Do you want to source faster? The price of great recruiting can be frustratingly high. Time is money after all and data tells us it takes 52 days to fill a position on average. So much can happen with good candidates in that amount of time. Counter offers can be made, competitors can lure talent away, email and phone numbers can change, and passive candidates may simply grow tired of a recruiting process that wasn’t a focus of theirs in the first place.

So at the risk of sounding obvious, you need to spend less time on your average sourcing cycle.


-Anyone who spends too long looking for candidates

Yes, but wait! Sometimes it helps to be obvious. There’s no big secret to many of the challenges in sourcing. You’re dealing with deadlines, stressed clients, unique talent and all of the frustrations that come with the pressure-cooker situation of bringing these pieces together. So yes, you need to spend less time on your sourcing cycle.

But how can you source faster, without breaking any banks or blowing any budgets? Let’s talk about LinkedIn and how you can get great, quick results with a version that doesn’t cost you any extra money.

Use Boolean searches when keywords are differentiators

LinkedIn’s changes to their search features were jarring. Many recruiters who had once utilized referrals and Boolean searches grew accustomed to the simplicity of plugging their candidate requirements into LinkedIn’s search bar. After this feature was removed, many had to revitalize their Boolean and sourcing skills or make do with the sparse sourcing features that the site now offers (without a lot of added cost). If not, the only real option is to begin paying for a LinkedIn subscription. These subscriptions can be costly and eat away at budgets, to avoid this, we developed a few workarounds to solve the issue and to help our users recruit on LinkedIn for free.

Take advantage of X-Ray Searches instead of using the LinkedIn search bar

LinkedIn now limits the number of candidate profiles that you can view while logged onto the site, this is known as the “Commercial Use Limit.” There are two ways of combatting this limit; the first is to pay for a Premium Business account on LinkedIn. This type of plan does come with some perks but, we still wanted to investigate a more economical option. This led us to X-ray searches. To use this tool as effectively as possible, you will need a bit of Boolean know-how. If you’re not familiar with Boolean, we won’t cover it here, but not to worry – we have guides for beginners and more advanced users to get you back into the swing of things.

If you’re not familiar with them, X-ray searches allow you to specify the site that you would like to limit your search results. So for example, you’ll use the Google search bar, but your results will come from only LinkedIn. This will allow you to find candidates who are qualified for your role without actually searching on LinkedIn and thus hitting your search limit. To do this, you must first log out of your LinkedIn account and then construct a Boolean string based on your ideal candidate.

After you’ve created this string, add the phrase “” before your search and run it in Google’s search bar. Once you run the search, you will have a list of candidates who meet the criteria you entered. The downside of this is that you’ll have to use the meta descriptions that appear under each search result to narrow down the list of candidates that you would like to contact. While these meta descriptions won’t provide you with all of the relevant information about a candidate, it will allow you to create a list of the candidates that seem to be the best fit so that you can view their profiles once you log back into LinkedIn. The most helpful aspect of this feature is that searching for people by their name on LinkedIn will not count against your Commercial Use Limit.

Contact in less time and raise your response rates

Once you log back into your account and check out your candidate shortlist, you’re then faced with the challenge of making contact. If you’re one of the many, many recruiters who has incredibly low response rates with LinkedIn’s InMail, your best option is to contact your favorite candidates by another medium that provides your best results. There are plenty of how-to guides and advice columns on crafting the proper intro, subject line or cold call.

Your first step towards effective contact is capturing the correct contact info.

It’s not only because it’s ours, but we really believe our Chrome Extension is the best tool to satisfy this need. It uncovers candidates’ personal contact information, key skills, work history, and more.

Bottom line: You need to quickly find a candidate’s contact information (preferably something beyond a work email or their LinkedIn profile). We stand behind our Chrome Extension as the fastest, most reliable option out there for finding personal email addresses and phone numbers. However, you simply need to find the right solution for you. It might be our Chrome Extension or it might be your old database. It just needs to be fast and accurate.

Use LinkedIn as an option later in your search

If you’re not paying for an upgraded LinkedIn account, you don’t have the freedom to run endless searches and check out all of the candidate profiles that catch your interest. We recommend creating a Boolean string and testing it out in Google to make sure that it’s effective before using it on LinkedIn. This way you will not be wasting any searches on a Boolean string that won’t be able to pull the results you need.

Build a database with data that you can actually use

After you’ve tested and tweaked your string and run your search on LinkedIn, you’re going to find lists of potential candidates who match your skills and requirements. You’ve already used one of your searches that factors into your Commercial Use Limit on LinkedIn, so why not make the most of it by gathering as much candidate information as possible while you’re there? Again, our Chrome Extension is perfect for capturing the data of multiple candidates at once.

If you don’t care to stock up on candidate information since it becomes outdated so quickly, you may want to reconsider your position with the right bulk enrichment tool. You’re not alone in ditching the daily use of your clunky ATS, many recruiters have stopped turning to their ATS when a new role comes along because the data becomes outdated so quickly.

A simple solution to outdated resumes and candidate data in old databases and Applicant Tracking Systems is Bulk Enrichment. You can learn more about Bulk Enrichment here. 

Sourcing is tough and expensive, but it can be better

Recruiting, and specifically sourcing on LinkedIn, has gotten expensive and convoluted. However, there are solutions and workarounds for many of the challenges that may face your recruiting process. We hope that these tips help you to use the site as effectively as possible to close jobs faster.

Good luck out there!