Acronyms and Data Extraction: Adding Tool Functionality With a Kneeling Jab – A #SourceCon Royale Preview

Article main image
Feb 19, 2018

Learn, innovate, create.

These three concepts that help me build pipelines, processes, tools, and websites. Often you can take a tool or resource and find hidden or unrealized functionality.

This goes back to video games and the days of Street Fighter 2….let the nerd explain. Back when I was a kid, video games like Street Fighter 2 and Tekken were all the buzz. Everyone played them. When things went online, what people learned that different nationalities had different playing styles. Simple quirks like kneeling and jabbing could win you the game instead of the well-known super moves (aka fireball). People were hacking the system, yet technically playing within the built-in functionality of the game. Well, sourcing is the same deal. You use the tools in a way to play the game to win. When you find a loophole or additional functionality, you can integrate it into your process.


Hiretual Contacts and Analytics

Hiretual is a prime example when I told Steven Jiang about how I could pull information by putting in a certification or state (instead of using the proper organization name), he told me they hadn’t even thought of that from a user standpoint. That’s built-in functionality, tripling the power of the cross-referencing tool, all because I found a kneel-jab.

Acronyms are a Hidden Super Move

A certification, license, or association can lead you to entire pipelines. Plug an acronym into the built search field on LinkedIn, Indeed, or Google and you can pull up a targeted list of candidates or sites to search.

For example, try these:

  • NICET (Fire Suppression)
  • GxP GmP (Biotech Manufacturing)
  • ADME (Pharmacokinetics)
  • CNOR (Operating Room Nurse)

You can also use acronyms with some variations of keywords to power up your focus in a search engine.

Google this:

directory registry attendee list conference member profile “cited by” -job -jobs -apply

Or add some keywords to them:

ADME conference attendee


Ha-do-ken the Data 

Dataminer, ScrapeSimilar, and Social List can extract data into a spreadsheet for low or no cost. Even Indeed has this type of functionality built for their free job posts.

However, you can also just copy and paste the data into a word doc or spreadsheet. It is not fancy, but it is a way to pull in and track data. I just did this last week using a new database tool that shall remain nameless. Dataminer, the Recipe Creator, and Scrape Similar were all missing the mark on pulling in the prospects’ names, titles, and details, so I hit CTRL C and then CTRL P the list of about 200 prospects into my tracking spreadsheet. Not the most elegant data, but now you got names, titles, and URLs to go back to.


Sho-Ryu-Ken Data Extraction

Many sourcers mention Dataminer and Blockspring to extract data, but the steps can be a bit complicated if you have never used the tool. Here’s a general video tutorial on how to parse the results from a google search into a spreadsheet. Some recent updates with Dataminer have made this process MUCH easier. I’ve also included a rough guide in words to help you with some of the steps.

Full Dataminer Run Through Via Google Site Search

Watch GregHawkesHRSTB Dataminer Data Extraction Full Run Through from GregHawkesHRSTB on

Dataminer Overview:

 Step 1: Prep Work

Before you get started with Dataminer, you’ll need to download it from the chrome store and register a screen name and password.

I have a direct link included on the HRSourcingToolbox to help get you going.

Step 2: Find the Data

In this example I have used a site search to pull a Google list of results for a search: principal engineer Evanston -scientist

I’d recommend you start with a simple search in Google with a large list of results so you can see how the whole deal works.

Step 3: Highlighting Time

Highlight ONE result/entry (see video) and right click, you’ll see some options pop up on a drop-down menu.

Step 4: Select “Scrape Similar” or whatever.

Now, this is where it gets a little tricky. Dataminer pulls data into “columns” based on certain syntax web pages are built around (called xpaths). Think of these as parts of an equation or formula. A certain formula is needed to pull the right data from the website in an organized way. Dataminer refers to these as “Recipes.” The Recipes will be shown the left side of the Dataminer window. Don’t get overwhelmed with all the Windows and Boxes either.

Some sites have recipes already built for them. For Google site searches, I like using the Google SERP recipe used in the above video.

You see the data in the big box to the right? Pretty organized, right? Name, direct URL, and some additional details are all captured here.

Step 5: Upgrades as Critical Arts

Avoid mindless data entry by pulling the parsed data into a spreadsheet. A recent upgrade lets you extract the “formula” of information into a CSV file, an excel file, or into a Clipboard (which I often copy and paste into my existing pipeline trackers).

Now it’s not always this simple, in fact, you may have to do quite a bit of tinkering and trial and error until you find the best recipe that works. However, this gives you an overview to get started. And if you get stuck, feel free to bug me. I’m always happy to help.


Why the Super-Special-Turbo-Hyper-Fighting-Alpha-Edition?

The reason why I’m going into detail about all this is that I’m seeing some of the other tech moving to this as a built-in service. With each new tool or version coming to the forefront, sourcing is getting much smarter. In fact, if traditional tools like LinkedIn and Indeed don’t start providing more options around exporting data, I won’t be surprised if they are left in the dust. There WILL be a far-reaching aggregator out there in the future, one that pulls an array of social profiles, resumes, directories, and certification and licensing data into one source, and that’s a tool I’d pay money for (despite my own frugal nature). Think of how people will look for jobs in the future. You think they’ll still be searching on job boards? With AI, VR Tech, automation, and all the social out there, companies will use Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Streaming Tech like Facebook Live, open source repositories, forums, and other platforms that arise in very different ways. Strike that, companies already are.

Let me bring it back to gaming. Take a look at the gamer streaming app Twitch, or at the FAQS forum GameFaqs when you have a chance. These are like Reddit and Quora for Gamers but look at the user base and the activity level. If you need a more direct example, check this out:

Nearly 3.5 million users “tracked, “that’s just crazy. Naw, that may just be the future.

There’s a lot more to come, A LOT from #TeamAnonymous. You guys have no idea. Never give the hacker the codes to the vault, they’ll tell ALL the secrets. #HackTheWorld

Mike Chuidian

Randy Bailey

Susanna Conway Frazier

Kevin Walters

Greg Hawkes (me):

Get articles like this
in your inbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting articles about talent acquisition emailed weekly!