Google is fast.  It fits pop culture.  Sit down, brainstorm on a topic. Type some keywords and get results.  You’ve all done it 100’s, and maybe 1000’s of times.

Here is a secret.  Slow down cowboy.  Plan your search.  Use a low tech solution…it’s called paper.  Plan, get your ideas down on paper, then search.

Occasionally, I drop into a client training session when a new client is getting their one on one training on Broadlook’s tools.   In this case, the client was looking to use our Diver software to find a Benefits Administrator from a local company.  They were not out trolling resume boards, they were targeting a specific company.

For those who have forgotten, it’s called direct recruitment. 

For the sake of privacy, I will call the company target in question “LocalCorp”

Using Google, LocalCorp turned up 210 hits.  Diver plowed through the links in about 45 seconds, returning a total of  3 usable names, once duplicates were excluded.

Upon further examination, the 3 contacts were not what we were looking for. 

The next reaction was the most painful event that I have to witness over and over.

The client stated  “there must not be any benefits administrators listed on the Internet from this company”.    In some cases this would be true, but this was a major local company.   It was an error in thinking and of process.  That is why Broadlook puts such an emphasis on training.

Here is the mistake that happened:  They were treating a Google search like a database.  The Internet should be treated as a research tool, not a database.  When you do a database query, you are dealing in the exact.  Boolean.  True or False.  The Internet is a vast, uncontrolled, unregulated medium.   You conquer it with persistence and creativity.

Here is what we did next in the training. 

I asked.  “Is Benefits Administator the only, exact title that would match who you are looking for?”

This is the only thing I needed to ask.  Within 10 minutes my client, my trainer and I collaborated and came up with a list of 28 titles that both match exactly the type of person we were looking for as well as people that would be around that target person.  

Think about it.  If you are telephone sourcing, you would call in and ask who takes care of the administration of benefits.  You’d have a title (or get hung up on).  When you are Internet sourcing, you don’t have the benefit of a frame of reference or a feedback cycle from the Q&A of a phone call.   With this in mind, if you use search engines for Internet Sourcing, you need to plan and define your search.

You need to understand permutations.  In the context of search, it is saying the same thing in many diffent ways. 

After doing searches using the 28 different permutation, 56 individuals were identified.  The 56 people were a combination of people doing the job and people around the people doing the job. This is the start of the direct recruitment process.  The client was very happy.  They took the leap from the job board/database mind to the Internet/research mind.  Helping people make that mindleap is the most exciting part of my job.

Here is a spreadsheet showing the different combinations of the titles used in different searches. 

  

Search Engine Hits for various search combinations

Title

Title +      “Local Corp”

Title + Site: “Local Corp”

Title only

Title + “Microsoft”

Title + Site: Microsoft .com

Director of Benefits

101

0

47700

30700

1

Benefits Administrator

210

1

326000

28900

583

Benefits Advisor

25

0

111000

1480

16

Benefits Director

60

0

51300

1550

37

Benefits Manager

351

1

432000

32800

247

Benefits Specialist

223

3

227000

21400

150

Benefits and Compensation

224

1

423000

59800

188

Benefits and Programs

72

1

78500

1240

25

Benefits Administration

759

3

10800

1940000

11400

Compensation Consultant

586

0

317000

18300

177

Compensation and Benefits

266

10

1150000

300000

644

Employee Benefits

132

33

1660000

988000

38600

Group Compensation

361

0

61100

671

33

Payroll Administrator

106

0

378000

31900

838

Payroll Advisor

1

0

938

476

2

Payroll Director

23

0

13900

742

6

Payroll Manager

289

0

303000

34700

419

Payroll Specialist

193

1

329000

31900

192

Payroll and Benefits

265

1

405000

39900

223

Pension and Benefits

119

0

214000

851

100

Programs and Benefits

111

1

135000

9090

75

International Compensation

54

0

72300

501

46

Benefits and Payroll

146

0

206000

16100

116

Pension Investments

136

0

84900

545

29

Senior Benefits

55

0

79300

658

36

Pension Manager

129

0

23000

1280

5

Totals

4997

56