Saturday, January 12, 2008

Internet Sourcing Technique -Flip Search Technique

Internet Sourcing Techniques
The search strings for each of these search engines will vary and therefore to maximize your search please do read the tutorials in advance from the respective search engines site.
What techniques to use and when and under what circumstances to use will depend on how well you master each techniques. To achieve optimum success one must also have a fairly good idea about the recruitment industry, the specific job requirement, the key words within the requirement and also differentiate the "mandatory skills" from "good to have skills."

Some of the most common internet search techniques are as given below.
A method of looking inside a specific web site to find what's there. Using this technique, recruiters can find documents and web pages that aren't directly accessible via links on the main public home page. When you 'x-ray' a website, you effectively get to examine every document that resides there so long as they are not behind firewalls or password protected.Example: To find any “software engineer” - could be a document/file or a word/phrase within a document that resides within the website Altavista search - AND software engineerIn Google search - AND software engineer

FLIPPING: Flipping is an effective method used to find the relationships between web pages based on how they are hyperlinked together. This search is especially useful for finding people who have links to the company or have worked for a specific company.Example: To find any “software engineer” – could be a document/file or word/phrase that links back to Altavista search - AND software engineerIn Google search - AND software engineer

PEELING BACK: As the name suggest Peeling back is the process of “retracing the path” of the url especially when one gets an Error 404 (File not found). This process is engage so as to locate the information elsewhere on the site or locate the specific “root” folder where one can find similar or additional data specific or related to the search.Example: By peeling back or keying backspace starting from the point where the url ends we can then access the people link from the homepage and find the names of all the faculty members.

HARVESTING OR MINING:Harvesting involves reviewing a document, such as a resume or home page, and finding key words, links, references and locations that assist with subsequent searches.

SEARCH STRINGS USING BOOLEAN KEYS:By constructing complex search strings and conducting the search in major search engines one can hone in on the exact information/resources with great accuracy.
Some of the commonly used key words for a search string are given as below.
Common resume Words:
Resume, Homepage, CV, Vitae, Bio, Qualifications, Objective, Experience, Education, References, "Work History", "Technical skills", "Project duration"Common words to avoid: Submit, Opening, Recruiter, Send, Benefits, Requirements, Opportunity, Apply, Job, Jobs, Careers, Eoe, Reply, "my client".

Example on how to construct a complex search strings:Requirement:
A project manager with PMI certification or a 6 Sigma black belt having atleast 5 years of project management within an Investment bank in the areas of Equities connectivity or trading software development. Must have good technical skills in J2EE, EJB, Websphere, XML and DB2.
the search engines mostly used by experience recruiters.
Some recommended search engines on the Web:

Google:(intitle:cv OR inurl:cv OR intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) "project manager" Java "investment bank" ("equities connectivity" OR trading software) -inurl:efinancial *Search result: 87 pages

Yahoo:(intitle:cv OR inurl:cv OR intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) “project manager” Java "investment bank" "equities connectivity" OR trading software -eoe -opening -post -preferred -reply -send –submitSearch result: 1,740 pages

Live Search:(intitle:cv inurl:cv intitle:resume inurl:resume) prefer:resume “project manager” Java "investment bank" "equities connectivity" trading software -job -jobs –careersSearch result: 10,038 pages

The search results from the above three searches gives us different amount of results and the task of sieving through the hundreds of pages sounds rather a dauting task. However, the strings above could still be further refined so as to achieve a much more specific results. For example by including SCJP or Sun certification or SDLC, etc I believe one can derived at a much more accurate results

How To Flip SearchThe use of Flip Searching or Flipping is a technique to mine the Internet for potential candidates. A Flip Search is a simple search that can be performed in some of the major search engines for example and The search simply finds people who link to a specific site. The uses are endless. For example,
John is looking for ORACLE Programmers. This technique can be used to find the various sites that are linked to In theory, John will find people who have on-line resumes with Oracle skills because they may have linked to Oracle on their online resume.
So to do the search visit and enter the following: "link:" The results once again will be all the sites that have linked to Surf through the results and you will find individuals resumes.

Boolean Operators Search engines can be considered as a cluttered resume database. Using detailed searches with Boolean search operators can drill down and find the information you are looking for faster. These operators are used to weed out irrelevant pages thereby narrowing your search results to find exactly what you are looking for.
Each search engine is unique and we recommend to review the help section on each of the search engines to determine what Boolean operators are supported.

Boolean Key
AND - The AND operator delivers results with the terms you requested. For example, searching resume and oracle will return pages with both terms - resume and oracle.
OR - The OR operator delivers results with either of the terms you requested. For example, MCSE OR M.C.S.E.
NOT - The NOT operator will not deliver certain words in your search results. For example, Java NOT coffee will deliver closer results for JAVA Programmers and not Java Coffee.
NEAR - The NEAR operator locates words that are located in close proximity to other words. For example, Java NEAR Programmer. Not every search engine supports this operator.
( ) Parentheses - The ( ) operator allows you to group terms and build longer search strings. For example, NOT (submit AND employer) will avoid pages with both names.
* - The * operator is a wild card. Adding a wild card will find words contain the wild card. For example program* will help so you do not have to run separate searches for words similar like: programmer, programming, program

Example of Complex Search String
resume AND (java or JavaScript) AND program* AND (New York or NY or 212) AND NOT (coffee or submit)

One warning about this Flip Search tactic:
Flip searching may pull up company directories, email lists, and other company related information. In some rare cases, you may flip search yourself into a companies internal intranet. Flip Searching by some has been view as negative and others as a brilliant strategy. My personal stance, anything published on the Internet is public information for the world to view. Companies should be cautious on what content appears on their site. As far as restricted areas and internal intranets, this is private information and people accessing or hacking into these areas is blatantly unethical. Also, a word for those who might be tempted... you leave an electronic footprint on every page and site you visit.Flip Searching is a powerful tool that can uncover many hidden resumes and candidates. Performing the searches on various search engines will give different results. Trying adding different companies and skill sets to uncover different results


Frank said...

Hello Balaji
Though I am not a recruiter myself and find myself skilled in the art of searching. I learned something.

Your article was very instructive. Thanks for sharing it on Plaxo Pulse.

Kind Regards

Frank Mandix [LION]
LinkedIn profile:

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I just read your was of great value...a good read and I presoanlly came to know of many new aspects of recruiting. I think I have benefitted a lot from this. please do continue to post such valuable articles...

ITWFS said...

I remember reading part of this article on

Balaji said...

Hi itwfs,

Thanks for the sharing similar info from other blogs



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Interesting method for investigating potential leads... Cheers!

Anonymous said...

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Resume Examples said...

Internet recruiting is slow but catching on in this part of the world. Time is not far off when we will have to increasingly employ internet search for finding resumes, but of course innovative methods of sourcing like those methods mention in this post.

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