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Mar 29, 2017
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.


Warning! This article contains answers and insanely impressive sourcing tricks to the fifth installment of Sourcing Games. Viewer discretion advised. 


Pitched as “a late-night sourcing event… guaranteed to be a major highlight of the conference… part sourcing lab, part game show, part sourcing contest… where you want to strut your stuff,” the SourceCon Hackathon was a “must attend” (and a “must win”) on my agenda. After a full day of sessions and networking, I opted to decline downtown Disney invites and retreated to my room to recharge. Two Redbulls and one Bachelor season finale later, it was game time.

I arrived at the pre-Hackathon sourcing lab with time to kill and lucked out when aspiring GrandMaster Sarah Goldberg seated up at the same table. We quickly joined forces, created a collaborative Google Doc, exchanged sourcing ideas, and validated that our Sourcing Arsenal was in check. The (free) tabs/tools I decided to have handy for the competition included the following:


Voices lowered and anxieties raised as Mark Tortorici began detailing each of the Hackathon’s rounds.

  • Entry Round: one-on-one qualifier in which we’d be given certain parameters and expected to produce four relevant profiles from a site other than LinkedIn. The first 16 individuals to accomplish this would then be asked to buddy up in teams of four.
  • 1st Round: Four-team competition similar to that of the entry round, except the four candidate profiles must be public resumes. The first two teams to accomplish this would face off in the next round.
  • 2nd Round: Similar to that of the previous round but with caveats eliminated. The final team would then face off in a head-to-head challenge.
  • Final Round: Expect a doozy.



So, the entry round.

Not knowing anything about PKDM/PKPD, Amgen, or Cambridge, I turned to LinkedIn to do quick some market mapping. Using LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search, I plugged in the following:

  • Keyword: Scientist
  • Location: Greater Boston Area
  • Current Company: Amgen

This pumped out two key results.

  1. The top three past companies for these individuals were Pfizer, Biogen, & Merck.
  2. The job title “scientist” was seemingly consistent across these companies.

Then, with fingers crossed, I attempted the following dive into Indeed’s Advanced Resume Search:

  • Keywords: (PKDM OR PKPD OR PK OR PD) AND drug AND (discovery OR development) AND NOT Amgen
  • Title of Last Job: Scientist
  • Company of Latest Job: Pfizer OR Biogen OR Merck
  • Years of Work Experience: 6-10 years OR More than 10 years
  • Degree: Doctorate
  • Location: Within 100 miles of Cambridge, MA

This churned out a whopping 18 total resumes, which, at first glance, surprisingly looked like they might actually get the job done. I opened each in a new tab and whipped out my MultiHighlighter to cross-check the required experience. Mission accomplished! (And speedily, Jess Roberts and Pete Radloff might add).

When the Sweet 16 was announced, my ears perked up at Ninh Tran‘s name. Tran (COO & co-founder of Hiretual) produces Boolean gold, and I was quick to call dibs on him as a teammate. We joined up with another dynamic duo, David Manaster (CEO/Founder of ERE Media) and Marc Spiron (Tech/Product Recruiter @Billtrust). The four of us settled into a new table, shook hands, and cracked our fingers in preparation for the first round.


The First Round

There’s really not much to say about round one other than Tran’s Hiretual magic produced four resumes before the rest of us could even read the full req. He single-handedly launched our team into the finals – yes, finals, as in the second round was completely surpassed because no other team submitted four public-facing resumes within the time constraint.

Tran’s Boolean gold consisted of the following in Indeed’s Advanced Resume Search):

  • Keywords: (“Account Executive” AND (“sales” OR “negotiation” OR “interpersonal” OR “organization skills” OR “strong computer skills” OR “work ethic” OR “account executive” OR “advertising”) AND (“Spanish” OR “television”))
  • Degree: Bachelors
  • Location: Within 100 miles of Boise, ID

Meanwhile, I plucked a few backup profiles while dilly-dallying with variations of the following (also in Indeed’s Advanced Resume Search):

  • Keywords: (Spanish OR Espanol) AND (“Account Executive” OR “Account Manager”) AND (cable OR tv OR television OR radio OR broadcast OR broadcasting OR advertising OR marketing) AND NOT Telemundo
  • Degree: Bachelors
  • Location: Within 100 miles of Boise, ID

That brings us to the finals.


Oh, the finals. The nerves had officially settled in. I had a total in-my-head fan girl moment as I climbed the stage and took my seat amongst some the sourcing greats. Thankfully Sean Rehder and Dean Da Costa‘s positive affirmations grounded me a bit. When all four finalists were “settled,” Mark and Shannon Pritchett announced that Jan Tegze just released a fifth Sourcing Games for this very moment.  Without any guidance but with a “Good luck,” they shooed us off to Sourcing.Games.

I quickly scanned the rules and disclaimer…

  • Rules:
    1. Read instructions
    2. Everything needs to be in lower case
    3. Just have fun!
  • Disclaimer: You are playing this game at your own risk, and the author is not liable or responsible for any sourcing madness caused by this game. 🙂

Good grief! What had I gotten myself into? Fun? Sourcing madness? Challenge accepted. Excitedly, I clicked START THE GAME. A voice echoed, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

Familiar with ERE’s SourceCon site, I bolted to The #SourceCon GrandMaster Hall of Fame, but the information was nowhere to be found. So I tried clicking each GrandMaster’s personal page, MultiHighlightering keywords, etc., and still came up with nothing. Frustrated and aware that one of my fellow competitors had advanced to the next stage, I whipped out Bulk URL Opener and went to copy/paste town on all possible ranges starting with the 2007 (SourceCon’s 1st year). I’ll be darned if one of those first URLs didn’t do the trick!

Off to Gary Vaynerchuk’s Twitter, I went, which flaunted an overwhelming 152,000 tweets. Oh geez, 40+ tweets/day over the past ten years. That’s not scrollable. Surpassing Advanced Twitter Search, I did a quick “find first tweet” Google search. That lead me to, well, the perfect #FirstTweet tool.

Apparently, I was the first to reach this stage, because Jim Schnyder let out a “Why is she Googling me?!” when my initial search hit the page. That added some much-needed comic relief to an otherwise tense environment. I then fiddled around with variations of “Jim Schnyder” AND blog AND 2011 AND “19 posts” and whatnot. That didn’t get me anywhere. So, I thought of some top blogging platforms and tried the following:

  • Keywords: (inurl:wordpress OR inurl:blogger OR inurl:blogspot) “Jim Schnyder”

Bingo, @corprecruiter!

OK, Google, what’s the largest city in Quebec? Montreal. Sweet.

  • Keywords: Montreal AND Midiaweb AND “Digital Strategist”

Thank you, Autocorrect (Midiaweb à Mediaweb), and hellooo, Jessica Carmona!

Keywords were (finally) popping out at me and I was humming. Followerwonk is my go to Twitter bio search tool, and plugging in the following immediately directed me to the right place:

  • Keywords: “Chief Information Officer” AND Motorola AND Illinois

Resisting the temptation to click delightful tweets about a DIY M&M/Skittles sorting machine and even a map of the internet in 1973 (amongst endless tech gifs/memes), I chose to bookmark Greg Meyers’ Twitter profile for later and moved to the next stage.

Whoa… Airbnb?  This one was new to me.  X-Ray search seemed to be the way to go, and I was pleasantly pleased when the following and got a hit:

  • Keywords: “San Francisco” AND developer

The profile for someone named “Tobey” populated, but no surname was in site (See what I did there?).  A LinkedIn search later, and Tobey had a full name…

  • Keywords: Tobey AND “San Francisco” AND developer

***Note: Airbnb has since stopped allowing the indexing of user profiles.  However, the following still works, and Tobey still populates… as well as 20 others.

  • Keywords: “San Francisco” AND developer

About this time, Tortorici and Pritchett called “Time!” and proceeded to walk through each stage of the Finals. Meanwhile, my fellow competitors and I eyed each other, curious as to who was furthest along in the Sourcing.Games. Talk about nerve wracking!  Ultimately, though, I was deemed victorious and left the stage feeling some combination of humbled, thrilled, and exhausted.

My W truly took a village. Hat tips to all those mentioned in this article, as well as the rest of the SourceCon family. Thank you to Workable for the prize (Google Home). Also, if this article tickled your sourcing fancy whatsoever, I highly encourage you to join in the fun at Sourcing.Games (and compete in the next Hackathon!). Till next time, y’all!

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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