Archive for February, 2014

LinkedIn – Try This Advanced Recruiting Technique

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

A few weeks ago on FeeTrader’s Blog, our guest blogger and Talent Sourcer for Microsoft, Travis Scott, discussed how to use Google to perform an X-Ray search of LinkedIn.  Now we want to take that one step further using something called a “proximity operator.”  Travis explains below how to use this search operator for more targeted search results within LinkedIn public profiles.  Enjoy!

A Boolean proximity operator is a great tool to keep in your arsenal if LinkedIn’s premier subscription is outside of your budget- like it is for many companies.

According to Bing, a Proximity  Operator is a Boolean Operator separating words or phrases in a text search that directs the search engine to locate pages in which the words are near one another in any direction, the acceptable distance varying among search engines. Simply put, it allows you to be more specific in what you would like to see in your search results.

This week we will discuss using Bing and Boolean operators to return more targeted results when performing an x-ray search of LinkedIn.

Using the search method discussed a couple of weeks ago, it would be difficult to drill down to things like current job title.  By using Boolean operators, we can now do that.

Let’s say I’m looking for someone that is currently a .NET Software Engineer with experience in C#, Azure and Silverlight and is located in the Seattle area.

Here’s the Boolean search string I would use:

site:linkedin.com “greater seattle area” current near:6 “software engineer” azure C# Silverlight

Here are the results…

linkedin search results

Here’s how it works:

  • “site:linkedin.com” — Tells Bing to only search the website linkedin.com
  • “greater seattle area” When searching a specific geographic area, you must phrase it exactly as LinkedIn does.

Now for the kicker….

  • current near:6 “software engineer” If you look at someone’s public profile, you will notice that the person current title is shown toward the top of the page (see below).  This tells Bing that I want to see results in which the phrase “software engineer” is located within six words of the term “current.”

Why did I choose six?  Just to be safe.  Believe it or not, the dot in between “Current” and their title is viewed in search results as a word.  So that automatically forces me to at least use “near:2”.  Then you have to consider the different variations of someone’s title.  They could be a Sr .NET Engineer or a Sr .NET Software Engineer or a host of other titles.  I would suggest using a different number and checking out the results that are returned to you.

linkedin example -feetrader blog

In closing, you may be asking yourself, what is the benefit of this if I get the same or more results by doing a similar search within LinkedIn?  The answer is that you probably have a pretty robust network or have a premium subscription.

Because LinkedIn limits your access to the full names of 3rd degree contacts and those outside of your network, you would only be limited to those results.  However, most people’s profiles are publicly searchable.  This means, by using Bing or Google to do a x-ray search of the site, you now have access to those people – at least until LinkedIn decides to cut this access off to people.

How To Recruit With Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Social media has become a domineering force for today’s recruiters, and cyberspace is loaded with battles between programs competing for the same markets. While Tumblr is Twitter’s only real competition, Google + is trying to grab some of Facebook’s audience (this despite a considerably late start) and Facebook’s partner BranchOut is vying to be an alternative to LinkedIn. It’s unlikely that any of these new competitors will disappear altogether even if the old standbys continue to dominate the field, but presently recruiters should have accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and be prepared for any changes. Not all social media are created equal, and each of these platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, especially in the recruiting arena.

Twitter is popular and easy to use. Its mobile function is virtually the same as the desktop version, and as a result, many users direct tweets to their phone. However, you’re not likely to communicate your job openings in 140 characters, so you’ll have to use an abbreviated URL to link to your company’s website, and if that website isn’t mobile-friendly, you may lose the attention of your viewer while their phone tries to load a large website. Don’t expect those people to remember your tweet later that night and research on their home PC. Travis Scott, a recruiter with Microsoft, recommends using Twitter to advertise events, promote blog posts, and offer updates on company news. One other thing to know about Twitter is that it is a bare-bones program; you’ll need apps to ensure that you aren’t writing manual tweets all day. Those apps, such as Followerwonk, SocialBro, TweetDeck and Hoot Suite, are all external to Twitter, and you may have to use them in combination for the best results.

Facebook gives recruiters the space they need for job posts, and it has a huge audience (already exceeding one billion). Posts can be as long as desired and, in conjunction with Facebook advertising, they can be specifically targeted to an audience. The mobile version does not duplicate the PC version—just compare the news feeds between your phone and your desktop—and it does not include advertising. Even if you just post a job opening to your Facebook wall, your mobile subscribers may not see it until they log on to Facebook at home. With these potential problems, it may be best to use BranchOut when recruiting on Facebook. The prices are lower than LinkedIn, and their audience seems to be growing along with Facebook’s.

LinkedIn was designed with recruiting in mind, so many of its built-in functions can assist recruiters. Job postings are easy here, especially because the platform was created for that purpose. Similarly, the profile pages on LinkedIn are designed for professional use, and don’t need to balance between casual and work atmospheres. In a recent blog post, I wrote about the many tools available to enrich a recruiter’s LinkedIn experience, including groups and discussions. Further, LinkedIn has a strong commitment to their mobile platforms, and they are constantly improving those products to bring them closer to their desktop counterparts. However, there are pitfalls with LinkedIn as well. The professional atmosphere of LinkedIn may be a deterrent to potential candidates, who feel less comfortable here than on the other social media platforms. There are also privacy concerns, as contact and job histories are necessary on LinkedIn. Also, as noted in my blog post, recruiters have found ways to abuse this platform through spam-like InMails and by ignoring a candidate’s preferences in Contact Settings.

There is no clear winner in this battle of platforms. One simply cannot ignore one to focus on the other two, and vice versa. I’m sure there are plenty of recruiters that will argue for posting jobs on Twitter, and those who have no issues with the Facebook mobile app or have had no exposure to abuse on LinkedIn. However, because each of these platforms require a certain amount of setup and maintenance time, it’s important to balance these powerful tools in the most efficient way possible. Whether that comes from the suggestions presented above or something completely different will depend on the user.