Sunday, March 18, 2007

:: Internet sourcing techniques

Internet recruiting is slowly but surely catching on in this part of the world. Time is not far off when we will have to increasingly employ internet search for finding resumes, but of course this is besides the traditional method of sourcing.

I’ve been doing a bit of research on the net and managed to compile some of the most commonly used techniques for internet recruiting and am glad to share this with you.

Before we try and understand the techniques for internet recruiting let us first understand what are the search engines mostly used by experience recruiters.

Some recommended search engines on the Web:
The search strings for each of these search engines will vary and therefore to maximize your search please do read the tutorials in advance from the respective search engines site.

What techniques to use and when and under what circumstances to use will depend on how well you master each techniques. To achieve optimum success one must also have a fairly good idea about the recruitment industry, the specific job requirement, the key words within the requirement and also differentiate the "mandatory skills" from "good to have skills."

Some of the most common internet search techniques are as given below.

A method of looking inside a specific web site to find what's there. Using this technique, recruiters can find documents and web pages that aren't directly accessible via links on the main public home page. When you 'x-ray' a website, you effectively get to examine every document that resides there so long as they are not behind firewalls or password protected.
Example: To find any “software engineer” - could be a document/file or a word/phrase within a document that resides within the website
In Altavista search - AND software engineer
In Google search - AND software engineer

Flipping is an effective method used to find the relationships between web pages based on how they are hyperlinked together. This search is especially useful for finding people who have links to the company or have worked for a specific company.
Example: To find any “software engineer” – could be a document/file or word/phrase that links back to
In Altavista search - AND software engineer
In Google search - AND software engineer

As the name suggest Peeling back is the process of “retracing the path” of the url especially when one gets an Error 404 (File not found). This process is engage so as to locate the information elsewhere on the site or locate the specific “root” folder where one can find similar or additional data specific or related to the search.
Example: By peeling back or keying backspace starting from the point where the url ends we can then access the people link from the homepage and find the names of all the faculty members.

Harvesting involves reviewing a document, such as a resume or home page, and finding key words, links, references and locations that assist with subsequent searches.

By constructing complex search strings and conducting the search in major search engines one can hone in on the exact information/resources with great accuracy.

Some of the commonly used key words for a search string are given as below.
Common resume Words: Resume,
Homepage, CV, Vitae, Bio, Qualifications, Objective, Experience, Education, References, "Work History", "Technical skills", "Project duration"
Common words to avoid: Submit, Opening, Recruiter, Send, Benefits, Requirements, Opportunity, Apply, Job, Jobs, Careers, Eoe, Reply, "my client".

Example on how to construct a complex search strings:
Requirement: A project manager with PMI certification or a 6 Sigma black belt having atleast 5 years of project management within an Investment bank in the areas of Equities connectivity or trading software development. Must have good technical skills in J2EE, EJB, Websphere, XML and DB2.

Search strings credit to – Glenn Gutmacher of Advanced Online Recruiting Techniques

(intitle:~cv OR inurl:~cv OR intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) "project manager" Java "investment bank" ("equities connectivity" OR trading software) -inurl:~efinancial*
Search result: 87 pages

(intitle:cv OR inurl:cv OR intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) “project manager” Java "investment bank" "equities connectivity" OR trading software -eoe -opening -post -preferred -reply -send –submit
Search result: 1,740 pages

Live Search:
(intitle:cv inurl:cv intitle:resume inurl:resume) prefer:resume “project manager” Java "investment bank" "equities connectivity" trading software -job -jobs –careers
Search result: 10,038 pages

The search results from the above three searches gives us different amount of results and the task of sieving through the hundreds of pages sounds rather a dauting task. However, the strings above could still be further refined so as to achieve a much more specific results. For example by including SCJP or Sun certification or SDLC, etc I believe one can derived at a much more accurate results.

If you, by applying the techniques as discussed above expects resumes to pop out every time you hit the search button you might end up disappointed and even frustrated. The internet is a storehouse of information and is just an augment to a recruiting process vis-a-vis bigger and better hunting ground and not a complete substitute.

*** Happy hunting folks!***


HR ASIAPAC said...

Joe, An excellent informations , though we are using on daily basis but we might forget certain key aspects.


Smart said...

Joe, you rock! Good stuff dude!!

JibberJobber Guy said...

Joe, this is a great post that job seekers should know about so they can think about how to optimize their online presence so they can be found through these methods.

Do you have any best practices for job seekers (perhaps another post)?

Shally said...

Check out if you are interested in learning more about internet sourcing!

Arun said...

Hi Joe

I am more from the "buy-side", looking to hire people. In tech, I would say that the single most important hiring guidelines is to hire for "aptitude" and not a particular skillset. Skills in tech can be easily learnt and mastered if a person has the right aptitude and talent. And the most talented people for a particular position might not currently be working in that domain.

In the example you have cited, I see a similar problem. You are restricting your search only to Proj Managers who have already delivered projects in Equities Connectivity etc etc. Looking only at that very very specific skillset.

This can work out fine if you are looking at the entry-level hiring positions where the employee is meant to solve a very specific problem. But as the position you start hiring for moves higher up the value chain, this won't work. E.g.: Designer, Development lead. I have interviewed and had to say no to 17 people over the last 2 months for a lead designer position. Happened because all the recruiters were filtering based on certifications which IMHO are worth jack.

So whats the way to solve this? I would point at 2 things -
>> Have a deep understanding of the field you are recruiting for. So if it is investment banking tech, understand the different domains and roles within this area. Then you will be able to understand what a "market data connectivity" expert role is all about and start casting a net outside the domain for people

>> Get to know great tech people. Attend tech conferences and events, and read tech blogs. You can hire them into suitable positions, and they can be a source of info about some roles you are recruiting for

Juan said...

This is great stuff. Everyone who is looking for a job should know about this. When a job seeker is up against hundreds of thousands of other potential online applicants, he needs to use every advantage he can to get a leg up.

Juan Rodriguez
employment blog

Everyday Weekender said...

Great article!.. very informative!

EW ;)
Everyday Weekender

lalen said...

Great article! Hope this can help us find the best people for our vacant post. Those who are interested can visit us at or they can send their resumes on-line thru

IT said...

good article and anybody looking for a job in any technologies and looking for middle and senior level profile then they can send their resumes to my email ->

Anonymous said...

Exceptionally an excellent article.........highly informative. Thanks, Joe.

Asha Raghavan
Infronic Solutions pvt. Ltd
chennai India

vaibhav said...

Hi Joe,

The various techniques you have mentioned for online job search is well crafted.

Mohan said...

Thanks Joe,

Though, I also have some different searching techniques.. It never occurred for me to share it... Couldn't avoid appreciating you on this...

Much appreciated work !!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Joe, what an exellent assistance to inform and instruct us in internet sourcing,I got what i was looking for and keep the fire burning for we are connected through this medium.
Journalism student Dr.BAMU UNIV.India JOSHUA BOITT

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Anonymous said...

This is very infomative also helpful to upgrade my knowledge as well.

Anonymous said...

This techniques is very infomative.

Social Media Monitoring said...

This is such a great sort of information and great insights which is so helpful to know about main resources on the internet. Good informative post.

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