How to Find Experts in Any Field

Do you ever wonder how many experts there are online? Probably not. Its one of those geeky things I think about it when I am out and about. But I digress. If I wanted to find an expert, how would I go about it? More than likely, I would look for people who write about whatever they are an expert in. Hmm…

Typically at the bottom of a white paper or an article is a section where the writer is credited.

  • When I do a search for “about the writer” on Google I get 56,000,000 results.
  • When I search for “about the author” on Google I get 377,000,000 results.
If there are that many articles (or ebooks?) online, I should be able to find an interesting subset of “experts” writing about whatever I am recruiting for at the moment. Hmm… I wonder how many programmers are writing articles? Here are a few examples of what I found when I searched for java programmers who have written books (or articles or whitepapers).

Search string I used –>“about the author” java programming

  • Joshua Bloch is chief Java architect at Google and a Jolt Award winner.
  • Dennis Sosnoski is the founder and lead consultant of Seattle-area Java consulting company Sosnoski Software Solutions, Inc., specializes in J2EE, XML, and Web services support. His professional software development experience spans over 30 years.
  • Venkat Subramaniam, the founder of Agile Developer, Inc., has trained and mentored thousands of software developers in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Search string I used –>“about the writer” “systems analyst -intitle:jobs

  • Before joining BCG, Choi worked for a major systems integration company as a systems analyst and led various operation efficiency improvement projects.
  • Antonica was raised in Philadelphia and graduated from Temple University. Spent time in the corporate world as an Information Technology Consultant and Systems Analyst.

I must admit that I got some mixed results with this strategy. Sometimes I hit paydirt, but more often than I would like, not so much. So, I switched tactics a bit and used the wildcard, and my results were somewhat better, but um, not really.

Search strings I tinkered with:

  • “about the writer” “software developer”
  • “about the author” “software developer”
  • “more from this writer”
Hmm… I was beginning to get a bit frustrated, then I switched tactics a 3rd time and began to like what I saw. I changed the profile of who I was looking for, and instead of technical people, I started looking for executives.

Search strings I tinkered with:

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  • “about the writer” executive
  • “about the writer” CEO | founder | VP
  • director.of | vice.president.of medical
So in retrospect, this technique is really good for finding execs who have written articles and white papers. When I looked for techies, I had the problem of finding results that talked about how software would write a specific code (or something like that), so I was getting programmer lingo instead of what I wanted. (Make sense?) Just as an FYI. Hmm… my spider sense is tingling which lets me know, I can still improve this Google search. So, I try this.
  • about.the.writer ( | machine.learning
  • ( | data.scientist
  • (director.of | vice.president.of medical ( |
  • about.the.writer (CEO | founder | VP) ( |
Bingo! Most of the results I get are what I need to find such folks. Pronouns are the key to finding key talent this way. Go figure. I am curious as to what you could do to refine this search even more. Let me know? I look forward to your feedback.

Happy Hunting!


P.S. I forgot to go into how to automate this! (Duh!) Simply save your search string as a Google alert and get updates as they hit Google’s database. Easy-peasy, sourcing squeezy.

P.P.S. Okay, after this, I’m stopping. A few more suggestions.

  • about.the.trainer ( | machine.learning
  • about.the.presenter ( | electrical engineering
  • about.the.speaker ( | software.development
  • about.the.instructor ( | software.development
  • about.the.lecturer ( | software.development
  • about.the.teacher ( | software.development
  • about.the.keynote ( | software.development
P.P.S. Okay, I lied. One more thing! You may have noticed that sometimes I put phrases in quotes and at other times, I separated the phrase with periods. In either case, the search works. I stumbled across this technique so many years back, and it stuck. So, there you are.

Over the past decade, Jim Stroud has built an expertise in sourcing and recruiting strategy, public speaking, lead generation, video production, podcasting, online research, competitive intelligence, online community management, and training. He has consulted for such companies as Microsoft, Google, MCI, Siemens, Bernard Hodes Group (acquired by Findly) and a host of startup companies. Presently, Jim Stroud serves Randstad Sourceright as its Global Head of Sourcing and Recruiting Strategy. In that role, he alleviates the sourcing headaches of Randstad clients worldwide. 
Jim Stroud has created and sold five online properties, managed an award-winning blog, published a weekly newsletter for jobseekers, a recruiter training magazine and co-hosted a popular technology podcast. Jim Stroud has also produced multiple web series devoted to such topics as: job search, recruiting, technology and language learning. Jim Stroud has been quoted by such publications as Globe and Mail, US News and World Report, Wall Street Journal and The Atlanta Journal and Constitution., Entrepreneur Magazine, Black Enterprise, and The HR Examiner have all cited Jim Stroud for his digital influence. Jim Stroud also served as the emcee of SourceCon, the premier global conference on sourcing for three consecutive years. He has also presented as a keynote speaker at Sourcing Summit Europe, Sourcing Summit Asia, the Australasian Talent Conference, Recruiters Hub NZ, and TRU London. 
Jim Stroud is the author of 5 HR related books, producer of the "Its all recruiting" podcast and the YouTube series - "The Jim Stroud Show." More details highlighting his career and his work history can be found on his blog -
When not online, Jim Stroud suffers from withdrawal symptoms that can only be soothed by chocolate chip cookies and family time.


1 Comment on “How to Find Experts in Any Field

  1. Well done – some additional variations on a classic method! But I think we both remember where you “stumbled upon” the period word-linking trick. You should give credit to where it’s due, amigo…

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