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Internet Recruiting

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 - host: 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 - link: 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 – Glen Glutmacher 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. 

Other Tips on Internet sourcing
  • Distinctive On-Target Keyword Choices
    • Whether you use online resume searches or a Google resume search, it is critical that you choose distinctive keywords. This means the more specific the keyword, the more on target the resumes you will find. This is not always true but it is an accurate rule of thumb.
    • For example, suppose you are looking for an HR manager who has worked in the safety belt manufacturing industry.
    • If you search on the word safety and HR, you will get thousands of HR managers because many have responsibilities that include safety. A better choice would be HR and 'Safety Equipment' or better yet HR and 'safety belt' and manufacturing.
  •  Broaden Your Search
    • Just to prove this is more an art than a science (and there really is no such thing as easy sourcing!), sometimes you need to expand your search. This may seem to contradict the previous tip but it does not.
    • In the previous example, it may be that since Safety Belt Manufacturing industry is such a narrow industry there may not be too many HR managers with that background. So we need to broaden the search.
    • This means searching on something like HR and "safety equipment' and manufacturing.
  • Think Laterally
    • When doing online resume sourcing, sometimes you need to think outside of the box and look at things from a different perspective. Rather than focusing on specific keywords or your job description, focus on the skills required.
    • In the example above, is there anything specific about safety belts that an HR manager would need to know? Probably not, even if the HR manager were responsible for plant safety. It is likely there are similar jobs or manufacturing operations that would lend a great deal of insight on the core functions of the position. Possible there may be other functions that are equally if not more important.
    • In the example above with the HR Manager position at the safety belt company, instead of the specific industry of safety belt manufacturing, what the HR manager might need to know is about safety and injury prevention on sewing machines used to manufacture the safety belts. Or maybe if the shop is a union shop and it is important to know how to deal with a union shop.
  • Focus on Competitors
    • When you have tried all else, look for candidates who have worked in the position at other companies that are your competitors. So as to dance around the legal aspects of taking people from your competitors, which is fraught with risks, (sounds like a good topic for another web page!), let's focus on finding people who have worked at your competitors in past positions.
    • In the search above you would search for HR and 'Name of Company'. You can use a little bit of Boolean logic and some "OR" operators to speed up the search process. What you are basically looking for is someone who held the position in the past at one of your competitors or left that job to get a promotion.