Since 1983 I have been creating a database of people in the markets defined on the Industry Focus page. To date there are about 16,000 people, in 5,000 companies and of course those numbers grow every day as contacts are made and referrals are obtained for current searches.
The way I use this information involves some unique and sophisticated software that links people (candidates), companies, and jobs that they (candidates) have been considered for in the past. Time and time again this database has proven to contain the person I am looking for, or will lead me to the right person by receiving a referral from someone in the database. It is truly the essence of networking.
After I have a good understanding of what the job is I perform a “search” of the database using a coding process that qualifies each of the 16,000+ candidates. This takes about 10 minutes, a process that used to take several hours and involved glancing through hundreds of resumes and/or profiles.
As inquiries are made to the resulting list (first generation names), and names of referrals (second generation names) are obtained, the information on these new candidates are added to the database for current and future use. Second generation names, of course, also lead to third generation names, which in turn lead to fourth generation names… well you get the idea.
Once in a while the person you are looking for is a first generation name, but most of the time first generation names lead me to the best candidate.