Now Source Candidates Anywhere, Boolean Not Required

Oct 20, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

AutoSearch MobileA new mobile sourcing application is having its coming out party tomorrow. AutoSearch Mobile for the iPhone and iPod Touch became available on the iPhone Store a month ago, but Wednesday marks its official debut at $4.99.

AutoSearch Mobile, like its full-featured — and more expensive — PC and Mac version, makes it a snap for on-the-go recruiters to search much of the public (and some of the private) web without having to know all that complicated Boolean stuff.

That sound you just heard was the collective gasp of every sourcer in the world sucking the oxygen from the atmosphere. So that we may all resume breathing, let me hasten to say every recruiter ought to know how to write a Boolean search string.

But when you’re on the train commuting to work, or on the L circumnavigating the Loop or in a carpool on the 101 freeway, it’s way easier to use a pulldown menu and a few keywords to look for candidates for that new req. Behind the scene AutoSearch Mobile converts your keywords into Boolean, then searches the web for public resumes and a handful of key business networking sites for matches.

The results can be scrolled, the first few lines of the resume showing. Find something interesting and you can expand it to read more. You can email yourself the search results right from the app.

Lori Fenstermaker, principal of AutoSearch, told me the mobile search is slicker to see than to describe. “People are usually quite surprised,” she said, when they actually try it. “It’s really easy to use.”

Like the full version, AutoSearch Mobile will find matching candidates who have posted public resumes. It also searches LinkedIn, Twitter, Jobster, and ZoomInfo. Unless you have a connection, you’ll need to do a little sleuthing to track down a candidate from those sources, but then that’s why it’s called sourcing, and not compiling.

Fenstermaker sort of stumbled into the software business. The Grand Rapids, Michigan, resident was operating a boutique talent acquisition firm when she took a class in online sourcing.

“Pretty soon I found myself spending more time writing complex Internet search strings than I was calling candidates,” Fenstermaker admits in a post on the AutoSearch website. She turned to her husband who owned a software development company and AutoSearch was born.

It proved so popular with her search clients that they began asking to license it. Now AutoSearch is a separate company and, says Fenstermaker, it occupies most of her time.

AutoSearch for the PC or Mac has plenty of competition. There’s eGrabber and TalentDrive among others.

However, mobile search utilities are still relatively rare. Most of the leading job boards have iPhone applications to help job seekers search listings. But the only direct competition for AutoSearch Mobile I’ve found is Search On the Go, which is $9.99 in the iPhone store. It’s interface isn’t quite as simple, but it does save and display search strings, a feature that AutoSearch Mobile lacks. Both apps access only a single, generic search engine: Yahoo for AutoSearch Mobile, Google for Search on the Go.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.