Sourcing Techniques to Find a Great Candidate

Recruiters are in the business of finding qualified candidates for open positions. It’s one of the basic aspects of the job, and recruiters have to know how to do it. Recruitment strategies depend on it.

While everyone knows about LinkedIn and cold calling for sourcing, and most people know about Boolean search, there are newer sourcing techniques every competitive recruiter needs to be using in 2017.

3 Sourcing Techniques to Find a Great Candidate 

1. Competitive Intelligence

Recruiters don’t operate in a vacuum when they’re sourcing and engaging candidates. Understanding competitors’ business operations and recruiting activities can help in the quest to find talent, especially passive candidates. Getting that information means using tools like Owler, LinkSV, and BizJournals to learn about companies going through downsizing or financial challenges, and companies with specific types of employees.


Owler is a crowdsourced competitive intelligence platform that uses three targeted email products to get users the latest information they want.

  • Daily Snapshot provides top news stories about users’ chosen competitors, customers, prospects and industry sectors. Instant Insights delivers information about funding and acquisitions.
  • Competitive Stats shows users how they compare to their competition.
  • Weekly Showdown provides business and social performance comparisons between users’ companies and competitors.

LinkSV (Link Silicon Valley)

LinkSV, FiercePharma, and Dealbreaker are online resources to find contact information on specific types of candidates, such as

  • Silicon Valley startup leadership
  • Professionals in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Investing professionals


BizJournals produces business publications by metro area with information about people on the move, company news, executive profiles, and businesses for sale.

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2. Social Media Recruiting

Social media has revolutionized how we do many things, sourcing included, which makes data and contact information on candidates more available than ever before. Find candidates that you need for quality hires and talent pools with social media sourcing on Twitter and Google.

Twitter advanced search lets users find candidates with criteria including keywords, location, languages and hashtags, as well as allowing results filtering by tweets, photos, news, and videos.   

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X-ray on Google is a way to search web pages for the specific keywords and information desired. It involves simple Boolean logic to target the desired results and is an excellent way to source candidates with specialized skills online. X-ray starts with site: and the name of the website that may have qualified candidates and their contact information. Here’s an example: site: (HR pro OR “human resources professional”).  

To learn more about X-ray searches, as well as all things Boolean, I highly recommend visiting  Its run by Glen Cathey, a leader in the Sourcing community, and is on my list of must-read websites for recruiters and sourcers.

3. Chrome Extensions for Contact Mining

Chrome extensions make it easier to find the information on candidates that recruiters need, such as

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Specialities
  • Contact information, including email addresses and phone numbers

Scoop up email addresses from company websites and LinkedIn profiles of top candidates with email hunter extension Hunter for Chrome.

Find more ways to connect with candidates from their social media profiles with Prophet for Chrome, such as blogs, email addresses, and phone numbers.

Search Facebook for qualified candidates with Shane McCusker’s Facebook Search Tool.

In Short

Having a variety of sourcing techniques to use in recruiting maximizes sourcing efforts and improves sourcing results. Rather than rely on one or two sourcing techniques to find candidates, recruiters today must use a wide array of tools and resources to find great candidates. Use a combination of competitive intelligence, social media search, and Chrome extensions to boost your sourcing success and quickly improve your recruiting process.

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