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What is ZoomInfo?

ZoomInfo is a free people search engine that scours the Web information related to people and business. Trying to find people using a general search engine such as Google brings back a ton of results, however, those results can take a while to filter through and they're not always good. ZoomInfo takes care of this problem by focussing in one niche: people.

This service takes searching for people on the Web to a whole new level; by using a combination of various technologies to crawl the Web (Web sites, press releases, electronic news services, SEC filings, etc. - from the About Page), ZoomInfo organizes all the information about people into a readable, sensible format - profiles that can also be searched within ZoomInfo by corporate headhunters.

How to Search

There are really two separate groups of people that ZoomInfo is primarily aimed at, and that would be searchers who are looking either for themselves or various people in their lives (friends, family, colleagues, etc.), or human resources type folks who are looking to recruit their next employee. I'll take a look at these two disparate groups separately.

Finding People

Using ZoomInfo to find people is simple - just navigate to the home page and type in a name. Similarly, you can also look up company information by clicking on the "Company" text link above the main search query bar.

Now, of course, I looked for my name. Seven results came back, with the fifth one being most accurate.

My profile had a couple of different links on there; mostly to blogs and Web sites that have cited me in some way. I was given the chance to edit my profile; this is where I could add a lot more to my ZoomInfo profile (and make it searchable by Google as well).

Obviously the more of a Web presence that you have, the more information is going to be here about you. For instance, Bill Gates has a pretty extensive profile, as does Steve Jobs.

If you would like to add more information to what ZoomInfo most likely already has about you, registration is free and only takes a minute. More detailed information about people and organizations can also be found by upgrading to a premium subscription; however, unless you really plan on using this a LOT I wouldn't necessarily suggest that you upgrade (it would be more appropriate for HR folks, in my opinion).

Find An Employee

ZoomInfo offers Power Search as a great way to find employees - and according to their information, a lot of companies do use it: "(our customers) include over 20% of the Fortune 500, 9 of the top 10 executive recruiting firms and thousands of others." This is a paid service; however, I think that it would be well worth the money spent, especially for a top corporate firm looking to add a very specific area of expertise to their employee talent base.

How Do They Get My Information?

None of this information is anything that you or I couldn't find on the Web. It's all freely accessible. All that this search tool does is organize this information for you into a short and sweet summary. From the FAQ: "We only summarize information that is already available to the general public through any major search engine such as Google or Yahoo, and focus on a person's professional achievements much like a resume does. We also give our users control over their own Web Summaries—you can choose to edit or even delete information in your summary."

Why Should I Use ZoomInfo?

Depending on what you're looking for:
  • If you're a casual people searcher: it's is a great way to find information about people without having to search through a ton of irrelevant search results.
  • If you're looking for your next employee: You've got a great HR tool at your fingertips here; it's easy to use and has extensive power-searching parameters available (make sure you look at the video tour - it's on the main page and comes up as a popup).

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