On November 8th, 2010, I wrote a post containing a Boolean search challenge and an experiment of sorts – I asked readers to share their approach and Boolean search strings for a basic job description. The inspiration for the experiment came from the fact that very few people seem to be consciously aware of the issue that when it comes to sourcing candidates via the Internet, resume databases, LinkedIn, etc., is that all Boolean candidate searches work, provided they are syntactically correct.
This is a fundamental problem which heavily influences the perception of sourcing as a low level, non-critical function and/or role, because anyone can take the title from a job description and the required skill terms, create a basic Boolean query, and get results. This leads to the idea that finding talent is easy – slap a few search terms together and voila! – you get candidates.
Congratulations for finding the same candidates everyone else is finding with the same unsophisticated searches. All candidate queries are definitely not created equal, and you simply cannot gain any competitive advantage running the same basic taken-straight-from-the-job-description title and keyword searches that everyone else does.
The lesser-known reality is that most people who run Boolean searches on LinkedIn, job board resume databases, in their Applicant Tracking Systems (if they even support Boolean – ouch!) and the Internet only find a small fraction of the talent that is available to be found. I’ve written quite a bit on the topic so I won’t belabor that point in this post. Read More