Mobile phone with social media app icons

How To Send A Voice Message On LinkedIn

By | LinkedIn | No Comments

Alternative messaging techniques came up earlier this month when I was running a session with Alex Moyle for The Recruiting Gym. I realised that not everyone knew sending a voice message was an option on LinkedIn.

This can be useful when you’re out and about – it’s so much easier to record a quick soundbite than spend ages typing a long message.

It’s also a great way to get someone’s attention with something unexpected! Half the battle for us as recruiters is standing out from the crowd.

You will need to be using the LinkedIn mobile app to send a voice message.

Simply open up the app and tap on the Messenger icon at the bottom of the screen.

LinkedIn mobile app home screen

Find a connection that you want to contact and hold down the microphone icon.LinkedIn mobile app messaging screen

Hold down the microphone icon and talk normally, let go when you’re done.

That’s it! You’ve sent a voice message.

LinkedIn mobile app - sent audio messageIt works the same way as on Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger so this should feel pretty familiar to most smart-phone users.

Here’s some more detail about voice messages directly from the folks at LinkedIn.

Why don’t you try sending a voice message now? Perhaps there’s a candidate who’s gone quiet on you, or a hiring manager you’d love a quick update from.

Let me know how you get on in the comments.

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels.

The Recruiting Gym - Community | Learning | Performance

What’s On In The Recruiting Gym – May 2019

By | Sourcing Training | No Comments

The Recruiting Gym is a membership site aimed at agency recruiters. I have joined the Gym as the resident Sourcing Coach.

Gym members need not be alone in their search for operational and performance excellence when they can unlock the wisdom of the gym.

The goal of the gym is to redefine how peer–to–peer support, continual learning, and implementation of best practice can drive sales performance. Every member faces similar challenges and are all looking to advance their businesses, profession and industry. In the Recruiting Gym, the sum is greater than its parts.

As recruitment professionals, we are used to doing the heavy lifting. We know that the more we flex our muscles or challenge our stamina, the greater the results. Join us in the gym and find out for yourself. Click on this link to join the Recruiting Gym on a 7 day free trial.

In May, I’ll be running online learning sessions every week.

Sourcing topics for May 2019

Finding useful files with Google – Wednesday 1st May

Growing Your LinkedIn Network – Thursday 9th May

What is X-Ray search? – Wednesday 15th May for sourcing – Wednesday 22nd May

Finding tech talent on GitHub – Thursday 30th May

Other sessions in the Recruiting Gym this month include

How to improve the effectiveness of sales activity – with Alex Moyle on Monday 13th May

How to grow a contract desk – with Alex Moyle on Monday 13th May

How to value your recruitment agency – with Alex Moyle on Friday 17th May

How to book client meetings – with Alex Moyle on Monday 20th May

You can pay to join each session via crowdcast, or join the Recruiting Gym on a free trial to get a discount code and join my sessions and more for free.

#AirSourceShow Podcast – with Iker Jusue – April 2019

By | AirSource | No Comments

The AirSource podcast returns with Katharine Robinson and, new co-host, Mark Lundgren. Tune in for an update from our hosts and an interview with Iker Jusue, the newest SourceCon GrandMaster Sourcer.

Show Notes

Connect with our new host, Mark Lundgren on LinkedIn and find his Sourcing Challenge show on YouTube, the Sourcing Challenge website, or as a Podcast.

To be one of the first to benefit from Mark & Aaron’s Sourcing Challenge Training, check out the site here.

Katharine is now a Sourcing Coach in The Recruiting Gym. The gym is aimed primarily at agency recruiters, but open to all. You can join the gym on a 7 day free trial here.

You can still get a ticket to SourceCon Amsterdam, listen to the end of this episode for details of a discount code.

Find and follow our guest, Iker Jusue on LinkedIn and Twitter.

AirSource Podcast Header

Launching the AirSource Podcast

By | AirSource | No Comments

Every month Katharine from Sourcing Hat and Andy from Aspen In-house will be bringing you soundbites from the world of sourcing in the form of the AirSource podcast.

Look for new episodes on the second Thursday of every month. The next episode will be ready to download on 13th April.

Why should you listen?

Well, that’s simple. It’s not like it was 10 years ago – we can’t count the number of sourcers we know on our fingers anymore! There are so many talented sourcers out there and we want to chat to them. We don’t want to keep those chats a secret either. We want to share them with you on the AirSource Podcast. We’re all better at what we do when we’re connected.

So far, in episode one, we spoke to Irina Shamaeva about her new search tool, SocialList. In episode 2 we heard from Jim Stroud about Jobs on Facebook and Jeremy Roberts about the rise of AI in recruiting.

How can you get involved?

If you have a fascinating sourcing story to tell, we want you to be a guest on the show. Get in touch and we can see about getting you on air.

We also want to partner with a few select suppliers that have brilliant tools – if you think you could be one of them, let us know.

How can you listen to the AirSource Podcast?

There is a feed on the AirSource website where you can find all our podcast episodes. You can subscribe to the podcast using iTunes or SoundCloud. This makes it super easy to get new content on your mobile. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook too.

Wait, there’s more…

In addition, on Thursday 11th May AirSource will bring you a full 12 hours of audio content in a live radio show! There will be interviews, music, live sourcing, and lots of opportunities to interact. Keep your ears open for more info…

spinning top

Are You Incepting Desirable Talent Ready For January?

By | Hat Tricks | No Comments

Is anyone actually looking for a new job right now, in December? Yes, of course.

But there are also a lot of people that are putting it off and people who haven’t even thought about it yet.

It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday season. Things are winding down now. Secret Santa names are being pulled out of hats (virtual hats, there are apps for Secret Santa now). Outfits are being bought for parties. Christmas cards are being written or worried about. It’s easy to forget that work might no longer be 100% satisfying.

After the second day of cold turkey sandwiches though… that’s when it’ll set in. 12 more months stretching ahead. Do you really want to spend it doing that? Doing it for that business? Doing it with those people? Doing it in that city?

You might make a New Year’s Resolution to find a new job. Perhaps have a poke around on LinkedIn to see if anyone you like is hiring. Maybe Google for some opportunities a little closer to home.

But wait… didn’t someone message you a few weeks ago. Where’s that email?

But wait… didn’t a recruiter follow me on Twitter a few weeks ago? Let me go back through my notifications.

But wait… didn’t I get a LinkedIn connection request from someone at That Company before we broke up for the holidays?

It’s worth leaving messages and breadcrumb trails during December (and all year round). You never know who might remember you when the time is right.

Image credit.


Changes To LinkedIn Will Affect How You Recruit And Source

By | LinkedIn, Social Media | One Comment

LinkedIn are making big changes that will affect just about every aspect of using the site.

LinkedIn says that they want the interface to be consistent between desktop and mobile. From what I can piece together, this means the interface is getting stripped back and we will lose a lot of useful features.

I do not have the new interface yet, so here is everything I have been able to find out about the changes, brought together in one post…


All profile pictures will become circular. That might mean you have to change it, especially if you have a border on your current pic.

The Summary section will be elevated to the box at the top of your profile. This means that only the first couple of lines will be immediately visible without clicking a see more… link. It is worth thinking about writing a new elevator pitch that fits in around 200 characters.

Rich content is set to disappear. This means that if you share presentations, videos or photos on your profile under your summary or job roles, those will disappear. This is a great shame as that was a great way to make your profile stickier. It’s also quite a surprise, as LinkedIn owns SlideShare. Who knows, maybe there is some other SlideShare integration coming later down the line.

You will no longer be able to edit the way your company name is displayed. This was a very useful feature for those in large companies, allowing them to be specific about which part of the business they were in. This could prove a problem for those working in RPO teams, as you will no longer be able to list your client’s name in this field.

You will no longer be able to choose the order in which your experience is displayed. The role you started most recently will automatically appear at the top of the list. This could be a problem for people with multiple current roles, such as myself.

Recommendations now have their own section. What I have heard about recommendations make the feature sound very buggy so we don’t really know how recommendations will work going forward.

Company / Career Pages

Changes to company pages have been out for a while so we know a little more about how they will look and function. Some larger businesses already have the new look company pages – take a look at LinkedIn’s own page to see what changes you can expect.

Features like Company Photos and Employee Insights (LinkedIn posts from employees) will make company culture more visible and open by default.

It looks like we will see vast improvements to the analytics available for company pages too. I do not know if you will need to be corporate customer to access them – I certainly expect so.

One thing that I will miss is being able to see the breakdown of 1st, 2nd & 3 degree connections you have at any given company. While you can see how many 1st degree connections you have within a business, there will no longer be an easy way to see your 2nd degree connections. This was always a useful way to look for prospective new connections.


LinkedIn has already made significant steps to transform your LinkedIn inbox into something that more closely resembles an Instant Messenger (IM) platform. You should expect this to continue.

The new chat interface will be available no matter where you are on the site, making it much quicker and easier to start chatting with someone. It will even make smart suggestions of people for you to contact. For example, if you’re on a company page, it will show you who you are connected to at that company.

Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn makes it possible that we will one day see integration with Skype. We can already IM our connections, imagine being able to call them directly within LinkedIn… Brilliant!

LinkedIn messages on mobile will even integrate with automation services like Siri (on your iPhone), so you can instruct your phone to message someone via LinkedIn.

Like Facebook, we should soon expect to see the addition of chatbots to LinkedIn messaging as well. These could help us with simple tasks like finding a good time to meet with one of our connections.

LinkedIn Salary

This is a new feature, launched last week in the US, Canada and the UK. LinkedIn is essentially attempting to complete a giant salary survey. You can visit to search for your job title in your location and compare your salary/package with others in the same area.

The feature doesn’t seem all that intelligent right now as everything seems to be based purely on job title, but it is certainly an ambitious feature with the potential to get smarter.

As a recruitment platform, LinkedIn has always been lacking in this sort of information. There isn’t a job board out there that wouldn’t ask its users for the kind of salary they were expecting. Hopefully this is a move in the right direction from LinkedIn. Now we only need them to ask people where they want to work…


The changes to search are worrying. Anyone using non-standard wording on their profiles could be excluded from our search results. I think it will lead to a lot of recruiters finding the same profiles. Some in-demand, and already jaded, users of LinkedIn could find themselves on the receiving end of even more InMails spam.

I don’t think it would be going too far to say that LinkedIn no longer supports Boolean search. For a breakdown of search changes and issues for all the different levels of LinkedIn user, read on. ..

Search – Basic (free)

Advanced search is gone. There will no longer be an option to choose the detailed Advanced Search panel rather than using the large search box at the top of the page on

Once you run your search you will get filters to narrow down the results. These filters will be made up of Relationship (1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connections), Location, Current Company, Past Company (limited to the top 5), Industries, Profile language, Non profit interests and School.The filters will no longer break down the number of profiles for each option. So you won’t know how many there are until you use the filter.

Post code searching will no longer be possible. You will still be able to search by location but this will seriously limit your results if you do not anticipate all the relevant location names. Anyone choosing to display a small village or a borough of a large city as their location could be missed.

All your search terms will be treated as general keywords. If you search for a job title like Project Manager you will no longer be able to specify whether that appears in the title field, let alone whether it is related to a current job title. People that did one role as a project manager, 20 years ago, will come up in your results.

If someone outside of your network comes up in our search results, you will not be able to see any information about them at all. This will make it impossible to cross reference their headline with Google and work out who they are. This will be a hit for people with smaller networks. Do feel free to send me an invitation to connect if you’re in recruitment and want to widen your network.

Saved searches will go for basic users. I am still receiving search alerts for my saved searches, so I am guessing that this change will take effect once you have the new interface. Either that or it’s an oversight from the LinkedIn design team.

There will be 20 search results page rather than the current 10.

Search – Premium Accounts (Paid)

Those on a Job Seeker or Business levels of paid Premium accounts will be using this new interface so I can only assume that some of the benefits will get stripped out. If you are paying for these options, have a solid network, and do not use the InMails, it would be worth thinking about whether or not this is really good value for money.

Search – LinkedIn Recruiter & Sales Navigator (Paid)

Sales Navigator and Recruiter users have a different interface for LinkedIn. These packages will keep their version of Advanced Search. Although, following the fairly recent changes to this interface, searching does not behave in a very predictable or intuitive way. It is not always clear how or where to enter Boolean or if it is working in the way you would expect.

Some users on the Recruiter Lite licence are seeing messages from LinkedIn that state “There are several search tools within recruiter Lite to help you quickly find the right talent for your role without having to rely on more advanced search functionality such as Boolean search. To access Boolean and other advanced search features, please upgrade to Recruiter.” Thanks to Irina Shamaeva for sharing this.

This means we are relying on LinkedIn to interpret our keywords. Notions of Maximum Inclusion are now in the hands of an unknown algorithm.

Can we use Boolean without paying for Recruiter?

Well, as always, we can still X-ray search LinkedIn.

LinkedIn have tried to stop us looking at too many profiles via search engine links, but I am yet to find a profile that way that I was unable to view.

If you’re not confident writing X-ray search strings, we have some Custom Search Engine (CSE) tools that you will like. Find them in our Free tools section here on the Sourcing Hat website. We have tools for finding UK profiles and profiles across Europe. We can also make more tools – if you ask us nicely.

CSEs are a great way to get around some of Google’s search length limitations (currently at 32 terms). So, even if you are a confident X-ray searcher, it is worth learning about CSEs.

In Summary

Phew! What a lot of changes. I don’t think I have ever seen such dramatic changes to the site all at once since I started using it nearly 9 years ago.

It feels to me like LinkedIn is finally admitting that it’s primary function (or at least it’s main income stream) is as a recruitment tool. They’re asking people about their salaries, giving people the opportunity to let recruiters know if they are open to opportunities, and they are finally going to give us better ATS integration (with ADP, Avature, Jazz, Kenexa, Lever, Lumesse, SmartRecruiters and Workable for now).

A big thank you needs to go out to Mark Williams (aka Mr LinkedIn), Irina Shamaeva and the folks at Social Talent for their fantastic coverage of these changes. It’s worth your time to follow all those links for more in depth analysis.

What impact do you think these changes will have on your team?

Featured image credit.

Keep it Somple - elPadawan (Flickr)

3 Searches That Keep It Simple

By | Hat Tricks, Instagram, LinkedIn, Search Engines, Social Media, Twitter | No Comments

I work with a lot of recruiters that find Boolean logic and search engine operators difficult to get their heads around. You can still get a lot out of your search tools though, even if you’re totally bamboozled by Boolean.

I’ve been thinking about the searches I run most often and find the most useful – it turns out none of them are complicated, mile-long Boolean behemoths, they’re all pretty simple.

The Lion

Whether or not you would find this useful probably depends on how you use LinkedIn and who you connect to on this network.

I have a Linkedin saved search set up to alert me when interesting recruiters become LIONs. I have several reasons for wanting to connect to these people;

  • LIONs and recruiters tend to have larger networks, helping me to grow mine.
  • Recruiters are the kind of people I want to do business with.
  • I’m not going to get in hot water with LinkedIn for inviting too many people I don’t know if I invite LIONs.

You might want to set up an alert for LinkedIn LIONs that match keywords related to your industry. LIONs that mention FMCG on their profiles, for example.

LinkedIn saved search - LIONs

This will probably lead you to other recruiters, or salespeople, who work in the same field. Don’t be afraid to connect with them, and do customise your invite. You might want to hide your LinkedIn connections list first though.

The #Hashtag Stalker

#sosuasia took place last week in SingaporeThis one is all about events. Social Media and industry events are a match made in heaven.

On the day of a big industry event, I will run a search for its #hashtag on Twitter.

Don’t forget – you can use other social networks to help you find industry movers and shakers to connect with.

  • Search for an event tag on Instagram (pictured) to see who’s sharing pictures
  • Check out the venue on Swarm to see who is checking in.

This won’t find you all the attendees, of course. What it will find you is a lot of the nodes in the network. The people sharing on social media are usually the people who really get networking. They like to connect, share, help out, and they know tons of people. These are the people to make friends with.

The Cross Reference

This is about using the names you already have to find more names. Simply head over to Google and run a search like this

Goole search - name cross reference
You might have originally found that person on LinkedIn or a job board, been referred to them, they might have been a suggestion from the hiring manager. However you found that name, you should try to find out where they crop up on the web. You might see them

  • Profiled on their company website, there could be other similar people with a profile too.
  • Quoted on an industry news site – there might be more people mentioned in other articles.
  • Using a niche industry forum or a social network you’re not familiar with yet.
  • Many other possibilities…

This might not lead to more names every single time, but it’s worth running every name you find through a simple Google search like this and seeing where it leads.

If you find that LinkedIn is cropping up all over your search results, you might consider adapting this search, using a little Boolean/X-Ray combo like this

Goole search - LinkedIn cross reference
What simple searches are you using to get great results?

Image Credit

UK Sourcers Meetup

Events for Sourcers in 2016 – Anywhere on any budget

By | Sourcing Events | No Comments

Sharing ideas and meeting people is always fantastic for learning. There are more sourcing events out there than ever at the moment – here are the ones we’ve found…

Sourcing Summit Asia #SoSuAsia
13th & 14th April 2016
$395 – $750

The Executive Research Association (ERA) Annual conference
19th April 2016
See Katharine from Sourcing Hat there!
London, 2016
£60 – £150

Reconverse – Taking Your Executive Search In-house
20th April 2016
London, UK
£0 – £6

UK Sourcers Meetup – Bristol
7th June 2016
See Katharine from Sourcing Hat there!
Bristol, UK

UK Sourcers Meetup – London
21st June 2016
See Katharine from Sourcing Hat there!
London, UK

SourceCon Anaheim 2016
22nd & 23rd September 2016
Anaheim, California, USA
$795 – $1295

Sourcing Summit Europe #SoSuEu
28th & 29th September 2016
Amsterdam, NL
€775 – €975

If you know about a great event for sourcers that we’ve missed, please contact us or leave a comment below.

[this list was last updated on 06/07/2016]

Do you really need capital letters to make Boolean search work?

By | LinkedIn, Search Engines | No Comments

When were you last nagged about using capital letters? Probably when you were in Primary school.

That won’t be the case if you have recently been in a training session with me! I am always nagging recruiters to write OR in capital letters in their searches.

The truth is, you don’t always need to write AND, OR and NOT in all capital letters. In fact, you don’t even have to type the words most of the time. It gets a bit complicated when I try to explain all the rules and exceptions to the rules.

The concepts of AND, OR and NOT are used to query every database whether it’s Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, a job board CV database, or your ATS. How you actually type your query may need to be different though.

My tips for getting your search to work anywhere:


What you should do: Don’t bother typing it, just leave a space between your keywords.
Note: A few job boards require you to type it in, but it doesn’t take long to click a help button on the search page and find out. will even type the ANDs in for you if you forget them.


What you should do: Type OR in capital letters.
Note: Some job boards will accept both lower and upper case  ORs. Tools like Google and LinkedIn need you to type OR in capital letters, although they are getting a little better at guessing what we mean and helping us out if we make a mistake. Capital ORs will always work though.
The exception: When I say always… the Twitter search tool Followerwonk requires you to use the pipe symbol (|) in place of OR. Google will also understand that too. e.g. uk|england|london


What you should do: Use the minus sign (-). Type it right up against the term you don’t want to see in your search results. e.g. -jobs or
Note: LinkedIn tells us that NOT (typed in capital letters) works more reliably than the minus sign. I have not seen this to be the case, both seem to work intermittently for me.

My best advice is to know what you are expecting to see in your search results. That way, if your results don’t look right, you can attempt to diagnose your search string. This is good advice even if you are confident with the language used by a search tool, as they do sometimes change the way they work without telling us.

A male technician taking an X-ray of a female patient in 1940

What is X-Ray Search anyway?

By | Hat Tricks, Search Engines | No Comments

I get asked about X-Ray search all the time. The question cropped up again at the UK Sourcers meetup in Leeds this February.

It’s one of those terms that gets thrown around, along with search strings and boolean, to mean “whatever it is you do with Google to get those impressive search results that I can’t get”.

Well, all these terms do actually mean something.

A search string is just whatever you’ve typed into Google (or whatever database you are searching). Even if it’s just two words, that’s your search string.

Boolean is a type of mathematical logic. All databases use Boolean logic to return results for the search strings you enter. Boolean pretty much covers using the concepts AND, OR and NOT in your search strings.

An X-Ray search, sometimes called a site search, is a technique you can use on search engines like Google and Bing. X-Raying is a way to finding web pages from just one specific website.

If I type the search string into Google, it will show me all the pages from this website that Google has indexed and has stored in its database.

X-Raying is actually very simple but don’t be fooled – it’s a ridiculously useful search technique that I use all the time.

My Top 5 uses for X-Ray search

Search company sites
If you have a list of target companies, why not run a quick X-Ray search on their websites? Look for job titles, contact details or news.

Search industry sites
Industry news sites can be a great source of names. Don’t forget associations and events too. Some of these searches can be useful when teamed up with Google Alerts.

Search sites with lots of user profiles
X-Ray searching LinkedIn is key skill for all recruiters and sourcers but you can X-Ray search any site with lots of user profiles like,, Github, Meetup, Stackoverflow, Viadeo, Xing.

Search for personal webpages
Did you know that you can also do a site search on a top level domain? Lots of people use .me domain names for their personal websites. Try searching something like site:me “download my cv” with some of your own keywords and see what you can find.

Taking sites out of your search results
I use this a lot when cross referencing a person I have found on LinkedIn. Sometimes LinkedIn is all over the search results I get on Google. To take them out and see what else is out there, we can use the minus sign with the site operator like this:

Goole search - LinkedIn cross reference

Image credit