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May 16, 2019
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

The importance of research before sourcing cannot be understated. I am not talking about checking company pages to know more about the client you are helping. I am talking about research on how can you be better at your sourcing, how would you even go about being better at reaching candidates. Would you contact them through AngelList or LinkedIn? Which one is better, which one would guarantee a more significant response rate? And the questions only begin there.

First of all, I think we need to answer what an acceptable outcome of doing pre-search is? Why would you spend time doing it? The only thing that comes to mind is that we are, as recruiters, fighting for that elusive response rate. We not only want to know if the client is interested, but we need to know what we stand on. If the candidate replies that he is not interested, we can probe why, or leave him/her be. But at least we have an answer. Of course, it’s better if we get a positive reply, but negative tell us as much nonetheless.

So after that, we can still, as always, research is it better to contact candidates through Facebook, LinkedIn or Stack Overflow.

Small improvements

Lately, I read Full Stack Recruiter by Jan Tegze which helped me in realizing how many other sites I can search, and I advise you do too. Crucially, working in my own company – Bee Talents, where I am part of a project directed towards researching novel sourcing methods and sites – teaches me to use places other than LinkedIn. I had a client from France who had high expectations from a candidate, and it was hard to find that candidate type through LinkedIn. I had to look somewhere else.

For any IT recruiter, the obvious choice is to check GitHub or Stack Overflow, but for me, it also worked to look closely to Twitter and Quora. Since my client wanted someone who is an expert on the market, I searched for the number of followers on Twitter and started asking particular, market-directed questions on Quora. It worked like a charm.

Suddenly, I realized, that the realm of possibilities lies outside of LinkedIn. I started using Twitter in my search more often. Not only x-ray search on Google but using Twitter for sourcing. Quora became not only the source of information for me but a vital sourcing tool. This happened when I realized how many candidates can be sourced from specialists that answer my questions.

The other three

There are also three additional tools that I use to do my research before sourcing for candidates: AngelList, Goodreads, MeetUp. AngelList is excellent, and when you have a remote position in a start-up, candidates apply by themselves, so there’s not much to do. (It’s a website for job-seekers looking for work in start-ups). MeetUp is fantastic for connecting with specialists in a specific location and getting to know the group beforehand.

If you look for JavaScript Developers in Paris, let’s say, it’s great for connecting with these kinds of groups and getting to know the inner circle a bit. It’s also great for sharing knowledge. Goodreads for me was the source of info on what people read.

Let me explain. If I wanted to look for Java developers in London, I was checking those topic books on Goodreads and checking who was commenting on them or reading them. Then I would contact those people, and the search began.

Using all of these websites opened a new pool of candidates for me, and in return, my searches became more efficient. I honestly can recommend those websites for anyone looking into doing better and more thorough research before actual sourcing. And now I am looking into YouTube as a potential site that can help me in my search – I’ll keep you posted!

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