Back to BlogFind Candidates for Free: 10 Free Sourcing Methods to Supercharge Recruiters’ Pipelines by Bob McHugh on November 3rd, 2020 Does your candidate sourcing strategy need a boost? Here are ten free sourcing tools that recruiters can use to find the candidates they need (first presented by Glenn Gutmacher at one of the most popular Engage sessions of all time). For even more sourcing advice, check out our guide to candidate sourcing here.1. Moving beyond basic keywords to the ones that get you resultsUse websites like AcronymFinder.com and Wikipedia.org to more fully grasp the particularities of a search you might not be familiar withYou can also use thematic search engines, like Yippy, to perform categorized searchesOn large job aggregators, like Indeed or SimplyHired, you can search by job titleIf you want to search by company name, you can use websites like Zoominfo (which has a free community edition), Data.com, and LinkedInIf you use pinpoint search strings on specifics like job titles, company names, skills, licenses, and locations, you can dramatically increase your number of useful results, but you should make sure to aim for between 250 and 1000 results to maximize relevance2. Natural language searchTo find the candidates you want, you have to be able to understand the way they talk on the Internet when they describe themselvesUsing phrasing that contains pronouns and action words (“I configured X,” “I delivered presentations to clinical,” etc.) will point you in the direction of relevant resumes and profiles3. Explicit and implicit searchBy treating LinkedIn like a resume database, you can find profiles that most recruiters will missBy selectively eliminating keywords, you will come across candidates that fit your search but may have neglected to include those keywords in their self-descriptionsThis can also work when searching by company name because some candidates will use abbreviations of company names instead of the company’s full name4. Diversity searchWhile not every candidate promotes his or her diversity online, searches for “natural language” phrases relating to ethnicities and languages can be useful for your recruitersYou can also search for diverse fraternities or sororities, universities, and professional associationsWhen searching for female candidates, remember that you can use words like “her” and “she” or even input popular female names into the “first name” field More Tips: Turbocharge Your Candidate Sourcing Strategy 5. Finding relevant communities and their members by using special search engine commandsYou can search for many technical and other communities to find information about individual talentSome sites are best searched by using website-specific native searches, like GitHub and MeetupSites like Stack Overflow, however, can be more effectively searched by using Google.com site-specific searches (“site:”)6. Social media: Facebook, Twitter, GoogleIn early 2015, Shane McCusker created an easy-to-use free web tool to search various Facebook fields, allowing you to find people much more effectively than by using Facebook’s native searchTwitter’s advanced search can help you to find people who are talking about a particular thing in a particular locationGoogle+ has its own native search, but X-ray on Google is often easier – site-specific search again: “site:plus.google.com (“CPA” OR accountant)”7. Easy custom searchYou can use the free Chrome extension Search Bar to put a large number of custom search engines at your fingertips in a toolbar formatBy noting where the variable text of your search appears in a URL (http://webmii.com/people?n=“glenn%20gutmacher”), you can create and save easily accessible custom searches by replacing the variable text with “%s” (http://webmii.com/people?n=“%s”)8. Competitive IntelligenceYour recruiters get intelligence from candidates and business people in the field all the time, but some great free tools can help you to identify companies that are being acquired, laying off staff, or experiencing financial issuesWith Owler, you can create custom company lists and receive news about these specific companies through the web or emailThere are also region-specific sites, like LinkSV (Silicon Valley people moves), and Bizjournals (business-focused trade publications by metro area)Industry-specific sites can help you narrow down your intelligence further, on sites like FiercePharma, Dealbreaker (investing), and FierceMarketsGlassdoor can give you a valuable point of view of a company’s employees9. Must-have browser extensionsThere are several tools available to you that are free or have free trials and can help you find people and contact informationBroadlook Capture – spiders multiple people on page and researches informationHootSuite Hootlet – post any page to some or all of your social networks10. Must-have search sitesSourceHub – provides suggested extra keywords and transfers your search easily to specific sitesPipl (the best free site for social networks’ data), Radaris, and Zabasearch – search by name and locationUvrx – a well-designed public Google custom search engine that lets you run your search and has tabs along the top that apply to each social networkWant to take your sourcing efforts to the next level? Find all our great sourcing content in one place in our guide to candidate sourcing.