Even though there’s a wide range of products that help tech recruiters potentially find candidate emails and more, every now and then you get the big goose egg and need a few last resort tricks/hacks to find things. There is obviously no silver bullet, but here are some approaches to use when you’re in a bind and want to feel like you gave it your best effort before moving on.

Just think about it. Techies are potentially on many different social media sites like LinkedIn, GitHub, Stack Overflow, Indeed, Dice, Meetup, About.me, etc.  The list goes on. Some profiles they keep up and others they do not. Both scenarios often work in your favor as many breadcrumbs lie within.

The ‘WhoIs’ hack:

If you can find a potential candidate’s personal, family, small business or any other personal website, try this trick. Use a ‘WhoIs’ domain lookup ( e.g. https://in.godaddy.com/whois ) to find site owner contact info. You’d be surprised how any people don’t think about or pay for the domain privacy feature. If they don’t, you’ll have their full name, email, phone, address, etc. Very sweet find when it works.

Links within Social Media Profiles:

One common element to many social profiles is a dedicated place to list additional links to other social profile platforms or blogs or personal web sites that in turn list other site links and so on. If no additional links are listed in the standard designated areas for each platform, be sure to also look within the body of each profile summary (e.g. LinkedIn’s candidate profile summary) as a non-active/live hyperlink could be listed there that you have to cut/paste into a browser versus clicking on it. Also, many people list emails like this ( name AT domain DOT com, or variations of this sly approach ) so be sure to look for these variations as well. Get creative!

Site links could also be mentioned within other text areas within the profile that describe work history or personal interests, etc., so be sure to look there as well. NOTE: Within LinkedIn specifically, be sure to click on the ‘see more’ link when viewing candidate work experience details and before using the browser’s search page feature.

Be sure to capture and test each and every link as one site’s list of additional URLs might not be the same as other sites because we all know how hard it is to keep everything synced and up-to-date. Also, sometimes they’ve left a link on that they no longer share but never took off that profile. The ‘whois’ continues to come in handy here as well so take the time to look each web address up.

Of course there are various third party tools/chrome extensions (including the one available from developerDB, etc.) but it’s important to combine all these efforts as no tool is fool proof and all approaches provide varied results. We all know that you simply need one solid email for the effort to pay off; well.. maybe not an @AOL.com address, but you never know ;o)

Beyond Social Media Profile Pictures:

For any given social site there is a section for a profile image. If the image is not a default generic image that’s assigned if a user chooses not to upload an image, any other image is valuable. Simply apply Google’s ‘Search Google For Image’ feature and see whatever sites might be associated with that person. To use, simply right click on the image and explore all the other instances of that image elsewhere on the net.

LinkedIn ‘Group’ Member Messaging:

As an alternative to getting an actual email on LinkedIn, there is still (never know when any feature on LinkedIn will disappear) a work-around to send a direct personal message to another LinkedIn member that is not currently a connection of yours. From within the group, type their name (even a partial name is fine) into the ‘search members’ search box and click on the Message button.