A Test Question for the People Sourcing Certification Program

Participants of the People Sourcing Certification Program go through 60 questions for the Level 1 and 80 questions for the Level 2 at the end of the Program. We use the tests as an additional opportunity to practice and apply the sourcing skills.

As several participants have pointed out, and as one of them wrote, the Program actually makes you “think” instead of just plugging in some answers and forgetting about them a month later like some recruiters/sourcers do.

Here is a sample test question. It is in fact easy but, unless you think before and while you search, it looks like a pretty complex challenge!

I’ve decided to run a little contest around the question and support two sourcing enthusiasts to attend the Program.

[ please note the contest was held in the past and is over]

We will randomly select one person for live attendance in San Francisco June 6-7 and one person to attend online (the online program starts June 12th). Please indicate live or online preference in your email.


1. Find a file containing several lists of employees from many companies, including: Amgen, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, and Astrazeneca. The lists are dated from 2000 to 2010. What is the URL?

2. One of the people taking the test couldn’t initially find the answer, but did right away, after he and I discussed one sourcing idea. I didn’t give him any additional info but he found the file. What was the idea?


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Comment by Irina Shamaeva on June 3, 2012 at 11:31am

The competition was fierce! Many correct results and even more incorrect results were submitted. Here are the winners:

Joe Self of Trustaff – Online; congratulations!
Kim Rosenberg of Global Recruiters of San Mateo –Live in San Francisco; congratulations!

Several people have asked me how to solve this. 

So, there are some initial thoughts: why would people from different companies be in one list? Suggested answer: they have attended an event.
Also, the list would probably have the fields like company and title, plus some contact info.
The most common list format is Excel, so let's try it first.

(Would the word "employees" be in the list? Probably not.)

The "idea" is to IGNORE some of the requirements. Let's ignore the years 2000-2010.

You can find the correct file among these results:
Amgen Pfizer Roche Sanofi Astrazeneca attend filetype:xls

It's the result #1 in this search:
Amgen Pfizer Roche Sanofi Astrazeneca attend filetype:xls company t...
 - if you check the file you will see that it has several lists from several years between 2000 and 2010.

(Or even this:
Amgen Pfizer Roche Sanofi Astrazeneca attend filetype:xls phone email)

Why wouldn't it show up if we include "2000"? This is because Google only indexed the first page in the Excel file.




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