Xing works in many ways similar to LinkedIn. So if you have a basic understanding of advanced operators and know how to search LinkedIn you will learn quickly how to use XING for sourcing. Your major difficulty might turn out to be the current lack of American users, since most XING users speak German (currently 88,3 %) as their mothertongue, followed by Turkish (2,2 %) English (1,3 %) Spanish (1,2 %) and Chinese (1,2 %) . However lots of these do speak decent English, so that it's a very interesting social network for international recruiters. A mighty advantage in comparison to LinkeIn is the fact that there are no restrictions regarding the contacting of other members. Furthermore a premium account is available for only six Euros per month.
You can search XING for candidates either by screening the candidates profiles and/ or by screening group discussions using the following techniques:
screening XING with the x-ray technique (Googles site: command)
to search profiles use strings along the following principle :
site:xing.com inurl:profile intext:keyword1 AND keyword2 AND keyword3
to search for groups on a subject of your choice use strings along the following principle :
site:xing.com inurl:net intext:keyword
alternative string: keyword site:xing.com inurl:net (will return more, but less precise results)
to search group discussions in a specific group for a subject of your choice use strings along the following principle :
site:xing.com inurl:forum intitle:group name intext:keyword1 (AND keyword2)
alternative string: keyword (AND keyword2) site:xing.com inurl:forum intitle:group title
for more precise results use this string (which excludes all discussion overview pages):
site:xing.com inurl:forum intitle:(group title AND “Article thread”) intext:keyword
in order to exclude results use the minus-operator.
screening XING using the XING basic" search
You find the the basic search box in the top right hand corner of the screen:
The XING search engine allows the following operators:
operator:finds profiles containing…:
sourcing the keyword “sourcing”
sourcing AND recruiting both “sourcing” and “recruiting”
sourcing swimming “sourcing” and “recruiting” (default operator)
“sourcing is fun” the exact phrase “sourcing is fun”
sourcing OR recruiting either "sourcing" or "recruiting" or both
sourcing -recruiting “sourcing” but not “recruiting”
NOTE: Strings with more than two operators won't work as reliable as if applied on web search engines. Thus for more
complex search queries you should use the advanced search.
screening XING using the XING advanced search
You find the advanced search box below the simple search box in the top right hand corner of the screen. It offers a lot more options than the basic search, the following screenshot will give you a first impression :
As you can see, the first box of the advanced search is that of the basic search described above. Only this time you can choose whether you want to search all of XING, my contacts up to 2nd degree or my contacts only.
Besides that the query form is split into the three blocks Person, Business and Location & Membership
Experience has taught that it's best to start your search by typing your keyword (job title) in the current position and/ or in the Person has box. You can use complex strings in each field using the operators AND, OR, * and "". When using the inverted commas to search for phrases make sure to connect the single keywords either with a hyphen or with an underscore. That way you get better results compared to just using a space.
Always make sure to enter precise queries because XING only displays the first 300 results.
Tip: Xing offers you the option of setting up a search agent which will automatically notify you about newly added profiles matching your search!
screening XING using the XING power search
In addition to the advanced search XING offers a so-called power-search. It offers a number of interesting pre-defined search queries, for example "Members who recently visited my profile", "Members whose wants match my haves", "Members whose haves match my wants". Besides the last two none of the other is especially useful for sourcing purposes.
screening XING using the XING group search
At last the Xing group search allows you to run a search on whole groups or a search restricted to either articles in general or your article in particular:
The XING group search supports the operators AND, OR, "" (phrases) and * (wildcard). According to our experience it is not possible to exclude keywords using the minus-operator. Due to this restriction and because XING seems to display only the articles of the last six month when searching its groups, it is a lot more practical to use Googles site: command. If you do so, make sure to use the incache: link instead of the actual result link in order to prevent yourself from an error message.
So that is pretty much all there is to know about sourcing on XING. If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.
This is really very helpful!
I still believe you have to be a paid member though to have all the search features, I also working on some Asia Pacific roles so I wanted to have someone's opinion who has extensively used it.