Friday, October 21, 2005

Read Diane Propsner's Sourcing Success

I recently subscribed to an interesting newsletter published by Recruiter-Guru Diane Propsner. Here is a snippet from issue #1.

Recently, I’ve noticed much talk (on-line within various recruiting forums) amongst corporate recruiters seeking to understand two, relatively new, corporate recruitment sourcing techniques, e-sourcing and phone-sourcing. In the first issue of Sourcing Success! I’ll define these techniques...

Read (and subscribe to): Sourcing Success


Podcasting Killed The Video Star

On an earlier post - "Sourcing Candidates With A TV Guide", I mentioned how you can use Video Searchengines and Podcasts to find leads on technical candidates. (Actually any type of candidate, I just chose technical candidates as an example.) Well if you have tried it, liked it, and thought "Wowzers, what a neat-o trick!" Here are a few more resources that you might enjoy.

MSN Video Google Video Podcast PodSpider Odeo *(Thanks Ritesh! I did not know about this one. Singingfish Yahoo Audio Search Yahoo Podcast Search Tv Eyes Podscope Alta Vista Video The Open Video Project All The Web - Video Search *For those who don't understand the title of my post, it is a take-off of a popular 80's new wave tune "Video Killed The Radio Star." Click here for a link to the lyrics. If you want to hear the song, look it up on one fo the aforementioned searchengines. Be warned however, that the tune is hard to get out of your head once in. (wink) ###

[If you like what I give away, you will love what I charge for. Check out: "Digability: The Recruiter's Guide To The Internet"]


Maybe its just me, but I dig Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Their accapella crooning speaks to something down deep into my soul. Maybe it was Joseph Shabala' singing or perhaps it was the melody of the music (more than likely it was the email somebody sent me), but something was calling me to South Africa. Specifically, I was being summoned to an African searchengine and (WoW!) so glad I did. Dear readers, it is my pleasure to introduce you to a nifty little engine you (probably) have never heard about - Funnel.

Funnel proudly searched (at this writing) 4,138,772 pages and documents from South African web pages and it does it right! Not sure how many of you are into international searches for talent, but if you are looking for candidates in South Africa, you must check Funnel out for yourself. I performed an elementary search for resumes using this search string: vitae "computer science" and 96 results came back.

Not impressed? I was when I saw how relevant the results were. On the first page 8 out of 10 results were just what I wanted to find. On the second page 6 of the 10 results were what I wanted with 4 being close, but not quite pefection. I wondered how I could tweak my results to get even more relevant search results. So I looked cover their help menu and took notes.


1. "and" is assumed, so no need to add it in your search strings 2. Funnel ignores marks like "http" and "", as well as some numbers and letters, if they do not help in the search process. 3. Use quotes when searching for phrases. 4. Use the minus sign (-) to exclude words. 5. Use { } when creating a boolean "OR" command 6. You can perform complex boolean searches by manipulating the brackets { } and parenthesis ( ) symbols. 7. You can use the asterix (*) as a wildcard. 8. Capital letters are not important

Okay, so now that I have a bit of intel on Funnel's processes my searching should be a bit easier. I go at it again with increasingly better results.

Click a link to see for yourself.

{vitae cv "curriculum vitae" resume} "computer science" {vitae cv "curriculum vitae" resume} "computer science" -jobs {vitae cv "curriculum vitae" resume} "computer science" -jobs +university

It is also important to mention that in the Advanced Search of Funnel that you can limit your results to specific file formats, search specific domains and includ related keywords in your search. For example, a search for "cars" with the related keyword search tells Funnel to seek out car, cars, cara and others. (Hmmm... Is "Cara" another way of saying cars over there? I'm more than a little week in Afrikaans.) I think that Funnel does this automatically so you may have to opt out of it if you are trying to be specific. I say that because I tried a search for resumes but limited my query to Word documents only and noticed that above the search results (see screenshot below) were derivatives of Vitae, CV and computer. Certainly not a bad thing to automatically add associated keywords to you query (just ask Google).

So what is my opinion? In a nutshell... "Wow! This engine can search! It is easy to navigate and even offers an interactive map of South Africa. As more pages are indexed into its system, this good engine will only get better.

Digability Rating: Sourcers Dream (if you are recruiting in South Africa)

[If you like what I give away, you will love what I charge for. Check out Digability: The Recruiter's Guide To The Internet.]

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Sourcing with a library card...

Check out this new website I found the other day! If you are a booklover then you will love the concept of this site. If you are a sourcer, you will grow to love it even more. Here is a snippet from their website to let you know what they are all about...
It is ConnectViaBook's vision to be the favourite destination for booklovers. We want to provide an environment where readers can share their excitement from having read a great book and where everyone, through a passionate exchange of ideas, information and knowledge, can question, learn, grow and emerge not only wiser but also having made new friends from around the world. We believe that we can only achieve our vision if we provide the very best environment for readers to connect, discuss and share their excitement and passion for their books.
I read a little further to see what it is they have to offer their patrons.
  • Create multiple booklists
  • Publish your booklists on your website or in your blog
  • Link to your booklists
  • Get book recommendations from members who like the same type of books as you

Ooohh... My sourcer-sense started tingling after reading that! (Its sort of like a spider-sense, but without the spandex and webshooters.) So, I figure I would join up and see what I could see.

First of all, signing up was easy enough with 4 major steps. The first step was login, password, yadda-yadda... Second step was creating a booklist. (See below)

The default to name the Booklist was "My First Booklist." Okay easy enough as well, but I wanted to do something clever. Instead of going with the default, I chose to title it "TechReader1" and then I added "C++" in the keywords slot. Why? "Elementary my dear Watson," I say to... umm.. nobody, but I digress.

Connect via books is set up to bring booklovers together. As I am (with this example) trying to find some software developers skilled in C++, I begin looking for books on C++ that I may find booklovers who read C++ books. Presumably these C++ book readers are software developers who code in C++. (Who else would be reading these books?")

Okay, so once my criteria was entered, I get back a list of books covering C++ technology. Connect Via Books (heretofore referred to as "CVB") wants me to create a booklist, so I choose 4 books at random. Once these 4 books are chosen, a purple booklist appears on the right side of the screen. (See arrow below)

Once I have my booklist, I go to step 3 where I enter in profile information such as my location, a few words about my background, et cetera. I scan to the bottom of the page and notice something I liked. Like the social networking site "Linked In," I have the choice of setting parameters on who can contact me and why. Among the choices are:

I would like to be contacted by people who:

[ ] Who want to give me a job [ ] Who want to offer me consulting work

Very cool! (See below) I start to get excited about the possibilities.

On this last step they ask for a mug shot. (see below) Since I am only experimenting, I decline the invitation.

Now with all that business done, I decide to do a bit of searching. After getting my account validated by clicking a link found in the email CVB sent me, I was ready for action. I go back to CVB and my automatic homepage is waiting on me. I was pleasantly surprised that as soon as I arrived, CVB had read my profile (someone in Atlanta who reads C++ books) and introduced me to another person in Atlanta (or at least mentions Atlanta in their profile) who reads C++ books. Neato!

Well, I am encouraged a bit now, so I decide to go for it. I click the "Search" tab (under the CVB logo) and leave my search parameters as wide as I can. I set my options to find people anywhere in the world, who are open to receiving job offers, consultancy work and (for good measure) open to relevant ventures.

I get back 3 results. Not a landlslide, but valuable nonetheless. I began to wonder if my results were limited to the C++ book readers who happenned to read the books I chose in my list. I also wondered if these three CVB members appeared in the results because of their proximity to me. Not sure, something to check at a later date.

Anyways, I click the first link and find the following profile. (See below) Let's say that after reading his profile that I want to contact him and that he has indicated that he is open to recieving a recruiter call. I click the "send message" link and hope to land a potential hire.

Drat! Looks like I have to pay to play. (see below) No worries... Everyone has to eat. To contact this person I would have to get a premium membership which is (roughly) $7.27 a month. (CVB is located in the UK)

So is CVB a good tool for sourcing? I think it has serious potential. Mostly because it reminds me so much of "Linked In" in its earlier stages. I like its basic functionality and the fact that you can save profiles of different members in a folder.

Digability rating: One to watch

[If you like what I give away, you will love what I charge for. Check out Digability: The Recruiter's Guide To The Internet.]

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ummm... What does PHP mean?

Okay, imagine that you are a 3rd party recruiter and anxious to please your potential client. You ask them what they need and they say that they want a PHP Guru. You say "sure," but secretly you are clueless as to what PHP is. Sure you could search on the acronym, but what about those geeks who spell out the unabbreviated term on their resume? My advice, leave no stone unturned. This is when you should consult Acronmya.

Acronyma is an online dictionary with a Google like interface. (And is there any other type interface out there? If there is, I can't tell.) Just punch in the acronym and before you can say "contingency fee," you have the answer. Actually you will have several answers. In our example (below), I am searching for the true meaning of the acronym "PHP." This is what I got.

Professional Hypertext Preprocessor is the answer I was looking for. (I have the arrow pointing to it.) But did you know PHP also means "Page Home Page," "Personal Home Page" and "Parents Helping Parents?" Okay, I did not know either, however I do see a good use for this tool. Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Thank you Ritesh!

Ritesh over at Sourcing-Recruiting Sourcing Secrets gave me a heads up on Yahoo's new "Site Explorer" product and demonstrated it by finding 560 resumes from the Hotjobs domain and 51 resumes from Not bad.

Check it out at: Sourcing - Recruiting Sources Secrets: Site Explorer From Yahoo

Rollyo - Searchengine Taste Test #2

I love my family. I remind myself of that often during roadtrips that extend over the length of the average DVD. My patience, just as with every American Dad is tested every summer on America's highways. Random bathroom breaks, fighting in the backseats and the inevitable, "Are we there yet?" are occurences I can depend on. Experience has taught me effective countermeasures for these happenings, but there is one event that still challenges me. I hate asking for directions.

My wife is convinced that it is a deficiency in the Y chromosone, if she is correct I can not say. What is certain however is that when I am making really good time, more often than not I am off course. Usually my wife is the first to notice this (Mrs. Stroud has a spider-sense for such things.), but there are times when she has slipped off to sleep and I am alone in my awareness of how lost we are. Being a slave to male pride, I begin plotting on ways to secure direction without alerting my wife and a storm of sarcasm beginning with, "I told you so." Usually I pretend to get thirsty, or stop for gas and dash into a gas station. As nonchalantly as I can, I ask the clerk for the quickest way to our destination. That is when another problem arises, can I trust who I ask to give the information I need?

I sometimes find this an issue online. For example, let's say I am looking into the actions of a certain company and I want to keep a close eye on what they are doing now and (hopefully) what they are planning next. How do I distinguish reliable intel from rumors, lies and innuendo? Answer: Rollyo

Rollyo is a searchengine with a twist. Your search options are to choose a "trusted guide" who has created a series of weblinks that they feel are trustworthy. Now when you do a search for intel against their list of aggregated websites, you are getting (presumably) a higher grade of information.

Let me show you an example of what I mean. Let's visit (Below is a screenshot of their homepage. )

Let's say I want to keep an eye on Google. I start off by checking to see if there are any blogrolls already created on the subject. I do this by clicking the "Explore searchrolls" link. (See the arrow below?)

That link takes us to a searchpage where I enter in my search term - "Google" and then I hit the "Go" button. (But you knew that already didn't you?)

My search results bring up quite a few searchrolls and not all of them are stellar. For example, I check and see that some rolls only have a link to the Google homepage. Others had a link to things totally unrelated to Google and there were some that I found quite interesting. Let me show you what I mean by comparing two different types of searchrollers: Badrinath Srinath and Kenneth Clayton. (In the screenshot below I am pointing them out in the search results.)

Badrinath's Searchroll is called "All About Google" interesting enough. I click that link and a small window opens up revealing the websites Badrinath has chosen as being authoritative on the subject. (See below)

Not bad! I see links to news sources that cover the entire search industry and blogs that focus on rumors concerning Google. I then click Kenneth Clayton's "Blogging Google" searchroll and find that among his links were Google employees with a blog as well as a few rumor blogs about Google. (No screenshot - sorry.)

So what do I do with this? I have to decide if I want to search on Google according to news and rumors (Badrinath's Searchroll) or rumors and insight from Google employees (Kenneth's Searchroll). Let's say I flip a coin and decide to go with Kenneth's Searchroll. I enter "podcast" because I am curious as to what Google is doing in that area. Soooo... I click Kenneth's "Blogging Google" link and enter podcast as a search term. (See the arrow below?)

The search results come back and after scrolling through the sources I find information to a deal with Real Networks and a story on a pending Google media device (see arrow). Just what I wanted to know! And just like that, instead of searching through tons of sources, I have restricted my search to only the best sources (according to Kenneth Clayton that is).

I like Rollyo for the reason cited above and also because it helps me identify experts in diverse fields. Let's say that I am looking for a developer proficient in... umm... javascript. Yeah, let's go with that. I head back to the "Explore Searchrolls" link at the top of the page and do a search for "javascript." Among the results, I see the searchroll - "JavaScript rolled by Garret Dimon." I click on "Garret Dimon" and look at the information he added to his profile. Not much, but at first glance I see all I need, a link to his homepage. (See arrow below)

I go over his website and find this quote, "I’m an Information Architect with Bright Corner where I focus on usability, accessiblity, and application interface design" and his business card with his email and phone number. Kind of groovy, yes?

So what is my final verdict?

Rollyo is a cool tool in the making for mining competitive intel and finding leads to potential candidates. Since Rollyo is just out of the gate the results are somewhat limiting. Be that as it may, I recommend giving Rollyo a peek and rolling a search of your own. Digability rating: One to watch

[If you like what I give away, you will love what I charge for. Check out Digability: The Recruiter's Guide To The Internet.]