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Industry Insights | 5 minute read

HR Technology: How People Aggregators Can Impact Recruitment Strategy

July 7, 2016

In May 2016, the unemployment rate in the United States decreased to 4.7 percent. And recruiters are feeling the narrowing candidate market. Candidates in today’s market have options – and they know it. So whether you’re recruiting for a specialized registered nurse, java developer or senior sales professional, you need to be able to stand out in the crowd – because the odds are that your “perfect” profile candidates are receiving a lot of phone calls and emails about other jobs that would be “perfect” for them.

Sourcing strategies have evolved well beyond traditional job boards, postings and direct recruiting. Finding candidates is often not the issue. The questions recruiters should be asking themselves are: Which medium is the best to reach the ideal candidate? And, what can I say to help ensure I get a response?

People Aggregator Tools

People aggregators have been on the rise for the last couple of years, and the information they can provide is continuing to evolve as well. For some of these HR technology tools, they simply remove the need to craft a complex Boolean search string in your search engine. However, some of these tools can do so much more. When recruiting on certain sites, you can download any of a number of extensions that provide available information on a person’s social and professional networking sites, email addresses and phone numbers. Or you can purchase an aggregator that you log in to and run searches within, much like a passive candidate database. With some tools, you can see everything publicly available about a person, right down to their YouTube channel subscriptions.

There are HR technology tools that not only have predictive algorithms  advising how likely that candidate is to make a career change at this point in time. It can even tell what words or phrases that person uses most often on social networking sites, which can be leveraged to help craft personalized correspondence that touches on their interests. There are also aggregators that incorporate diversity technology that may be able to assist companies of all sizes leverage another avenue for diversity recruiting into their sourcing strategies. Companies need to ask themselves – Do I want to try this? And if so, which HR technology tools will work for me?


There are new sites and tools popping up every day that are designed to make recruiting easier and more efficient. The challenge comes in deciding what works for your organization. I’ve had the opportunity to demo and/or trial several tools and have found pros and cons with each of them. Some factors to consider:

  • What industries does this tool focus on?
  • Where does this tool have profiles and information?
  • Where does it pull people analytics information from?
  • How many profiles do they have currently, and what are their growth plans?
  • Are you able to trial the tool and track results within your organization?
  • What results do I expect to see from this tool?


There are a lot of benefits to these tools in terms of giving recruiters options for contacting candidates – you can tweet, InMail, email, message, call, text or reach out in a number of other ways. But, a word of caution: if you have those options, other recruiters do too. You have to make your content count if you want a response. It is so easy to draft a template and rely on it as a “go to” for the job, particularly if you are moving quickly. Be sure to continue to focus on the individual candidate and not the job; if they have options, they are less likely to be intrigued by a generic email.


Before you begin using these tools, it’s important to level-set expectations. Often, this information is based on passive candidates, so it’s not a magical enhancement that will fill all of your open requisitions. These tools can be great add-ins to your existing recruitment and sourcing strategies, but only if used effectively. It can be easy and tempting to overuse the tool by contacting a ton of passive candidates – but track all of it, so you can see if and where you need to make adjustments to improve response rates. Otherwise, this tool can become a black hole, sucking up all of your time and leaving nothing to show for it. 

To make the most out of people aggregators:

  • Track your outreach and response rate
  • Customize outreach for candidates
  • Use this as a supplement to other tools – not a shiny new replacement

Overall, I am a fan of these tools and think they are a must-have for recruiting in a time when everything is mobile optimized and people are always on the go. It’s imperative that recruiters contact candidates where they are likely to see it, and these tools give you that insight by showing you where this person is online. However, like any tool, you have to make sure it will work for you and have realistic expectations and training on how to use it.

What successes have you experienced from using these tools and what advice can you share when vetting them out? 

[PODCAST] HR Transformation Through Technology: What Does The Future Hold? An  Interview With John Blowers.

About WilsonHCG

WilsonHCG is an award-winning, global leader in total talent solutions. Operating as a strategic partner, it helps some of the world’s most admired brands build comprehensive talent functions. With a global presence spanning more than 65 countries and six continents, WilsonHCG provides a full suite of configurable talent services including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), executive search, contingent talent solutions and talent consulting. TALENT.™ It’s more than a solution, it’s who we are.