Get In The Loopt

11 05 2009

I’ve been playing Golf for seven years and I am bad. I’ve dropped cash on Ping Irons, Big Bertha Drivers, Dry-fit golf shirts, and even a Mack Daddy golf bag that I take family canoe trips in. No matter how good the equipment, I just suck palsy bad.

Most of the clubhouses around Atlanta have my picture posted on their bulletin boards. They warn their members via loudspeaker whenever I tee it up. My friends even started to wear a cup. “Dude, just throw the golf ball,” a friend once impatiently advised.

If you are a bad Golfer, no club, driver or putter can really make a difference. You’re just bad.

Unlike Golf, you can be a great Recruiter and downright lousy if you don’t have the right tools. Seriously, why would someone try to recruit with just a phone and phonebook these days? The tools matter, Sparky.

And, why should you use what everybody else is using? Sure, plenty of recruiters live for overpriced job boards and applicant tracking systems.

But let’s open the book on a whole new set of candidate sourcing tools. Let’s go mobile. Let’s get nuts! Let’s go crazy and go streaking! (Crickets chirping) Okay, maybe not that crazy.

I admit it. I’m a newbie at this whole thing, and my first foray into social mobile applications (app) was Buddy Mob. It’s GPS enabled too. I went hunting for potential candidates. Walking down streets, through parks, and dark scary alleyways – constantly broadcasting my identity and location to anyone who cared.

I quickly came to the conclusion the only people using Buddy Mob were those in search of booty or nudity shots. No thanks. I uninstalled Buddy Mob. I moved on.

Then I came across Loopt. It’s a GPS enabled social app that allowed me to connect with friends (or potential candidates). You can easily broadcast your location and update everyone with pictures and an instant message.

A cool thing about Loopt: you can also post to your Twitter, Blog, RSS feeds and Facebook accounts.

Getting started is easy. Download the application on your cell phone. Loopt works on most phones.

Next import your contacts from your phone or from Outlook, Google and MSN accounts. Then send them an invite. Once they’ve accepted your invitation to connect, you can give them real time updates and they can see your exact location. Tada!

Pay attention when importing contacts. You don’t want your crazy ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend accidentally in your Loopt network. They will know your every move.  Not good.

I’m daily bombarded with staffing agency calls. Loopt is a great for those professional stalkers I call Account Managers. With this mobile app, all those unreturned phone calls from pesky salesmen– they are waiting for me in the parking lot.

Here is how you should use Loopt:

Pick a conference where you could source potential candidates or clients. Set up a booth and give away an iPod or Wii. At this point you can ask them if they have a Loopt, Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace account. Let them know you will send them a text message or an email announcing an opportunity to connect via Loopt.

After they accept your Loopt invite, you can update them via Twitter, Facebook or RSS feeds.

The next wave in all this Social Media frenzy is portability but, patience young Jedi. Much is still to be learned and people need to catch on.

As it stands, a lot of Loopt users are hesitant to add you to their network. But with privacy controls being added with every update, you can be certain more and more people will eventually connect with you.

Now is the time to build the social web 2.0 empire. As your following grows on Twitter and Facebook sites, the social mobile apps will follow too. The time is coming when you can source candidates using mobiles apps or expand your client base with your mobile communities.

But for now, Loopt is a great stand alone sourcing tool and a new way to connect with potential clients. Have fun and keep me in the Loopt!

 

Michael GlennMichael Glenn has been recruiting for over 10 years. Currently, he is the IT Recruiting Manager for inComm and he has worked for companies such as Turner Broadcasting System,  and Oracle/Retek. Michael Glenn is passionate about using technology in full life cycle recruiting programs. He resides in Atlanta.





Using Twitter Effectively to Recruit Candidates

14 04 2009

By now, most of you have heard about, or are using, the “micro” blogging site Twitter.  It’s a great way to tell your contacts what you’re doing, or what you’re eating for dinner tonight, or what television show you can’t stop watching.  But for those of us in the sourcing and recruiting industry, the question is “How can we use Twitter to source candidates?”  Thankfully, you can.  Limiting your “tweets” to 140 characters may not provide much substance, but there are ways to get the information or people you are after.

Let’s start with using Twitter’s search interface.  The Advanced Search interface, at first glance, appears to be a great resource.  However, in my experience it only searches the individual entries, or better known as “tweets.”  Most of the information we are after is going to be in the very valuable “BIO” section.  You are only allowed 160 characters in this space as well, so it’s very important to concisely state your profession and expertise here.  In addition to the BIO section, there is also location information available, and one link to an external site.  THIS is the information we are after. 

I have experimented with searching Twitter through a site: search on Google, and the results have been good, so while I do recommend that method, there are also numerous third-party search applications out there that will search this information.  A couple worth mentioning here are Tweepsearch (http://www.tweepsearch.com) and Twellow (http://www.twellow.com).  Both of these search engines search bio information only, and I’ve found the results to be a great help in numerous searches.  For example, say you have a search for a Java developer and they can be based anywhere in the Midwest.  Using Twellow, entering the following search string yields 23 targeted results:

 java (Chicago | Detroit | Indianapolis | Cleveland | Milwaukee | Minneapolis)

Granted, this is a very basic search string, and although it’s not yielding a great amount of results, these are very targeted individuals that you can easily get in touch with via a Direct Message on Twitter. 

While being able to search Twitter for passive candidates may be great, you’re not fully utilizing this resource unless you harvest Twitter’s ability to quickly get a message out to the right people.  Building a strong following on Twitter can be a lengthy process, but the results can be great.  For example, I recently had a local client in need of a Web Designer.  I searched for, and then “followed”, local web and graphic designers in my region using Twellow and LinkedIn.  Many (I would say about 90%) of people you follow will follow you back, so soon I had a good number of those people following me.   Instead of taking the time to send each one of them a Direct Message through Twitter, I simply put out a “tweet” that I had a local client looking for a talented Web Designer.  In literally five minutes I had a message from a colleague of a Web Designer that was following me, and we ended up sending him out for an interview that day.

As Twitter grows in popularity, it will become an even more valuable tool in your recruiting arsenal.  In fact, just last month Twitter passed LinkedIn in terms of the number of unique visitors to the site, with over 14 million hits.  If you are not using this site as a tool to not only search for passive candidates but also communicate instantly with a targeted audience, you’re simply not leveraging this valuable tool to its full potential.  

 

 

versluis-photoPrior to joining The Judson Group, Jeff Versluis spent over four years developing his recruiting and staffing expertise with search firms in both Florida and Michigan.  Jeff is responsible for all research functions, including passive candidate generation, data mining, market research and other special projects. He has successfully used his knowledge of accounting, finance, banking, and administrative services to leverage an extensive network of contacts. 





Using Yahoo Pipes For Listening

11 03 2009

Are you interested in learning about a tool that can help you manage the massive amounts of information?  In this article I will share how I use Yahoo Pipes with Twitter for my personal use.  Perhaps something about my experience will encourage you to look at Pipes yourself.

Pre-requisites:

  • In order to use Pipes, you need a Yahoo! account.
  • We’ll be discussing subscribing to RSS feeds, so you may want to brush up on your understanding of that. I’ll show briefly feed results in Google Reader and Net
  • I’ll also be discussing my use of Twitter, so if you’re interested in replicating my example, you’ll need a Twitter account.

WHAT YAHOO PIPES IS

From the Yahoo! Pipes home page:

Yahoo! Pipes is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web.  Like Unix pipes, simple commands can be combined together to create output that meets your needs:

  • combine many feeds into one, then sort, filter, and translate it.
  • geocode your favorite feeds and browse items on an interactive map.
  • power widgets/badges on your web site.
  • grab the output of any Pipes as RSS, JSON, KML, and other formats.

It sounds pretty technical, and to some extent it is. But fortunately, there are many examples of pipes already in use, and the best way to learn how they work is to see some of them in action.

Sound like fun?  Let’s take a look at one of the pipes I’ve put together using Twitter.

BUILDING A LISTENING FEED FOR TWITTER

Twitter Search is a tremendously useful utility for listening.  One of the things I’ve noticed about the Twitter Search RSS feed, though, is that it only shows the twitter post.  In an RSS reader like Google Reader or NetVibes (I use both), you have to expand the item to see the author.  When rapidly scanning a list of items, this can become time consuming or at least take more time than I personally want to allow.  Wouldn’t it be great to see the author and the post at the same time? Fortunately, there are some things you can do in Pipes that can help with that.

GRAB TWITTER SEARCH FEED

First, let’s grab some Twitter Search feeds. Go to http://search.twitter.com and enter a search term.  When you’re finished, click Search. In this particular example, I entered my user name.

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In the Twitter Search results screen, you want to grab the RSS feed link. Here I’ve right-clicked and selected the text that says, “Copy link address”.

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Now, we’re ready for Yahoo! Pipes. Go to http://pipes.yahoo.com and log in.  Click on the link to Create a New Pipe.

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The visual palette opens, and you’ll see different frames for modules, debugging, and the main layout.

FETCH THE FEED

Under Sources group of modules, select the FetchFeed module and drag it in to the workspace.  Paste the Twitter Search Feed URL into the box.

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FILTER BY DATES

Next, we’ll set up a Filter to filter out only the most recent Twitter posts in the search feed.  To do this we first add the Filter module.dj5

Next, we add the Date Builder module.  Hook up the Filter to the FetchFeed module, and hook up the Date Builder module to the Filter module. Make sure the Filter settings are set up so that you are permitting all feed items greater than 7 days ago.  See the picture for more information.

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SORT ON PUB DATE

After this, add the Sort module and set it up to sort descending on the Pub Date.

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PRE-PEND THE AUTHOR TO THE POSTED ITEMS WITH LOOP AND STRING BUILDER

We could hook this up to the Pipe Output and be done.  But as I mentioned earlier, the results in the list would only show the posted items when we see them in the feed results; we need to pre-pend the authors to the posted items.  To do that, we add the Loop module and hook it up to the Sort module.

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Next, drag the String Builder module inside the Loop module.  Add the item.author.name to the String Builder.

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After this, add two more items in the String Builder module, placing a colon (:) in the second one and the item.title in the third.

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After this, be sure to assign results to the item.title and hook up the Loop module to the Pipe Output.

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TITLE AND SAVE

Until now, the pipe we’ve created has remained untitled, so let’s give it a title and click OK when we’re done.

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We’re not ready to run it just yet. Click on Save.

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RUN THE PIPE AND GIVE IT A DESCRIPTION

Once the Pipe has been saved, we’re ready to run it to see the results. Click on Run Pipe.

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Add a Description if you want, and click Save.

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ADD THE PIPES RSS FEED TO YOUR FEED READER

Notice the buttons that are available to get the RSS.  You can add this pipe to Google Reader or NetVibes and begin using it.

Google Reader

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NetVibes Feed module

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Yahoo! Pipes is a great tool for mashing up content on the web. I hope you’ll take a closer look and consider adding it to your toolbelt.  In this article we created a listening feed around a single Twitter keyword item and remixed the feed to include the author of the post in the feed.

 

djj-photoDaniel Johnson, Jr., from Cincinnati, Ohio, has been spending time in the new media playground for over seven years, working on various projects and connecting with others online and in-person. During the day he develops solutions that provide information to help people do their jobs and make better business decisions.  For more information, check out  http://danieljohnsonjr.com/main/about

 





Meet the new Technology Editor for The Source

5 02 2009

The editing team of The Source Newsletter would like to welcome our new Technology Editor, Amanda Blazo.

Amanda Blazo is the Business Analyst for Govig & Associates which is the number 1 office in Management Recruiters International (MRI).  Amanda manages the two off shore internet research/recruiting firms that support Govig & Associates as well as many other external clients.  She supports both voice recruiting and internet research agents in Manila, Philippines and Mumbai, India.  Amanda is passionate about her work and strongly believes in professional networking to help build her client’s businesses.

Amanda will be responsible for coordinating the Technology Tips on The Source Newsletter. If you have a new resource you’d like to review or a cool sourcing tip you’d like to share, please get in touch with her.

Amanda can be reached at amanda [at] thesourcingconference [dot] com. Please leave a comment and welcome her to our team, and check out the entire editing team for The Source here.





How to Combine Boolean Search with Personalized Approach in Your Lead Generation Processes

13 01 2009

My daily work is a lot about looking for and making initial contacts with potential candidates for our job orders at Brain Gain Recruiting. I think that this how-to article should be easily applicable to any lead generation.  The methods suggested below are free for all and are mostly Google-based.

Let’s take an example. Suppose I am looking for a…

“Java/J2EE Engineer with good knowledge of the server side development and experience in software methodologies, especially Agile, living within 25 miles from Santa Clara, CA.” The employer named several competitors that are target companies for this search. The employer has a Dice account and has asked to only search for people outside of major job boards.

Let’s begin.

Step 1. Find a limited number of resumes and profiles of people who would be “the best” and contact them in a very personal manner.

a) Look for resumes on Google that are: 1) recent, 2) have as many keywords as possible, 3) are local to Santa Clara. As an example, you can run this search (this is just an example to show my approach; you could modify this string to your liking):

j2ee agile  engineer | developer server intitle:resume | inurl:resume 408 OR 650 OR “Bay Area”

You can also do a few variations in order to find resumes:

j2ee agile engineer | developer server  ~resume 408 OR 650 OR “Bay Area” -job -jobs -careers

j2ee agile engineer | developer server  ext:pdf | ext:doc 408 OR 650 OR “Bay Area” -job -jobs -careers

b) Look for profiles. Let’s look on LinkedIn using X-ray via Google:

“Bay Area” j2ee agile  engineer | developer server site:linkedin.com -intitle:answers -intitle:directory

(Have a large number of connections? Look using your LinkedIn account as well.)

Now, contact these great J2EE Server people in a very personal manner.

How? Review the resumes and the profiles. If the person seems outstanding, also do a bit of investigation; at least type his/her name into Google and see what comes up.

Write an interesting email to every person on this list; say that their background is impressive and mention a fact about them. Perhaps you also liked some graphic on their site? Are you both interested in soccer? A tiny personal touch can help to get conversation going.

If you are not sure that the person is looking for a new job, be gentle in your email: ask for his/her advice on finding others for this type of work or even just ask about his/her expertise. (Many of us know that this is a better way to start your communication with a “passive” candidate than asking whether they would want to interview for a job).

Follow up with a call. If you are going to call, it certainly makes sense to do some Internet research on that person beforehand.

You will find the contact information on the resumes but not on profiles. For profiles, you have to do some additional work. As an example, you can figure out the email address knowing the company and its email pattern; or send these people a message on LinkedIn if you belong to the same group, or do other applicable things. (I can write a whole separate blog post on this.)

Step 2. Now, relax your Google resume search: drop some keywords or drop the page age requirement or drop the location keywords etc.

Look only for resumes to start with. As an example, use the string with no location restriction:

j2ee agile  engineer | developer server  ~resume  -job -jobs -careers.

Other things to do with the initial string may include: use “methodology” instead of “agile“; try removing the word server; try using architect or lead or programmer instead of the above titles etc. Make sure the number of results remains reasonably low (under a few thousand), otherwise you are likely to get too many irrelevant results.

You can collect email addresses by hand, or using Contact Capture from Broadlook or some other tool.

Now you are about to write to many people who are still likely to be fine candidates. Perhaps you can’t be as personal any more. Send them a relatively short note asking “whether they might know someone who would be qualified…”.  Your email doesn’t need to feel impersonal to these people. Try sending your draft email to yourself and see how it feels. Always send individual emails, or use an email merge tool to send your email separately to every person.

Do not overload your email with too many details and (pretty much any) graphics.

Do not ask these people about too many things such as several open jobs. Do not expect them to click on links to your pages; put enough information right there in the email.

MS Word and Outlook will work well as email merge tools. Anybody you email should be able to ask you to stop emailing.

Step 3. Now, look for profiles, also having relaxed your search. The problem here is that you are looking to contact many people but there’s no published contact info for most of them. A work around in terms of efficiency may be to look for people from a particular company (and do this for every target company). If you get first, last names from LinkedIn and know the company’s email pattern, you could create an email list. Tell these people that you saw their profile on LinkedIn. Mention their company for a personal touch. If you are writing to someone’s work address, be careful about the subject; it’s probably best for the subject not to mention “job openings”.

Step 4. Look for contact information of people who might be relevant to your search. In particular, you can look for email addresses. There are so many places where you could look. Look on forums, conference sites, blogs, etc.

There are many search strings to help to look for email addresses. As just one example, including the work gmail in your search string is likely to bring gmail.com addresses.

Let’s do this for a (theoretical, just to make my point) example; the search below will bring some resumes but will mostly bring non-resumes:

-resume  j2ee agile  engineer | developer server  -job -jobs -careers “email ** com”

We did use relevant keywords but there’s absolutely no guarantee that every email address on the result pages belongs to a software engineer.

Collect email addresses carefully, or you may accidentally grab emails from a high school alumni site or a nonprofit these people belong to. It’s useful to review your email list before you send out your email, and perhaps do some additional filtering. More recent pages found with more relevant keywords may be slightly more reliable in bringing in relevant addresses. After your email list is complied, you can remove addresses that come from irrelevant companies/domain names. Remove email addresses that come from a different country (ending in a two-letter country abbreviation such as .uk, .in etc.)

You could also try to find these people elsewhere and get more information about them before you write to them.

Be ready to respond. As a result of this process, I often get referrals, suggestions where to post the job, etc. Sometimes, also, one of my “best” candidates would reply saying that she doesn’t know anybody else but she is interested in the job herself!

 

 

shameave-irina-photoIrina Shamaeva is an Executive Recruiter and an Expert Sourcer. For the past 5 years she has been a Partner with Brain Gain Recruiting, placing senior full time employees in IT, Strategy Consulting, and Finances. She has an MS in Mathematics and a strong technical background.

Irina runs fast growing “Boolean Strings” Groups on LinkedIn and Recruiting Blogs. She organized the Boolean Contest for Recruiters and Sourcers in 2008. Read more on her blog. Irina’s LinkedIn Profile can be found here.

 

 





RSS = Really Simple Sourcing

9 12 2008

One of the things I love about being ½ HR and ½ Geek is the ability to apply new technology to existing needs – the idea being that rather than waiting for a magical application to be developed or implemented, we can find smarter and “out of the box” ways to make existing resources more efficient or effective – or just more fun.

Most of us are currently using newsreaders and aggregators to get snack sized nuggets of our information quickly and easily. Some of us have probably opted in to several Google Alerts that fill our inboxes with updates each morning. So in asking around to many of my peers within the Blogosphere I was surprised to learn that many saw no value in news aggregators as they related directly to recruiting – but instead viewed them rather as very simple (or confusing) information dumping grounds. Oh the opportunity!

So let’s take a few minutes to explore just one possible use of RSS and Newsreaders in the life of a busy and mobile and connected Recruiter shall we?

Suppose for the moment that you or a member of your team is working through their keyword (Boolean) searches for that perfect job seeker. You’ve got your favorite Boolean strings saved in a .txt or .doc file on your desktop and you steadily plug them into Google or Yahoo every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then sift through the results before moving on. 

Perhaps you’re considered pretty advanced in that you’ve taken the approach of bookmarking the search results page and removed the copy+paste step from your process all together. Maybe you’ve even been so bold as to create a Google Alert to notify you each morning if there are new results to your favorite strings. 

This is a good start… But let’s think bigger.

Take your favorite search string and head over to FeedMySearch.com.  FeedMySearch is a nifty tool that will turn any search results into compact RSS feeds.  (Don’t worry… we’ll get to why in a second.) I’ve chosen FeedMySearch for this example because it’s quick and easy – there are other options like IceRocket that some may prefer to play with, of course.

 For this example I’ve created the following quick and easy string:

          (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) AND (java*) AND program* AND (Texas or TX or Dallas) AND -sample*

The idea is that you’re looking for resumes of Java programmers in Dallas. While this is a rather basic search string it will serve the purpose of this example – so we’ll pretend it’s returning to you some pretty strong results.

Here’s where you play along with me… Copy the search string above and paste it into the search field, leaving “web search” as the default selection and click the “Feed my search!” button.

feedmysearch1 What will be returned to you should look like a simple bulleted list where above it a large “Subscribe” button is displayed. What you’re looking at is the result of your search query in the form of a RSS feed.  And this is good – because here is where it gets fun.

 Click the large ‘Subscribe” button and select your reader of choice.

feedmysearch2Continuing forward I’m going to use Google Reader for the sole reason that it’s my favorite news reader. You can use any reader you’d like and can probably expect some slightly different variables on your reader settings, but those shouldn’t be too hard to sort through in order to get similar results. 

feedmysearch3 Once your reader opens you should have the option to save this new feed to an existing folder or to create a new one. For this particular import, we’ll name a new folder “Java Programmer – Dallas”

feedmysearch4

After some time you’ll begin to accumulate folders and hopefully come up with a system that works for you to efficiently sort your reading material and search results. Here is a snapshot of the end result of our imported rss with some fancy statistics thrown in for good measure (Yup, they’re Google’s.) One of the better features here is the ability to click on any returned result and be presented with a quick 4-5 line preview of the resume along with the direct URL.

feedmysearch5

I love Google Reader’s flexibility in that I can flag any feeds (or resumes) share them with peers, add comments, email them directly from the reader and even customize tags to provide another layer of filters.

Imagine for a moment how you or your team might use this combination of tools for collaborative sourcing efforts. Picture how this combination of tools better serves you when you’re traveling – since the information is saved on the web and not on a local hard drive it is accessible anywhere you’ve a connection. Connecting on your mobile?  (Also a no-brainer with most readers and newer phones.)

It’s almost a bookmark driven ATS.

 

 

hoyt-chris-photoChris Hoyt is employed as the Associate Director of Talent Attraction at AT&T in Dallas, TX.  It is his honor to lead the Interactive and Strategic recruiting teams that source and recruit globally for AT&T.  His insights can be found most easily on his personal blog, www.RecruiterGuy.net.

 








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