Connect6° - Candidate Sourcing on Steroids?

By Tony Restell

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With more than half of employed people either actively seeking or open to new job opportunities*, the passive job market offers huge potential for recruiters who know how to find and connect with top talent.  Tapping into this candidate audience has been one big element of LinkedIn’s success these last years. But as I noted in my post "2014: The Year LinkedIn Loses Out to Twitter and Facebook?", the situation was ripe for other candidate sourcing tools to emerge that would tap into much more than just LinkedIn.

“The likes of Twitter and Facebook – to date only modestly used as hiring tools – could suddenly see a surge in recruiter activity” I wrote at the time. “I expect both to be adopted by recruiters with far more vigour as 2014 unfolds, particularly as people aggregators gain traction and make sourcing from these channels increasingly easy.”

 

Candidate Sourcing Tools


Well one of the things I love about leading the Social-Hire team is that I come into contact with entrepreneurs behind lots of new recruitment technology start-ups. Take Connect6° which launched its Chrome extension called PeopleDiscovery this week. They’re doing exactly what I predicted in that post late last year and I’ll try to give you a flavour here for what’s possible with this new candidate sourcing tool. But there’s nothing better than seeing a tool in action, so pause for just one minute to have a look at their demo video. Most recruiters I imagine will be salivating when they see what the Connect6° team have made possible...
 

You can see in a nutshell that this is precisely the type of tool that is making it much easier to find and connect with passive candidates and extend your reach way beyond just LinkedIn!


So What is Connect6°?

Having been one of the first to have a play with the Connect6° service, I’d draw attention to there being two distinct offerings. The first is a search engine called PeopleSearch that helps recruiters (and salespeople for that matter) discover candidates (or prospects) based on keywords embedded within their social profiles. So whereas on LinkedIn you’re only searching the LinkedIn membership, here you’re searching a combined pool of 550m+ social profiles.

The second element is PeopleDiscovery, a browser extension that provides contact information about contacts as you visit different websites – for which you got a taste in the above demo video.

My aim here is to briefly describe how to use each tool to get the most out of them. 


Using the PeopleDiscovery Browser Extension

The Connect6° browser extension, currently available on the Chrome Store, dynamically displays contact information as you browse the web. This typically includes a profile picture, brief bio, contact details, and the person’s social links. The plug-in is not dissimilar to Rapportive, which many readers will know provides contextual information about your contacts within Gmail.

The big difference with the Connect6° browser extension is that it displays information about people you don’t know – and on a range of websites. So you can pull up information as you’re browsing Twitter or LinkedIn for example, scanning contacts in Salesforce.com or whilst you’re in Gmail. 


So, how does it work?

As you browse web pages, Connect6° places a small icon next to any contacts on the webpage. When you hover over the icon, the person’s profile is automatically displayed in a sidebar. Here’s the Connect6° template of what’s included, but you get the best idea from simply seeing it in action on the video above:

Candidate Sourcing with the Connect6° PeopleDiscovery Browser Extension

What will particularly excite recruiters is that you can get the contact details of candidates directly from the Connect6° sidebar, with a variety of sources being used to research and track down each individual’s contact details. If you’ve uploaded your own connections (via LinkedIn or Facebook), you can also view a social graph showing any contacts you have that connect you to the person you’re researching.

There are a few other bells and whistles that come with the browser extension. Icons appear next to the contact’s name on the sidebar and can provide some more useful information and functionality:

  •  the ability to perform a custom search with PeopleSearch based on specific criteria
  •  the ability to search for related profiles within PeopleSearch.
  •  the ability to add the contact to your favorites for future follow-up
  •  review all your favorites within PeopleSearch


Using the PeopleSearch Tool

No prizes for guessing that the PeopleSearch tool is a powerful people aggregator search tool, enabling recruiters to search across 550+ million social and technical profiles by title, skill, location, and other search criteria to quickly discover new shortlist-calibre candidates. So instead of doing separate searches on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Github, etc., you can do your candidate sourcing with a single search that then spans all of these networks. The potential here in terms of both saving time and ensuring you don’t overlook candidates probably needs no spelling out.
 

Candidate Sourcing with Connect6° PeopleSearch

As you would expect, you can add search terms for specific job skills like java, python, jquery or product management; you can also hunt using job titles, company names, schools or even look for specific people in the main search bar.  You can also narrow down by location. Within the search bar you apply Boolean logic to broaden or narrow down your search by adding new lines and requirements to the query. You’ll probably find it simplest to start with a broader, simpler search – then review the results and refine them by adding more search criteria.

For each profile match, Connect6° provides contact and professional details, including a picture, title, skills summary and contact details – essentially the same information you saw in the browser extension above. Connect6° also provides links to each person’s social profiles including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, StackOverflow and Github (among others).

Other useful features include saving your query and using it again or modifying it for slightly different job roles or locations.

You can further refine your search results by source (e.g., just show candidates who have a GitHub profile), by connections, and by the location radius (find candidates within a 10, 25, 50 or 100-mile radius of the city). Customers who upload their own connections (e.g., via LinkedIn and Facebook) can view a social graph charting the connections between you and the job candidate of interest.
 

Candidate Sourcing made easy with Connect6°PeopleSearch

As with the browser extension, you can “favorite” candidates for follow-up or simply click to get their email address (and phone number if available). In either case, you will be asked to assign the contact to an opportunity. Think of opportunities as virtual folders that let you organize all of your hiring requirements in one place. You can then find specific candidates in your Favorites tab by selecting the relevant opportunity.

As for the contact details, these come from a variety of third-party sources. If Connect6° does not have the contact details, it usually can get them within 24-48 hours from these sources or through crowdsourcing. This is obviously one aspect of the offering that I haven’t been able to test out rigourously, but if Connect6° have this nailed then the floodgates could really open up for recruiters to migrate from LinkedIn to an alternative where the communication is actually delivered direct to candidates’ email inboxes!


So What Does Connect6° Cost?

Connect6° is launching PeopleSearch and PeopleDiscovery as free services during the open beta phase. You’re provided with 50 free contact credits upon signup and 25 free contact credits per month thereafter (for the duration of the beta program).  Every time you request a candidate’s contact details and Connect6° is able to deliver them, you use up one contact credit. I’ve yet to hear what the ongoing costs for using Connect6° are going to be once the beta period has ended. I suspect in part that’ll depend on how much recruiters come to love the service – and how much people find they’re able to rely on the candidate contact information that Connect6° provides. But I guess that makes it all the more worthwhile getting in there early and assessing the value of the tool before any charges are introduced. What are you waiting for?! Connect6.com
 

If you’ve any observations after you’ve had a chance to play around with the tool and experiment with contacting candidates this way, do feel free to leave a comment in the section below.


One Last Thing

This is a new style of content for us here on Social-Hire. We’ve not historically written about the launches of new social recruiting services or attempted to help readers understand how these services could be useful. Has this write-up been insightful and would you like to see more like this on the site in the coming months? Again please do share your thoughts in the comments or by contacting us on our social media profiles (for links see bottom of page). Thanks, Tony


* http://blog.jobvite.com/2014/02/2014-jobvite-job-seeker-nation-study/#sthash.RW82Uv2t.dpuf

 

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