Sourcing is a Full Contact Sport by @AaronLintz

One of the most common frustrations for sourcers is when a perfect profile is identified, but there is not enough contact information to reach out to them. With only a name, phone number, or email address you will not close a requisition. Great sourcers have developed tricks to verify or match some data, but I am always looking for new and better ways.

Marketers often use paid services to clean-up or enhance data profiles for strategic (segmentation, demographics) and practical purposes (change of address). These vendors tend to offer expensive services with cryptic names like data cleaning, appending services, normalization, and data hygiene, but the goal is always to verify, or convert partial data into useful records.

I tackled this problem recently using a neat tool by FullContact, and I wanted to share my findings.

FullContact offers a few tools typically marketed to corporate clientele. Like many tech companies, they offer APIs for developers to create hybrid solutions.Their Person API is available with 250 free matches per month, but I’m not a programmer. Thanks to Google, I found these excel spreadsheets shared by Travis Todd, at FullContact on Github. Using excel macros, these templates can send and receive data using their API to populate your spreadsheet like magic. The result is a brilliantly simple way to convert partial data into a lead list.

Using the excel files above, add your API Key (registration required), select the starting point (email address, twitter ID, phone#, or Facebook username), and add that data to column A on the second page of your spreadsheet. Then click “populate contacts” and get ready to wait! Excel Macros (visual basic) is not fast and these recommended settings ensure quality over speed.


When my results are ready, I have a wonderful spreadsheet with actionable and accurate contact data and so much more. The second column shows if the search was successful (in this case 9 out of 10) and the last column “likelihood”(not shown) indicates FullContact’s confidence all data is a match (all were +90%).


 Available data fields include:

Contact Info: Name, Email, Age, Gender, Location, Company, Occupation, Profile Photo

Additional Data: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Klout, Flickr, YouTube, Google Plus, Twitter Followers # , Following #, Full Bio, Klout Topics, Klout Score, Blog RSS, Instant Messenger, etc

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One can also create and export reports with statistics and demographic details.


Too Much Information (TMI)


This tool has limitations. It will not look up a person based on name alone, and it’s SLOW. Unfortunately, they do include age or gender if available. The sourcecode is available if someone wants to fork this to make a version without those columns. From a privacy perspective, Full Contact is similar to a people aggregator like Entelo or TalentBin, converting bits of open web data into a standard format. Unlike those tools, this method works with any industry, niche, or market.

Now, go out there and track down those conference attendees, fire up Rapportive, and grab some Twitter screens. Sourcing is a FullContact sport!

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Aaron Lintz has architected and implemented ATS systems, recruiting processes and reporting/analytics systems. Aaron is known for innovative sourcing methods, having presented at SourceCon many times, including a keynote session at the Spring 2018 conference. Aaron also serves as an advisor for SourceCon and volunteers his time speaking at many other significant events around the world. Understanding his approach and tactics will be beneficial to all recruiting practitioners and managers.


13 Comments on “Sourcing is a Full Contact Sport by @AaronLintz

          1. I’d hafta see it to believe it. Haven’t seen much of it to date but then – don’t use these tools much. ( I know – I know…)

          2. You are smarter than most. You just call and ask for their extension when they are on holiday or when the gatekeeper lets down their guard. Social engineering is just as powerful if not more than digital sleuthing.

          3. I’m FAR from smarter than most! That’s the point. It’s just a different kind of activity – one that’s a different kind of proactive with the emphasis on “active.”

  1. Aaron, Not sure what you mean

    You say you found a perfect profile

    then you say “With only a name, phone number, or email address you will not close a requisition”

    If you have the perfect profile PLUS Contact Information – don’t you think you have plenty to start with? Most recruiters would love to have perfect profiles with name/email. They will begin to start closing from there,


    1. Chandra,

      Contact information is a starting point. Communication between recruiter and the target person is what starts down the road to filling the position.
      I could have been more clear with …ONLY, …,OR

      The point I was making is: One piece of unverified contact information is not a stopping point in the wrong hands.

      A beginner would likely head to LinkedIn and blast out an InMail. If no results, the lazy sourcer/recruiters will move on.

      A crafty sourcer won’t stop there. They will make a search string, cross reference the info they have, search for new details, or use an auto/manual tool to dig deeper.

      Unlike an other tool on the market that I have seen, this works in batches and offers a free price tier for a full product. Minimal learning curve (anyone familiar with excel can use it) and the output is perfectly formatted to be imported into your CRM of choice. I hope a few people can see the value in using this tool.

  2. So when you say “SLOW”… How slow are we talking? I entered 8 emails just to give it a try. Am I waiting 5 minutes? 30 minutes? Over an hour? Will I need to shave again before all of the data is back? etc…

    1. And the results… It took about 5-10 minutes for 10 email addresses. Of the 10 I entered of actual candidates from a separate list we’ve built (so I could verify data), I got… zero results. So I entered my own information and got OK results. I guess if the starting point is an email address and it doesn’t give you a phone number, then it ‘could’ make your data more complete – but not with pertinent details in which I would think are the basis for a profile.

      1. You are right. It will not give you a phone number for the person. I found Full Contact mainly useful with large lists of people in batch format. It is much easier to let it run overnight for 100 emails and wake up to a spreadsheet of confirmed details.

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