Monday, July 24, 2006

Internet candidate search

With the advent of Google, for many of us our job vis-à-vis finding and extracting information and sourcing people and resume becomes much more convenient and faster. Today the importance of Google in our day to day activities cannot be undermined. Infact, we will have a separate series of discussion on Google in the days to come and I hope to share with you the wonderful thing you can do with Google to aid you in your search process.
Searching for resume on the net or ‘Googling’ for resume has become one of the tools a good recruiter frequently resort to besides all the other traditional methods and as such it will be advantageous and very prudent for any budding or seasoned recruiter to try and understand and/or master the art of using the internet for sourcing resumes for both active and passive candidates.
The following steps are adapted from Job Machine and I’ve personally practiced the steps and am sure most of us in the recruitment industry today would be using some or if not all of the steps to search for candidates.

Step 1: Understand the requirement and identify the search keywords.
One of the key attributes a good recruiter must acquire and developed is the knack for understanding what the client wants (give an apple if the client wants and apple and not guava or pear). If a recruiter can understand what the client requires then it is also safe to assume that she must also be able to identify the search keywords from the requirement. Search keywords are especially relevant for those in the IT industry. Eg:
ABC client is looking for a Systems Analyst with Interwoven Teamsite skills and at least 3 years of J2EE experience including Websphere, JSP and XML. The candidate must also have 2+ years of experience using PERL scripting.
From the above specification, one can understand the keywords which are highlighted/bold. Therefore, the search should contain the above highlighted keywords.

Step 2: Broadcast the job.
Broadcasting the job is a very critical activity any recruiter must get habituated with. It serves the following purposes – build your networking channel, image building exercise for your company, building your databank, etc.
The first step must be to post the job on your company website and to the subscribed paid sites (Eg; Monster, Jobsdb, Naukri, etc) and how you design and word your post will matter on the responses; this is a separate topic and shall be discussed in the future.
The second step will be to post it to the free sites (Eg; devbistro, jobvertise, etc).
The third step will be mass mailing using bcc on your email application to those candidates whose contacts are already in your databank.
The forth step involves posting the job in all the online groups that you have a membership and if not get registered and start posting (Eg; yahoogroups – teamsite, ezlink, etc)

Step 3: Search Internal database
If you are with an established company you are almost likely to have a sizeable database and chances are that you might find someone with the skills that you are looking for. How well you organized your internal database or how good you are in mining your database either manually or using external search applications is very important. After all, what’s the point in having and maintaining a database if you are not successful in identifying the right profile from your database, assuming the right profile resume does exist within your database. One very efficient search application is call X1. If your organization decides to use X1, you then do not have to spend too much time in organizing your email folder or your internal database, X1can be configured to search all your inbox, server and local hardisk. X1 performs the search instantaneously like how Google desktop does its search. The only drawback X1 has is its inability to search for symbols such as #/+ etc. Imagine how frustrating it can be if you were to search for VC++ or C# resumes.

Step 4: Search Resume boards
Today many of the leading job sites offer their database at a cost. Some of the leading sites are –,, If your company subscribed to these sites, you must search their database. Each sites will have their on search methodologies but most of them will use Boolean search (Will discuss on this separately) for keyword search.

Step 5: Identify and locate competitors
The most likely place our target candidates will be found will be with the competitors. Therefore, one must identify who are the competitors and locate them. This is especially useful when you are looking for people working in the same domain area or similar projects. Eg: Let’s assume our client is Barclays bank and they require Software Engineer with production support experience in the areas of equities and derivatives. The likely place that we can find such candidates, lets say for a place like Singapore will obviously be with their competitors like – Credit Suisse, UBS, JP Morgan, etc.

Step 6: Search for candidates from Competitors
Now that we know who are the competitors and where they are located we can start the search for candidates in these companies. The best approach is searching the internal database first and then using the resume boards. If both these fails start searching the web (details in the following steps). Once you identify the candidate start calling, however if you fail to identify anyone with the required skills/experience, it might be prudent to anyway call and ask for reference or leads. If you cannot reach or they refuse to talk to you or give you any references, drop them a nice sounding mail and thank them for their time and share with them on what you are looking for. Who knows they might have a heart change and decide to forward the mail to their friends/contacts/network. The key here is not to give up but be persistent and keep trying and keep ‘scratching your brain’ for innovative approach or methods to source the right candidate.

Step 7: Search for resumes on the web
The web is one vast hunting ground for any recruiter. How well you master the skills required for internet search will differentiate you from any ordinary recruiter. The following techniques are some of the most common and effective methods to find information/date on the net. Some of the methods given below are search engine unique and care must be taken to do proper research on each sites before embarking on your hunt.
Boolean: Boolean search operators can drill down and find the information you are looking for faster. These operators are used to weed out irrelevant pages thereby narrowing your search results to find exactly what you are looking for. Here are the basic commands used in searching the Internet search engines for resumes.
7.1) Boolean Key
AND - The AND operator delivers results with the terms you requested. For example, searching resume and oracle will return pages with both terms - resume and oracle.
OR - The OR operator delivers results with either of the terms you requested. For example, MCSE OR M.C.S.E.
NOT - The NOT operator will not deliver certain words in your search results. For example, Java NOT coffee will deliver closer results for JAVA Programmers and not Java Coffee.
NEAR - The NEAR operator locates words that are located in close proximity to other words. For example, Java NEAR Programmer. Not every search engine supports this operator.
( ) Parentheses - The ( ) operator allows you to group terms and build longer search strings. For example, NOT (submit AND employer) will avoid pages with both names.
* - The * operator is a wild card. Adding a wild card will find words contain the wild card. For example program* will help so you do not have to run separate searches for words similar like: programmer, programming, program

7.2) Basic Query - This is the string you would use to locate resumes. You would normally add keywords for skills and/or geography to limit your results.

7.3) Flipping
- An easy way to locate resumes outside a target that have a link to the target URL. An ex-employee maybe. In Google, this option is available in Google Advance search, alternately you can type the input from itself, eg: Flip searching allows you to locate internet web pages that are linked to a certain website. This search will give you a very generic result but one can amend this to search for resumes. AND (title:resume OR url:resume)
The results might still be very generic and not all of them might be resumes. One can add some more keywords and further refine this result. AND (title:resume OR url:resume) AND template

7.4) X-Ray - A quick technique that searches internet pages inside a website, can be use to locate resumes. In google use:

7.5) Peeling Back
- A technique you should use almost every time you locate a resume. You might be surprised to find many others. More details on this topic is available at swatrecruiting.

** Happy Hunting folks!**


Anonymous said...

Awesome sourcing tips. A great help for anyone searching for candidates.

I am a hiring manager and this is very helpful in my search.

Next time maybe I'll just hire Joe 8-) Until then thanks for giving back.

Resume Search said...

Thanks for sharing detail for resume search with us.

Resume Search