google Search Changes: Symbols, Profiles, Geo Data And More – From the SourceCon blog.
Blekko’s Traffic Is Up Almost 400 Percent; Here Are The CEO’s Five Reasons Why – From Search Engine Land


We have had some great events in April.

Reconverse hosted a great event on Mobile Recruiting. Take a look the results of their mobile recruiting survey. If you’ve not thought about how mobile should fit into your candidate sourcing and attraction strategy, maybe it’s time to now. The event also inspired this blog post from James Mayes – have you ever thought about using Wi-Fi for recruitment?

Social Media In Recruitment from Web Based Recruitment, saw large numbers gather for the fourth year in a row. Lots of past attendees were back to tell how they had implemented the use of Social Media within their teams and businesses. I’d recommend following all the speakers on Twitter.

The FIRM hosted another great event, this time focused on Cost Effective Resourcing. They have also announced a whole series of events coming up soon for In-house recruiters.

Coming up on 1st May we have Recruiting Through Social Media from Recruitment International. I will be there talking about how I used Social Media with Capgemini Consulting. You can also read more about that on my blog.

We also heard that Social Media Week will be running again in London this September. Keep an eye on #smwldn on Twitter for news as it happens.


I sometimes spot people looks for jobs or people looking to hire recruiters on Twitter. This month we have opportunities for:

A white collar construction Recruiter for @OysterPartners – See the tweet

Sourcing Across The Pond

The Current and Future State of Talent Sourcing – An in depth piece from Glen Cathey, Boolean Black Belt.
The Next SourceCon event has been announced – It will take place in Dallas in September

Cool Tools

Buffer App – A nifty tool I’m trying out for scheduling tweets after hearing so many good things about it at the Social Media In Recruitment conference. – A tool built in the UK for accessing Twitter on your mobile phone, great if you don’t have a smartphone. Read more about what Dabr is from one of its creators, James Whatley.
Maddle – Recommended at Social Media In Recruitment this week for getting your careers site mobile friendly very fast. Find out more about this Netherland’s based startup in this video from the guys at mRecruitingcamp.

I hope you found this news roundup useful – if you have anything you’d like me to include in future, do let me know.