Sourcing Techniques for Business Development

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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: “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:

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:

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

What is sourcing? #DiscSource

I put this question to some of the speakers of Discover Sourcing a few weeks ago.

In this video Oscar Mager, Shane McCusker and Ralph Meyer give me their thoughts on the subject;

I think of sourcing as the first phase of the recruitment process. It could refer to any activity that gets a candidate into process. A sourcer might be a brilliant researcher that knows how to interrogate information sources like databases, search engines and social networks. They might have an affinity for advertising and marketing, writing fantastic job ad copy and focusing on employer brand. A sourcer could also be a powerful networker – both online and in-person – focusing on relationships and connections within their industry. Some might even be a blend of all those things.

Everyone seems to have a different take on what souring is and what makes a great sourcer, here’s a few thoughts from other Discover Sourcing experts:

“Sourcing is… opening one door to find a hundred more behind it. It’s also about constantly updating our door opening skills and being interested and curious in what is behind every one of them. It’s not just about clever Boolean strings, hacks and technology it’s about people and the art of matching the right jobs to the right people at the right time.”
Martin Lee,

“To me sourcing is about bringing new candidates into process whether in-house or in an agency. Sourcing as opposed to research goes beyond identification, this is about finding someone new who is unknown to you before, engaging with them directly (ideally speaking with that person) and building enough rapport to have that potential new candidate trust you to consider them for roles in the future with clients or your organisation and be happy to maintain a relationship.”
Andy Mountney, Aspen In-house

“Sourcing is like mining for precious stones. Sometimes you can pick them up off the ground and other times you need to move 500 tonnes of earth to find a single one. Sourcing is very similar to this in the sense that intelligent searching and using the right tools determine how easy or difficult a search is going to be. Once you fully understand what you are looking for it becomes a lot easier to know where to look.”
Ralph Meyer, Ernst & Young

What does sourcing mean to you and what skills make you a great sourcer? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

I look forward to continuing this discussion at Discover Sourcing in September.

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