Ask the recruiter question of the week:

Ryan, (paraphrased for posting)

I am looking to better understand how to source for  mid level sales reps: 2-7 years in commercial,  biotech, medical device and pharma using Boolean  strings to target resumes on Google and profiles on LinkedIn.

Pat Licata

Hi Pat,

Thanks for asking a great question! There are many different techniques to use here, but no one size fits all solution. I took a few moments to look at your company site and saw that you focus on sales recruiting. So before I get into some key techniques you can try using, let’s step outside of recruiting to better understand this response.Starbucks has grown to be the single most respected specialty coffee chain in the world. Why is this? Starbucks figured out that both their customers and employees are looking for an experience. How else would they get a customer to pay $8 for a coffee with a fancy title? This experience has been created through 5 distinct and creative management principles that you can find here.

In a nut shell, Starbucks has been extremely successful at creating a community of high end coffee drinkers where they have both a virtual and physical place to share and collaborate with each other.  Much the same as we try to accomplish as recruiters in a Web 2.0 or a Recruitment 2.0 world, Starbucks has adopted the mindset that the experience is no longer about them, but rather it’s about the consumer and the employee and it’s not who you know but who they know.

In recruiting this is true as well. The experience has to be centered on your prospects. In recruiting 2.0 (Web 2.0 etc.) we need to focus on what I like to call the 4C’s. You can read about them here.  Now, you can certainly jump into a Boolean search and be successful; and you can also fish the Atlantic Ocean for fresh water fish. They are there, but you have to have some serious luck on your side and have the ability to work in a completely reactive manner.

What if we took the reactive piece away and created a community of 10,000 sales professionals collaborating and having conversation daily; and at the precise time you need to fill a specialized role you reach out grab the candidate of your choice, without posting, sourcing or wasting valuable time on ordinary everyday sales recruiting?

There are many ways to accomplish this but here are two to get you started.

Create a Social Community

Try using a site like Ning to create a social community dedicated to sales professionals. I would suggest studying which is built on the Ning platform. You’ll notice that the site is full of industry experts and crucial industry information. The site is engaging to all users and has grown to almost 15,000 members as of today. This site is a prime example of giving back to the community and getting much more back in return. I would suggest joining to anyone who is not a member.

You will also notice there are sections for jobs and companies looking for specialty recruiters. With both parties active in this community the conversation is natural and immediately brings credibility to the skill set of the recruiter being sought.  Flip this scenario to sales professionals and you can do the same thing. Remember the line: “If you build it, they will come.”? Give it a shot it works, and the talent you ultimately connect with will be better.

Boolean Search

Keep in mind this is to the only way to go and I am a much bigger fan of building Talent hubs. From your original question regarding string searching and what is called site searching, I can give the following advice.  Using the site search string you do not have to worry about the immediate size of your LinkedIn network. Now, you’ll have to play with keywords and titles but this is what it will look like: intitle:linkedin “ Honors: * Club” pharmaceutical sales new york -intitle:answers -intitle:updated -intitle:blog -intitle:directory -inurl:jobs -intitle:profile

To break this down for you: = The site command will look into or xray only the site specified.

intitle:linkedin = LinkedIn has to be in the title of the page

Honors: * Club” pharmaceutical sales new york = These are the keywords. In this example they are specifically sourcing Pharma reps with honors or awards. If you have specific awards you are targeting replace these keywords with your own.

= Anything after the – sign is being omitted to provide targeted results. Play with it a bit, add and delete some sections. Eventually you will nail it.

This is the results of the above string:  Pharmaceutical Sales String Results

You will notice that the results are profiles of candidates that fit your search parameters. From here you’ll have to be creative in connecting and contacting these potential candidates.

I hope this helps get you on your way. If you have anything you would like to add as recruiters please do so in the comments section. All will be posted.

Ryan Leary

By Noel Cocca

CEO/Founder RecruitingDaily and avid skier, coach and avid father of two trying to keep up with my altruistic wife. Producing at the sweet spot talent acquisition to create great content for the living breathing human beings in recruiting and hiring. I try to ease the biggest to smallest problems from start-ups to enterprise. Founder of RecruitingDaily and our merry band of rabble-rousers.