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Apr 18, 2019

What I like about sourcing is that every sourcer does it differently. Thanks to that, any time there is a knowledge-sharing event or online discussion, you can end up discovering something incredible.

What I’ve discovered is that there are many different methods to source candidates, but some stand out.

Stick to one platform

To be useful as a sourcer you need to get the hang of the tool/platform that you’re using. Take LinkedIn as an example. The search results depend on your network. The bigger the network, the more results you have. If you want to attract candidates by your articles or posts, you also need to be active and have an audience. Sticking to one platform, instead of looking around in other places makes it much easier to gain interest and a good network.

Every Social Media

One pronounced characteristic of social media platforms is that people have their profiles there. They inform about themselves and give way to access them. As I said before, it’s not easy to be active in many places at the same time, so people usually choose one main platform and collaborate with people there.

By sourcing on every website, you merely enlarge your chances to reach everyone possible.


As far as sourcing on social media is very useful these days (especially in IT, which is my area of expertise), there are many more places where you can find people, and you can google almost everything. To give an example, check companies websites and go to their “team” section. Noticed an interesting post on medium? Great, see the author. Is there any conference in town? I’m sure you can check on Facebook who’s attending.


Most of our job is to be done online, but we can’t forget offline activities, building real relationships with people. I believe, that a good network is what can make a ninja out or a regular recruiter (I’m not there yet, but I hope I’m coming).

How to Source Social Media

I believe that social recruiting is as popular as social media these days, so let me show you a few simple tips on how to source almost every website.

  • Check the internal search engine and learn it’s boolean operators.

Most common boolean operators are: AND, OR, NOT, (), “” but you’ll find out that some websites will respect, instead of NOT or | instead of AND. To be successful at sourcing, you need to know the rules. You will find the list of provisions in the FAQ section, or you can Google it.

  • First things first – study the URL address.

If the internal search engine is not powerful enough, you’ll most probably like to do an X-ray search (site:) and source the website via Google or other web browsers.

Take, again, LinkedIn as an example. The first thing I do when I enter a social website for the first time is to open one random profile and check how does URL look like.

On LinkedIn, every profile site will start with

In my case it’s:

If I want to find a Java Developer from Berlin, I need to start with and then add my criteria Java AND Berlin Java AND Berlin

Here are profile-sites URL addresses for some commonly used social media:

  • Check what you might put in your criteria.

Let’s see the profile page on LinkedIn again. As you can see, some fields must (or might) be filled with information. It’s the name, the title, the location, the company, the position name, skills, spoken languages. After studying it, you know what keyword might be helpful in your search.

Let’s compare it to Twitter. Apart from the location, there is almost nothing pre-defined. People can put simply everything in their short profile-description. It makes sourcing much more difficult.

  • Google Custom Search Engine (CSE)

As it was described in the first point, some websites have their unique URL for profile pages. But some have not. Twitter, Github, Angellist, Meetup among them.

What I do is I customize my search engine so that I exclude results I don’t want to see, such as job sites on AngelList.

You might want to take a look at this article to study more about CSE.

As you can see, sourcing can be tricky, you’ll need to find your way for doing it, but when you get the hang of it and learn few tricks, it will be your playground soon.

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