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OSINT, recruiting and personal brand building – interview with Jan Tegze

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As uncertainty and bad news continue to plague the general tech & IT sector (which includes us, people working in OSINT), I want to kick off the new year with a conversation with the one and only Jan Tegze, the author of Full Stack Recruiter and Job Search Guide.

Jan is a prominent figure amongst various communities of recruiters and sourcers (one of whom told me about him and recommended Full Stack Recruiter to me, which I read). Jan is also an OSINT enthusiast and part of his book is dedicated to various OSINT techniques that he himself uses to find suitable candidates for employment.

Check out this interview for his takes and opinions and also take a look at the books linked below if you want to know how recruiters operate (and how they should operate, according to best practices and standards), as well as how to get yourself a new exciting job, in 2023 and beyond.

Continuously seeking new ways to find candidates and improve recruitment processes is what drives my passion for OSINT and recruitment.

Who is Jan Tegze and how did you get to where you are now professionally?

I’m a professional with a lot of different hats – I’m a talent acquisition leader, a sourcer/recruiter, a blogger, sourcing/recruitment trainer, career coach, speaker, and an author. My focus is on recruitment and leadership, and I have experience in recruiting and sourcing people from all around the world. In a nutshell, I’m someone who loves writing and is interested in sourcing, recruitment, and OSINT tools.

What made you choose your career path and how did OSINT fit into those choices?

My life has been filled with many interesting coincidences, and I stumbled upon the field of recruitment by accident. Since then, I have been constantly seeking new ways to find candidates, their contact information and improve recruitment/sourcing processes. OSINT and sourcing are closely related, as sourcers and recruiters often use the information discovered by the OSINT community to locate potential candidates.

At present, is OSINT a hobby of yours or does it have a more professional angle?

My job involves sourcing and finding candidates, which is close to OSINT methods. While sourcing is part of my job, OSINT is more of a hobby for me. I love finding new ways to find people and I enjoy using different OSINT techniques to do it. Of course, not in some creepy way. It’s important to follow the law and protect people’s privacy, and be in compliance with GDPR.

I also like creating new training games on Sourcing.Games for the recruitment community to improve their skills. It’s really exciting for me to use OSINT tools and cutting-edge methods to take sourcing to the next level.

What is your OSINT setup and what would you recommend to others?

As I am not OSINT pro, my setup is quite basic, a few virtual OSs, several sock puppets etc.

  • OS: Buscador, Kali Linux
  • Apps: Shodan, Maltego, VirtualBox, Authy
  • Browsers: Brave, Firefox, Epic
  • VPN: NordVPN, Proton, etc.

You wrote two books that touch on open source intelligence collection methods and techniques. What are the key takeaways from those books for an OSINT practitioner?

I actually wrote three books called “Full Stack Recruiter”, the latest one called Full Stack Recruiter: The Ultimate Edition, which aims to provide recruiters and talent acquisition professionals with a comprehensive understanding of the recruitment process, from sourcing and attracting candidates to closing deals.

As such, the key takeaways for an OSINT practitioner might include: The value of using various sourcing channels and techniques, including social media, job boards, and employee referrals. And strategies for using data and analytics to inform recruitment decisions and measure success.

Overall, “Full Stack Recruiter” emphasizes the importance of being proactive, strategic, and data-driven in the recruitment process, which can be useful for OSINT practitioners looking to apply these principles to their own work.

Full Stack Recruiter OSINT
(wholeheartedly recommended by Osint Me!)

As a recruiter, what could you advise somebody who is looking for a job in the field of OSINT?

Networking and building your online presence are two crucial things you should do!

Attend industry conferences, join relevant online communities, and actively seek out opportunities to connect with others in the field. These connections can be valuable resources for learning about new job openings and getting recommendations for opportunities.

In addition to networking, it’s important to contribute to the community by sharing your knowledge and expertise. This not only helps others, but it can also draw attention to your skills and potentially lead to new job opportunities.

If you’re having trouble finding a job, consider reading my book, “Job Search Guide,” which provides valuable tips and strategies for a successful job search.

What are the boundaries of OSINT in your view? Especially when it comes to the dos and don’ts in recruiting?

I view the boundaries of OSINT as being largely determined by laws, regulations, and ethical considerations. In terms of recruiting, it is important to respect the privacy and data protection rights of candidates, as well as the confidentiality of sensitive company information.

Some specific dos and don’ts in recruiting related to OSINT might include: Don’t use OSINT to gather sensitive or personal information about candidates without their consent. Don’t use OSINT to stalk or harass candidates and don’t use OSINT to gather inappropriate or irrelevant information about a candidate.

Overall, it is important to use OSINT in a responsible and ethical manner when recruiting, and to respect the boundaries of what is appropriate to gather and use in the hiring process.

As somebody who has built a successful and recognisable personal brand, what could you advise to those who are only starting out?

If you’re just starting out, a great way to get ahead is to learn from those who have already achieved what you want to achieve. Seek out inspiration and guidance from experienced professionals, and don’t be afraid to create your own unique style and voice as you build your skills and knowledge.

Remember that success doesn’t happen overnight – it takes hard work, dedication, and time to build the foundation for a strong professional brand. What people see is the current status of those who have put in the effort, but it’s the countless hours of work and years of experience that have allowed them to get to where they are today.

Don’t be discouraged by setbacks – keep working towards your goals and you will eventually achieve the success you desire.

Job search guide Jan Tegze

In recent months the tech sector has been continuously getting rocked by the news of layoffs. What advice do you have who anybody who was recently laid off?

Losing a job can be a difficult and stressful experience, so give yourself permission to feel sad, angry, or anxious, but try not to get stuck in those emotions for too long. Instead, try to stay positive and focus on the opportunities that the future may hold. Updating your resume, LinkedIn, and networking are key steps in finding a new job.

You can also consider learning a new skill or technology that’s in high demand to make yourself more valuable to potential employers. And, consider taking advantage of any additional resources such as, Job Search Guide: Be Your Own Career Coach book.

While the vast majority of the online OSINT community interactions are positive and constructive, there are sadly cases of plagiarism, stealing content, impersonation and other similar breaches of the community ethos. What is your experience with this kind of behaviour?

Many people are lured by the prospect of achieving fame and success without putting in the necessary work, which is why they resort to copying and pasting the content of others and passing it off as their own.

This lack of effort is often transparent over time, and those who seek quick fame through these dishonest methods will eventually be exposed as outcasts. This type of content stealing is unfortunately common in the recruitment field, and I have personally experienced my own work (articles, LinkedIn posts, and parts of my book) being presented as the work of others.

It’s important to remember that genuine success and credibility come from creating and sharing original, high-quality content, and not from shortcuts or stealing the ideas of others.

How do you go about verifying if the content your read was not plagiarised? And what steps do you take to see if anybody is stealing your posts?

If you’re reading something and wondering whether the content you’re reading is plagiarized, you have one surefire way to find out: use a plagiarism detection tool like, Grammarly or any other reliable application.

I personally use at least four different tools every time I publish a new book, to ensure that all the content is original and properly sourced. And the same tools that help me to check if I’m not using text that is not mine also help me to see if somebody is not sharing my content on their site.

What is the most effective reaction to having your online content pirated?

Instead of just sitting around and letting someone else profit off your hard work, you should take action!

You have a few options at your disposal. First, try reaching out to them and politely ask them to take down your content. If that doesn’t work, consider calling them out on social media to bring attention to the issue. If all else fails, you can submit a DMCA request or even take legal action.

But before you do any of that, make sure to gather evidence by taking screenshots of the stolen content. Remember, people who steal content on social media platforms risk having their accounts suspended or removed. While it’s unfortunate that some people continue to steal content, many will stop once they realize that you’re aware of their actions.

Care to make any predictions (OSINT-related or just in general) for 2023?

Looking into the future is always a thrilling adventure, but it is like predicting the weather, you never guess is right. But let me try that: With tensions running high in Ukraine, it’s no surprise that more and more people are turning to OSINT to get the inside scoop. But with ChatGPT and other tools, I expect that these things will shape the industry for years to come.

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