Unexpected talent sources: Slack, Instagram, and Facebook sourcing

April 12, 2019


Unexpected talent sources: Slack, Instagram, and Facebook sourcing

Unexpected talent sources: recruiting on Slack, Instagram, and Facebook (with Brian Fink)

Topics within the webinar:

  1. How to recruit on Slack
  2. How to recruit on Facebook
  3. How to recruit on Instagram
  4. Click here to skip the text and view the recording at the bottom.

Adrie Smith: Hi everyone, welcome to yet another Recruitee Webinar. We’re super excited for this one. It’s on unexpected talent sources. So, what do we mean by that? Well, in this session we’re actually going to be speaking about Instagram, Slack, and Facebook as potential sources for candidates. Because we all know that LinkedIn is super crowded with recruiters, it’s competitive and for candidates it can also be a little bit spammy.

So today we’re going to talk about tapping into these kind of unexplored channels, and we have Brian Fink with us here today to discuss how he does that. A little introduction to us: so I’m joined by Brian Fink. He is a senior tech recruiter currently at RentPath, and I’m your host, Adrie Smith.

adrie smith recruitee

I’m the head of content at Recruitee. I’m responsible for the blog and, hopefully, all the good stuff that you see there. I’m also the host of these monthly webinars. And Recruitee, if you don’t, already know us, we are a talent acquisition platform designed to help you attract, automate, and predict your hiring successes.

So, without further wait, I will let Brian introduce himself. He did say that- Brian, you can correct me if I’m wrong here- that you can leave your questions in the questions tab whenever you have a question and either, if it’s relevant to the slide he’ll get to it then, or he’ll get to it at the end. Is that right?

Brian Fink: Yeah, that’s awesome! I really appreciate the introduction. I’m excited to be here. Real quick, we’ve got a lot of stuff to get into today, so I’m going to make my introduction kind of brief. My name is Brian Fink. I am a senior technical recruiter with RentPath here in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m seeing people filter in from the states and from abroad. I’m really excited to have you here.

brian fink webinar

We’re going to talk about three areas that I use to find talent in kind of some unexpected places. As we go through it and as it was just referenced, if you have any questions as I’m going through something, I’m going to try to go as slow as I possibly can. If you have a question and it’s pertinent to what we’re doing or I think that it’s something that’s coming up, I’m going to answer that question there. If not, I’m going to make a point to leave the questions to the end and probably give us about 10 to 15 minutes to connect. If that works for everybody let me get a big “Hell yeah!” Okay, I heard no one. Alright. So, we’re going to go forward on that. Okay. I’m getting a lot of “Hell yeah”s. So, I am presuming that they can hear me loud and clear. Thank you, Carlos, for letting me know that. Before we begin, I just want to talk about a little bit of Boolean or put a little bit of Boolean up there for us to kind of digest, because we will be using both Google and DuckDuckGo in different parts of this presentation. I will let you know that, quick hint, Boolean doesn’t work on Facebook. We’re going to have to come up with some different searching technologies and techniques to really get to where we’re going there.

But to get started, we want to talk about Slack and also want to talk about the modern problem of what I deem to be:

You’re overloaded with all these great ideas of how you can source for individuals and for candidates, and it causes you to fracture your time in a way that you’re looking for too many candidates in too many different places.

Glen Cathey once said that if you can find one or two tools that you’re really good with, make the best of those tools. And so what I want to focus on though is using three tools that you’re really familiar with, and if you’re not familiar with Slack or Facebook or Instagram, we’re going to compare them to some different feature sets, some different techniques that you can use that are as familiar to you as texting.

How to recruit on Slack

And, actually, to kind of kick off Slack, I’m going to introduce Butterfield, who is the founder of Slack who once said he didn’t understand what he had built. He actually used a few expletives, but I’m not going to reference those today. So if you can text, you can use Slack to reach out to your candidates. But the big question is “How do you recruit on Slack?”

And there are three different areas that you have to look at, and the first of which is Teams. If you’ve got a corporate Slack, believe it or not, you can login to more than one team at a time. I’ll show you how to do that today. The second part is Channels. And those are where conversations are taking place around specific or niche topics within a team. And then finally, I’m going to show you the people that you want to connect with that are subject matter experts or maybe candidates that have shared some great code or writing samples that demonstrate who they are and what they’re about.

So, when we’re thinking about how we recruit on Slack, it’s like hundreds of apps that we’ve used before. If you can text somebody, you can Slack somebody. If you’re familiar with instant messenger and you remember the good old days of AOL, it’s the same idea, just it’s organized a little bit better into chat rooms. Consequently, if you’re familiar with Craigslist, I liken Slack and finding different Slacks to Craigslist or also to Skype. In fact, a lot of the functionality that you have on Skype, where you can text your candidates or you can have a video chat or a phone call with them, are also baked right into the software.

brian fink quote on slack sourcing and recruiting

So, as I mentioned, there are teams, there are channels, and there are members, and if we look up at the top left corner, I’m in the WordPress Slack, and the reason I’m there is because I’m looking for PHP developers and WordPress is mainly based on PHP and a little bit of JavaScript. So, and actually, there’s more JavaScript coming as they’re adapting to React JS. But nonetheless, what I’m looking at at the top is the making WordPress work Team. And that’s at the top left corner. The channels that I have include: #announcements, #core, #slackhelp. And then I also have members that are listed under direct messages that I can make direct contact with.

Also, if you’ll notice, if we look at the top right hand corner, we know that, at this time, there’s a small little person head or indicator that tells us that they’re 3,524 people that are active on Slack about this particular subject matter. And then, finally, there’s the all-powerful search bar, which occurs also in the top right hand corner. That search bar, I call it the all-powerful search bar, because you can look at anything in a public Slack, which means that you can look at conversations that you’ve had with individuals, conversations that individuals and threads that they have created or that they’ve left in other channels, you can even look through and find the documents and code samples that they’ve shared. I’m going to show you how to do that.

So, how can you get started on Slack? Oh, how do you find new Slack groups to join that are relevant? You know, that’s a great question, Beth. I’m going to get to that in just a quick second. I’m going to show you how to find your Slack team and who you can connect with. Great question.

So where will I find my Slack team? Who am I looking for? Who matches my recruiting style? So I’ve got four personas that I’m looking at. I’m looking at Wendy Woahman who is a female entrepreneur. Female entrepreneur communities pop up all the time on Slack and they’re free and accessible groups to drop in to as opposed to being a paid service that somebody has to pay to provide for. Cody is a coder who has an expansive Github library. I’m going to show you how to find those Github samples that Cody has left behind when he’s sharing this code in real time with individuals on Slack. Abby Author, she loves to write whether it’s a writing expertise, we’re going to find her writing samples, and we’ve got Mike McCloud. And since I used to spend a lot of my time looking for Kubernetes, Google Cloud, AWS, and Azure- well actually, I spent a fair amount of my time looking for Azure today- this is the type of ideal candidate that I’m going to be looking for in some of these groups, and I’m going to want to see how they’re relevant.

But really back to Beth’s question, “How do we find Slack teams?” There are three simple ways to find your Slack team. The first of which is that you can use these websites, slacklist.info or slofile.com, to discover Slack communities. Personally, if you use Slack list, it’s going to be a curated list of Slack communities, and they’re going to be presented by the community that is using them and kind of rating them, ensuring you with them that information that’s pertinent to how many members are participating in conversations at that given time, as well as kind of what they’re talking about and how many people are there.

Slofile is a public Slack database and about… Okay, so I was talking about Slofile, and I was also talking about slacklist.info. I wanted to make sure I answered that first asker.

Adrie: And also, by the way, this is being recorded, so you’ll be able to access all of Brian’s slides after the webinar. So don’t worry if you’ve missed one thing, we can always come back to it.

Brian: So, Slofile is actually a listing or community database of public Slack groups. So, when we talk about a public Slack group, we’re talking specifically about groups that are indexed by Google or by Bing or by DuckDuckGo that are publicly available that no one is… It’s not housed by IBM, it’s not private, it’s not housed by Google, which I don’t know if Google uses Slack. I’m sure they have some other community that’s there or a paid Slack channel, and paid Slack channels are those that are typically owned, like I said, by a company, and they can choose their members deliberately. And in this instance, I’m looking at Clojure, Elm, and MindtheProduct.

Clojure is one of the subject matter areas where I recruit for on a national scale. Our Clojure team is remote. So if I’m looking for Clojure, typically I’m going into the clojurians Slack group. I know that there are about 10,000 active members, and those 10,000 active members, I can connect with each one of them. I talk about connecting, and I’m going to show how that works in just a quick second.

This is the Kubernetes group, and again, if you start on the left hand side of the screen, you see multiple Slack channels that I’m currently active in. One is for Relus Cloud, one is for Tech 404 which is a big tech community here in Atlanta. If you’re joining me from Atlanta, you might want to go to tech404.io and register today, and go ahead and sign up to be a member of that group. Again, it’s a public free group. I’ve also got my clojurians group, I’ve got my group for Kubernetes, and then I’ve also got my question and answer group to help me with things, kind of all things Elixir.

So, in this instance, I’ve got different areas that I’m going to, like channels where I’m posting different openings that I’m working on. I’m looking at Kubernetes users that are people who are very specific to the skill set. And I’m looking inside those channels. I said that there were three ways that you can access groups. And I guess that this is a little small in hindsight, but we noticed something similar about public Slack URLs.

And what I want you to notice is that when you look at tech404.slack.com, it’s the same URL structure, so wordpress.slack.com, it’s got the same structure to it. So if you want to, you can actually use some Boolean to find different Slack channels, because you’re looking for a site-specific channel, so site:slack.com, and you’re looking for something such as Kubernetes in the inurl:.

So in this instance, I’ve used site:slack.com, space, inurl:K=kubernetes to be able to find those different… well, actually just one specific Kubernetes Slack channel. Here I can use Slack to be able to find different Java groups. So, I’m using the Java defined, I’m using slack:java.com inurl:java to find Java-specific Slack teams. And I found four different ones that I can jump into that are publicly available.

Now about Boolean, since you can’t use Boolean to search Slack externally- I mean we’ve only seen that there’s limited availability there- maybe there might be some other Boolean uses for Slack. And if you can’t use Google and you can’t use Boolean, then how do you find people? And that goes back to the question that Beth asked. So how do you find your Slack channel inside the team? How can I be in multiple channels? Is my pace alright for everybody? I want to make sure that I’m covering everything, but I’m not going too fast. Alright.

Adrie: All good [Crosstalk] okay.

Brian: Alright. Alright, great. So we’ve got… All good. Thanks Terry. I appreciate that feedback. Thanks Sophia. Thanks Claudio. Great.

So how do you find the right channel? Well, there are two ways to find any channel in a Slack team. One is more effective as it shows you just more than a directory. So if you want, you can go and you can click on channel, and it’ll bring up all of the channels that are in a particular team. And that’s really great. It shows you on the right-hand side how many people are actively in that group and how many people are having conversations. But what I like to do is I like to go up to that- like I referred to it before- the almighty search bar that’s at the top of the screen. Because what I can do is I can look at groups or I can look at channels within teams. I can look at messages from one team member to another. Yeah, I can really kind of cure into this and see what kind of conversations people are having. And I can also find what files people are sharing.

So let’s talk a little bit more about finding people, per se. So here’s a search that I’m doing where I want to find people that are talking about Python. So in that almighty search bar, inside of the Kubernetes group or Kubernetes team, I’ve just typed in “python”, and it’s brought up all people that are having a conversation about Python. That’s what segflow’s doing. Pbagchi is talking about, is sharing code that has Python with it. And pokoli is actually talking about how he’s using Python to run Kubernetes.

One other detail that I want to go back to is that under People & Channels, it says nine people are talking about this. That means that nine people are actively talking about it in the past week. Now, what’s this I see?

I can see the files that people are exchanging that may have also met my search criteria. There are 46 files, 46 files that are code files that I can share with a hiring manager or I can look at and say, “This person really knows their stuff”, and if I’m clicking on one of those files, there’s a good chance it’s going to take me to Github and get to those individuals.

“Can you use geo-targeting within Slack groups?” You can use specific Slack groups, you can find channels that are running specific areas, but you can’t necessarily use geo-targeting. But I will show you how you can find if you type in the words like Atlanta or what have you, how you can find people that are actually talking from Atlanta and they’ve listed that in their Slack profile. Does that help, Michela?

So how do I talk to people? Because at the end of the day, we’re recruiters, we love to speak to people. Number two, how do we get their contact info? Because we love to spam them with emails. I mean, we love to send them personalized messages. And how can I find them off of Slack?

brian fink quote on recruiters and sourcing

Alright. So when you hover over somebody’s picture, it pulls down their profile and it gives you the opportunity to view their profile, send them direct messages, view all the files that they’ve shared, invite to a specialized channel, or to call them. So what we’ve got right here in the team directory when we’re looking at Arthur is that we’ve got Arthur’s username, we know what his local time is, and we also know that Arthur is available. It’s arthur@mavenlink.com, and he’s a Python developer and he’s had something to do- he’s had a conversation where he shared some code. This is a person that we can reach out to and we can say, “Hey, Arthur, I noticed that you were chatting on the Kubernetes Slack channel. I really wanted to get your opinion about” and copy and paste that code that he presented and ask him if he’d be up for a small conversation.

Real quick, before I go onto the next slide, I want to stop here and ask, are there any questions that I can answer specifically about Slack?

Adrie: I actually have one, Brian.

Brian: Well, well well, let’s hear it. What’s going on?

Adrie: Are all Slack groups public, or are some of them gatekept?

Brian: So some of them are going to be gatekept: those that are “paying for the service to Slack.” That’s one of the features that goes with being a paid Slack channel is that you’re able to block other people out of your channel and only have it for your organization. But, slofile- and one of the reasons that I love it- shows you all the public Slack environments or public Slack teams that you can go into. And they’re relatively easy to login to. One of the other things that I would suggest is if anybody’s bored and wants to look at my LinkedIn profile, on my LinkedIn profile, there’s a list of, there’s an article that talks about the most active groups on Slack, the most active teams, that are free for you to drop into.

Adrie: Okay. Wow, a really good resource.

Brian: Excellent. “How do you feel about specific job channels? Do [I] use them?” I do use the specific job channels to make postings, and what’ll happen is, typically, I’ll say to people, “DM me if you need additional information,” and they will totally DM me for that information. One of the things, though, that I’ll let you know is that if they share their resume in a public Slack channel, that becomes public content that maybe you might want to type the word ‘resume’ into that almighty search bar.

Adrie: Then it becomes a little bit like a CV bank, as well.

Brian: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I can tell you that on clojurians and elixirists, it’s definitely turned into that.

How to recruit on Facebook

So without any further ado, I’m going to ask the question: how do we search Facebook? There are a myriad of different ways to look at Facebook. One of the ways that you can look at Facebook is, specifically, by knowing how to build a string. And in this instance, what I’ve done is I’ve built a string that looks at Atlanta, looks at residents who have ever lived in Atlanta. I’m looking for males that are engineers, that are employees, that also ‘like’ Black Lives Matter. And what’s important is at the end of all of this, I have to put the word ‘intersect’ because I’m looking for the social graph to show an intersection of this candidate.

What on Earth does this mean? Any ideas, any ideas who I was looking for? Well, I was looking for diversity candidates, people who have a diversity of thought here in Atlanta, Georgia. And I was specifically looking for people who are engineers, different pages, employees, intersect, Black Lives Matter. But this is not Boolean, this is bringing me back – and I’m going to show you how this works- results of people who live in Atlanta, who like I said, ‘like’ Black Lives Matter, are engineers, and those are the people that I was looking for on Facebook. So great. I’ve got exactly what I’m looking for by building a link based upon what people like and what people don’t like.

Alternatively, and I noticed that there were some people who registered for this that are actually looking for nurses and medical professionals. Again, what I’m going to do is I’m going to put facebook.com/search/str/atlanta because I want them to ‘like’ Atlanta. And that’s the page’s name, so the page is named Atlanta. That they’re a resident, that they presently live there, that they’re female, that it intersects with ‘nurse’,our pages named ‘nurse’, and that they’re employees, and that they’ve ever been employed as a nurse, and that they, that it all intersects. And voila! I come up with these results. This is fantastic. Any questions? Guys, this is easy right? No? Maybe? Alright, well guys, I don’t think it’s that easy.

So I’m going to tell you exactly how to hack… “Can we put in other words, can we use this Facebook bar to be effectively, influential to do this?” Carlos, that’s a great question. I wish that we could use the Facebook search bar to be able to type out our search, but it’s really cumbersome to do that in Facebook. Just like Google wants to go ahead and start populating those results for you.

Jessica: “Can we look for doctor specifically in Germany”? Yeah, we can do that. And I’m going to show you how to do that in a quick second, and I’m going to show you how to hack this.

Flabio: “If we don’t have the correct keywords will we be excluding people from our pool?” Absolutely. And that’s one of the reasons why I’ll show you one of the things that I use for tagging and for building these keywords.

“How do I know how to build the same search string for Facebook? Is it always the same rules?” It is always the same rules, but Eric, like I said, we’re going to hack this bad boy. There is a tool that I use that is called Intellisearch, and you can find it in the Google Chrome Store for your Chrome browser. It’s a free extension, and what you can do is you can go, and here it is. I’m going to pause so everybody can go and look at this. I know that you’re going to get the slides and the recording later, but everybody’s probably going to want to download Intelligence Search for their Chrome browser so they can start immediately searching through Facebook. Guys, this is my favorite one. It is the best way to build these links. In fact, it takes the headache out of making sure that you’ve included an ‘str’ between each of your search terms or that you’ve included ‘intersect’ at the end of the search string. It’ll allow for you to do ‘ands’, ‘ors’ and ‘nots’. How do I spell it? I spell it in-

Adrie: Intelligence.

Brian: Yeah, and I was going to say I’m glad somebody else’s spelling for me because as Jason Singer, Jason Singer can attest on this, that I’m the world’s worst speller [chuckle]. So it makes for some plenty interesting search results.

Alright, so to that, the next piece that I want to jump into is showing you how this works. So I’m going to look for nurses in Savannah, Georgia, who ‘like’ Game of Thrones. Why? Because maybe the nurses on that floor, they all like Game of Thrones, and it would be helpful if I found somebody else who didn’t want to work on a Sunday night.

Voila, we’ve got Erin who’s a licensed nurse, who lives in Savannah, who likes Game of Thrones. We’ve got Shelly who lives in Savannah, Missouri, likes Game of Thrones. We’ve got Angelia Carlile who lives in Savannah and likes Game of Thrones and who is a licensed practical nurse.

Terry, I’m going to answer that Slack question at the conclusion of this conversation. Flavio: “Do I see that this is something that can be done by AI or machine learning?” I am not certain that it can be done by machine learning. Reason being is that Facebook is constantly changing not the URL structure, but they’re changing sometimes the codes for particular ‘likes’. And I think that machine learning would have a lot to kind of keep up with there, to stay ahead of the curve.

brian fink quote on facebook recruiting

Okay. One of the other areas that I use to find people that works just as well is peoplefindThor.dk. Now, this is not a Chrome extension, you won’t need to download this. It’s just a webpage. It works really well on mobile, especially if you’re doing mobile search. In this instance, I’m looking for somebody who lives in Houston presently. I’ve got my filters over here. I can search by their name, what they like, where they’ve lived. I can build multiple queries, I can look by gender, I can look by religion, political view, that might get us in trouble here in the United States [chuckle]. Education, languages that they speak. I know that we had a question about looking for somebody in Germany. Maybe we’re looking for somebody in Germany that speaks Korean. I don’t know. But those are different filters that we could put to it so that we could find our ideal candidate and really create a tailored pool. Good question.

Now there’s, there’s a little snafu that happens with Facebook is that if you want to, if you get these results, and we have these results in front of us, we have three little dots that pop up, and those three little dots that pop up, that show up allow us to do two things: They allow us to send a message or send money. Now, I don’t know anybody who wants to just blindly send money to Katherine Madison here, but also I don’t, when we talk about sending her a message, it’s 100% free to send her a message, but there’s a problem. If you send a candidate a message through Facebook and you’re not connected to them, it’s going to end up in spam. So, everything that we just did is really for naught if we can’t get in touch with them. So beware the spam filter. You have recent messages, you have message requests, and that’s the spam filter. So there has to be a way to get past this.

“Did you use this Facebook people search as a custom audience?” No, I did not. I have not used it as a custom audience. You can do a custom audience, but I think Facebook is cracking down on custom audience building based upon some of the filters that we’ve discussed today. That’s a really good question.

So this is how you get around the messaging spam filter is that if you go to messenger.com or if you use the Messenger application on your mobile device, you can actually bump your message to the top of, the top of the inbox. So instead of messaging them on the site, if you go to messenger.com or if you go to the Facebook Messenger application on your mobile phone, you can text them directly, and it will bypass and go straight into their messages like they’re your friend or like you’re their friend.

Quote from Brian Fink on sourcing using Facebook Messenger

Adrie: Wow, that’s incredible.

Brian: Wait a minute. I’ve got some breaking news. You can actually search candidates with Messenger by name or by phone number. So Facebook, about a month ago, they came under fire because you can start typing in a phone number into Facebook Messenger. And if you had that candidate’s phone number, it’ll bring back their Facebook Messenger if they’ve registered their phone number with Facebook! So you now have a third way to contact them in addition to sending them a message via email or by text message, you can also send them a message via phone number.

Alright, so how do we search Instagram? Wait, before I go to Instagram, are there any more questions about Facebook?

Adrie: I really can’t believe that thing with the Messenger. It’s quite interesting.

Brian: Yeah. So, it’s a sneaky little walk around there. Stefano wants to know, “What’s Facebook?” It’s going to be huge someday, I recommend buying stock [chuckle]. That’s my tip of the day.

How do we search Instagram? It also has a free messenger. So Instagram’s messenger is a lot easier to kind of handle, because it treats everybody the same because everybody’s mobile first. So how do we search Instagram? We can go on to, we can search it…

Jason, that’s a great question. I’d be happy to answer that at the end of it. I think that’s a question that would be really good for the wrap up. Thank you.

Sascar: “It’s hard to use Slack searches for small country like Netherlands. PHP Netherlands doesn’t exist.” Sascar, one of the ways that you might be able to do- that I understand this, or that I can work on this- is that if you’re going into that PHP group or there might be a city specific Slack group, like there are city specific Slack groups in the United States, like tech404, which is Atlanta. Silicon Slopes is for Colorado. You can jump into those specific geo ones and then look to see inside the team if there’s a specific channel that speaks to PHP or by using the almighty search bar at the top. See if anybody’s exchanging files that are PHP-related. Is that helpful? Okay. So let’s, you got it, brother.

How to recruit on Instagram

Alright, so about searching Instagram. Instagram, we can search on Google, and we can search on DuckDuckGo. I’m going to use Google because I feel most people use Google instead of using DuckDuckGo. With this instance, I am asking it to do a site search on site:instagram.com. And I’m looking for content marketers or somebody who’s a marketing demand generation expert. So I’m putting in ‘content marketing’ or ‘inbound marketing’ or ‘content writer’ or ‘demand generation’ or ‘content marketer’. And I’m looking in ‘New York’ or in ‘NYC’. And lo and behold, it comes up with some ads first because that’s Google. They got to make their money. But then our three next results are going to be Gaby Tama, Sara Goldfarb and we get Sarah Goldfarb, we get Gaby Tama. I can’t read this name because of how this is presented on my desktop. So I apologize.

But we’ve got three great results, and we can click into those and we can find Gaby on Facebook on the desktop which is going to be on the top of the page. Or we can find Gaby on Instagram, on the mobile application. And if you’ll notice again, they’re the same three dots that we had as a hangover  from Facebook. If we go into those three dots on desktop, we’re just going to be able to report the user, block a user, or canceling. But if we go into Gaby’s three dots on her profile page, we’re able to block, report, hide her story, copy the profile URL- which we might use that for tracking purposes- share this profile, or send a message.

And with sending the message, we can specifically send an individual, we can send up to 20 messages a day to individuals that meet our search criteria. Yeah. Hey Ari, thanks for jumping in here. When I wrap, I’ll be more than happy to talk about three success stories that I’ve had with each one of the platforms. Great. I’d love to do that. And since you’re in Atlanta, you can kind of reference a few of these people.

So, also, this wouldn’t be a Brian thing presentation if Jimmy Buffett didn’t find his way somehow into it. What would Jimmy Buffett do? So Jimmy Buffet posts a photo on his page. Down at the bottom of his Instagram feed, there are 500, how many is that? 3,690 likes. I can click on the like button, and I can see all the people that like the particular photo. Now I do this in tongue-and-cheek to find out who other people are that are fans of Jimmy Buffet. But really what I’m doing is I’m using that to be able to find people who have been at various locations with Jimmy Buffet or various locations and conferences that they have upvoted somebody’s code.

That’s right. People publish code to Instagram. So here I’m looking up the #github, and I’m finding all these different pictures that people have uploaded that have something to do with Github. For instance, right here with vibetechnologies. What are you guys up to? He has tagged for me a wonderful page of code that he’s showing me PHP. I don’t want someone to think I’m a PHP junkie, but he’s showing me PHP code, as well as the JavaScript that intermingles with it. So I know that this guy is talking about it, but I also know the 67 people that are also liking it who might be potential people for me to reach out to and for me to check their Instagram profiles.

Same thing here with Alberto. Alberto is a coder. He’s giving me a lot of other things to look at. Web Development, front end development. I noticed that he’s got a lot of likes, I also know that there’s some comments, and I can figure out who’s commenting- thank you- who’s commenting on his photo, and I can jump into that, as well, and find that information and elaborate or make my code, not my code, make my candidate base a little bit bigger on Instagram.

Now, about keywords, I was asked a question earlier about how I find my keywords, and there is a keyword tool that I’ve used for a number of years, keywordtool.io, and it allows me to find out what keywords people are using on Instagram for a particular area or if I’m looking on Bing, Amazon, YouTube, eBay, or Google. For those of you who have attended other classes or other webinars that I’ve done, particularly on Amazon, this is one of the ways that I’ve been able to kind of build out my distribution or my word list or my content list of who I’m looking for based upon which area or which different engine or application I’m using. So I would highly recommend kind of diving into this.

So as I wrap up, though, Ari asked me if I’d speak to personal placement success that I’ve had with these three tools in my wrap. So with RentPath, I’ve specifically had success with Facebook. There are a few people who know it, but I was kicked off of LinkedIn for roughly a month, and I did all of my recruiting- I know, I know, it happens, right? There is a commercial use limit of how many people you can actually reach out to or how many profiles you can view, whether you’ve got a free version or you have the paid version. Look into the fine print there, folks.

The reality of it is that, Ari, there’s a gentleman, Quentin, who is with my team now who I recruited using the string that I shared earlier in the presentation when I was looking for diversity candidates. He joined my team, actually, back in early January. So that’s one. Two, when I was at Relus technologies, I heavily recruited off of Tech404and out of the Kubernetes group, particularly as we were looking for consultants. I’ve got way too many examples of individuals to share. But I can tell you that it was probably about anywhere from about 10 to 15 placements. And I know that that team is still heavily using that to track down GCP candidates.

And then, finally, with Instagram, it’s kind of funny, but there’s a video online that was circulated by RecruitingDaily where Luke Lightning from Good&Co challenged me to a sourcing duel in a bar. And I had too many drinks, and I said, “Sure, I’ll take your challenge,” in which I recruited a female software developer to the team here at RentPath over Instagram and Instagram direct messages. Ari, those are my three tools and that’s a wrap up of where I found them and who I found them, and particularly with the female developer, I wasn’t looking for females. I was just looking for people who knew JavaScript and ReactJS- hint, hint- and I was able to find people in the Atlanta area also using that Atlanta Geo to be able to find that individual.

Looking at the questions, I have: “How do [I] feel about Facebook.com/jobs? Is it a good place to post jobs?“

It’s really funny. I was having a brain bending session last night with three recruiters, with two recruiters here in Atlanta, and I made the comment that I really don’t use ads. I think that you’ll notice that there might be two ads on LinkedIn that have my name attached to them, one for a lead engineer and then, like, one for a graphic designer. So, I don’t know how I feel about Facebook.com/jobs, because I really haven’t used it as a posting resource. I’m sure that’s something that I probably should take a deeper look into, but I really haven’t used it. I don’t have anything, Michel, to respond to you on that.

Adrie: I think [Crosstalk] on the competency, right? You’re looking for entry level positions or also we were talking about age demographic, as well- could change, as well.

Brian: Sascar wants to know what my favorite tool is. So, I like free tools a lot. And one of my favorite free tools right now is a tool that’s called Clearbit Connect. You can get it by going to connect.clearbit.com or… Hold on. Let me make sure I just gave the right URL. I just want to make sure I did that.

Yeah. So, if you go to connect.clearbit.com, it’s a tool that allows you to find any email address pretty quickly. It also is a neat way to backdoor LinkedIn. There’s a free version, there’s a paid version. I’m using the free version. You get 125 free lookups of email addresses and it also shows you their social profiles. It kind of reminds me a lot about, reminds me a lot of how Connectifier used to work, if you’re familiar with that. And also how… “Can I please spell it?” I think it’s [crosstalk], cool. Awesome. You are great. So, that is one of my favorite tools right now that is a free tool to use.

A paid tool that I’m using that I’ve found a lot of success with finding email addresses on, but also building out like my workflow and my list of my day, is the team ZAPinfo. I can’t say enough about that tool. When I’m doing Facebook search and I need to keep track of all the people that I’ve reached out to, it can easily populate, it can easily, like- you see all these people that are talking about building scrapers and I think that what they’re doing is great, but I don’t have that aptitude to do that. ZAPinfo scrapes websites for information for me. It’s pretty sweet. I’d recommend maybe taking a look at that, but those are two of my favorite tools.

And then, my favorite tool of all time for recruiting is Evernote. And if you’re, I know that there are people who really like Evernote and they really like OneNote, but I really gravitate towards Evernote because the searchability feature, I store all my candidates there and in my applicant tracking system. I know it sounds like a little bit of a pain, but if I’m ever looking for somebody on Google or DuckDuckGo, that plugin will alert me automatically if I’ve already got somebody “in that database of people” from maybe one or two jobs ago or from when I was just kind of bored and scraping LinkedIn. It does also have a great scraping tool with the Evernote web clip drop, or dropper, that you can go in and you can scrape LinkedIn profiles, Github profiles, Stack Overflow profiles. It’s really quite neat, and it’s free, or you can be a maniac like me and be worried that somehow or another you’re not going to have enough space to pay for your notes or have for your notes, and you pay $49.95 a year for it. But that’s that.

Adrie: I think we have another question here from Terry, earlier: “How do we get in, how do we get access to Slack pages we don’t have access to whereby it states we should contact the administrator? How do we find out who that administrator is?”

Brian: Great. So there should be underneath the Slack group, there should be a button for you to contact the administrator. There also might be a landing page if you’re trying to get into that Slack group in advance, like I suggested tech404.io for the Atlanta Slack group that has that landing page there and it also has the rules for their group. So there may be a landing page associated with it that kind of gives you that contact information, as well. Great question.

Adrie: This was from Jason, I think, “Where can we find the best ways of engaging people on these platforms? Finding people is great detective work, but how we engage might be a completely different seminar.” Sorry about that.

Brian: No, no. So, it might be a different seminar, but how you engage is, I think, that you just speak in natural language to people. You make the message very short and sweet. I like to say that everything here, treat everything on these platforms as if you’re texting with somebody. Don’t hit them with an email that says you can do this, this, and this. As one of my mentors, Jason Singer, says, “You’re not trying to sell the opportunity, you’re trying to sell the conversation.”

jason singer quote on sourcing via brian fink

So I think if you act with that in mind, you can really have a conversation, a very quick conversation, about selling the opportunity, saying, you know, “Would you be interested in making a move that”, I mean asking him a question, like, “Would you be interested in making a move that pays you $150,000?” is not the best way to start the conversation. That’s a horrible way to kind of set yourself up for failure. But asking the question and saying, “Look, I noticed that you’re really proactive with your JavaScript on Instagram. I was wondering if you’d be open to a conversation about a remote opportunity?” That works for me every time. I either get a no or a yes, and, typically, I don’t get any kind of “How dare you?”s or what have you.

Facebook is the only one that I typically get a “How dare you reach out to me on Facebook?”, and then the follow-up question is, “How did you find me on Facebook?” And I will say, “Hey, if you’ve got five minutes to jump on a screen share, I’ll be happy to show you.” And nine times out of 10, if they’re willing to jump on that screen share with me and say, “That’s really cool”, then they’re going to say, “How can I help you?”

Adrie: Also shows, I think, a lot of effort that you’ve put in and also quite a lot of expertise when it comes to being a recruiter.

Brian: Yeah. And that’s the thing is that, guys, this is all well and good as, actually, is this kind of  question puts it up there or puts to task. A candidate experience begins with that initial outreach. So I’m glad that somebody has the courage to kind of discuss that here. And really to… And candidate experience is not a buzzword. It’s really about creating expectations for that candidate, about the relationship that you’re going to have moving forward based on… And the medium that which you can act is kind of irrelevant, but how you start that conversation is highly relevant. So that’s a really good question and maybe we will tackle that in another webinar.

brian fink quote on candidate experience and sourcing

Adrie: Definitely. Well, you’re more than welcome back, Brian.

Brian: Excellent. Any other questions? Anything else that I can help with?

Adrie: There’s one from Sophia: “Any quick tips about recruiting on Twitter?”

Brian: Oh, man. Recruiting on Twitter is a long game, and if you really want to learn how to recruit on Twitter really well, there is a gentleman who I know will help you named Steve Levy, and Steve is a pro at recruiting on Twitter. He is really good at it. I have made two hires off of Twitter. By that stretch of the imagination, I consider it a fluke. I’ve made more hires on these platforms.

Adrie: With the other webinars, I’ll answer that one. So, we’re actually in the process of organizing our next one. It’s a monthly webinar, but you can join the Talent Acquisition Innovators Facebook group, and you’ll get first access, early bird access to the webinar at sign up, and you’ll get all the information there.

Any other questions for Brian? Yes. I’ll send a link now, but you should have already gotten a link to the TA Innovators Facebook group. There will be a couple of questions, but if you just say that you’ve come from the webinar you can easily, we’ll obviously accept you. And that’s also where we’ll be forwarding the slides for today.

Brian: Yeah. Yeah. And as long as we’re talking about Facebook, if anybody has any questions [chuckle] I do sit on Facebook most of the day. It’s kind of one of my favorite pots to look at for candidates. If you want to reach out to me on Facebook Messenger, you might want to test it and see if it works for you to get past the spam filter.

Adrie: Really interesting. Alright. I think, Brian, if you’re okay, I think we’ll close out for today?

Brian: Excellent. Fantastic. I’m going to run and go get some Chinese food. You guys have a great day.

Adrie: Cool. So you guys, I’m leaving you with a bunch of resources over here. As I said before, we’re going to forward the recording and also the presentation on the TA Innovators Facebook group. So you’re more than welcome to join us there. As I said before, there’ll be a couple of questions, but if you just let us know that you’ve come from the webinar, we’ll accept you and you’ll get access there. And also if you have any last minute questions that come up, I’ll forward them over to Brian or Brian, you’ll see them yourself and there.

Brian: Awesome. Hey, this has been great. I want to thank everybody who hung out with us for the hour or so, for 45 minutes or so, today. Really great questions. Thanks for taking me to task. And I look forward to speaking with you or meeting you in person at different events and different conferences. And remember, Recruitee puts on some great webinars. They also put on some great live events and have a great resource that’s there to make recruiting that much better for us and for our candidates. That’s it. You guys have a great one. I will see you later. Thank you so much.

Adrie: Thank you so much, Brian, and see you guys in the next one.



Beth is the former HR Community Manager at Recruitee. Based in Pittsburgh, Beth enjoys spreading the word about recruitment innovation.
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