min read

Why we're radically changing the way people find people

Candidate information is spread across the entire web. But access to this information requires paid subscriptions, technical searching skill and a lot of manual work. This is why we're changing that.

November 5, 2021
Yuma Heymans
September 7, 2022

In many decades of sourcing talent in a digital world, we've learned that the candidate profile information we use is not even close to complete and inaccurate. A profile on LinkedIn just scratches the surface of the rich information that is available on candidates. Everyone is increasingly active online, driven by access to internet, the awareness of the importance of a digital identity and the remote (online) working trend.

Engineering talent shares code on GitHub and Stack Overflow, data scientists participate in challenges on Kaggle, commercial talent articulates their vision on Medium and designers inspire on Dribbble and Behance.

LockedIn Recruiter

So if candidates are everywhere online you would expect recruiting teams to be there as well. The reality is that they are not. Most recruiters are still entirely dependent on one platform for finding talent, LinkedIn. This reliance results partly from habit, and partly from lack of a better solution.

Incompleteness and inaccuracy of information on the recruiter side drives them to do irrelevant outreach. The automated LinkedIn messages are amongst the biggest frustrations among candidates, especially those who are high in demand and get dozens of messages weekly.

But the reliance on a single platform causes more than only frustration for candidates. Bias is introduced with this single sided sourcing approach. Entire talent pools are left out simply because they do not have a complete LinkedIn profile or because the LinkedIn algorithm is not in favour of their information.

Another problem of being LockedIn is scarcity. The results of overfishing in the overcrowded blue sea of talent causes response rates to decline. The reasons for lacking response rates on LinkedIn stay hidden in many cases. Was it just bad outreach or are we one of hundreds of recruiters trying to win that one candidate for us?

The people who are complaining about how hard recruiting has become are the same people who are applying the same approach day in day out; opening LinkedIn (Recruiter), inserting search criteria, screening and relentlessly starting to message candidates that show on top of their search results. 

The domain of recruiting could have been one that is creative and inventive. But because recruiters assume a LinkedIn monopoly on professional data, they are not triggered to source in a different way. The industry is still very much dictated by conventional practices that have been dragging the industry along for decades. And recruiting organisations are losing the war for talent without realizing why.

The current state of sourcing: copy / paste

To address these challenges in the last decade a new specialisation within recruiting: sourcing. Sourcers are destined to find the right profiles in the abyss of data and share those with recruiters who take care of building the relationship and facilitating the process to hire.

You would expect that in that decade the sourcing profession would have evolved to an automated approach to sourcing and even taken over by technology. That hasn't happened, yet. The processes for sourcing are still very much executed in a manual fashion. A big part of the sourcer's time is still spend on copying and pasting data between several systems and tools like social media sources, the ATS, HRIS, sourcing tools and spreadsheets. In big tech companies for instance the sourcing department has senior employees working around the clock to copy and paste data from profiles and professional activity to spreadsheets which is obviously error prone and very time intensive.

The flaw of incumbent talent sourcing solutions

Because of above mentioned challenges there is good reason for companies to have build talent sourcing solutions that take the available candidate data and make filtering more easy for sourcers and recruiters. These sourcing solutions act as alternatives to LinkedIn and manual sourcing approaches are expensive. The problem with these solutions however is that they are only accessible for high fees and more importantly hat they rely on outdated databases. People data companies who specialize in scraping data sell their databases. Sourcing software companies pay between 10k and 30k a month to access a standard database of hundreds of millions of profiles. The profiles are getting refreshed as part of the service, but only every one or three months which causes profile information to be desperately outdated. When you use three or even one month old data in an over competitive talent market you are losing talent to competitors who are using up to date data.

In addition, the profiles used in these solutions are again primarily relying on LinkedIn data. Talent sourcing solutions are duplicating the very same issues regarding candidate frustration, bias and competition as described above. The only significant differentiating factor is that the price of these solutions is lower than the average savagely priced LinkedIn Recruiter seat. Cheap is nice, but it does not solve any of the other problems mentioned.

Then there is the risk that people data companies are creating by selling data dumps that can be easily duplicated and shared for other purposes than genuine outreach for professional purposes. Many of these people data dumps include contact details which are used at scale for commercially perverted intentions. Solving this problem as a talent sourcing solution company is hard because the reliance on the data supplier is huge. Without the data there is no product, so these companies are taking a big risk regarding the privacy of candidates.

The candidate’s perspective

Candidate data privacy concerns are legitimate and usually top of mind when talking about using profile information. The paradox however is that when it comes down to the decision of the individual to make their information public or hide, they will almost always choose to be public. The fact that almost 10% of the world population chooses to have a public LinkedIn profile proves this point, at least for a part.

Also on other platforms individuals wouldn’t choose to delete their entire digital footprint, mainly because in today’s world this will limit the opportunities being handed to you. Recruiters will find you first online nowadays, the amount of recruits following from networking conferences is nothing compared to those resulting from online search and outreach.

Privacy can still be a very valid point for a candidate. People still get hacked, harassed and identities get stolen which is a problem. Part of the solution here, next to the privacy measures companies and individual users can take, is to give candidates an option to opt out of making their data accessible.

If you choose to opt in to the online world of today, managing your own online information properly is key. Many candidates have incomplete and outdated profile and activity data which seriously limits the opportunities that are coming their way. Candidates should realize that the current way of working of the majority of recruiters is to search for keywords that are on their profile. If your actual skills and interests are not presented on your profile, chances are very small people will find you.

Our proposed solution to open up the world of candidate information

Our belief is that everyone should be able to find anyone regardless of their ability to pay or their technical and searching skills.

Recruiters, sourcers, team leads and team members should be able to find their next hire or colleague.

That's why we made candidate information accessible for everybody by creating a search engine dedicated to finding people across the entire web.

We search and aggregate candidate information to one complete profile and match that profile with our clients' criteria.

We are on a mission to change the way people find people.

The key principles we're using to build our talent search engine:

  • Search across all relevant sources - don't limit to one source of information
  • Search directly in platforms to get up to date data - don't rely on outdated data dumps
  • Create an industry specific search and matching algorithm - people data and talent requirements are too complex for generalized algorithms
  • Everybody should be able to use the search engine from sourcer to recruiter to head of sales - no technical or search skills required

We have started to apply our search engine to the industry that has one of the most challenging talent markets: product driven tech companies.

Join us to open up the digital world where everyone can find anyone.

Experience here what we're working on.

We're just warming up so if you want to be involved as a team member, an ambassador, investor or a partner, reach out to us.

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