Sourcing Top Performers by @MrMartinLee

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Feb 24, 2014
This article is part of a series called Tips & Tricks.

One of the best bits of sourcing advice I ever received was this:

“Imagine what you are looking for and how that information will appear on the internet – then craft your search accordingly”. (Irina Shamaeva)

One of our recent challenges was to find top performing sales people within IT companies. LinkedIn profiles are mostly what people say about themselves, the same as a cv and that wasn’t good enough. The client wanted the crème de la crème, the top 1% and nothing else would do.

So how do you get from that brief to a list of names? Everybody is looking for the best people but there are only a limited amount of those people around. How will that information appear on the internet?

One of our clients target companies was Oracle (sorry Oracle). Here was the first question, would Oracle have a top performers club or some sort of an award for their best sales people?

Here’s how the search started, a very general and uninformed Boolean string.


What’s this “Club Excellence”? It looks promising.


It turns out that Club Excellence is a fully expensed week in the sunshine courtesy of Larry Ellison. Live music from Sting, Stevie Wonder, and Bruno Mars, to name a few (maybe Bruno was one of the recession years!).

You’ll notice that video is coming to the top of my search, mainly because video ranks higher with SEO, but also because it’s a YouTube video and I’m searching with Google. Some people are commenting on the videos, some who were there and some who weren’t so some additional cross referencing to do.

The Bruno Mars and Sting videos were posted by this person with the Oracle experience at the bottom of the profile. You’ll notice there is no mention of Club Excellence though, only “exceeded quota 8 years in a row.”


I didn’t search for “quota” on my first string, I automatically thought of the word that British people would use being ”target”. More learning for me, Americans are likely to use a different word and other nationalities may use their own alternatives. If I now search LinkedIn for “Club Excellence” only, I would have missed them. I can also check around YouTube to see people and an Xray of LinkedIn or a search within LinkedIn itself might miss.

“Then craft your search accordingly”

We can search within LinkedIn itself …


Or maybe looking for people who have been in the club for the last two years, i.e. consistent and current performers.


We can even use Google to search just for faces. Go to image search then Search Tools, Type, then Faces.


Of course, the other big IT vendors have similar clubs, it’s just a case of thinking about your search before you start.

But how do you find best performing accountants, store managers, or marketing people I hear you ask? Well, it’s out there somewhere and I hope you have success and fun finding it.

This post originally appeard on the Social Media Search blog.

This article is part of a series called Tips & Tricks.
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