Would you like to source like the best? Here are some habits that, I believe, best Sourcers demonstrate while performing their searches. 

  1. Best Sourcers spend a good deal of time figuring out what to search for (for example, terminology, job titles, company competitors, target schools, certifications, etc.). (Ideally, they are able to verify with the HM!)
  2. They spend a good deal of time figuring out where to search (for example, associations, conferences, industry social sites, Facebook groups, etc.)
  3. They use their imagination. They imagine what the search results look like, then search for “that” (vs., for example, copying some keywords from a job description into the search box). This mindset – “search for what you expect to find” – is key
  4. They spend a reasonable amount of time adjusting (modifying) their searches so that the results are useful. (They are not after a “perfect” Boolean String)
  5. They use search results to expand the search in new directions (for example, notice terminology, memberships, or certifications and run additional searches)
  6. They notice additional sites or sources in the search results to examine further (for example, if they run across a profile on a membership site, they might also look at other members on the site)
  7. If they see unexpected results, they stop and try to figure out the reason (Did they use the right syntax? Is it a bug or some odd behavior of the search system? If so, what is the scope?)
  8. They make sure they know what can and cannot be found, and where. (For example, we can’t X-Ray LinkedIn for postal codes, but can for current job titles)
  9. They know how to interpret searches with no results, or no relevant results. (For example, most people in a given profession within a location may not be present on LinkedIn. Or, some country does not host a conference on a particular topic – it happens elsewhere)
  10. Last but not least, think while they search.

What do you think about these ten habits? Do you have them?  Would you add something else to the list? Please comment!

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