Couchsurfing, a secret sourcing channel to spot foreign speakers

You’ve got to search where your candidates hang out… this evergreen sourcing advice cannot be more true if you need to find foreign language speaker agents or operators in a small city or village. The challenge with these assignments usually is that these folks are either not present (or not active enough) on LinkedIn (or you search in a country where LinkedIn is not yet supporting city or county searches), and Facebook is still not searchable against language capabilities. Then what? The two social network giants are out…

I’ve recently discovered the place where foreign people (mainly students and former graduates) often leave another piece of their digital footprint. In other words: they create a new online profile for themselves and add their name, nationality, language capabilities and so. Guess what is this “place“?

Yes, these are those websites where students (and other foreign citizens) are looking for rooms or apartments in a foreign location! One of the biggest of these sites is couchsurfing.com.

On couchsurfing.com you create a profile in both cases: if you are a tenant or you are a renter. When creating a new profile you naturally add your language capabilities as you wanna make sure that you will understand your tenant/renter and that information is surprisingly still publicly available.

Check a profile like this: https://www.couchsurfing.com/people/andrin-tema. You’ll see that this gent is native Albanian but also speaks English and learns French and German. But there is more… you see his full name, age, his current job title, university… WOW! He currently lives in Krakow, Poland – and he is just one of the other 39,000 in Krakow that are also having a profile on couchsurfing.com.

The actual sourcing beauty just comes right now… when you click on “Find a host” a list of potential hosts will be displayed (in case of Krakow, Poland it’s 39,000+ people!). And this list… you didn’t dare to dream about it… no… I’m just too excited to tell you!

This list is absolutely scrapable!!!

You can easily build a DataMiner recipe on it (even the Navigation tab works like a dream) and you can scrape thousands and thousands of foreign language speaker people from this website. Isn’t it amazing?! 

After scraping this information you can sort the language capabilities in Excel or whatever other information you wanna use in your search.

Hope you enjoyed this piece of new research info.

Happy Sourcing, my friend!

Header photo by Jason Abdilla on UnsplashCopy

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