A Sourcer’s Chamber of Secrets: Finding Competitors and More

Many people have asked me, “how did you find that site, was it advanced Boolean or some secret hack?” Well, the answer is no, it’s a series of strategic keywords often.

So I wanted to break down how I get to the result of my searches. Sometimes thinking in clear terms can bring better outcomes than a deep dive into an abyss.

In this case, I was looking for a series of local companies in the area I could pull some talent from. I wanted to build a competitor list with this information before diving into my normal resources. A list of competitors and related businesses can be a tremendous asset to a sourcer, especially in a niche market or at a hospital like MD Anderson.

Chambers of Commerce typically have business directories full of local information. I also saw councils with similar info, so I plugged the following a general search on Google:

(“chamber of commerce” OR council) business directory

Well that’s interesting, isn’t it? I tried a variation with some ORs between chamber and commerce and added Dallas for a localized search element.

(chamber OR commerce OR council) business directory Dallas

And not only stumbled upon local business directories but uncovered specific Chambers of Commerce focused on diversity initiatives.

Wow, this directory even has a breakdown of different business categories to make it easy on us. So let’s say we are looking for dentists in the North Texas area (keep in mind these are part of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce).

Not only does it list the business, address, and sometimes a direct contact person, but there are several phone numbers listed. Free contact info, No chrome extension required.

So the gears were turning in my mind about military and veteran initiatives. So let’s see what happens when we add some military keywords:

(chamber OR commerce OR council) business directory Dallas (military OR veteran)

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Lots of great info, especially about companies with certain initiatives! That third site though, lets’s check that out.

https://www.veteranownedbusiness.com/

What we find is a searchable database, with several companies and industries listed. I’ve found it’s best to search on a national level if you want to get pretty specific with what you are looking for.

For instance, if I was looking for waste water processing companies, leave the filter fields blank.

And when you click a company profile

You get a company bio, address, phone number, and the business contact’s name. I’ve found on this site you may have to do some maneuvering, but it’s a free resource with a veteran focus.

This is how strategically stumble upon databases of interest. Through keyword searches and trial and error. No fancy URL or intitle: operators, all you need are a few keywords to be a Google hacker. I hope this helps, and thanks for reading.

 

Greg Hawkes is a Strategic Talent Sourcer, Speaker, Author, and Founder of the HRSourcingToolbox. He has worked as both a Technical Recruiter and Sourcing Analyst for healthcare, engineering, biotechnology, manufacturing and many other industries. He has been in the recruitment field for over 10 years, and got into heavy sourcing and headhunting back in 2012. He is an ongoing contributor to SourceCon – with topics ranging from Site Searches and CSEs, to Deep Dives andURL Sourcing. While preparing to speak at SourceCon 2017, he built the HRSourcingToolbox with a large inventory of Free Recruitment and Sourcing Tools. He has recently joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as a Strategic Sourcer and loving every minute of it! He is a huge fan of emerging technologies and Boolean Syntax and always willing to share a technique or hack to find the elusive purple squirrel.

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