How to Search FEC.gov for Passive Candidates
Whenever I am working on a search, I try to identify passive candidates by using unusual sources of information. In particular, when sourcing for candidates, I’ve come to appreciate government databases that I first used as a journalist.
That’s because LinkedIn does not give executive recruiters and candidate sourcers a competitive advantage. No doubt, it is a must-have recruiting resource for candidate sourcing. It is filled with an endless supply of low-hanging fruit. Yet every passive candidate that you find on LinkedIn is discoverable by your competitors.
When you turn to other sources besides LinkedIn, you are setting a strategy to boldly go where your competitors do not.
Become a Sourcing Contrarian
In other words, when you search outside LinkedIn, you are setting a strategy to uncover star executive talent that your competitors have not yet discovered.
Search the Deep Web for Passive Candidates
In other words, the information that search engines return has to be there to begin with. So it is not too surprising that you’ll find little about star executives and technologists at highly secretive corporations that include Apple. Secretive companies intentionally keep some of their best talent under wraps. You won’t find them mentioned in articles, on corporate websites, or as speakers at conferences. The best-of-the best-talent at secretive companies, your ideal passive candidates, are encouraged to stay on the down-low.
There are other reasons you will not find the best-of-the-best with simple web searches.
- Sometimes a senior executive claims credit for innovations created by his underlings.
- Sometimes a gifted executive or technologist doesn’t have time to step into the limelight by giving speeches at conferences.
- Sometimes the CEO serves as the primary spokesman for the company, leaving brilliant talent in the shadows.
All of the above possibilities can cause outstanding candidates to remain off-radar unless you do your candidate sourcing off the beaten path.
source passive candidates on FEC.gov
Let me repeat:
- The FEC captures Name, Title, and Company
- The FEC captures that information for every person who donates to a federal election.
How to search FEC.gov for your next hire
- Type the web address into your Internet browser: www.fec.gov
- Click on the “Campaign Finance Data”
- Click on “Look up contributions from specific individuals”
On the Individual Contributors page:
- On the left sidebar, click on the plus (+) sign to open Contributor Details
In the Contributor Details section:
- Enter the name of the company you want to source for candidates in “Employer”.
ask, “Where’s the data?”
When starting a search, ask yourself what government agencies have dealings with the company that you are sourcing for candidates. Ask what government agencies might intersect with employees at your target companies. Next, check to see if the government data exists online. The FEC is a great place to start.
The nice thing about checking government records is that so many of them exist. Just think about the points of contact any individual has with the government: voter registration, driver’s licenses, divorce court, and the IRS. Every time we collide with a government agency a record is created. Only this time, the government’s famed bureaucratic red tape works in our favor. The information can be used to gain a competitive advantage in finding passive candidates.
For more tips on candidate sourcing, check out our blog post How to Crush Candidate Sourcing.