Not the same ‘ol XING

Article main image
Sep 30, 2014

Sourcers need to fish in more than one pond. Most have mastered LinkedIn and have tinkered with other social networks, but even the best of us become complacent. Recently, I have been sourcing in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) so I decided to take another dive into XING.

Since 2003, XING has grown to an estimated 14 million professionals (primarily located in Europe) supporting 16 languages. I make the distinction saying Professionals, because unlike LinkedIn you will not find many work-from-home, MLM, or wannabe authors here. Plus they all have last names!

The XING search button within their website is like the cheese in the image. When you click it, you will not get what you hoped for. While the paid tier is not expensive, it seems I can accomplish more without paying at the point.

When logged-in, you can search members by substituting my highlighted SEARCHTERM.[agent_range]=&member_search_query[agent_name]=&member_search_query[keywords]=SEARCHTERM&button=

The only free facets are: contact level, country, city, and/or industry, but at least we have last names and images for most people (I preface “Most People” since privacy settings are set by the individual).

So the only option appears to be pay to search. But why not do what we all learned to do with LinkedIn (however many years ago) and grow out our network? Not the passive way that LinkedIn claims built their empire, I was thinking along the line of the Battle of Austerlitz.

Build an organic network with a purpose. Then expand your friends-of-friends network to the point that more people are inviting you then you are inviting.

Here are my XING growth battle plans:

  1. Connect with well connected people. Some of the best connected people on XING are official ambassadors listed here You can even volunteer and apply to become one. Clearly LION is not a 4 letter word here.
  2. Using Search Engine Boolean skills, find highly targeted people. Think about places where they may have more detailed profiles with links to their personal profile. A website OR about OR profile …you get the idea. Like LinkedIn, you can pay to see who viewed your profile, so premium members will notice who viewed them more easily than others. Free memebers are limited to profile pictures without names, but you can reverse that
  3. When you do find someone who you want to contact, you usually can for free. Many people have the option to “Add as contact” allowing you the ability to send them a 150 character message that can include contact details! Danke. xingaddascontact
  4. Company format is standard, allowing you to see all employee names and profiles (no facets for free).
  5. Hidden behind the “more” button you can “Bookmark” people that appear on separate tab to track and or contact later.
  6. Also hidden behind “more” is the option to edit “shared personal info.” Meaning you can keep private your contact information globally, but make personal exceptions after viewing their profile. Removing price barrier for these people to send me an invitation. They can also contact me for free, or via email, or IM (not sure if xmpp is 100% switched to Hangouts).xingsendmessage

Keep in mind, you can import up to 2,000 contacts from other places, but I would recommend against it unless you know they are active on XING. Sync XING contact to your address book via the official mobile apps or the Outlook Connector. With this battle plan you won’t end up in Waterloo.

Making the best use of your time will always be a top priority. Pace yourself, keep an open mind, and follow common courtesy. There are many nuances of with EMEA sourcing, but it is really the same ‘ol XING.

image credit: bigstock

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