Finding Phone Numbers

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I am asked quite frequently how to find a phone number through Boolean searches. Finding that perfect candidate is not enough! We MUST be able to get in contact with them. Unfortunately, the days of having a home phone number listed in the Yellow Pages are behind us. Many people are using their cell phones as their only contact number. Of course, we can find where the person works and make the cold call into their place of employment, but many recruiters are uncomfortable with that notion. The best we can hope for is they will answer at their desk and give us their personal number.

Before we get started, remember, we can only find what is out there. Unless the candidate has listed their phone number at some time on the internet, we will not be able to locate it! But, there is a chance. I would like to share with you my process of finding a phone number. It does not always work, but it is always worth  looking!

First, I start my search with a simple Google search. From a LinkedIn profile, we know the person’s approximate location and name. Do a simple area code search for the location. I am going to use my own information for this example.  I am currently located in Huntsville, AL.

NOTE: You may also want to include the area codes of previous locations. I have lived in New Jersey and Texas. It is possible that I got a cell phone at one of those locations and never bothered to change my number when I moved.

I enter into Google:

huntsville alabama area codes

phone1

From this, I learn that the area codes in Huntsville, AL are 256 and 938.

My next Boolean will simply be the name of the person and an OR string of the area codes.

“erin page” 256|938

phone2

The very first result is a good result (sort of) for me. This was my last number on AT&T before I switched to Verizon. The address is on target as well.

Further down the list we see zoominfo.com. This can sometimes give you a bit of information. They have my work info.

phone3

I find something interesting on Page 4 of the results.

phone4

This is where I created a location on FourSquare for my mechanic. The phone number is his office number. However, we do know each other personally, and he just might get a message to me. You never know!

Also on Page 4, my work colleague has a listing with the office number.

phone5

That is a pretty simple search! I have a two other tactics I often use as well. ZoomInfo wants you to pay for their information. However, as we saw above, they will sometimes give you a few digits and X out the remaining digits. With just a few digits, you can search for the remainder.

I use 2 sites for X-ray searches on phone numbers: verifyphone.com and 411.info. Remember, only what is on the internet can be found, so this may be somewhat of a crap shoot. However, I have had SOME luck.

I know this does not work for my personal info, but my Boolean would look something like this:

site:verifyphone.com | site:411.info “erin page” 256

phone6

As you can see, there are not any results for my number. But, I do want to open up one of the pages just so you can see what is on them.

This is from verifyphone.com:

phone7

As you can see, many numbers do NOT have a name associated with them. However, some DO. And you just might be lucky enough that that someone is who you are attempting to recruit.

Here is what the a link to 411.info looks like:

phone8

Finding a phone number can take some creativity. I was once able to find someone because his wife ran an in-home daycare. She listed their home phone. I first found them through ZoomInfo with several digits missing. I entered his name and the digits that were available. And BAM! Phone number. =-) You will be so excited to call the candidate at this point! I sure was!

Let me know what strategies YOU use to find phone numbers and how my techniques work for you!

Happy Hunting!

 

 

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Keyword Stemming

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Keyword stemming refers to the process of taking the root of a word and using all the different endings that exist for that word.  It is a very popular topic in SEO. That has some relevance for sourcing experts, since SEO is what drives results to the top of our search results.

 

For example, we want someone to MANAGE our business, we might search for: manage, manages, managed, managing, etc.  Instead of creating a search string that has manage | manages | managed | managing, there should be a simpler way, right??

Some job boards support a root word search. You can enter manag* to return manage, manages, managed, managing, etc. The only one that comes to mind that I have used is Dice.

I mostly use Google for my Xray and Boolean searches. Google does NOT support the root word format used above. The asterisk is ignored unless there are spaces on either side of it, and it represents a missing word or words.

Luckily, the major search engines have a built-in stemming function. If you enter manage into your search, results will be returned that include manages, managed, managing, etc. However, according to Google Guide, the stem words contribute less to the score of the result. I.e. manages, managed, managing will be lower on the list than manage.

 

 

You have to specify if you do NOT want to use keyword stemming by placing quotation marks around the word. “Manage” will only return results for manage.

 

In order to amp up the synonyms and stem words found, you can use the tilde in Google. ~manage

 

 

 

Hopefully this helps you makes sense out of your Google results! Happy Hunting!