Sourcing from Listserv and Mailing List Archives

Let’s talk about an uncommon area to find candidates that you might be unfamiliar with: Listserv and Mailing List Archives. OK, but what is Listserv?

sourcing listserv

If you haven’t come across Listserv before, it is an electronic mailing discussion forum software extensively used by Universities within the US and Canada. Each listserv operated by a university maintains several such lists for multiple discussion topics.

A recruiter can review each listserv site of the university, see which list is most suitable and active, and then request to join it.

Once approved, you can monitor conversations and approach passive candidates. You can also post jobs for free, depending on the listserv group requirements. You can also read through the archived posts.

Listserv Etiquette

The following link lays out the rules of listserv etiquette. Please view it here prior to joining and posting.  

L-soft releases the statistics related to top listserv usage by universities in the US and Canada. Some of the popular listserv forums that I have utilized for sourcing and recruiting from my personal experience are:

Please note that all listservs have archives, but not all of them are publicly viewable without a login registration. 


Inside the Archive

There are several mailing list archives that one can search. Even for the publicly viewable ones, the email addresses of the discussion participants are generally hidden.

A simple search of mailing list archive Hadoop in Google does bring up a lot of results. A private organization or a motivated set of volunteers can set up a mailing list type listserv as well. 

An example of this would be BangPypers, which is a Python Users Group out of Bangalore, India. This is an easy archive you can search, monitor conversations, events, etc for candidates.


Jay Tarimala

I am an accomplished and internationally experienced recruitment professional with eighteen plus years of hands-on experience in sourcing and recruiting. Focus on Canadian, Indian and a little of US market.