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Google your way to recruiting ‘passive’ job-seekers

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in Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources

Issue: Forty-four percent of employees are "passive" job-seekers, meaning they might accept a job offer but aren't actively seeking one.

Benefit: Knowing how to manipulate the Internet to find such candidates can improve your recruiting and cut headhunter costs.

Action: Using the advice below, root out those hidden gems with advanced search tools on Google, Yahoo and other search engines.

Say you're recruiting for a specialized position but the job boards aren't pulling the perfect rÈsumÈ. Maybe it's time to go in search of the right person, instead of waiting for him or her to come to you.

The Internet allows you to do this using high-powered search engines such as Google, Yahoo, AltaVista and MSN. With their advanced search tools, you can reach into the Web's 8 billion pages to locate those hidden "passive" candidates who may jump at your job offer, but aren't actively seeking a new job.

Here are six key guidelines on how to use search engines to find passive candidates:

1. First, create a profile of the employee you want, listing search terms. Example: For a marketing director job, include "marketing manager" "marcom" and "marketing communications."

2. Familiarize yourself with the search engine's syntax. "They are all a little different, and they have their own special commands that help you dig deeper," says Glenn Gutmacher, president of Recruiting-Online.com. "It's important to use the advanced search page, not just the main page."

Suppose you want to find a marketing manager in the plastics industry. The search string would look like this: rÈsumÈ OR experience education marketing manager "plastics industry" -submit -opportunities -jobs -send. That search yields about 400 hits, including names in news releases and articles, plus on conference Web sites, industry associations and even some rÈsumÈs.

3. Don't stop reading search results after the first two pages. The further you dig, the more likely you'll find candidates that other recruiters haven't contacted. Once you spot a possible candidate, Google his or her name at various engines.

4. Do "buddy searches." If you already know the name of an impressive candidate for a position, do a search for that name and a job-specific keyword.

Example: Christian Forman, CEO of recruiting firm AIRS, which teaches a "Googling for Candidates" course, punched in "AIRS" and the name of the company's diversity director. The search result yielded more than 75 names of other diversity-recruiting experts who had appeared on panels or forums with the AIRS director.

5. Use active candidates to find passive ones. Ask top prospects during interviews what professional Web sites, blogs and professional chat rooms they visit to share information and remain updated. Visit the sites to search for prospects.

6. Check out virtual communities, such as www.geocities.com, www.tripod .com and www.angelfire.com, where people find others with similar interests.

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