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Stalking candidates

9 Tools To Help You ‘Stalk’ Candidates (in a non-creepy way)

Stalking candidatesIt’s no secret that there’s a host of information available on the internet that can assist hiring managers to discover more about their potential new hires. While not everyone is as happy about it as recruiters & hiring managers, candidates have accepted the reality that their public online information will be accessed at some point during the hiring process.

Searching for information about candidates through online sources has changed the outcome for a significant percentage of hires. Depending on which survey you read, between 48-91% of employers perform a digital search for information about a potential new hire, the vast majority before they even call the applicant.

When you’re ‘stalking’ a candidate online, be sure to stay within the bounds of propriety, and don’t be too quick to judge. Look to their online presence to let you know whether they know how to manage an online brand, or look at whether they’re a culture fit. You can even use your ‘stalking’ to validate their claims.

A friendly warning: Be sure not to use these tools (or any others) to help you discriminate against any candidate illegally on the basis of religion, nationality, sexual orientation, etc. We’re serious about that.

Technology Guide for Modern Recruiters: Inside this 60-page e-book, you'll find technology recommendations for each stage of the recruiting process. Download Now!

Here are our 9 favourite apps:

1. Google

logo_420_color_2xThe first place to go when looking for information on a person is Google. This may seem straightforward but there’s a host of information missed by employers in Google’s sub sites. Begin by using the candidates’ full name in quotation marks and a location in the standard Google site, and then do the same on:

  • Google Blog Search: Pulls up articles and comments on blogs from around the internet
  • Google News Search: If the candidate has been mentioned recently in a news article this will show you
  • Google Image Search: Pictures may be pulled up from sites that articles don’t discover.  Use the pictures to link back to the information.


2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn If you receive a resume through email, you can usually find the person easily on LinkedIn, which is an incredibly detailed source of additional data. Look for recommendations from previous positions and note how they talk about themselves and their previous roles. Don’t forget to note the groups they are a part of or projects they have been involved with.

3. Facebook

FB-f-Logo__blue_114After LinkedIn, Facebook is the most popular social networking site used by employers to gather data on a person.  Even profile pictures will give you a better impression of their personality and activities. Look for Pages that they like and Groups they are a part of, particularly if they have locked down their posts.

Some employers respond negatively to locked-down profiles. Don’t assume that the candidate is trying to hide something nefarious. With the heightened awareness of digital footprints today, many people make the decision to simply lock everything down. This is a sign of prudence, not deceitfulness.

4. Twitter

Twitter_logo_blueMost Twitter profiles are public and not as closely guarded as Facebook profiles, however, filtering through the information can take a lot longer – specifically if they are an active tweeter. Who are they retweeting and what? Who do they follow? Who follows them? Are they a member of anyone’s lists? Do they build their own list? All of these things can tell you a lot about the candidate.



piplPipl claims to access records from the ‘Deep Web’, i.e.: those results that don’t usually show up in a Google search.  Pipl aggregates results about a person from all over the web in one easy-to-scroll list. Results include media, background information, social profiles and public records.



1323627447glassdoor_logo_150Glassdoor is a website providing job role information and feedback. While the initial information provided is anonymous, users can comment about previous workplaces publicly and post questions. Many employers have discovered poor attitudes and public slandering of previous employers through this website.


tineye-logoOften someone will use the same profile picture on every profile they set up across the internet. Use the image URL of a person’s LinkedIn profile, TinEye will find where it has been used elsewhere on the internet. Currently TinEye indexes 3.9 billion images, which is a small portion of the internet, but still a large amount to potentially make a difference.

8. GoodHire

GoodHireThe really detailed information is behind a pay wall, but it may be worth paying GoodHire to give you an initial background check on someone. GoodHire reports include resume verification, identify, and even criminal records like speeding tickets!


spokeo-logo@2xSpokeo aggregates a wide variety of information in an easy to understand online format focusing specifically on social media sites. It scans 60+ social media sites for images, photos and updates. It is possible to pay to unlock specific information (rather than an entire report like BeenVerified) and even see neighbourhood profiles of the area they live in.

All this information is to be used to assist you to gain a better understanding of the person you are hiring and make a better fit for yourself and them.  Use the information you discover prudently and make a great hire.

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Do you know what a rockstar looks like?

How To Attract a Rockstar Employee

Do you know what a rockstar looks like?What’s the secret to hiring a rockstar employee? You know the one: a motivated, talented team member with the right culture fit who will come alongside your vision and work with you to make amazing things happen. Can’t be that hard, right?

Attracting a new employee may sound like a simple task. Put up an advertisement, filter through the resumes, conduct a few interviews and make an offer. And if you all you care about is ‘filling roles’, then that’s as complex as it will get.

When you want a rockstar though – a real superstar – you need to lift your game. Great employees already have a pretty good deal. They need the right kind of bait dangled in front of them to even consider applying for your job over all the others available (including the one they currently have!).

Determining the right kind of bait takes developing an understanding of your future rockstar employee. After all, how will your future team member know you are looking for them if you don’t even know what they look like well enough to attract them?

Your first step in hiring a rockstar is to determine exactly what that rockstar looks like –in more detail than you may think! You need to know so clearly what your rockstar employee looks like that when you advertise their job it will be impossible for them to resist applying. Your job advertisement needs to cause them to say, ‘That’s me! That’s exactly for me!’ and immediately apply.

The key is to understand exactly what you want your future employee to look like. Here’s a comprehensive checklist to work through the next time you need to hire somebody to ensure you can attract a potential rockstar.

1. Job Title

A person’s job title is more sensitive that you think and speaks volumes to a potential recruit as to the position, respect, and remuneration of a position. You might call it an ‘Administration Coordinator’. Your future Rockstar might see themselves more as an ‘Office Manager’. Ask around or look at the past job titles of current incumbents in the role. Aim to discover the impression of each particular job title within your industry and choose the job title that closely represents the personality and ambitions of your future rockstar. Want someone highly ambitious and ready to move up the organization? Go for a more lofty title. If you’re dead set on someone who will be reliable and stay in the role for as long as possible, choose a more demure title.

2. The Structure of Competing Companies

The key to beating the competition is to understand them. Get a firm handle on what your competitors offer potential recruits; specifically, who do they report to? What training opportunities do they have? Which office do they sit in? What responsibility is given to them? A quick search of job advertisements from your competitors will give an idea of the features on offer.

3. Characteristics of Rockstar People in Similar Roles

If you’ve never had a rockstar on staff you may not even know what you’re missing out on. Now is the time to put the feelers out into your networks. Ask if anyone knows a great (insert position here). Be careful they don’t think you’re trying to poach them (or maybe you are)! Talk with someone who is considered by others to be a superstar in their industry and ask them how you can better attract higher quality employees into your organization. They may reveal characteristics or desires you didn’t even know about.

4. What Salaries Are on Offer?

It goes without saying that you need to ensure the salary you are offering is competitive. It’s not as hard as it used to be these days to find out competitive salaries; websites such as provide a unique insight into the salaries of your competitors. Rockstar employees typically make more money than the industry norm. Unless you’re a well-recognised brand or offer incredible (and seriously incredible) opportunities outside salary, this will be one of the make or break points for your future super star.

5. What Other Benefits Are Rockstars Looking For?

Salary is just the baseline. While increasing the amount of money on offer may attract higher talent, sometimes the best people are looking for things beyond salary. What does your future super star employee really want from a role? Time to spend with his or her family? A pseudo work family? Travel? Security? Training? Meaning? It is vital you understand the secondary motivations of your future employee. It will be these sorts of ‘added extras’ that will convince them to say yes to you and no to your competitors.

6. What Makes an ‘Epic’ Performer?

Finally, you yourself need to think BIG! Challenge yourself… if you had a truly epic performer in this role, what would they do? Not just someone who ticks the boxes of the job description you drew up. A truly epic performer would go above and beyond the typical outlines to… do what? What would that look like? Allow yourself to dream big, unrealistic, totally impossible, that-person-would-have-to-be-an-actual-angel sort of dreams. This is about stretching your thinking and enlarging your expectations. It’s about solidifying your belief in your company’s worthiness of the best employees.

Your organization is worthy of a rockstar employee. Instead of just accepting the status quo for the next role you need to fill, aim high! It takes more research, a deeper understanding of people’s needs, and a willingness to change your own idea of what the role is to attract and retain the best of the best. But you can figure it out and attract someone who will surprise you.

Photo courtesy of Alterna2.

Do you need a new hire?

8 Questions Every Startup CEO Should Ask Before Adding a New Role

Do you need a new hire?It doesn’t matter at what stage your business is expanding; deciding to bring on a new employee is a monumental decision. Particularly if you’re a growing startup.  Bringing on a new employee not only impacts your burn rate, it affects the day-to-day culture and future direction of your team.  It may even move you further away from the things you truly enjoy, as the business grows and more oversight is required.  Cash flow is precious, and so is your time. Finding the balance between the two and aligning your hiring decisions with your business goals can be a challenge.

Hiring your tenth employee is almost as exciting as the first.  Adding new employees shows the business is growing and you’re confident in the future.  Many people feel pride at contributing to growth and relief at passing on some of the tasks that have been so stressful. Others measure the ‘success’ of their startup by how quickly they can grow the team. But the decision to add a new employee shouldn’t be made lightly.  Additional employees can actually stunt growth if they tie up too much cash flow, and the number of people on a team significantly affects the culture of your business.

So, is it the right time for your business to expand?  Answer these questions below to find out:

1. How Hard Are Your Current Employees Working?

Is your current team regularly commenting that there is more work to be done than usual? Or that they’re working more and more hours each week? You should at least begin to explore whether hiring someone new would reduce the pressure.  A great place to begin in your investigation is by asking your employees.

2. Do Your Employees Have Space To Innovate?

In order to stay afloat in the long term, your business needs to continually innovate and stay ahead of market trends.  A creative spirit needs space unencumbered by looming deadlines or a pile of unanswered emails.  Pushing your employees to maximum productivity may work for the short term but will hurt your bottom line in the long run.  Give your employees the breathing space to try out some of those new ideas and projects they discuss around the lunch table.

3. Is Your Current Growth Likely To Extend Into the Future?

A sudden spike in sales, perhaps due to a lucky marketing break or seasonal growth, can drive some startups to hire too early.  Consider the yearlong effect of an additional employee in your workforce.  Run some numbers on the value they will be creating over a long period of time and ask yourself whether that is a likely outcome.  Ensure you’re experiencing a sustainable growth curve and not just a blip.

4. What Are Your Personal Goals?

Not everyone dreams of growing a business all the way to IPO.  Consider how continued growth will impact you, and your business.  Larger companies require different management techniques. The culture needs to evolve dramatically.  Your role and responsibilities will change as a business grows – and so will your stresses!  Don’t get caught up in the excitement of growth only to discover it’s not actually what you wanted.  Many business owners purposefully choose to sustain a ‘boutique’ size group for these reasons. Ignore the naysayers who negatively refer to this as a ‘lifestyle businesses’. It’s your baby, and nobody else’s.

5. Do You Need To Hire Full-Time?

If you’re unsure about whether the current growth is sustainable in the long term or whether you really need the hours of a full-time employee, consider part-time or casual employment.  The part-time workforce has many highly qualified employees looking specifically for flexible hours for personal reasons.  Part-time employees also tend to get more done in less time, increasing your business’s output without putting too much strain on cash flow.

6. What Opportunities Are You Currently Missing?

If you can remember a time you saw an opportunity but didn’t have the resources to chase it, it may be time to expand your workforce.  If your goals are to rapidly grow your business by taking advantage of as many opportunities as you can, you will need to hire in excess to ensure the team has the capability of identifying and exploiting the opportunities.  Consider temporary hires or outsourcing if these extra people would stretch your resources too far over the long term.

7. Do You Have a Clear Set of Tasks for a New Hire?

If marketing, logistics, and design are all a little bit stretched it may be difficult to find one person who can assist across all three departments.  This is the point most businesses find difficult to address when it comes to hiring: which department do they increase first?  The best way to address this is to identify your bottlenecks.  Which area is slowing the flow of sales and growth of the business the most?  Strategically placing employees in areas that focus on growth rather than maintenance will ensure you are prioritizing cash flow and will have more resources in the future to dedicate towards less crucial functions.

8. Do You Have Somewhere To Put Them?

This one can be easily forgotten!  Do you actually have somewhere for a new person to sit?  If you hire another person, will you need to get new offices?  Will it feel cramped in your current space?  Will you need to upgrade your communication structures and equipment?  All of these additional expenses can affect the return on investment of a new employee.

Tip: Don’t Stress If You Make a Mistake

At the end of the day, if you employ someone when you really needed to outsource or your growth slows, it’s not the end of the world.  Admitting you made a mistake is the first step, and taking the necessary actions to retreat and begin again won’t be easy. But you will survive.  You will also learn more about yourself and your business so that the next time you are faced with expansion decisions you will make the decision that is right for you and your team.

Image courtesy of Incase.

Your 10 Step Checklist for Getting New Hires up to Speed

employee induction, on-boarding, new hires, employee handbook, employee first dayIt’s like they forgot you started work today or something.

The receptionist had no idea who you were and now you’re waiting in the lobby like a customer for your manager to introduce you as the newest employee to join the team.

Have you ever had that experience? Arriving all fresh and ready to go for your first day at an important new job and … the manager is late to work. He doesn’t know where your desk is. Maybe you don’t even have one. You set yourself up in a corner and wonder what you’re supposed to do first as he rushes off to a meeting.

A bad first experience can ruin a new job for any employee.

As their manager, it is your role to ensure their first impression is a good one. It’s important they settle in well and overcome any initial hurdles of a new workplace and a new environment as quickly as possible in order to begin bringing good value to your team and organization.

How can you be sure you’re giving them what they need?

Below are some best practices to instil into your team culture and processes to ensure any new employees are made to feel welcome and are oriented as quickly as possible. Read More…

Elastic Recruiting

Introducing Elastic Recruiting

Today, we’re excited to introduce Elastic Recruiting – expert hiring support that stretches with your needs and budget. Elastic RecruitingFundamentally, Elastic Recruiting is expert recruiters, on demand, billed hourly. These expert independent (read: rockstar) recruiters will help you with as little or as much of the recruitment process as you need, and you won’t have to pay an astronomical fee to get the right candidates in the door. Granted, we’re in the business of recruiting, but we really believe that recruiting shouldn’t be painful. Or obscenely expensive. (Seriously, what’s up with those huge fees for what could be very little work but you wouldn’t know because the whole darn process is a black box? Yikes!) And we discovered this for ourselves, since we were all hiring managers or recruiters before we got to RecruitLoop. To paraphrase a certain US president, we’ve felt your pain. Heck, that’s why we started the company.

What can our rockstar recruiters help you with?

We’ve unbundled the recruitment process by breaking it down into stages so that you can decide where you’d like to plug in our expert recruiters (and you can read about them in much more detail at our Elastic Recruiting page): Unbundled Elastic Recruiting


It’s easy to forget that you need to scope your role in order to get the best fit for your team. You need to find out what other companies are doing to solve the types of problems you need to solve, and what they’re paying the problem-solvers. This phase is where you (or a recruiter you love) do market research and mapping, create a performance profile, and finally end up with a job description.


Once you understand your needs and have a great job description, sourcing is your next task. Finding active and passive candidates who fit your needs and ending up with a shortlist can be the most difficult part of the recruitment process. There are recruiters out there with almost ninja-like abilities to attract the active candidates and approach the passive candidates to build you out a shortlist of killer candidates.


Where sourcing is tough, screening can be long and exhausting. You have a shortlist, but are they truly qualified? Do they have the right skills? Can you quickly find out via a phone screen or video interview whether they might fit? When you have a recruiter you trust, you can get through screening with minimum time and effort – your recruiter can do all the legwork and you know you won’t waste time with unqualified candidates.


Selection is where the rubber meets the road in the hiring process. You meet your finalists face-to-face, you (or your recruiter) conduct reference and background checks, and you finally negotiate an offer with your perfect fit. If you live and breathe for this stage, great – you don’t have to use a recruiter. But if you could use a hand with anything from interview questions to hanging on to the candidate during negotiations, you can have as much or as little help as you need from your RecruitLoop Recruiter.


Presentation: 101 Hiring Hacks for Startups

Previously, we posted 88 Hiring Hacks for Startups and got to do a great joint event on Hiring Hacks. Now we’ve taken the original list of hacks and the fantastic advice from the event and combined them into one place – 101 Hiring Hacks for Startups!

Check it out:

Our #HiringHacks include great things like…

Sell the role's difficulty

We packed it full of wisdom from @dharmesh, @randfish, @kate_hughes, @bhorowitz, and more!

Check out the rest of the slideshow and let us know what you think!

RecruitLoop Startup Story Cover image

#MyStartupStory – How RecruitLoop Got Here

Have you ever wondered where this crazy idea for billing expert independent recruiters by the hour came from? Or maybe you’re curious about why we split the team and set up shop in San Francisco. And, did you know that Hurricane Sandy almost caused a, uh, certain cofounder to miss his own wedding?!

You’ll find out about all of these (and more!) in our startup story:

If you enjoyed this, please help spread the word by sharing it with your networks. We look forward to hearing what you think, and we hope you’ll join us for the next steps in our startup journey!

Nima Elyassi-Rad - RecruitLoop

Welcome Nima Elyassi-Rad as Sales/Operations Lead

We’ve written a lot about ourselves lately. Too much, sorry. We’ve just had a bunch of exciting news that just had to be shared.

Don’t worry, this will be the last for a while. But first, some news that has us all pretty stoked:

This week Nima Elyassi-Rad joined RecruitLoop as Sales and Operations Lead in North America.

Nima Elyassi-Rad - RecruitLoopWe’re thrilled to introduce him, and welcome him to the team.

Nima has spent the last few years working with Groupon, most recently as Head of Sales Intelligence. There he directed the strategic launch of Groupon’s largest Sales Campaign to date, resulting in a $300MM YoY increase in Gross Bookings.

Prior to Groupon he earned his MBA from University of Illinois at Chicago.

He has a ton of experience working with small-medium businesses across the country, understands their issues, and loves helping them grow.

This, along with his passion for startups, innovation and good music, make us so excited to welcome him to the team.

Building on an emerging trend, he’s also moving from interstate (Chicago) to join us in San Francisco.

Outside of work, he’s a productivity freak. Plays soccer, ages wine, and posts a song every day on his Tumblr.

You’ll see him on the Blog, at industry events, and reaching out about RecruitLoop.


jenn steele - Head of Growth

Welcome to Jenn Steele as Head of Growth

It’s been a busy few months at RecruitLoop.

We announced seed funding, released an exciting product update, and detailed the life of a founder-recruiter in making our first key hires.

I’m delighted to announce the first of two people behind that process:

Jenn Steele is joining RecruitLoop as Head of Growth.

Jenn Steele - Head of Growth

Jenn is moving from Seattle to join us in San Francisco. She was most recently at Amazon, after making the move across country from Hubspot in Boston. There, she was one of the first 100 employees (and one of many MIT Grads), working directly with SMEs to help them grow their business.

She’s personally hired dozens of people in her time as an IT and marketing leader. Most recently, she’s experienced the hiring process as a candidate. Stay tuned for her tips on what to avoid as a hiring company.

She’s joining us with a broad, clear mandate: Growth for RecruitLoop, and our clients. It’s an extension of her passion and experience helping to grow companies and people in prior roles. Now, she’ll be helping our clients and readers grow, through smarter hiring.

You’ll be seeing a bit of Jenn, as a new voice on this blog, and a hand behind our conversations across all other channels. We think you’ll enjoy her energetic, casual style. You can follow Jenn at @jennsteele.

We’re obviously stoked to introduce her.

Anyone familiar with this blog knows that every new hire is a milestone. It’s never easy. But particularly rewarding in getting it right.

We’re excited Jenn has chosen RecruitLoop, and look forward to you seeing her impact very soon.


Curious how an early-startup hires key roles? Checkout the life of a founder-recruiter, in making our first key hires.

Bernadette - profile

Introducing: New Recruiter Profiles

Paul Slezak Profile

Our vision for RecruitLoop is to make hiring faster, simpler, and more efficient for everyone involved. Employers can engage professional recruiters with complete trust and transparency, at a fraction the cost of traditional methods. Independent recruiters have an exclusive platform to present themselves professionally, and serve clients in a new way.

To support that vision, we’ve released a complete redesign of our website, along with a major update to Recruiter Profiles. Recruiter Profiles now include some important new concepts, to increase transparency and give Employers more information upfront.

It’s not just a visual makeover. We’ve introduced several new concepts that should significantly improve your RecruitLoop experience:

  • Badges
  • Verification steps
  • Service Guarantee
  • ‘Where I Work’
  • Client and candidate references

Recruiter Badges

To recognise Recruiters who are more active in the network, we’ve introduced badges. They are ‘awarded’ based on the number of engagements completed on the RecruitLoop platform:

  • Active: 5+ projects
  • Pro: 15+ projects
  • Rockstar: 25+ projects

Recruiters’ badges are displayed prominently on their profile picture, along with their summary search results

Bernadette Eichner - Rockstar

Verification Steps

Every RecruitLoop Recruiter has been verified by our team. We have strict minimum requirements (e.g., 5-years professional experience), along with several qualitative steps that form our active ‘curation’ of the network. Previously, all Recruiters were verified to a similar standard. Now, we’re improving transparency around each of these steps.

As new Recruiters complete each step of verification with our team, it will be displayed on their profile. The steps include:

  • Profile approved (this is a minimum: we approve all profiles before going live)
  • LinkedIn Connection (when recruiters add the link to their profile)
  • Video interview completed
  • 2 x client references (provided and displayed on their profile)
  • 2 x candidate references (provided and displayed on their profile)
  • RecruitLoop training

Recruiters who complete every step are recognised as ‘Fully Verified’. We only recommend Fully Verified Recruiters as part of our RecruiterMatch Service.

Service Guarantee

RecruitLoop does not offer a traditional candidate guarantee (see why not). However, we have introduced a ‘Service Guarantee’, which is linked to the quality of service provided by your Recruiter (rather than the candidate outcome).

The Service Guarantee is an optional step recruiters can offer to Clients:

If you’re not happy with the service provided by this recruiter, you can walk away anytime in the first ten hours of your project with zero cost

Recruiters don’t have to offer this guarantee. But we encourage it. Recruiters who do are backing themselves to provide a great professional service every time.

Side note: We’ve offered this guarantee to Clients informally for nearly 12 months. Only one has ever taken it up!

Service Guarantee - RecruitLoop

‘Where I work’

Many RecruitLoop Recruiters work ‘virtually’, or serve clients outside their physical location. We designed our model to support this, as many recruitment activities can be easily completed remotely. As an example, one of our recruiters based in Hawaii recently helped a large US tech company source developers in the Bay Area.

To improve transparency, Recruiter Profiles now clearly display both their physical location, along with other locations they serve.

Where I work - RecruitLoop

Client and Candidate References

A major foundation for transparency in the RecruitLoop model is client feedback. All Recruiter Profiles show comments and feedback from clients they’ve worked with on the Platform.

However, Recruiters also have happy clients from before they joined RecruitLoop. We gather these references as part of our verification. Now, we make it transparent.

References provided by a recruiter from previous clients and candidates are now displayed on their profiles.

RecruitLoop References

We’re confident these changes will improve your experience with RecruitLoop, and make it simpler and easier for employers to engage a great independent Recruiter on RecruitLoop. It’s also one of many areas we’re looking to constantly improve. So stay tuned for future updates!

What do you think? We’d love your thoughts, and appreciate all feedback.

– Michael

ps, you can meet and contact all our expert independent recruiters here.