Technology, social media, new sourcing sites, the influx of information can be overwhelming and often times very distracting. It seems like no matter how many new sites I find and use, just like with anything on the Internet, there are only a few that I can or have time to master – or that are worth mastering. It seems like with many good sites that come along, once the majority of people have come to the site and started using it, 1 of 2 things happen: the company makes the things that were free and great, a cost – or they add some form of advertising that makes using the site such a pain that people want to go elsewhere.
Now large corporations with deep pockets can always pay to use these sites and get the corporate version, but the smaller guy doesn’t always have that option. The other thing that can happen is that now that everyone else is using a site, the competition for the same people is increased, thus making the site less valuable. Linkedin and to a certain degree Facebook have added more advertising and made it more difficult to access people.
However, as a good sourcer and researcher, we can always find a work around to get past some of these things. Search strings such as domain:linkedin.com “software developer” c++ USA come to mind. You can actually find more people on the internet who are not part of your linkedin network than you can find searching directly inside your network by using these type of search strings. You can substitute facebook.com for the same types of searches. Only your imagination will change the outcome of your searches.
No matter what automated tools you use to gather your information about people, someone has to verify the data in some way. Whether this means contacting the people on the list or verifying the people on the list as having the right credentials, a real person is at the end of the line making sure the content is true, real, and on target. I do believe certain tools are making some of the sourcing jobs easier to do, but someone still has to touch (call, email or verify) data no matter how it is collected.
So at the end of the day – old school sourcing methods always work. If you don’t or can’t afford the big ticket sourcing tools, it may take longer to piece together the profiles and contact information of people – but most likely you won’t have many others contacting the person you find about a position. Because they didn’t dig deep enough to find the person you found.