The 10 best shortcuts for your (tech) recruiting

Shortcuts - a topic that can be both very boring and very exciting. After all, once you get into the habit of using them, you'll work much faster, more comfortably and more efficiently. For all of you who are tired of doing your daily work with the right-click of the mouse button, we will find a solution in this article. Your (Tech) Recruiting-This will noticeably change everyday life. 

What are shortcuts?

Shortcuts are key combinations on the keyboard of your PC or laptop with which you can execute commands. You can often do this by right-clicking the mouse, for example. However, since this is very time-consuming and inefficient, especially when used frequently, shortcuts are a useful alternative that allows you to work faster and more relaxed. 

Why should you use shortcuts?

Shortcuts make working with the keyboard much more comfortable. If you have to right-click to find the commands, it's like having to turn around while driving a car to shift into the next gear in the back seat. Fortunately, shifting gears is simply a subconscious process. And so it is with shortcuts. Switching between different programs, highlighting, copying and pasting text, or opening and closing tabs without using the mouse with multiple clicks makes working easier and more efficient.

Which shortcuts make particular sense in recruiting?

Mark text

If you want to mark a free text completely, e.g. in an input field or on a web page, you can simply press Ctrl + A (Apple: Command + A).

Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + A

Copy and paste

If you want to copy selected text or even files and paste them at the current cursor position, press Ctrl + C (Apple: Command + C) to copy and Ctrl + V (Apple: Command + V) to paste.

Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + C
Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + V

Search function

If you want to search files and pages for specific words or word combinations, press Ctrl + F (Apple: Command + F). This opens a search bar and your searched word is highlighted in the text. This can be interesting, for example, if you search LinkedIn profiles for certain keywords.

Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + F

Open and close tabs

If you want to open a new tab in your browser, click Ctrl + T (Apple: Command + T). If you want to close the current tab, Ctrl + W (Apple: Command + W). Just closing tabs is something I use a lot when I have multiple LinkedIn profiles open in different tabs and click through.

Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + T
Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + W

Switch between windows

If you have several programs open and want to switch between the different windows, click Alt + Tab (Apple: Command + Tab).

Shortcuts Screenshot Alt + Tab

Switch between tabs

If you have multiple tabs open in your browser and want to switch between them, click Ctrl + Tab (Apple: Control + Tab) for forward (along the right) and Ctrl + Shift + Tab (Apple: Control + Shift + Tab) for back (along the left). I use these shortcuts when I have multiple LinkedIn profiles open in different tabs and jump between them.

Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + Tab
Shortcuts Screenshot Ctrl + Shift + Tab

Control browser bar

If you want to open a new page in your browser window and want to use the browser's URL bar (or "browser bar") for this, just click F6 (Apple: Command + L).

Shortcuts Screenshot F6

As you can see, shortcuts can greatly simplify repetitive tasks. Of course, the prerequisite for this is that you execute them almost automatically. This requires a bit of practice, but is very worthwhile in the long run. The shortcuts presented here are neither complete nor recruiting-specific.

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Tech Recruiting


What are shortcuts?

Shortcuts are key combinations on the keyboard of your PC or laptop that you can use to execute commands.

How do shortcuts differ on Windows and Apple keyboards?

On Apple keyboards, the Control key (Ctrl on Windows) is the Command key directly to the left of the Space bar. Shortcuts that are controlled by the Alt key on Windows are controlled by the Control key on Apple.

How to optimize your tech recruiting in 2023

Looking for software developers and other IT talent? You're not alone. There are currently 137,000 unfilled IT positions. So your target group can choose where they want to work. So it's high time to optimize your tech recruiting and make yourself even more attractive to your target group. 

Definition: What is tech recruiting?

Tech recruiting is the recruitment and hiring of software developers and other IT talent in the software sector. In addition to full-stack, frontend and backend developers, this also includes DevOps engineers, embedded systems engineers and cloud architects, for example. Tech recruiting is thus a target group-specific category of recruiting and includes a special recruiting process. The special features of tech recruiting are the increased use of active sourcing and the integration of tech interviews as part of the selection process.

Tech recruiting: how to optimize your active sourcing

Active sourcing is almost essential for effective tech recruiting. Rarely do companies swim in a sea of developer applications, through which they can fill every developer position. Good quality ones at that. The really good developers don't need to apply anyway. They are poached. And they can choose their employers. And in order for you to be the employer that attracts the really good developers, you have to find them and actively approach them yourself.

If you're not familiar with active sourcing at all, learn all about it in this blog article: Active Sourcing: Everything you need to know.

Active Sourcing: Understand Tech Positions and Terms

If you already have experience with active sourcing, I recommend that you take an in-depth look at tech positions and the associated technologies. It's not so much about learning superficial vocabulary, for example that there is Java and JavaScript, but rather an understanding of the interrelationships of the technologies. Which frameworks belong to which programming language? Which technologies are often used together? What is the hierarchy of a tech stack?

If you understand the hierarchy of the tech stack, you can evaluate profiles much more easily. To do this, you can always ask yourself (and your department) how hard it is to learn a particular technology. Let's say you're looking for a DevOps engineer who should be able to do Kubernetes, Kubernetes is a very relevant keyword because it's a complex technology that's not easy to learn. If, however, you are looking for a frontend engineer who should ideally be able to do MaterialUI, then MaterialUI is a negligible keyword because it is very easy to use, even if you have not worked with it before.

A structure of the relevance of keywords could be, for example:

High relevance

  • Programming languages
  • Optional: Frameworks

Medium relevance

  • Frameworks
  • Optional: working methods like Scrum, Waterfall,...

Low relevance

  • Libraries

The structure also depends on the requirements of the department. Therefore, it is best to talk to your colleagues from the department about which keywords are relevant for the respective job posting. From my experience, you can already find the matching profiles with the top 3 of the list.

In terms of the interrelationships of technologies and understanding the world of software development, this blog also accompanies you.

Active Sourcing: Evaluate LinkedIn profiles correctly

We have now understood which technologies are really important for us and which keywords we can turn a blind eye to. In practical implementation, however, we find profiles of different types. From fully completed to little completed LinkedIn profiles, everything is there. How do you evaluate them correctly now?

Strictly speaking, it is not feasible at all. A developer with a well-filled LinkedIn profile is no better than one with a little-filled LinkedIn profile. What then would be the case with someone without a LinkedIn profile? We are always dependent on what our counterpart reveals and what not. But even the available information in the profile says nothing about whether we are dealing with a good or average developer. Ultimately, we find that out in the tech interview at the earliest, but more likely still during the probationary period. For active sourcing, however, this still means that we can address the most suitable profiles based on our prioritized tech stack. In my experience, two points are important here:

  1. Few filled profiles are unpopular in the rating, but can still lead to success. A developer who does not want to be contacted knows that all he has to do is delete his keywords and he will no longer be found and thus will not be contacted. Therefore, it is always worth a try and it is also just another friendly request that is written quickly.
  2. Profiles that can do "everything" usually can't do anything right. Unfortunately, developers often make things difficult for themselves when they complain that recruiters have no idea about their job. For example, if we are looking for a Java developer and the profile shows C#, JavaScript, PHP, Python, C++ and C as programming languages in addition to the keywords we are looking for, it looks like the developer can do a lot, but no one can guess what he is really good at. Sometimes he has only spent an hour with Python or similar and writes it as a skill in his profile. 

A good developer profile has a certain stringency and a clear tech stack. Overloaded profiles that have all technologies may not be good developers either.

Club of Code

Tech recruiting: How to become attractive to developers

In addition to active sourcing, strong employer branding is important for your tech recruiting. This applies both externally and internally. With the right employer branding, you not only promote your company to potential new employees. It also helps to ensure that existing employees don't leave the company. And it's always cheaper if existing developers don't leave in the first place than if you are confronted with high recruiting and training costs for new developers. Make your company more attractive for developers. So attractive that other companies have nothing to do with your existing developers applying elsewhere or potential new developers not choosing you.

What is important to developers?

To do that, we need to understand what developers really care about. Of course, this can never be seen in a blanket way. However, certain criteria are emerging that are mentioned again and again in surveys. For example, in the Stackoverflow Developer Survey

Salary & Benefits

In a world where developers get job offers every week, it's all about money. Everyone wants to sell their time at the best possible price. In addition to salary, this can also include other benefits, such as a company car or stock options. 

Sense & good product

If you can't overpay to compete for developers, the second point is sense and a great product. For really exciting technology that may one day change the world or otherwise give the developer a feeling of working on something great or valuable, salary can also be waived. Of course, the storytelling has to be right. But one of the two, a good salary or a great product, is the basis for your recruiting success. 

Tech Stack & Continuing Education

The next point includes the technologies used. Developers usually use a certain tech stack that they have acquired in the past. And they always like to learn. Using modern technologies or even influencing the expansion of the company's tech stack is interesting for many developers. This also includes the topic of continuing education. Many developers are self-taught, having acquired most of their knowledge and skills themselves. Accordingly, they are interested in always keeping their knowledge up to date and expanding it further. 80 % of developers also program privately, for example. Figuratively speaking, they come home from programming at work and continue programming privately. You can support this with an attractive training budget.

Technical infrastructure

A technical application area, such as the development of software, also requires a good infrastructure. With the right equipment, which the developer can ideally choose himself, you become attractive as an employer and provide the optimal conditions for the developer to work well. Laptop, PC, large screens, many small screens, height-adjustable desks; every developer has different preferences and you can respond to these. Therefore, allocate a budget for technical equipment and offer your developers the optimal infrastructure in terms of hardware and software.

Remote work

Another important point on the way to becoming an attractive employer is the working environment. Remote working is modern. Especially in software development. Approximately 80 % of companies offer at least partial remote work, which is popular with developers. So if you're not remote at all yet, you're narrowing both your pool of developers and your employer appeal. Even in the case of on-site office work, you should pay attention to the needs of developers. Software development requires a lot of concentration and focus. In this context, you may hear the saying that someone is "in the tunnel" or "in the flow" when you block out everything else and are unresponsive. This type of work is usually incompatible with open-plan offices, for example, where there are many external stimuli. Therefore, provide quiet workplaces where developers can focus and concentrate on their work. And if there is only the open-plan office, you can at least support with noise-cancelling headphones.

What else can you do?

Perhaps you have already found room for improvement in the previous points. Of course, this does not only apply to the attractiveness for potential new developers, but also for developers who are already working for you. Prepare a really good working environment for them, too, according to the points mentioned above. But also ask them what would make the working environment more attractive for them. Because, as I said, it's cheaper if existing developers don't leave in the first place than to find and hire new developers. This may also give rise to new ideas, such as small internal hackathons, to which developers from outside may also be invited in the future. 

Tech recruiting: How to optimize your approach

We now know what is important to developers and can exploit this in good storytelling when addressing them. The key is to communicate differently than everyone else. After all, developers already have enough standard emails with little content in their inboxes. 

Communicate your branding

What makes you special or even unique as an employer? Why does your product need it? And why should the developer you are addressing invest his time in it? Make it clear why it is time well spent for him. This can be, as I said, sense and a great product or simply attractive pay. To be able to keep a developer permanently, one of the two criteria must be fulfilled. And you can use this criterion as a hook in your approach. 

Communicate salary bands

To shine in the existing competition of job offers, it is important to communicate transparently. We all work for money and no one wants to be financially worse off with the next position. Therefore, communicate salary bands as early as possible. Optimally, already in the first approach. This way the developer knows if it's worth talking about or not and you both save time if it's not. Be aware that developers can ask for a lot of money at the moment, because they have a wide range of job offers and there is almost always someone who will pay the high salary. You should face this reality with open eyes and come up with communication strategies on what you can offer developers as an alternative if you don't pay the high salaries. 

Involve the faculty

When it comes to "cover letters", there is a certain hierarchy of those who write. You can use this to increase your feedback rate with developers. The closer the contact is to the future job of the person being contacted, the better. From my experience, this results in the following hierarchy:

  1. Department (CTO, future supervisor, future colleagues)
  2. Human Resources (Recruiter)
  3. external employees (freelance recruiters)
  4. Personnel service provider

This is similar to dating. If I get to know the person I'm dating directly myself, a friend tells me about the person (recruiter in this case) or even a dating agency (staffing agency in this case). The feeling is always a little different. Therefore, use the department and its accounts to increase your joint recruiting success. 


Tech recruiting is one of the most challenging fields you can work in right now. Good software developers are scarce and highly competitive. However, to recruit successfully in the fierce competition, you can optimize your active sourcing, your understanding of tech terms, and your employer branding to attract good developers and keep them with the company for the long term. You can achieve this through the right understanding of tech stacks and their hierarchy in active sourcing and by taking developer wishes into account in employer branding and its communication. 

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Tech Recruiting

Tech recruiting: What is important to software developers?

In addition to salary and benefits, the most important things for software developers are continuing education, working with good hardware and software, and being able to work flexibly and remotely. 

What is Technical Recruiting?

Technical recruiting (or tech recruiting) is the recruitment of software developers and other IT talent from the software sector. This includes jobs such as full stack developers, DevOps engineers and cloud architects.

Definition: What is employer branding?

Employer branding encompasses all the measures that a company can use to strengthen its employer brand and thus its attractiveness to existing and potential employees.

Google Sourcing: Active Sourcing simply free of charge

You don't find any talents despite LinkedIn-Recruiter-Lite and want to enlarge your pool? Or you start as a freelance recruiter and don't want to spend thousands of dollars on recruiting tools? Then the following article has a solution for you: Google Sourcing. Because the free Google search can also be used for the Active sourcing if you know how. And how that works, I'll show you now.

How does Google work?

Google is a search engine that is used to search the Internet for information. In order to provide this, Google uses crawlers that automatically read and index web pages. This means that web pages are scanned and stored in a database. With each search query, Google matches the query with the available web pages in the database and displays the most suitable results. In order to be able to provide suitable results, Google analyzes the web pages, for example, for the frequency of certain search terms, the quality of the web page and the linking of other trustworthy web pages. In this way, the estimated 200 million active websites can be made accessible. 

Google Sourcing: Relevant Operators for your Recruiting

For our Google Sourcing, we essentially search on two websites - LinkedIn and XING. Depending on the settings of the user profiles, the profile data can be viewed publicly and thus found via Google. In order to facilitate our search and to filter for profiles in a targeted manner, we make use of various operators. 

site operator

In the first step, we limit the search to one page. We do this with the site operator, which looks like this for our two target pages:

The site operator is always replaced by site: is defined and supplemented by the target page searched for. In the case of LinkedIn this is So we are not only limiting to LinkedIn as a website, but directly to profiles located in Germany (en.) and on the criterion that only profiles (/in) are displayed and no company pages (e.g. /company) or similar. We can also narrow down to other countries using the country abbreviation. For example, Poland (, France ( or Spain ( For your target country, simply find the corresponding abbreviation of the country-specific domain extension and insert it into the operator.

In the case of XING, this results in the searched target page Since XING is only active in the DACH region, we are already designed for profiles in German-speaking countries. We achieve the narrowing down to the profile search via /profile.

With our first step, we told Google to show us only the LinkedIn and XING pages and only profiles in them. 

intitle operator

In the next step, we can, for example, narrow down by job title. The intitle operator searches the title of the page. When you visit a website, the title is visible in the tab of the respective page. LinkedIn and XING often show the job title of a profile here. So we can add the following to our search string, for example: intitle:frontend intitle:(frontend engineer)

In the first example intitle:frontend we narrow down the LinkedIn profiles to show all those that are "Frontend" in the title. In the second example intitle:(frontend engineer) we limit it so that "Frontend Engineer" must be included. A "Frontend Developer", for example, would not fall under this. Note that if you want to search for two words in the title as an AND function, you have to use parentheses. Otherwise, only the word directly following the colon (without space).

Text search operator 

Another way to search for a specific term is to use the text search operator, consisting of quotation marks. Everything you write between the quotation marks should be searched for in exactly the same way. Again, word combinations can make sense: "TU Darmstadt" Computer Science Java

In this example we are looking for profiles that Computer Science and Java as a keyword in their profile and participate in the "TU Darmstadt" have studied. Single words like Computer Science or Java, can simply be written out. Word combinations are put in quotation marks. It also applies that a space is automatically evaluated as an AND function.

() operator

If we want to insert multiple words as an OR function, we make use of parentheses. Above, they can already join an AND function in the intitle operator. But they also give us the possibility of the OR function: engineer javascript (vue | react)

In this example, we could again look for a frontend engineer who brings JavaScript and one of the two frameworks Vue.js or React. The OR here can also be replaced by | (key combination: AltGr <). Since we don't mention "frontend" as a term, this enlarges our pool, since we also search fullstack or software engineers, for example, and don't build rigidly on a profile title. Basically, try to use as few terms as possible. In the example above we could even use engineer let out completely. The combination javascript (vue | react) already addresses sufficient front-end profiles. 

Advantages of Google Sourcing

With Google, we have a tool that is free of charge, but at the same time also has a very large range of profiles. Very few profiles have stored in their settings that they cannot be found publicly. As a result, we have a pool at our disposal that corresponds to almost the entire LinkedIn and XING reach. For LinkedIn alone, that's over 850 million users worldwide. XING contributes around 21 million users in the DACH region. We can filter these precisely with simple operators and, as always with Google, get the best results first. So we can search for profiles, but also for companies or groups. 

Disadvantages of Google Sourcing

However, Google Sourcing also brings disadvantages compared to classic active sourcing tools. However, if you understand how the playing field is staked out, you can react to it in isolated cases. 

A disadvantage of Google Sourcing is, for example, that Google reads the entire page, i.e. also profiles that are displayed in the side menu or in the recommendations. This means that on advanced page numbers, profiles are sometimes displayed that do not really have anything to do with the search string. 

Furthermore, it is not possible to filter by work experience. For entry-level jobs, this can be filtered using keywords such as "working student" or the graduation year 2023. However, this does not work as reliably as with common active sourcing tools. 

Another disadvantage is the consideration of the current location and language. Narrowing down a city or language skills is sometimes difficult. It can happen that profiles from other cities are already shown on page 1, who may have worked in the searched city in the past, but now live and work somewhere else. 

From my experience it is still difficult to really exclude terms via the NOT operator. For me this is not a shortcoming, since I rarely if ever work with this operator, but for those who do not want to do without it, an important info.

Club of Code

Google Sourcing: Build search strings

The art of Google sourcing lies in the combination of operators. This requires an understanding of the technologies being searched for in order to develop meaningful search strings and alternatives. From my experience, search profiles can be described by three central keywords. In some cases, two are sufficient. In the above example of the frontend engineer, the combination of javascript and vue for example, is already sufficient to find corresponding frontend developer profiles: javascript vue

(approx. 4,000 search results)

Of course, we can also develop more extensive search strings with locations, such as: intitle:(engineer | developer | developer) javascript (vue | react) berlin

(approx. 11,000 search results) frontend javascript vue berlin

(approx. 2,000 search results)

This gives us a good number of possible profiles that we can source for free. 

The search is of course feasible for any recruiting area, even outside of tech recruiting. The results are always somewhat dependent on the previous search behavior on Google. 

You want to know more about Active Sourcing? Then have the upcoming articles sent directly to your email.

Google Sourcing


What is a sourcing tool?

A sourcing tool is software that enables the identification and active approach of talent to fill positions. These are, for example, LinkedIn Recruiter or XING Talent Manager.

What is Google Sourcing?

Google Sourcing is a free active sourcing tool that is performed via the freely available Google search. With various operators, pages such as LinkedIn or XING can be specifically read out.

How do I do active sourcing?

In Active Sourcing, we use various sourcing tools, such as LinkedIn Recruiter or XING Talent Manager. With the help of these tools, we can use Boolean operators to narrow down our search for potential talents. In this way, we find a suitable pool of potential talents that we can actively approach.

Active Sourcing: Everything you need to know

What is Active Sourcing?

Active sourcing is the identification and proactive approach of promising talent to fill advertised positions. In contrast to advertisements on job boards and other passive recruiting channels, where applicants approach the company, in active sourcing the company itself actively approaches potential applicants. The job description of the active sourcer has emerged, who takes on this task for the company and actively contacts potential talents.

Why do active sourcing?

There are various reasons why it can make sense for companies to use active sourcing as a recruiting channel. Especially for hard-to-fill positions with special requirements, active sourcing is the tool of choice. But also to increase the number and "quality" of applications. In fact, Active Sourcing makes available a pool of talent that does not apply itself - the latent seekers. Latent seekers are not actively looking for a new job, but are open to a new challenge. The motivation for this is varied. Some can well imagine a job change because their current position does not completely fulfill them, others are interested in testing their market value or use a change as a career jump. The group of latent seekers corresponds to about 60-70% of the employed population, thus enlarging your pool of potential talent enormously.

Why should you consider active sourcing as a recruiting channel? What are the advantages of this channel?

Advantages of Active Sourcing

In addition to the expanded pool of latent seekers, with active sourcing you have a direct influence on your recruiting results. Since you don't leave it to chance whether someone applies to you, but actively approach suitable talent, your success is determined by your activities. You are in control of how much you do, what you do and how you do it. 

In active sourcing, you also meet candidates in direct contact at eye level. While candidates in passive channels are mainly confronted with the company as a counterpart, you are the face in active sourcing. The candidate is addressed by a real person with name and picture. It is a contact between two people. This has a different effect than the anonymity between company and candidate. However, this also entails a responsibility on your side, as you shape the first impression towards the potential candidate. This applies both to you as a person and to the company as a whole. At this moment, you represent the brand of your client. 

Through the direct contact between you and the candidate, there is usually a faster and more flexible process. After a positive response from your counterpart, you usually make a direct telephone appointment to talk about the advertised position without obligation. This is not so much a classic job interview, where the applicant answers questions, but rather a chance to get to know each other. It is more up to you to present the position to the candidate. 

Through the speed and direct personal contact, you can leave a positive impression on the candidate and recognize early on whether you harmonize. 

In active sourcing, the company applies to the talent. This brings with it a certain appreciation of the person, which can have a positive effect on the hiring process and subsequent collaboration. The candidate feels seen and his or her abilities recognized. 

And even if no final match is found for the advertised position, you will usually remain networked. In this way, you build up a network of relevant contacts for your company and yourself. You can always fall back on this network and regularly remind people about you and your company, e.g. through posts in social media.

Where there are advantages, there are always disadvantages. What speaks against active sourcing as a recruiting channel?

Disadvantages of Active Sourcing

Active sourcing is expensive. On the one hand, because it requires know-how, which you may have to acquire first. And secondly, because it is extremely time-consuming, despite the know-how. It will take many hours to identify suitable talents, review them with the department if necessary, contact the talents, follow them up, coordinate appointments and carry them out. At the same time, you may need tools to access potential talent. All of this costs time and money. It is therefore not uncommon to already employ active sourcers, as a separate professional group, or to rely on freelance active sourcers to handle this channel. 

Active sourcing is also a balancing act between quality and quantity of profiles. In active sourcing, we would naturally like to have both. Lots of talent with lots of quality. In practice, however, this proves to be rather difficult. For specific positions, this may be due to the fact that the labor market simply doesn't allow it. But it can also be due to the fact that the data in the profiles is not sufficient to recognize suitable talents or to be able to evaluate them correctly as an outsider. This increases the time required to find interested talents. 

Another point is again the first impression. This can also be negative, for example, due to a generic, boring address. This can also make you and your company look bad to promising talents. Rebuilding this reputation in detail, as the talent would be a perfect fit, is difficult to impossible.

How do you do active sourcing?

The advantages outweigh the disadvantages and you want to start with Active Sourcing? Then let's clarify in the first step how we can identify potential talents with active sourcing tools. 

Active Sourcing Tools

Active sourcing takes place wherever we can assess whether a person we don't know fits our job. That means we need data. We need to know, depending on the requirements of the applicant, what they do and how good they are at it. Now, if you're out at a party with friends in the evening and ask your friend if there's a software developer here, she answers in the affirmative and mentions that the guy at the bar is a software developer, of course you can approach him. You've identified someone who could potentially fit your software developer position. But the data is pretty thin. Just because he's a software developer doesn't mean you know exactly what he does, what tech stack he likes to work with, or how much work experience he has. The likelihood that you will fill your position through this one encounter is very low. In principle, though, you've done active sourcing. 

To increase the quantity and quality, we do active sourcing primarily online. Platforms such as LinkedIn, XING, GitHub, Facebook, Twitter and others provide us with access to profiles. The data situation here varies in its relevance to our project. While job-specific data is requested from professional networks such as LinkedIn and XING, Facebook, Twitter and the like are more private in nature. LinkedIn and XING are therefore preferred for active sourcing. Depending on the occupational group, LinkedIn may be more suitable than XING and vice versa. For each of the aforementioned platforms, however, it is true that filling out the profile depends on the user. He decides whether he wants to be found with a well-filled profile or does without and remains untraceable. Few completed profiles are therefore not a sign of poor quality. Behind it can also be the perfectly matching talents. 

In addition to social media, however, there are other databases in which we can conduct active sourcing. For example, the candidate pool of the employment office or that of various job boards to niche platforms with their own active sourcing access. It always depends somewhat on which jobs we are sourcing for. Depending on the situation, one pool lends itself more than the other. Searching for a software developer in the candidate pool of the employment office, for example, would not be very productive from my point of view. 

Club of Code

How do I identify potential talent in active sourcing?

LinkedIn and XING offer their own recruiting tools that can be used to search the platforms. These are LinkedIn Recruiter and LinkedIn Recruiter-Lite on the one hand, and XING Talent Manager on the other. They offer extended access to the user base with an additional search mask. Here, we work with Boolean operators in Active Sourcing. I will explain exactly how these work in a separate article. In short, we create a search string with AND and OR functions that combine our requirements to find the right talent. 

Essentially, search strings cover a keyword combination of activity, language skills, and location. So, for example, if we have a Frontend-If you are looking for a developer in Stuttgart who should be able to speak German, our keywords would be: JavaScript, Vue, German, Stuttgart, plus other tech terms like frontend, other libraries or frameworks.

How do I write to potential talent?

The cover letter is the holy grail in active sourcing because you only have one chance. One chance to make a first impression. One chance to stand out. One chance to get a yes or a no. Always put yourself in the other person's shoes. Especially in the IT profession, talented people get a lot of inquiries. It would be counterproductive to use the same generic approach as everyone else. Therefore, avoid interchangeable and too long texts that no one has the time to read through. Keep it short and to the point. It's all about an opener in the end, to get into a real conversation. In this you can then include your pitch, why your company is the best and why the talent should definitely come to you. But for the approach, an individualized text that responds to the profile and arouses curiosity is enough. Recruiting is like dating. You don't go up to someone, text them about how great you are, and then expect them to agree to a date before they've had a chance to say anything. It's about an honest request at eye level. We don't want to overpower, spam or annoy anyone. You have something to offer, you think the person might be a good fit, and you'd like to talk about it. That fits into a 300-character request on LinkedIn. 

You can also convey a number of things via the text. For example, whether you use first or last names, whether you write formally or casually, whether you even use smileys. All this communicates and gives an impression of you as a person and also of your corporate culture. 

Active sourcing is about quantity. You will get positive feedback. You will get negative feedback. You're also going to get just no feedback. That's just normal. Don't take it personally. We never know the actual situation of our counterpart. And even if you get a very negative feedback, you will surely get one that is very grateful that you wrote to her. So just stay tuned.

Active Sourcing Tips & Tricks

Finally, I would like to give you three tips along the way.

Tip 1: Less is more

When building Boolean operators, one is quickly inclined to include all available requirements. However, the more keywords you include, the smaller the pool becomes. This can also be suitable for a first search. From my experience you can describe most profiles with three central keywords. This makes the pool much larger, since profiles that are not so well filled out are also taken into account, for example. With this approach you definitely have to look at more profiles and read them actively. But it is worth it. The details make the difference and a broader search helps.

Tip 2: Do not filter by job title

Let's say you are looking for a software developer. You enter "software developer" as a job title and get few results in combination with your other search string. However, your target group may have the titles Engineer, Developer, Developer, Specialist, Consultant and many more in their current job. The developer you are looking for can be behind all these titles. Job titles are not universal and vary from company to company. Therefore, they should not be the central criterion for your search string. If you find out the central keywords, you will automatically be shown the right people. And the ones that don't fit, you can mentally put aside.

Tip 3: Use Google as a sourcing channel

Google is a powerful tool if you really understand how it works. Through indexing, you can read almost any page on the Internet. So can LinkedIn and XING. So you can use a free sourcing tool to expand your pool or save yourself the cost of recruiting tools. Of course, you have to know the playing field here. I'll explain how that works in another article.

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Active Sourcing: Everything you need to know


Definition: What is Active Sourcing?

Active sourcing is the identification and proactive approach of promising talent to fill advertised positions.

How do I write properly in active sourcing?

The cover letter in active sourcing is the first contact with the potential candidate. It should refer individually to the profile and aim for a personal interview. Avoid lengthy texts and long signatures.

What tools are available in active sourcing?

There are various tools and methods in active sourcing. The advanced functions of LinkedIn and XING, but also various other databases, are particularly suitable for searching for candidates.