Finding Candidates without Having Contact Details

Finding Candidates without Having Contact Details

As all recruiters have experienced, you often find yourselves having to find candidates off of very little information. Sometimes you don’t have any information about a specific person and just have to go out and find a viable candidate. So what do you do?

What I have found is that, although they advertise themselves as being leaders in the social connection industry, Social Media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook really limit the ability to contact a potential candidate unless you already have their contact information.

LinkedIn is the worst offender. They make it extremely difficult to find information of potential candidates unless you are directly connected with them, and they also make it difficult to find candidates you may want to connect with.

The way LinkedIn works is by “degrees of connection”:

– A 1st degree connection is the only way to see a person’s full profile and be able to communicate with them freely.

-A 2nd degree connection grants you access to most of a person’s profile, but you can’t send messages, only InMail, or see contact details such as emails.

-A 3rd degree connection shows you even less of a person’s profiles and gives you less opportunity to contact them.

-Anything lower than a 3rd degree connection doesn’t give you any information.

That being said, any connection, 1st, 2nd or 3rd, who is in a group with you, you can send a message to and send connection invites.

Another way to get around this block is by knowing a person’s ID. This will allow you to message them no matter what connection you have with them. Although, be careful when inviting people to connect, as LinkedIn will begin to require you to know a person’s email address if too many people say they do not know you.

However, there are many other more viable options for finding potential candidates when you don’t have much information to go off of.

Call People:

Doesn’t it seem like many recruiters are afraid to pick up the phone? Yes, the internet is a great tool to have and use, but oftentimes talking on the phone can be a much more personal experience.

As of September 2011, Skype had 663 million registered users. Even better still, the users could be searched for and messaged or called simply by knowing their name. In my opinion, Skype is extremely underused and much underappreciated in the recruitment space.  

Google Search:

A Boolean search is a way to either narrow or broaden search results by typing in different terms into the Google Search bar. They are a great way to find email addresses and other information about potential candidates through a simple search.  

However, some problems can arise if a person does not have an email address on the internet where Google can find it. A way around this is to search straight through their employer’s domain; oftentimes employees will have the same email address format as everyone else in the company. Then all that’s left to do is verify the address through either a verification site, such as http:///, or you can check it directly through a social media site like LinkedIn.

Google Plus:

Although it hasn’t yet reached the popularity of some other social media sites, Google Plus is easily searchable and has no problem giving you all the contact information of one of its users. Also, all the profiles are relatively new and up-to-date. This makes Google Plus an excellent resource for recruiters looking for potential candidates.


As you can see, there are many overlooked, viable options to locating viable candidates even when you are given little to no information about a person. You just have to know where to look.

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