This test was done during April 2017, and from that time a few things have happened. Many of these tools improve their databases, and Hiretual in particular did pretty good job in this area. However, the most important news was the update of the LinkedIn User Agreement. Right now it’s hard to predict how the sourcing tools will be affected by LinkedIn and new LinkedIn Terms of Service, but I don’t think many of these tools revealing contact information will be still with us.
If you would like to succeed in sourcing, you need one important tool, which is your brain. But if you would like to save time and be more effective, you should also use the right tools.
There are hundreds of plugins and tools for recruiters; every month a new one appears, and many are also disappearing. It’s hard to follow them all or test them all. There is probably only one person (Dean Da Costa) who knows them all.
I am trying to test every new tool I discover or if I get a tip from others. And because I am also a geek who loves new technology and I like to test everything (1,000 LinkedIn Invitations; How I Hide Resume on Google and more…), I did new tests and tested 10 plugins that will help you to find find anyone’s contact.
I tried to compare them to find out how effective they are, how effectively they can find e-mail addresses, and if the e-mail address is valid or not.
And the best way how to do that is a prepare test scenario and run a test case.
- I selected 50 random profiles on LinkedIn
- All the profiles were my 2nd or 3rd connections
- All profiles were checked if there is no e-mail or phone
- Roles I targeted: Finance Manager, IT Director, Senior Developer, Project Manager, UX Designer, Accountant
- Locations I targeted: Hungary, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Slovak, Brazil, Finland, Czech Republic, Spain, USA (Greater Seattle Area)
- Plugins I tested: Prophet, Connectifier, Hiretual, Contactout, Hunter, Jobjet, Lusha, Rocketreach
First, I tried to find emails on all 50 profiles without these tools and I used only Google. After 4 hours and 57 minutes, I found 29 private emails. As you can see, I didn’t find all 50 e-mails, but I learned a lot about these candidates. And I also learned about new sites where to look for people like them, especially in countries that I usually do not target during my search.
With these plugins, I found e-mail addresses within few seconds or minutes. During this test, I also checked if the e-mail address provided by the plugin was valid and connected with the right person. Moreover, I also tested every single e-mail I found if the e-mail is live and working.
I split that test results on group “private e-mail” and the “company e-mail” section. Because one plugin can show me the company e-mail and the second one a private email for the same profile.
People are often using their company email address for their LinkedIn accounts, but I wasn’t able to double check if the company e-mails I found through these plugins are also primary e-mails address connected with their LinkedIn profiles. Alternatively, if they used private email, and these plugins showed me their company e-mail addresses, because they try to guess them based on their database.
All these plugins offer various tools and option; I don’t want to write a long review about all of them, so here is a quick one sentence review.
Connectifier – Acquired by LinkedIn and I am not sure if it’s still working, but it was my first plugin that I used, which is why I added.
Hunter – Hunter is the great in guessing company emails, with just one click.
Prophet – A great plugin and if you use it with Hiring Solved Search and Rai, you will be amazed how powerful combo you can get. (Not working anymore)
Hiretual – I like this plugin a lot, it’s very complex and you can see that they are adding new functionalities often.
Contactout – Simple and effective plugin with simple option how to save profiles on your Google Drive.
Jobjet – Great plugin and with their CRM system, you got a powerful tool.
Lusha – This plugin did not reveal more e-mails than others, but it showed me more phone numbers than other plugins.
Rocketreach – Interesting service also offering API so you can create your own tool.
Boolean assistant – Effective and simple plugin
People Search – People Search is a Chrome extension for candidate sourcing from Workable (great ATS).
All working e-mails
All functioning e-mails are all the private and company e-mails these plugins found. I tested these addresses, and if they worked, I added them into the graph.
I am using and testing many of these plugins regularly, and sometimes, the e-mail address that the plugin shows you for one person belongs to somebody else. So, remember, it’s wise to double check if the e-mail belongs to the right person.
This graph is only informative, because some people can use the company e-mail address as a primary e-mail for their LinkedIn account.
Results: All Plugins
And why didn’t I add any URL where you can download these plugins? I spent days of my free time to test them, so you can spend few minutes on Google to find them. And during the search, you will find more interesting plugins and discover more things.
How is the future going to look for these plugins?
More similar plugins will appear in the future, and it will be interesting to see how they will coexist with the LinkedIn and if LinkedIn will block them or at least will try to block them.
It will also be interesting how they will follow all the privacy regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) and other similar regulations in future.
One challenge will be to offer candidates the option to stop sharing their contact details through these apps and plugins. Right now, there is no way how to reach them all and tell them to hide or remove your e-mail address from their databases. (And if you are planning to use this idea for new startup you should give some big reward for it) 🙂
These plugins are great, but don’t rely solely on them. Contact details and e-mails are everywhere on the internet; you can use these plugins and try to learn how to create Custom Search Engine (CSE). You will need some time to master CSE and get on the level of CSE experts, like Irina Shamaeva or Mark Tortorici.
You can also learn how to find the contact details on people on Stack Overflow through this lesson.
These Chrome plugins are used for sourcing, but it could also be used for sales or marketing activities. I tested 50 random LinkedIn profiles to get these results. If you want to get more relevant results, I recommend testing at least on 500 profiles.
And every plugin has their own pluses and minuses. During this test, there was one candidate profile when the email was found only through Hiretual and Prophet plugin. For one profile, the only Prophet located the work e-mail, and others showed nothing. Every plugin I mentioned here is worth a try.
I am running more of these tests, and some plugins are more successful for some areas and locations than others. Don’t take all the results from this test as final, but test all these plugins. Try to test more of them and find the ones that are working for you. And if you are planning to do a similar test, share it with others.
These plugins offer free credits every month, but the Premium accounts give you not only more credits, but also more interesting analytics and tools. Moreover, the ROI from these plugins is also good.
If you use these plugins and you are planning to contact the candidate or potential client, you should run (every time) this three step checklist before you hit the send button.
- The candidate you are planning to approach is matching the requirements, you spent some time to learn more about him so the role you are offering will be benefit for that candidate?
- Are you sure?
- Are you really sure?
There are many tools out there you can use for finding contact details within few clicks, but it’s really essential to learn more about the person you will contact. We all should learn from people like Willem Wijnans, who are doing great work in this area and they are learning a lot about the candidates before they reach them.
The spray and pray sourcing method is not working anymore, so try not to spam others, even if you have an e-mail address.
Remember, it’s not about quantity, but about the quality and if your KPI is number of emails, inmails and Facebook messages you send per week, you should start thinking if you are working at the right place. Don’t forget that you are not representing only your company, but you are representing yourself, and it’s your work that people will remember.
Happy sourcing and please don’t spam!