For today’s recruiter, there can’t be enough talk about extensions and other ways to find potential candidates’ information. I mean how many tools are there to exhaust to find someone’s personal contact information (ContactOut, Improver, Connectifier, Nymeria, Swordfish, Connectifier, etc.,)? How many websites do you use to find emails and phone numbers (TruePeople Search, Pipl, That’sThem, WhitePages, Seekout, etc.,) or tools to validate emails (Lusha, AnyMail Finder, Hunter.io, MailTester, Adorito, etc.).
But let me tell you about another way to find someone’s contact information, using your network, especially within your own company. Connect with everyone at your company on LinkedIn (and Twitter if you’d like). Often the connections inside your company are connected to those you are trying to reach. You can then ask your colleague, “Hey I see you are connected to Sara or Michael on LinkedIn, can you tell me a little more about them and their work?” Once they get back to you on what they know, you can request their direct contact information if you feel they’d be a good candidate, BOOM you’ve got what you need! You don’t have to tell the person where you got their information other than online, so don’t worry about outing your source.
In my case, I have a colleague who is connected to many of the engineers I come across on LinkedIn and am looking to get in contact with for roles that I am looking to fill. I often end up sending him one or two profiles per week, asking if he can send me their contact information directly, which saves me valuable search time. The best part of this technique is that it’s FREE!
When I come across a profile of someone who I am looking to reach out to I always check to see if they are a second-degree connection because it’s like gold, I know that they must be connected to someone I know who can help me get the information I’m looking for (for the most part).
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Are you looking to grow your LinkedIn connections quickly so you can have more second connections? Have a recruiter “LinkedIn Challenge” (or even a Twitter Challenge). See who can add the most legitimate connections as possible in 30 days (additions must be related to your industry, not a chef from Nigeria if you are an Engineering Recruiter, you get the picture). That way you and your team end up adding a ton of new connections between yourselves and thus having a greater chance of obtaining second connections. And by all means, add as many people from your own company as possible.
In the end, extensions and sites are great resources and are very valuable. Trust me; I do have my bag of extensions, websites and email validators that I use every week for my sourcing needs. But I also try utilizing my company connections to help me in sourcing for candidate contact information. The more options, the better, and in this day of recruiting, we need all the options we can get.