The power of automation in sourcing and recruitment

How to maximize your efficiency

Adriaan Kolff
15 min readSep 8, 2020


Everything that is repetitive can be automated….

In this article I will show you what tools you can use to automate parts of your work as a sourcer or recruiter in order to to massively improve your efficiency.

Why is this article useful for you:

1. You will understand the advantages and disadvantages of automation

2. You will learn what the best tools are on the market

3. You will learn example applications of tooling

4. You will learn a step by step approach to quickly go through hundreds of profiles

5. You will learn how to send personalized messages at scale

This article will show you:

1. Advantages and disadvantages of automation

2. What tools you can use to make your sourcing and recruiting easier

3. How to send personalized messages at scale

Note to reader: this article has been written by a human 🙋‍♂️.

1. The advantages and disadvantages of automation

There are some clear advantages and disadvantages when you automate your sourcing and recruitment activities. In this section I will address them.


There are three clear advantages when you automate parts of your sourcing or recruitment process.

1. Speed: steps that would take you minutes if not hours can be automated and done in seconds. 💨

2. Time: as a logical consequence you will not only be faster at what you do but you will save a lot of time that you can spend on tasks that can’t be automated. ⏱️

3. Eliminate repetitive tasks: automation allows you to have a robot do your repetitive and often boring tasks even when you are asleep. 😴


1. Robot: Ever called a customer support line that drags you through a ‘choice’ menu in which you need to state your reason to call and it takes forever to get to talk to an actual human? Exactly, people don’t like to talk to robots. 🤖

2. Creative: it is hard to be creative when you automate your sourcing and recruitment process because everything needs to go through the exact same steps. 🎨

3. Control: By automating steps in your sourcing and recruitment process you can save a lot of time but at the same time you do give up a certain amount of control. If something breaks down in your process you can end up sending hundreds if not thousands of people the wrong information. The case below is a clear example of this. 🕹️

Sending the same message 3 times in seconds to hundreds of people 🤦

2. What tools you can use to make your sourcing and recruiting easier

There are so many amazing tools on the market that can help you be more efficient in every single step of the sourcing and recruitment process. At MatcHR we constantly test new tools and below we have listed our favourite tools that we actually tested and use.

Tools for automated LinkedIn messaging

There are a lot of tools to send automated connection requests and messages to LinkedIn contacts. We have listed our top three below.

Dux Soup

Dux Soup lets you send automated messages via LinkedIn, make connections with people outside of your network and can even start drip campaigns with automated follow up messages.

Dux soup offers a free version, a pro version for EUR 9,92 and a turbo version for EUR 36,25 (what’s up with the big price increase Dux Soup?)


Phantombuster is an automation tool that allows you to scrape and automate many activities on the larger social media platforms including Instagram, Medium and LinkedIn.

Phantombuster enables you to send LinkedIn connection requests and messages to a predefined target list similar to Dux Soup. The advantage that Phantombuster has over Dux Soup, is that it enables you to automate many activities on LinkedIn and combine different steps. Secondly, it integrates well with Google Sheet and it created a workflow for you to keep track on who responds on your automated connection requests.

The downside of Phantombuster over Dux Soup is that it is relatively slow compared to Dux Soup and Dux Soup is easier to set up.

Phantombuster is free for the first 14 days and after you need to pay $30 per month to use it for an hour per day.

This is the most sophisticated tool and also the most expensive tool. Expandi does everything that Dux Soup does but they have created a dashboard to keep track of your activities and follow ups. If you have multiple LinkedIn accounts you can use them in Expandi and they integrate with the larger CRM systems. costs $99 per month (say what? 💸)

Tools for scraping

Instant data scraper

Instant data scraper is the Volkswagen Golf under the scrapers. Easy to drive, affordable but nobody will turn its head when you drive by. You don’t have to understand anything about scraping for Instant Data Scraper to work for you. Just download the chrome plug in, click on the extension of Instant Data Scraper and see if it’s able to scrape the site you are visiting. If not, it’s time to use Data Miner.

Instant data scraper is free

Data Miner

Data miner is a little more advanced compared to Instant Data Scraper.

Next to pre defined scrape ‘recipes’ (scripts) it enables you to create your own recipe and scrape a website. It does take a few hours of watching tutorials to understand how to make Data Miner work but it is definitely worth the effort. The first time it works it does feel pretty bad ass and works well with other sourcers/recruiters to show off :). It’s like driving a Jaguar. Some people will actually turn their heads when you drive by.

Data miner is free


Yes Phantombuster again and you will see even more of Phantombuster .

Phantombuster allows you to scrape social media platforms like Instagram, Medium, Google Maps, Facebook and of course LinkedIn.

Especially their ability to scrape data from LinkedIn makes it a very powerful scraping tool.

Phantombuster is able to scrape data from LinkedIn Groups (useful for finding relevant candidates or research), scrape all publicly available data from a LinkedIn profile including a printscreen of someone’s LinkedIn profile.

Phantombuster is free for the first 14 days and after you need to pay $30 per month to use it for an hour per day.

Tools for email follow up


Trinsly has been created by David Kim who is a developer but also worked as an IT recruiter for a while (yes they exist). Based on his experience, and what he was lacking he created Trinsly.

Trinlsy is an automated email follow up tool integrated with LinkedIn. It allows you to send automated email follow up messages to candidates or prospects directly from LinkedIn. It keeps track of your conversions and you can send bulk email campaigns as well.

Trinsly has offered a free 30 day trial if you mention MatcHR and a 20% discount on the $49 you pay per user.


Where Trinsly is really focused on sourcers and recruiters Lemlist is really focused on sales.

The advantage of Lemlist over Trinsly is that it allows great visual personalization in your email templates. Especially their ability to create personalized landing pages with a video message is unrivaled. Lemlist has a great newsletter and Facebook group where users actively share their best practices.

You can try Lemlist for free for 2 weeks. They have 3 plans Silver $29 per user per month, $49 per user per month which allows for personalized images and $99 per user per month which allows dynamic landing pages and video integration.

Tools for contact finding

There are so many contact finding tools on the market that it is hard to see on what they differ. We have selected three tools that we know bring results.


Our favorite tool. The reasons is simple, SalesQL integrates with LinkedIn Sales Navigator and it enables you to scrape up to 1.000 candidates in minutes including their personal and business email addresses.

SalesQL is free for the first 100 credits, it’s cheapest plan is $39 for 1.500 contacts and $89 for 10.000 contacts.


Contactout claims that 30% of recruiters of Fortune 500 companies use Contactout. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing ;). Anyway it is straightforward and finds you email addresses straight from LinkedIn.

Free — First 100 searches, Paid plans start at $19/month and are mostly negotiated per user.


One of the best tools to find personal email addresses but also one of the most expensive tools. With 100 credits for $69 (aaaai) and only offers 5 free credits per month (come on guys!)

Tools for automation

Okay this whole article is about ‘automation’ and the tools mentioned above play a role in making your life easier. However there are two tools that truly stand out from the rest.


Where to start with Zapier. Arguably the mother of all automation tools in sourcing and recruitment. Zapier enables you to connect tools that on it’s own are not connected. See it as the bridge you need to cross to go from point A to B. To give you a few examples.

Someone fills a form in on your website. Zapier enables you to transfer this data directly to your CRM.

Someone filled in a form in Typeform, Google Forms. Zapier transfers your data to your CRM

Someone connects with you on LinkedIn. Zapier can transfer the email details to your CRM (Lemlist for example) and transfer this data to your FB group

There are over 2.000 “Zap’s” and once you get the hang of it Zapier is a tremendous time saviour.

Zapier is free for the first 5 zap’s you use but if you want to combine multiple Zap’s you pay $20 per month for 20 zap’s up till $599 for unlimited Zap’s for your company.


Here we go again but Phantombuster is just such a versatile tool that it is worth to mention Phantombuster once more.

If only the team of Phantombuster would respond on all the free publicity I bring them 🥺.

3. How to search and send personalized messages at scale

The tradeoff that sourcers and recruiters constantly need to make is to either focus on quantity or quality. Reaching out to hundreds of people doesn’t allow any sort of personalization where writing personalized emails every single time can quickly turn into an inefficient process.

In the section below I will show you a step by step approach how you can search through hundreds of candidates, filter out false positives, send emails and connections requests that feel (very) personal at scale without ever checking a single LinkedIn profile… 🚀🚀.

Thanks to Marcel van der Meer and Mike Cohen for helping me set up this automation and process.

The end result will look like this:

If you look closely you will see that this is a screenshot of someone’s LinkedIn profile 📸

Key summary process

1. You run a search in LinkedIn

2. You scrape your search results with SalesQL and enrich your search with email addresses

3. You filter out false positives

4. You upload your search result in Phantombuster and scrape all publicly available data from your candidates LinkedIn profiles including LinkedIn screenshots

5. You filter out false positives using Google sheets

6. You upload the candidates you want to reach out to in Dux Soup and send automated connection requests

7. You check the email addresses for deliverability with Bouncer

8. You upload the candidates you want to reach out to in Lemlist and send semi personalized emails including someone’s LinkedIn screenshot

9. Book a holiday 🏖️ ;)

Step 1. LinkedIn search

Run a Boolean search in LinkedIn. Make sure to really check whether you are finding the right candidates. Garbage in, is garbage out. We use LinkedIn Sales Navigator because it is the cheapest version of LinkedIn with very similar features as Recruiter Lite and it has the most integration options with tools like Phantombuster and SalesQL.

Run a search in LinkedIn

Step 2. SalesQL

SalesQL enables you to scrape your search results from LinkedIn directly into a spreadsheet in a matter of minutes. Up to a 1.000 profiles at the same time.

Below an example of the results.

This is what the results look like from a scrape with SalesQL

Step 3. Filter out false positives

SalesQL provides some basic information that allows you to filter out the first false positives of your search. In this example I am looking for a Sr. Sourcer from MatcHR so I want to eliminate people that don’t have anything to do with sourcing before I move on.

Step 4. Scrape all publicly available data with Phantombuster including screenshots

After you have created your Phantombuster account and downloaded their Chrome plug in you need to use the Phantom “LinkedIn profile scraper” for this automation. Click on “Use this Phantom”.

Use this Phantom 👻

Once you have clicked on “Use this Phantom” you will go to the screen below. You need to click on “connect to LinkedIn” to give Phantombuster access to your LinkedIn account.

Click on “connect to LinkedIn” (in red)

The second step is to make sure that all your candidates LinkedIn URL’s, from your SalesQL results, are in a Google drive sheet and that you make this Google Drive spreadsheet ‘editable’ for everyone.

Copy paste the URL of your spreadsheet into the field of “Spreadsheet URL”.

Your next step is to click on ‘advanced settings’. This will open up a dropdown menu that looks like the image below.

You can scrape a maximum number of 100 profiles per time. On average it takes Phantombuster around 10 minutes to scrape 30 profiles including their partial screenshot. If you are on the free version keep it therefore under 30 profiles per time.

Make sure that in your advanced setting the “Take a partial size screenshot of the profile” is checked.

Give your resulting CSV file a name click “save”.

After you clicked “save” you will go to a follow up screen in which you can select whether you want to run this phantom ‘manually’ or repeatedly. If you have a larger data set you want Phantombuster to run in the background and you can select repeatedly. Since Phantombuster runs in the cloud you can even go to sleep and Phantombuster does the work for you :). How about that for automation… 🦾

Click on safe and keep notifications in the next screen on any preference you like. I always keep it at none.

You are all set to start scraping all publicly available information from your prospects’ LinkedIn profile. Just click launch and let Phantombuster do the work for you.

You can find your results under the ‘download all’ button and by clicking the CSV file you will be able to extract your results. Under “Files” on the right you can find your download.

After you unpacked your CSV file your results will look like this and you need to look for the column “imgURL” (this is the profile picture) and the column with the title “partialScreenshot” (this is the partial screenshot of your prospects LinkedIn account).

Look for the columns “imgUrl” and “particalScreenshot”

Step 5. Filter out false positives

Now that you have scraped dozens if not hundreds of LinkedIn profiles it is time to, once again, filter out false positives. In order to avoid that you have to go through each LinkedIn profile you can filter out false positives using this hack.

Add a filter to the spreadsheet and filter out false positives by filtering on:

· Job title

· Company (current or previous)

· Years of experience (filter on column on “school date range” to get an estimation of years of experience)

· Years at current company (filter on column “job date range”)

· Location (this can be misleading because not everyone updates their location)

· Other (skills, endorsements)

Once you have eliminated the false positives copy paste the columns that you want to use for your outreach campaigns to a new excel / Google Spreadsheet which you will use to outreach via Dux Soup and Lemlist.

Step 6. Connect at scale with Dux Soup

After you have filtered out the false positives it’s time to start reaching out at scale. Dux Soup enables you to do this fast and efficiently.

Create a CSV file with at least the LinkedIn URL and First name of the candidate you want to reach out to.

Create a connection request that doesn’t exceed 300 characters. You can use different place holders in your connection request like a reference to someone’s company or location.

Type in the message box your connection request and click on ‘revisit data’ for the next step

Once you have created this message, upload your CSV file in Dux Soup by clicking at the bottom “revisit data” and upload your CSV file here.

Create a CSV file, upload this to Dux Soup and automatically start connecting

And hit send and sit back and let Dux Soup do the work for you.

Actual footage…

Step 7. Check for email deliverability with Bouncer

Before you start sending out any emails check whether the email addresses SalesQl found actually exist. You can use tools like Bouncer or Zerobounce. I personally use Bouncer and if you use this code “MATCHR” you can get a 10% discount on the credits that you buy. The first 1.000 credits are for free.

Step 8. Send personalized emails at scale with Lemlist

Lemlist is an email automation tool that offers great personalisation options to send out personalised emails at scale. You can try Lemlist for free for the first 14 days but in order to send videos you need to switch to their most premium package of $99 per month 💸. Despite the costs I highly recommend to use Lemlist because of its powerful personalisation options.

From the same candidate excel / Google Spreadsheet file you can now copy paste the data you want to upload to Lemlist. Make sure to include the printscreen of someone’s LinkedIn profile. Make sure that you do run through your placeholders to check for ‘normal’ names and titles.

Example of a CSV file with placeholders and under ‘Icebreaker’ the LinkedIn profile screenshots

“Sourcing Ninja / Boolean hacker / Speaker” is “Sourcing Ninja”

“Accenture consultancy services” is “Accenture”

“Adriaan 🚀 🚀” is “Adriaan”

Create an outreach template in Lemlist. Try to put as many placeholders in your outreach template to make it feel personal and authentic but don’t overdo it. Create an image template of a picture of yourself pointing to the LinkedIn print screen of the candidate you are reaching out to.

We are actually looking for Sr. Sourcers at MatcHR🔎 :)

The candidate will get to see a (very) personal message with his/her own LinkedIn profile, a reference to her job, company and to the city she lives 😱. Pretty personal for a ‘standard’ message right :)?

The email that a candidate will receive
The email zoomed in with the candidates LinkedIn profile

Create several follow up templates.

Example of a follow up template

And hit send!

9. Book a holiday 🏖️

I wish this was true. Unfortunately it doesn’t stop here because you need to start replying to all those candidates that keep coming back to you :).

Final thoughts

If you are new to these tools it will take you some time to figure out all the steps. Once you are familiar with these tools and techniques you will be able to go through hundreds of profiles per day and send personalized connection requests and emails at scale.

If used well, automation can save you tremendous amount of time, massively improve your efficiency and eliminate repetitive tasks.

If you are not a bot and have made it all the way to the end of this article you can help me by given this article some claps 👏 and share it via social media and email 🙏🏻.

This article was written by Adriaan Kolff, based on his presentation at “MatcHR’s Sourcing Webinars: How to turn people into candidates”. Adriaan is the Co-Founder of MatcHR and an actual human being .

👉 A small note about me. I am Adriaan Kolff, an actual human being 🙋‍♂️, and I am the Co-Founder of MatcHR.

At MatcHR we believe that talent is distributed equally but opportunity is not. We help companies unlock global (tech) talent by offering sourcing and recruitment on a subscription based model or help them hire remote tech talent in Ukraine.

Interested to hear how we work for companies like TikTok,, Mollie? Just send me a message on or connect with me on LinkedIn.



Adriaan Kolff

Co-founder of MatcHR, investor, entrepreneur. I write about entrepreneurship, recruitment & productivity. Follow me here or on LinkedIn.