ContactOut’s Definitive Guide to Finding The Right Talent

What is this about? 📖

At its core, this lesson is about maximizing your reach as a recruiter.

We’re diving deep into the world of digital sourcing, guiding you through the intricate webs of Boolean search, exposing you to vast online platforms brimming with potential candidates, and introducing you to indispensable tools that can make your job easier and more efficient.

It’s not just about finding candidates; it’s about finding the right candidates in less time and with less effort.

What will you learn by the end of this guide? 🎯

  • Harness Boolean Search: It’s a powerful way to filter out noise and zero in on what truly matters. You’ll go beyond basic keyword searches and use logical operators to craft precise queries.
  • Tap into Diverse Platforms: Not all talent pools are on LinkedIn. Whether it’s a coder on GitHub, a designer on Behance, or an expert sharing knowledge on Medium, you’ll know where to look.
  • Leverage Specialized Tools: The world of recruiting has seen an explosion of tools aimed at making your life easier. You’ll be familiar with those that can improve your job ads, manage your candidates, and supercharge your productivity.

Why is it important? 🌟

Today, there’s a vast ocean of digital information.

Yet, finding the right talent feels like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Traditional methods of posting a job and hoping for the best may not yield the desired results.

In this digital era, passive candidates—those not actively looking for a job but open to opportunities—can often be the best finds. They’re typically content in their current roles, which usually means they’re competent and valued.

With the skills you’ll gain from this guide, you’ll be equipped to uncover these hidden gems, approach them with enticing propositions, and ultimately enrich your talent pool.

Master Boolean Search: 🧠

Understand and use modifiers like +, -, “”, *, OR, (), intitle:, inurl:, and filetype: for precise results.

Get familiar with field search operators like title:, body:, url:, link:, and author: to hone in on specifics.

Search Operators / Modifiers:

Operator Explanation Example
+ Requires term apple +red (Searches for pages that must contain “red”)
Excludes term apple -red (Searches for “apple” but excludes results with “red”)
* Wildcard apple * pie (Searches for “apple” followed by any word, then “pie”)
“” Exact phrase “apple pie” (Searches for the exact phrase “apple pie”)
OR Either term apple OR orange (Searches for either “apple” or “orange”)
() Group terms (apple OR orange) pie (Searches for “apple pie” or “orange pie”)
intitle: In title intitle:apple (Searches for pages with “apple” in the title)
inurl: In URL inurl:apple (Searches for pages with “apple” in the URL)
site: Specific site (Searches within “”)
filetype: File type filetype:pdf apple (Searches for PDFs containing “apple”)

Field Search:

Operator Explanation Example
title: In title title:apple (Searches for documents with “apple” in the title)
body: In body body:apple (Searches for documents with “apple” in the body)
url: In URL url:apple (Searches for URLs containing “apple”)
link: Linked to (Searches for pages linking to “”)
author: By author author:John (Searches for documents authored by “John”)
location: By location location:USA (Searches for documents from the USA)
date: By date date:2023 (Searches for documents from 2023)
type: By type type:pdf (Searches for PDF documents)
language: By language language:en (Searches for English documents)
source: By source source:nytimes (Searches for documents from NY Times)

Harness the Power of LinkedIn: 💼

Use operators like AND, OR, NOT, title:, company:, and location: for targeted LinkedIn searches.

(Note: LinkedIn’s search algorithm and available operators may change over time.)

LinkedIn Boolean Strings:

(Note: LinkedIn’s search algorithm and available operators may change over time.)

Operator Explanation Example
AND Both terms developer AND python (Searches for profiles with both “developer” and “python”)
OR Either term developer OR engineer (Searches for profiles with either “developer” or “engineer”)
NOT Excludes term developer NOT junior (Searches for “developer” but excludes “junior”)
() Group terms (developer OR engineer) AND python
title: Job title title:CEO (Searches for profiles with the title “CEO”)
company: At company company:Google (Searches for profiles at Google)
school: Attended school school:”Harvard University”
location: In location location:”San Francisco”
skill: Has skill skill:python (Searches for profiles with the skill “python”)
endorsement: Endorsed for endorsement:management (Searches for profiles endorsed for “management”)

Google Docs CV Treasure Hunt: 📄

Use various combinations of (resume OR CV) with specific job titles, skills, locations, and other attributes followed by to unearth hidden gems.

Searching resumes or CVs through Google documents:

Explanation Example
Basic Search for Resumes/CVs in Google Docs (resume OR CV)
Search for Resumes/CVs with Specific Job Title (e.g., Software Engineer) (resume OR CV) “Software Engineer”
Search for Resumes/CVs Excluding Certain Terms (e.g., Intern) (resume OR CV) NOT intern
Search for Resumes/CVs with Specific Skills (e.g., Python and Java) (resume OR CV) AND (Python AND Java)
Search for Resumes/CVs with Either of Two Skills (e.g., Python or Java) (resume OR CV) AND (Python OR Java)
Search for Resumes/CVs from a Specific Location (e.g., New York) (resume OR CV) “New York”
Search for Resumes/CVs with Specific Education (e.g., MBA) (resume OR CV) AND MBA
Search for Resumes/CVs with Experience in a Specific Company (e.g., Google) (resume OR CV) AND “Google”
Search for Resumes/CVs with a Combination of Skills and Experience (e.g., Python and 5 years) (resume OR CV) AND (Python AND “5 years”)
Search for Resumes/CVs with Specific Language Proficiency (e.g., Fluent in Spanish) (resume OR CV) AND “Fluent in Spanish”

Broaden Your Search Engine Skills: 🔍

Utilize general operators that work across search engines like +, -, “”, intext:, inanchor:, and cache:

Search Engine Operators:

(Note: These are general operators that might work across various search engines.)

Operator Explanation Example
+ Requires term apple +red
Excludes term apple -red
* Placeholder apple * pie
“” Exact phrase “apple pie”
OR Either term apple OR orange
intext: In text intext:apple (Searches for pages with “apple” in the text)
inanchor: In anchor text inanchor:click here (Searches for pages with “click here” in anchor text)
cache: Cached version (Shows cached version of “”)
info: Information about (Shows information about “”)
related: Related sites (Shows sites related to “”)

Explore Various Platforms to Source Talent: 🌐

Branch out beyond LinkedIn. Explore communities on Facebook, find experts on Medium, or engage with professionals on platforms like GitHub and Reddit.

Top 50 Platforms to Source From

Platforms Context
Facebook communities Vast social media platform
Twitter Discover via industries, hashtags Event site, find talent
SlideShare Research tech presentations
Slack Communication tool, job ads
Medium Find experts and writers Security app, large user base
LinkedIn Primary candidate sourcing platform
GitHub Largest platform for engineers
Stack Overflow Q&A forum for engineers
Reddit Large online community
HackerRank Competitive programming challenges
AngelList Startup and scaleup talent
Xing Professional network in Germany
Kaggle Data science competition platform
Tumblr Microblogging, social networking
ResearchGate Scientific articles, publications
GitLab DevOps platform, code collaboration
Coderwall Collaborative learning for developers Community for engineers
StackShare Share technology stacks
HackerEarth Coding challenges, hackathons
Codepen Social development environment
Behance Platform for designers
Dribbble Show and tell for designers
Toptal Top 3% of freelance talent
LeetCode Platform for coding challenges

Level Up Your Job Ads: 🚀

Ensure your ads are error-free, readable, and unbiased with tools like Grammarly, Hemingway App, and Gender Decoder.

Improving Job Ads

Tool Context
Grammarly Grammar and spelling checker
Hemingway App Checks readability score
Ongig Enhances employer branding
Textio Analyzes job ad copy
Gender Decoder Checks job ad gender bias
Glossary Tech Tech term glossary for recruiters

Stay Organized with CRMs: 📋

Keep track of your sourced candidates and manage job openings efficiently using platforms like SmashFly CRM and Loxo.

CRMs For Recruiters

Tool Context
SmashFly CRM Manages sourced candidates
Loxo ATS and CRM solution
DataCruit Manages job openings, candidates

Boost Productivity and Workflow: ⏱️

Use tools like Google Sheets for organization, Zapier for automation, and Better Proposals for seamless job offer management.

Productivity and Workflow Improvement

Tool Context
Google Sheets Organize candidate lists
Zapier / IFTTT Automate tasks
Pocket Save links for later
Better Proposals Send signable job offers

Next steps 🚀:

  • Practice: Regularly use Boolean search to get comfortable with it.
  • Stay Updated: Platforms and search algorithms evolve. Always be in the know.
  • Diversify Your Platforms: Don’t rely on just one. The more, the merrier!

Further resources 📚:

📹 Search Strategy: Beyond the Buzzwords: a must watch if you want to 10x your sourcing approach ⭐ Our top choice!
📹 Dueling Sourcers Playlist: bitesized pieces of sourcing hacks by seasoned pros
📹 Spinning Up a New Search- Mike �?Batman’ Cohen: make hyper-personalized bulk messages
📹 Become a LinkedIn Search Ninja: Advanced Boolean Search | Talent Connect London 2014
📌 Boolean Search Cheatsheet: a comprehensive list of Boolean search strings. Bookmark this!

⬅️ Back to Recruitment Mastery Hub