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IT recruiters mine social media for hidden tech talent

Sharon Florentine | Sept. 26, 2013's Open Web tool, currently in beta, lets recruiters harness the power of the social Web to target candidates, even if they're not actively looking for a job.

Like most Internet-savvy folks, IT professionals leave bits and pieces of their personal information and professional history scattered across many different social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, not to mention dedicated job search sites like

It's a trail of valuable information for IT recruiters, but it's not an easy one to follow. That's where Dice's new Open Web tool comes in. Open Web, which is still in beta, pulls a candidate's information together in one place, making it easy to for recruiters and IT hiring managers to find and organize information and streamlines the recruiting process.

"One of the things recruiters have told us is they want the same granular search functionality we use in our resume database, but they want to be able to use that more broadly," says Jennifer Bewley,'s vice president of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications.

"They want more consistency of information; a much deeper, broader look at a candidate over and above what people tend to include on a generic resume or cover letter, and that's what Open Web can give them," she says.

Behind's Open Web
Howard Lee, the architect behind Open Web, explains that the tool is "a searchable index of individuals and their profiles based on aggregate data from across the spectrum of social media sites, both personal and professional."

In layman's terms, Open Web gathers and standardizes information about people from nearly 50 social media sites to give recruiters and hiring managers a 360-degree view of that individual and their relevant activity - whether they have an active resume on a site like, or are currently employed and answering questions on a technical forum site, blogging or posting about their hobbies on Facebook, Lee says.

"Instead of waiting for qualified, experienced candidates to come to you, you can search for and contact these folks where they are, which drives greater efficiency," Lee says. And using Open Web can gain recruiters access to "passive" IT talent that may already be employed, might not actively be looking for a new position, but who may be open to an opportunity nonetheless, he says.

"Hiring managers visit many places in their search for candidates with the right skills and experience for their open positions. In today's social grid, that's a big dig - consuming a lot of time putting together disparate pieces of information from across the web," said Scot Melland, chairman, president and CEO of, in a statement announcing the tool's release in January 2013.

"Open Web makes it easy by consolidating all kinds of valuable, public information about technology candidates in one place. In a few seconds, employers get unique profiles with real depth allowing both an understanding of the candidates' qualifications and how to approach tech professionals on a more personal, direct level," Melland says.


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