I came across this post this morning on ERE.net and found it very interesting! I have found this happens quite frequently around the recruiting world – the thought that research is a piece of cake and that just anyone could do it. Sure – anyone can type a word or two into a Google search and look through the results that pop up, but I think most would agree that it takes a bit more skill to find a roofing/asphalt product manager in central PA who wants to work parttime – without using Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, or any of the other major job boards!!!
“For some reason there is a myth that internet sourcing is a task that a monkey can handle while it is sleeping. It is true on the surface there are a ton of candidates that are tapped daily by recruiters and researchers these candidates can be uncovered with simple search on google, jigsaw and linked-in. However there is a gold mine of passive candidates hiding in cyberspace that are being overlooked everyday because most people don’t know where to dig and they don’t dig deep enough. They hit the surface and stop when they ID 20 or 30 leads.
I use the first layer of candidates and information as a stepping stone and I dig deeper to locate the untapped candidates. There is an investigative process that involves identifying, utilizing and analyzing potentially hundreds of sources. You may find one piece of information that leads to another piece of information and with the click of the mouse you have uncovered the gold mine. In the end I am able to supply my clients with a pipeline of passive (more time than not the same candidates obtained by conducting sourcing calls) and active candidates, intelligence, market information and other valuable information that makes their job easier….”
Per Your Request Research
From my experience, the best researchers come from either a Library Science or a paralegal background. These people have been trained in the art of research, and chasing the proverbial ‘White Rabbit’. Of course, hiring an experienced researcher will cost you more because they will have accumulated a great deal of knowledge and connections over the span of their career. But if you’re looking to hire a brand new researcher and are curious as to what to look for, here are a couple of tips that I think might help:
- Library Science or Paralegal background
- Knows what Boolean Logic is – as a researcher, this is an essential tool!
- Meticulous about details – this person won’t mind making sure that the contact information they are finding for potential candidates is up to date
- Knows/understands basic web design (I’m talking your very basic HTML code) – this way they can check source codes and unlock email addresses and other useful information while researching
- Member of at least one professional networking site (LinkedIn, Doostang, Konnects, Spoke, vShake, etc.) – they probably already have several connections that can get them started
Hopefully this will help a few people out! In my experience, this combination of skills will assist your new person in becoming very skilled at internet research without driving them insane.