Dean Da Costa

Strategic Sourcing and Research Technologist at a Fortune 100 company in the Seattle area


photo of Dean Da Costa

Da Costa is a decorated veteran and recognized sourcing expert with more than 20 years of experience. He writes The Search Authority, one of the most influential blogs in the business.

Da Costa began his career while in the military, connecting the dots from resume writing to making employer contacts for fellow service members who were entering civilian life.

A master of multitasking, he has five computers in his office, each one running a different program and each program searching for various kinds of candidates.

He is a prolific writer, re-poster and tweeter. In 2009, he had about 10 followers on Twitter and 100 connections on LinkedIn. Today, he has nearly 64,000 Twitter followers and more than 500 connections on LinkedIn. He also has a presence on Facebook and Google Plus.

His Process

You can’t find something if you don’t know what you’re looking for. To start any hiring project, you need to first develop an in-depth, holistic understanding of the position. For example, when I did my first search for a role that required expertise in “big data,” I explored everything from the meaning of the term in relation to the field and the position to the details of the required skill set and its subsets to determine where and how to look for a candidate.

How He Finds Talent

I go as deep as I can to gather information. On LinkedIn, you can do a search and get 40 pages of returns. Ninety percent of all recruiters don’t go beyond page 20—but they should. It’s a fallacy that LinkedIn brings back the results in order of the most qualified. The site lists in order of the number of times the search words appear in a profile, so someone on page 40 may be more ideal for a position than someone on page 11.

How He Reels Them In

You have to go beyond job requirements. Once I found a great match for an open position but I knew the candidate had been approached by other sourcers and never responded. So I did some research on social sites and found that he was a comic book fan. So am I. I contacted him on a Monday to talk about comic books. By Tuesday we were jibber-jabbering, and by Wednesday he had checked out my LinkedIn profile. He asked if I was going to recruit him and I said, “No, I’m here about the comic books.” I kept the conversation going long enough for him to get curious and ask about what I was working on. It was an effective strategy. He took the job with my company.


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