Note: This article contains tip on how to find contact details of people using their domains. But even if you find the contact details, you do not have the right to spam them or bother them with every job opportunity. ALWAYS do your research about people before you approach them!
Finding contact details of people is easier now than it has been before. People are sharing more and more information and they have a large digital footprint on the internet. Many people own domain names and they are using them for private blogs, presentations, projects, companies, etc. And that’s great news for any recruiter/sourcer because with the right skills and enough time, you can find almost all contact details on the domain owner. Finding possible candidates with their personal contact details, especially if they are not on the LinkedIn, will always give you an advantage over your competitors.
What are gTLD and ccTLD?
Many people own domains like .COM or country domains, like .CZ, .SK, etc. You are mostly familiar with domain extensions like .COM, NET, .INFO, .EU etc, but beyond these “generic” top level domains called gTLDs, there are country code top level domains called ccTLDs. These ccTLDs represent specific countries: .BE (Belgium), .AT (Austria), etc. Every domain contains information about the owner — and that is what we are looking for.
What is WHOIS database?
WHOIS databases like whois.com give you the ability to lookup any generic domains — such as “google.com” — to find out the registered domain owner. It is basically search registry databases that store the addresses, emails and phone numbers of domain name owners. Lots of domains use their own databases (eg. EURid is database for .EU domains) or you can use websites like whois.com. But some sites are not going to show you the data that others do, so try more of them to see which one works the best.
Many .COM, .NET and other extensions offer protected registrations that are not traceable to their real owners. Some of them are also trying to obfuscate as much information as they can about the domain owner. Some countries like Britain and their .CO.UK addresses completely anonymize public information about owners. And you are not be able to trace the real owner, but some countries show their domain records publicly.
How does this domain sourcing works?
With the help of tools like SourcingLab (or you can use your own Boolean string), you can find the right candidate on sites like Stackoverflow. When you find a perfect candidate and they mention their domain name on their profile, you can get all their contact details pretty easily.
In the picture below, this developer is using a .EU domain (I changed it to a non-existent .eu domain and blacked out the really personal information, like the phone number and home address.)
When I visited his site, it was completely blank. The only thing there was an “Under Construction” message — no contact details at all.
So how can you get his contact details? The easy way is to visit Eurid (European Registry for a .EU domain), enter the domain name, and check out the results. With the help of EURid, you can find phone numbers and email addresses easily. This works for most other domains.
If you are looking for details from other domain extensions, you need to find the website of gTLD or ccTLD registrars. For .EU domains, you will need to use eg EURid, while for .SK domains, you will need to use SK-Nic. There are many websites like whois.com that you can use for .COM, .NET and other domain extensions.
Don’t forget that even if you find all these contact details you do not have the right to SPAM.
More and more domain owners are trying to hide their contact details from not only recruiters, but from various types of spammers and scammers. Some of them are using the option to hide their contact details, which looks like this.
Some domain providers offer not to disclose any data, but some domains don’t have this option. If owners want to hide their details, they need to use WhoisGuard Privacy Protection. This service removes much of the personal info from the publicly accessible WHOIS database and insures the owner’s privacy online. But not every domain has the opportunity to hide contact details and not every user turns this on. This is good news for recruiters/sourcers!
There are also other ways how to get the contact details when the domain owner is hidden behind WhoisGuard or they are trying to hide personal details through some other service. The chance to get the number or email is lower because you will not succeed every time. However, with time and knowledge, these contact details could be revealed.
(In the picture below you can see the contact details on the domain owner from the picture above)
Originally published at LinkedIn