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Internet Recruiting 101

July 19, 2001
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Using the Internet to aid in recruiting isn't new, but what is new is moresophisticated searching, the kind that allows recruiters to find résumés,employee directories, organizational charts, and personal information on the Web.These searching techniques are controversial.

They allow users access toinformation considered private by its originators, but which is -- given the righttraining -- accessible to the public. One company that has helped move thesetechniques from the fringe to the mainstream is AIRS -- Advanced InternetRecruitment Strategy -- which offers seminars to HR professionals and recruitersthat teach them how to find passive candidates hidden on the Web.

Here are some of the terms that are used to describe these power searches.AIRS claims to have coined the first three in 1997. The firm providesdefinitions:

  • X-Ray: Enables the user to find employee home pages, staff directories, andbios hidden inside a Web site. The X-Ray command is focused on the server ratherthan on external links to the site. That enables a visitor to see all pagesindexed on the search engine, regardless of where they are linked. So eventhough you don't have a link to a particular Web page -- say the employee directorypage -- this technique allows you to view the page anyway.

  • Peelback: A technique that reveals additional unknown resources andcandidates. Once you find one candidate, says AIRS spokesperson Laura Whitcomb,you "can find them all." Peelback is made possible by the structureof a URL and the fact that personal documents are usually contained within alarger folder that holds many people-related documents. By"peeling" -- or going back -- in the URL from the individual document to thepeople-folder, it's possible to access lists of passive candidates.

  • Flipping: The AIRS name for this technique is FlipSearch™. Flipping isused to find Web pages that are linked to a specific site, allowing a searchwithin those links. This can be used to find people who create links from theirhome pages to their colleges, associations to which they belong, and thecompanies that employ them. Tracey Claybrooke-Friend, vice president of hiringsolutions at Peopleclick, leads seminars in the art of flipping. Herinstructions for flipping a Web site are to simply use the button on your searchengine that reads 'Identify links to this URL.' "

  • Domain Search: A method of finding virtual "footprints" on theWeb. For example, you can use a domain search to find people who have visitedyour competitors, who currently work for them, or who worked for them in thepast, says Claybrooke-Friend. "If your competitor is Peopleclick, you wouldtype in *@peopleclick.com using an advanced search on a public search engine. What you're doing isasking the search engine to find everyone from Peopleclick who has left animprint -- a name, a virtual business card -- anywhere they have traveled on theWeb," she says.

Workforce, May 2001, p. 32-- Subscribe Now!


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