Boolean Search String Experiment – Are You Game?

Posted by | November 08, 2010 | Boolean, Boolean Search Experiments | 63 Comments

Cyborg SourcerOne of the most interesting yet overlooked aspects associated with sourcing candidates using the Internet, job board databases, ATS/CRM systems and social networks such as LinkedIn is that as long as your syntax is correct, every search “works.”

This fact leads (too) many people to believe that finding talent online is easy and that there is no competitive advantage to be gained in the practice of searching human capital data.

However, are all queries created equal?

Would 5 different recruiters working the same position use the same search strings and search strategy? Would they find the same people if they used the same source?

In many organizations, sourcers and recruiters do not get (or seek out) the opportunity to compare and contrast their search strategies and tactics with their peers and/or managers on a position-by-position basis. Much of the magic of talent discovery and identification, or lack thereof, happens on each person’s computer screen.

Unlike professional athletes and musicians whose skills and techniques are on display and scientists who publish their work, sourcers and recruiters responsible for talent discovery have absolutely no public basis of comparison.

Let’s Prove a Point to the Recruiting World

This leads me to an experiment and a demonstration of sorts and I sincerely hope you will participate.

I would like you to comment on this post with your search string(s) and a brief overview of your analysis and approach to searching your source(s) of choice if you were responsible for finding and hiring someone for the position detailed below. If sourcing isn’t something you’re responsible for – please forward this to someone who would like to participate.

You have a choice:

  1. You can let the world who you are and what you can do, or…
  2. You can choose to remain anonymous and not identify yourself when leaving your comment and your search strings/strategy. Feel free to use a fake name (e.g., Recruiter1, Yoda, etc.), and you can even use a fake email address so there is absolutely no way anyone, including me, can identify you.

I am interested in collecting a decent number of responses to demonstrate to the HR, sourcing and recruiting world that many people can look at the same straightforward job description and they will come up with a surprising variety and number of different search strings and approaches.

I’ve long contended that if 30 people were given the same position to source and recruit for, you would see 30 different search strings and approaches which would lead to some overlap and as well as a lack thereof.

How Would You Search for Candidates for this Job?

Business Analyst

This mission critical role will involve you working with the inventory team to provide data analysis, reporting and technical expertise to meet business objectives. You will work directly with the inventory control group to provide the technical needs as driven by the business, and you will be required to provide business analysis support to the eCommerce and retail groups.

Required:
A minimum of 3 years of experience as a Business Analyst
Strong data analysis skills
Crystal Reports experience preferred
BSCS or related degree and/or experience
Experience with enterprise systems

Location:
Washington, DC

Let the Boolean String Slinging Begin!

You can use any single source or a combination of online sources – that’s up to you. Just be sure to detail what sites the searches are for. It’s perfectly acceptable for you to use and specify your own ATS/CRM if it offers you any syntactical and/or search advantage.

Show us what you can do!

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About Glen Cathey

Glen Cathey is a sourcing and recruiting thought leader with over 16 years of experience working in large staffing agency and global RPO environments (>1,000 recruiters and nearly 100,000 hires annually). Starting out his career as a top producing recruiter, he quickly advanced into senior management roles and now currently serves as the SVP of Strategic Talent Acquisition and Innovation for Kforce, working out of their renowned National Recruiting Center with over 300 recruiters. Often requested to speak on sourcing and recruiting best practices, trends and strategies, Glen has traveled internationally to present at many talent acquisition conferences (5X LinkedIn Talent Connect - U.S. '10, '11, '12, Toronto '12, London '12, 2X Australasian Talent Conference - Sydney & Melbourne '11, '12, 6X SourceCon, 2X TruLondon, 2X HCI) and is regularly requested to present to companies (e.g., PwC, Deloitte, Intel, Booz Allen Hamilton, Citigroup, etc.). This blog is his personal passion and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone other than himself.