Top Ten Rules for Successful Internet Sourcers: Part 2

Jan 31, 2001

Successful sourcing follows a pattern of rules and tricks of the trade that helps those sourcers be the best in their field. But not all sourcers know all the tricks of the trade, which mostly come from practice and perseverance. After writing the first five rules (see ERE Article for January 18th), I received a lot of positive feedback ? especially from those old pro sourcers who have been preaching the same things for years. I appreciate the feedback and hope that you will find these last five rules just as helpful…

  1. No Contact Information, No Problem? Many sources on the Internet will list names but not contact information of potential candidates. You see this many times in press releases or when x-raying a company server. A good sourcer knows this is not a problem. If the name is unusual like mine (Audra Slinkey) you can find out more about your “potential” candidate by simply going to a meta-search engine like Profusion or Dogpile and typing in the name within quotes. For example, if you put my name “Audra Slinkey” in Dogpile it would take you two seconds to realize I am an Internet Recruiter who works at Recruiters-Aid and writes a lot about the subject. If you’ve already determined that the candidate is someone you definitely want to talk to, then finding the contact information is easy. First, check the worldwide yellow pages by going to and typing in your candidate’s name. If you would like to get email information, my favorite is, which will meta-search many of the main email look-ups for you.
  2. Executive Searching is Easiest on the Internet? The Internet has really turned this field around in the sense that any good Sourcer rejoices when having to source high-level executives, because they are the easiest to find on the Internet. Tremendous sources for finding high-level executives are company profile sites like, Edgar-Online, or These sites will often list out the executives at each organization, as well as their title and in many cases their salary! Once you have a name, it’s not a problem to find a bit more about your candidate by meta-searching and then finding the contact information (see above). Yes, we sourcers love searching for executives, because they are very public figures and thus are all over the Internet!
  3. Don?t Stop at One Search Engine? Do you know which search engine is the largest, meaning it indexes the most on the World Wide Web? Most would probably guess Altavista, and would be very wrong. Search engines are wonderful things, but the problem is that none of them have indexed even half of the Internet. This means if you enter a search into Altavista and get zero results, this may not be the case if you go to Northernlight or Google. Each search engine indexes the web differently, searches the web differently and thus has very different results. A good Sourcer knows that they should be searching a few search engines before exhausting the search. Many of us become pros at one search engine and stop there. A successful sourcer is a pro at a few search engines and knows how to use them inside and out. By the way, if you go to, they will tell you that Google is in the lead for largest search engine ? but unfortunately it has only indexed around 600 million of the potential 1400 million available pages.
  4. A Good Sourcer Knows When to Use What for Best Results? There are plenty of people who know how to flip search, x-ray, peel back, etc. There are very few people who know when it is best to use which technique. I also see people mix up the techniques so that they are x-raying a company server as well as asking for “resumes” in their search string! It is very important to not only understand each technique but WHY and WHEN you would use it. Truly successful sourcers not only have a strong knowledge of the various techniques, but they know exactly which technique to try first for the best results. This takes a strong understanding of recruiting in general, as well as the ability to break down a requisition, understand its parts and know what is most important to source for.
  5. Never Give Up, Never Surrender? A silly phrase from the movie “Galaxy Quest,” but very appropriate to a successful sourcer’s mentality. Good sourcers are like a dog with a bone…they don’t surrender the search easily. Why? Because with over 1400 million pages on the Internet and over 15 million resume/homepages they know the odds are in their favor that they will find the candidates they need. I see too many sourcers give up too easily because they are sourcing for too many positions. Companies are hiring Sourcers to support 3-4 Recruiters which means they are sourcing for 40+ requisitions at any one time. A successful sourcer knows that regardless of how good they are, it still takes quite a bit of time to successfully source all over the Internet. At Recruiters-Aid we do this kind of stuff every day, and frankly I’ve never had any sourcer balance more than 20 positions in a month.
  6. Continuous Training is Imperative to Success? The Internet is an ever-changing medium. What worked yesterday may not work today. In fact the page you found today that had a list of all those great candidates may be unavailable tomorrow. Successful sourcers are on top of their industry and are very aware of new techniques as well as what works. The best training one can get is simply practice, but there are several resources, including the Electronic Recruiting Exchange, that teach sourcers how to be better at their jobs.

Hopefully, you learned something new from these tips. In the coming weeks I will be highlighting various techniques in step-by-step ways so you can try these yourself, if you are unfamiliar with them or just need a brush up. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

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