How to Search Twitter for Sourcing and Recruiting

It appears that many people in the sourcing, recruiting, and staffing industry are all a-twitter about Twitter these days. My professional opinion is that Twitter is best utilized for personal and corporate branding, as well as socializing job opportunities – in other words, PASSIVE sourcing and recruiting techniques.

However, even if you’re a Twitter-hater, you cannot deny the buzz and the traffic that Twitter has been generating (1200% YOY growth). Also – did you know that Twitter just surpassed LinkedIn in terms of unique U.S. visitors in March? As such, it would be foolish for sourcers and recruiters to avoid trying to figure out how to best leverage the 14 million+ Twitter users to identify potential candidates.

Using Twitter for Active Candidate Identification

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering if you should and how you can leverage Twitter in your ACTIVE talent identification efforts, you’ve come to the right place.

While Twitter is an intrinsically shallow source of human capital data (140 character Tweets and 160 character bios), unlike Facebook – it is quite searchable. In this post I am going to review and compare 6 effective methods of searching Twitter for ACTIVE candidate identification: Twitter’s Advanced Search, Power Twitter, TweetDeck, Twellow, TweetGrid, and X-Ray searching Twitter – including 5 video walk-throughs of how to maximize your searching efforts with each application. Continue reading

Free Content Does Not Mean Low Value

I am well aware that readers come to my blog because I freely share what I feel is basic and common sourcing and recruiting knowledge and information. Quite honestly, that’s one of the major reasons why I write in the first place – to provide value and to help others.

The ROI of Cheap Training

I am not sure if you had the opportunity to read this recent post on ERE titled The ROI of Cheap Training, but I recommend that you do so if you haven’t, as I will be addressing some of the points raised in the article – most specifically point #5.

Joshua Letourneau responded to the ERE post with well articulated points (see the comments section), and I commend him for speaking up and “keeping it real” – it’s refreshing and unfortunately not common enough in the staffing and recruiting industry.  I am sure that Joshua is not alone in his perception of how point #5 in the article came across – in fact, I am stunned that there have not been more responses like his. Perhaps no one else has had the courage to speak up.

Negative Campaigns

When I read the ERE post, I was surprised to see statements such as, “Look at the source of the free webinars and inexpensive workshops from these self-proclaimed experts,” “Where did they come out of the woodwork?,” and “These “overnight gurus” are looking for quick cash in the meantime to cover their bills.” Those comments immediately struck me as unnecessarily negative, disparaging, and anti-competitive.

Imagine if you saw a commercial for Coca Cola in which they warn consumers to “Look at the source of these less expensive soft drinks and those offering self-proclaimed delicious beverages,” or “Where did these new beverages come from?”

How would that be perceived?

Remember not too long ago when Google’s CEO called Twitter a “poor man’s email system?” That wasn’t taken so well – read the comments section of the post. Hopefully you can see where I’m going with this. Continue reading

Job Boards Evolving With Social Media?

With the rise in companies effectively leveraging SEM (Search Engine Marketing)/SEO (Search Engine Optimization), vertical job search engines such as Indeed and SimplyHired, and social media campaigns, it seems as if many feel that the ROI of posting jobs on the major job boards has steadily declined.  Perhaps this is where the strong anti-job board sentiment comes from within the recruiting and staffing industry.

However, there is another side to the job board coin – the resume databases. Personally, when I think of the job boards, I think of their resume databases – not job posting. Job posting is job posting – whether it’s on a corporate website, paid job board, a free board, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Indeed.  While it can definitely work, it’s a passive and reactive technique that has a low ROI in most cases with many respondents who do not meet the basic qualificiations of the position posted.

As the positive buzz surrounding social media and social networking sites continues to build and the negative buzz surrounding the major job boards seems to rise, I knew it was only a matter of time before one of the major job boards stepped out of the proverbial box and took an evolutionary step forward. Continue reading

How to X-Ray Search Facebook for Candidate Sourcing

I recently wrote a post on how to search for candidates on Facebook where I featured all of Facebook’s “built-in” search capabilities. Shortly after publishing the article, I received a question from one of my regular readers asking why I did not include searching Facebook using the site: query modifier (as Google calls it), also known as X-Ray search.

It was a solid question, and the answer is that I purposefully did not include it in my “searching for candidates on Facebook” post, as I wanted to focus on the highest ROI search methods.  I’ve taken cracks at Facebook with the X-Ray search technique, and I’ve never been very pleased with the results. Facebook’s site architecture certainly doesn’t make it easy to X-Ray like LinkedIn and Twitter.

However, while Facebook isn’t very “X-Rayable,” you CAN get SOME relevant results from searching Facebook with the site: query modifier. What you’ll see below is a series of videos (my first!) of me driving through my attempts to X-Ray into Facebook. Continue reading

How to Search For Candidates on Facebook

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you already know I am a fan of highly searchable, “deep” sources of human capital data. Unfortunately,  Facebook isn’t deep on professional data nor is it very searchable. When it comes to social media/networking sites, nothing comes close to LinkedIn when it comes to the “searchability” and depth of professional information that can be retrieved and analyzed. However, sourcers and recruiters can not and should not ignore the 130M+/monthly unique U.S. visitors to Facebook, so I am dedicating this post on how to search for them.

While there are actually many different angles you can take when attempting to search for talent on Facebook, I am going to focus on what I think are the 3 highest ROI methods: Coworker search, Profile search, and Yahoo’s linkdomain search. Continue reading

Human Capital Data Analysts – Sourcing Samurai

What’s The Sexiest Job in Recruiting?

I recently read this excellent post on the Google blog written by Jonathan Rosenberg, SVP, Product Management at Google, and I was especially excited to read this:

“Hal Varian likes to say that the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. After all, who would have guessed that computer engineers would be the cool job of the 90s? When every business has free and ubiquitous data, the ability to understand it and extract value from it becomes the complimentary scarce factor. It leads to intelligence, and the intelligent business is the successful business, regardless of its size. Data is the sword of the 21st century, those who wield it well, the Samurai.”

Hal Varian gets it.

Google gets it.

So Why Don’t People in Recruiting and HR?

What am I talking about? That the ability to understand and extract value from data (human capital data in recruiting) is the scarce factor and it leads to intelligence and success in business.


This post was originally published in March 2009 – when pretty much no one read my blog. now that I have a few more readers, I’ve decided to modify and update the original post, which you can read here.

Is Candidate Sourcing Dead?

Why Do Some People Think Sourcing is Dead?

Some people believe sourcing is a dying function because it is relatively easy to identify and find information on a large number of people using the Internet and social media.

What’s Really Happening

First it was Internet search engines. Then it was the job board resume databases. Now it’s social media and social networking. What’s really happening here is that more information about more people is becoming available electronically every day – it started slowly at first, and has accelerated over time.

More and More Easily Accessible Data = More Problems

There is no arguing that the Internet, job boards, and now social media applications have given the masses easy access to more human capital data. However, having more access to more data actually exacerbates the sourcing and recruiting function. Essentially, the haystack has gotten larger and continues to grow. Last time I checked, when that happens, it doesn’t make anyone’s job who’s looking for a needle any easier. Continue reading

LinkedIn Poll: Job Boards More Effective for Getting Jobs

Job Boards vs. Social Media – which is more effective at helping people get jobs?

At least for now, statistics appear to support that job boards are either more widely used to find jobs, or simply more effective at landing people jobs than social networking sites.

According to a recent LinkedIn poll, 4310 people responded and 22% of the respondents used a major (Monster, Careerbuilder, ec.) or niche job board (Dice, The Ladders, etc.) to find their last job vs. 6% who indicated that they landed their last job through the use of a social networking site (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.).

Here is the link to the poll results. Continue reading

Challenging Google Resume Search Assumptions

This post is second in a series focused on using Google to search for resumes on the Internet.

In the first post I left some unanswered questions, such as why:

  • I didn’t talk about searching for CV’s
  • I didn’t suggest using the tilde ~ operator in conjuntion with the word “resume”
  • I didn’t use -~job when trying to eliminate false positive results
  • I didn’t talk about targeting filetypes
  • I didn’t talk about just searching for the word “resume” without using it in conjunction with inurl: or intitle:
  • I didn’t mention the use of Google Custom Search Engines (CSE’s) to find resumes

Whether or not you had those questions burning in your mind, I will address them all in this post.

Challenging Google Resume Search Assumptions

I’ve read my fair share of recruiting blogs and online discussions between recruiters and sourcers. As such, I encounter quite a bit of advice regarding tips and tricks to use when searching for resumes on the Internet using Google.

Some of the suggestions I see make sense at first, but being the inquisitive guy that I am, I don’t just take the suggestions and run with them, assuming they accomplish what they seem to accomplish. I take the time to test search tips, tricks, and suggestions to make sure they add value to my search efforts and that they do EXACTLY what they claim to do.

Today, you get to benefit from some of these tests, as I am going to challenge some of the suggestions I’ve come across over the years when it comes to searching for resumes on the Internet using Google. Let’s get going, shall we? Continue reading

How to Find Resumes on the Internet with Google


Want to learn how to find resumes on the Internet using Google?  You’ve come to the right place!

Whether you are new to searching the Internet for resumes or you are a veteran Interent sourcer, I’ve included some tips, tricks, and observations for the novice and expert alike.

Targeting Resumes

When using Google to search specifically for resumes, it’s a good idea to begin by searching for the word “resume” in the title and/or the url of web pages.

For example: (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume)

Here is a sample result to illustrate how this works – we can see the word “Resume” in the blue TITLE line, as well as in the green URL line. The first line of any search result is the title of the webpage, and the url is the specific web page’s address.

Targeting the word “resume” in the title and/or url is very handy, because for many people, it’s simply common sense/instinct to either title the web page containing their resume with the word “resume,” and/or save their resume using the word “resume” in the name of the file.

Eliminating False Positive Results

Continue reading

Free and Original Content – Let’s Keep it That Way

I had a fantastic converstation with the incredibly knowledgeable and insanely helpful Eric Jaquith  the other day, and he gave me a “wake up call” with regard to the content that I publish here on Boolean Blackbelt.

Although I have only been blogging for a few months now, I have worked very hard to publish high-value content for everyone to enjoy, use, and benefit from. Call me naive or a blogging n00b, but it never really occured to me that people might use my content and not give me proper credit for it and perhaps even try to profit from it by selling it to others.

I put quite a bit of time, thought and effort into writing my articles, and many of the concepts I am presenting are 100% original – and they are 100% FREE for everyone who stops by or subscribes to my blog to read what I have to say (which I GREATLY appreciate, by the way).

The thought that people might take my ideas and the content that I am providing to you for FREE and attempt to profit from it really bothers me, plus it’s simply WRONG, so I’ve decided to license all of the content I publically publish here on under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

You’ll see it at the bottom of every post as well as at the bottom of my website. That specific license allows you to download/copy my work and share it with others as long as you mention me and link back to me, and you can’t change my work in any way or use my work commercially to profit from it. If you like what I write – please feel free to share it with others, just don’t take credit for it or try to make money from it.

I write to share my ideas so that everyone can benefit, and no one should have to pay someone else to benefit from my original and free content.  So I ask you assist me in being able to continue to provide you with valuable free information – if you see or hear someone else writing or talking about original content you have seen here on and claiming credit for and/or attempting to charge you for it, please let me know.

I’ve put a significant amount of thought and effort into my work on the concepts of user-defined semantic search for sourcing and recuritingLean/JIT recruitingTalent Intelligence, and my concepts of the Hidden Talent Pools of candidates you can’t find, and the Hidden Talent Pools of candidates you don’t find with your Boolean searches. If you search for those concepts on the Internet – you will find my content – not someone else’s. I want as many people to be exposed to these ideas as possible – all I ask is that if you are going to redistribute my work – give me proper credit, and don’t try to make money from it.


Thank you for stopping by to read my blog – if you haven’t already, I hope you’ll subscribe and automatically recieve the 2-3 articles I publish every week. And please don’t keep me a secret – pay it forward and tell others in the recruiting and staffing industry about my site so that they can benefit from it as a free resource.

Boolean Search Does Not = Internet Search

If you read certain sourcing and recruiting blogs and discussion groups, you might get the impression that Boolean search pretty much equals Internet search – such as searching for people and profiles using Google, Yahoo, or other search engines. Some sourcing and recruiting professionals may be surprised to learn that Boolean logic significantly predates the Internet and even computers – by a couple hundred years!

The word “Boolean” comes from the man who invented Boolean Logic in the 19th century – George Boole. Boolean Logic is the basis of modern computer logic, and George Boole is regarded in hindsight as one of the founders of the field of computer science.

Now that you know Boolean logic was created in the 1800’s – it’s pretty obvious that Boolean logic is not just for searching for people and information on the Internet. Practically any information system from which you need to search and retrieve information from “speaks” Boolean to some extent, whether you realize it or not.

Applicant Tracking Systems

I was first exposed to Boolean search back in 1997 B.G. (Before Google) when my sole source of candidates was a Lotus Notes resume database by the name of CPAS, made by VCG. Although the CPAS product (which no longer exists) was far from a fully featured Applicant Tracking System, thankfully it did support full Boolean logic, with very few limitations. If it didn’t support full Boolean logic, this blog would probably would not exist – and if it did, I wouldn’t be writing it. Thank you CPAS!

The CPAS search interface allowed me to hand-code highly precise and effective Boolean search strings using all three standard Boolean operators: AND, OR, and NOT. While there are some applicant tracking systems on the market that do support full Boolean logic, it is an unfortunate fact that too many ATS’s available today do not support creating searches using full Boolean logic, which significantly handicaps sourcers and recruiters from leveraging their internal corporate candidate databases.

Job Boards

In contrast – all of the major job board resume databases (Monster, Careerbuilder, Hotjobs, Dice, etc.) support full Boolean logic. As I have written about many times before, Monster even supports “extended” Boolean search functionality with the incredibly powerful NEAR operator.

Social Networks

While most social networks are painfully difficult to search with their extremely limited search interfaces, LinkedIn does support creating search strings employing full Boolean logic. In fact, it appears that you can create Boolean search strings of unprecedented length and complexity on LinkedIn. If you haven’t already, please read this post I wrote that compares searching LinkedIn using LinkedIn’s search interface with searching Linkedin using Google and the x-ray technique. I got tired of entering words into LinkedIn’s search bar after cramming 316,638 characters into it. That’s the equivalent of a Boolean search string that contains over 60,000 words and is approximately 120 pages long!

Internet Search

What’s especially ironic about the wide spread perception that Boolean = Internet search is that most Internet search engines don’t even support full Boolean logic. For example, although Google supports Boolean search strings containing AND, OR, and NOT (with the minus sign) functionality, you cannot use the NOT/- operator on an OR statement.

Let’s look at the results when we try and run this search string on Google: Continue reading

FREE LinkedIn Search: Internal vs. X-Ray

While there is a growing number of recruiting professionals and organizations who pay for premium access to LinkedIn, there is still a large number of people who leverage LinkedIn with a free or “Personal” account.

If you’re on the fence about paying for increased access to LinkedIn, you’re reading the right post. I’m going to compare searching LinkedIn from the “inside” with a free “Personal” account using LinkedIn’s new people search interface with searching LinkedIn from the “outside” using Google and the x-ray technique.

If you are not familiar with the x-ray search technique, it will be covered in depth with examples later in this post.

I’ll also offer at least 3 different ways to create and automate LinkedIn searches outside of the LinkedIn search interface.

Free LinkedIn Search – From the “Inside”

There are actually a number of different ways and places to search for people on Linkedin. The more powerful methods involve #1 LinkedIn’s advanced search interface and  #2 “Hand-coding” search strings using LinkedIn’s advanced search operators.

Controlling Candidate Variables

Both of those methods allow you to control critical candidate variables such as current and/or past employer, current and/or past title, industry, and location via zip code radius search. During or after you configure your search, you also have the option to sort results by relevance, relationship, relationship + recommendations, and keyword match/count. Continue reading

Job Boards vs. Social Networking Sites

I follow a number of recruiting blogs as well as many sourcers and recruiters on Twitter and I see a growing trend of job board bashing – typically comparing them (very) unfavorably to social networking sites and applications.

I love and leverage social networking as much as the the next recruiting professional, but I refuse to just blindly follow the crowd or jump on the bandwagon when it comes to anything. With all of the buzz about social media and so many people running away from and disparaging the job boards, I am going to step out of the crowd and try to figure out where this perspective that job boards = old/bad, social networking = new/good comes from, because to me, some of the reasoning doesn’t add up.


First, let me say that when I think of the job boards, I think of their resume databases – not job posting. Job posting is job posting – whether it’s on a paid job board, a free board, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Indeed.  While it can definitely work, it’s a passive and reactive technique that has a low ROI in most cases with many respondents who do not meet the basic qualificiations of the position posted.


One thing I want to make clear is that I actually have access to and use major paid job board resume databases, and I also use LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. It is very important to realize that some people who speak negatively about the major job boards actually don’t use them. I am not really sure how someone can review or form an opinion of a product they don’t use. I’ll leave that for you to figure out.


This well-presented post was brought to my attention via Twitter recently: Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Recruit Thru Social Networks, and I agree with most of the points made and reasons presented. However, because there is an undertone of job boards = old/bad and social networks = new/good, it offers a good platform to me to offer some counterpoints.  Continue reading

LinkedIn: Private vs. Out of Network Results

LinkedIn: Private vs. Out of Network Results

I recently wrote about how to leverage LinkedIn’s Advanced Search Operators and I commented on LinkedIn’s relatively new search interface. Aside from search options, one other somewhat new aspect of searching inside LinkedIn using their search interface is that you can now return some results that are outside of your network. These typically appear as results without a name, and instead say “private”


When you find a private profile, in some cases, the user has actually decided to not publish their LinkedIn profile publicly to the web. If this is the case, you simply cannot find them via Google via the site:command.

Here is an example – using LinkedIn’s search interface, I ran a simple single word search – Java.  Here is an example of a result that is outside of my network:

As you can see – this person is not in my network, and the result shows no name, just a headline title. When I click on the title, this is what I see:

Taking unique information from this profile, let’s try and use the site: command on Google to x-ray LinkedIn and see if we can find this person. “greater atlanta area” java “bank of america” suntrust Continue reading

Do You Have Talent Intelligence?

Does your recruiting or staffing organziation have Talent Intelligence?

I believe that all staffing organizations should view and value their internal resume/candidate database/ATS as a proprietary business intelligence tool.  Business intelligence refers to applications and technologies that are used to gather, provide access to, and analyze data and information and help companies develop consistent and “data-based” business decisions — producing better results than basing decisions on “guesswork.”

I define “Talent Intelligence” as refering to applications and technologies that are used to gather, provide access to, and analyze Talent-related (Human Capital) data and information and help organizations develop consistent and “data-based” Talent-related decisions.

Business intelligence applications are usually supported by a data warehouse, which is the main repository of an organization’s historical data, also known as corporate memory (the total body of data, information and knowledge required to deliver the strategic aims and objectives of an organization). A company’s “Talent Warehouse” should serve as the main repository of an organization’s Human Capital data, and it would serve as the raw material for a Talent Support System (TSS) – a computerized system for helping to make Talent-related decisions, such as talent identification and acquisition.

Practically every Fortune 1000 company (and many smaller ones too) utilizes and leverages business intelligence solutions to make better decisions and run their companies more effectively and efficiently. However, very few – if ANY – companies actually have a true Talent Intelligence solution. Although many Applicant Tracking Systems ,HRMS/HRIS solutions and Recruiting CRM applications make lofty claims as to their capabilities and functionality, I don’t consider many vendor solutions currently on the market to be a true Talent Intelligence solution. Most are simply systems that track and organize applicants.

I find it ironic that companies in nearly every industry invest millions and millions of dollars on their data warehousing/business intelligence initiatives – just to be able to retrieve and analyze their data to enable them to make better business decisions, yet I’d argue that every company’s Human Capital is actually their most valuable and critical asset. So why is it that HR, recruiting, and staffing technology is so far behind in technologies used for gathering, retrieving, and analyzing financial, manufacturing, etc., data?  Continue reading

LinkedIn’s Advanced Search Operators


Although LinkedIn’s advanced operators ceased to work properly for a period of a few months earlier this year, I am very happy to report that they are working again. Once more you will be able to harness LinkedIn’s search fields by hand coding your search strings and bypassing the search interface/fields.

LinkedIn’s Advanced Search Operators

LinkedIn has made some great changes to their advanced search interface recently, giving users the ability to take more control over the precision of their searches. I was specifically excited to see more options for location searching (10 mile – 100 mile radius), and the ability to search for current and/or past employers.

I was exploring LinkedIn’s site the other day and came across a chart buried at the bottom of the LinkedIn Learning Center page, and I was intrigued by the possibility of “hand coding” searches by entering LinkedIn’s advanced search operators directly into the “people search” search bar.

Here is the chart I found:

You can see that you can “hand code” searches using the above advanced operators and control most of the search fields/parameters that are found on the advanced search page interface, such as current company, past company, title, current title, past title, zip code radius, company, school, industry, interested in, and when people joined LinkedIn:

Location Searching

When I first experimented with the syntax for using the advanced operators for zip code radius searching, I ran into some problems and I contacted LinkedIn’s technical support for advice on how to make them work properly.

After 5 email exchanges (including links and screenshots and VERY direct/specific questions) that were comical to say the least (ignoring my question and simply telling me to use the advanced search interface, as well as not being aware of the advanced operators until I sent a screenshot), the technical support rep from LinkedIn finally concluded this: “The operators you are speaking of in our advanced people search are now provided for you in the drop down fields. These fields are provided to help narrow the search and make the process easier to understand. With the new search function inputting country: zip: and radius: is no longer acceptable.”

After not accepting this answer and continuing to tweak syntax, I am very happy to announce that you actually CAN accomplish zip code radius search using LinkedIn’s advanced operators. You’ll notice on the chart of operators that the zip: and radius: operators have dependencies – zip: is dependent on country:, and radius: is dependent on country: and zip:. For example, if you were searching for people in a 25 mile radius of Washington, DC, you could create a search like this:

country:”united states” zip:20001 radius:25

When using LinkedIn’s advanced operators, you enter them directly into the “Search People” bar at the top right of LinkedIn:

When you hit “Search,” you’ll get nearly 650,000 results of people on LinkedIn who live within 25 miles from the zip code of 20001.

If you don’t enter a radius: value, the search will still work – you’ll get a little over 922,000 results. Not sure exactly what LinkedIn is doing there, because a 35 mile radius produces about 777,000 results, and a 50 mile radius produces about 877,000 results. Testing other zip codes did not produce consistent results for me to try and guess the “hidden” radius value if you don’t enter one.

Also – it appears you can only choose the radius values of 10, 25, 35, 50, 75, and 100 miles when using the radius: operator.  If you try and use a different number, like 30, LinkedIn will produce results using the closest “valid” radius value.  In this case, when picking 30, I was trying to trick LinkedIn – it chose 25 instead of 35.

Combining Multiple Advanced Operators

Let’s look for people who currently work for Lockheed Martin, have a current title of manager, and live within 25 miles of 20001:

ccompany:lockheed ctitle:manager country:”united states” zip:20001 radius:25

Here is a snippet of the search results:

Let’s try another search. This time, we’ll look for people who have had the title of “auditor” at some point in their career (current and/or past), identify themselves as working in the accounting industry, have worked for Deloitte in the past, and live within 35 miles of 60605 in Chicago:

title:auditor industry:accounting pcompany:deloitte country:”united states” zip:60605 radius:35

As expected, the search works well. Here is a snippet of one of the results:

Combining Boolean Operators with LinkedIn’s Advanced Operators

You can combine “regular” search terms and Boolean operators along with LinkedIn’s advanced operators.  For example, let’s shoot for an Exchange admin/engineer with an MCSE, and a current title of engineer in a 25 mile radius of 94131 in San Francisco:

Exchange ctitle:engineer (admin OR administrator OR administration OR administer OR administered OR maintenance OR maintained) (server OR servers) (mail OR email OR messaging) (MCSE OR “Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer”) country:”united states” zip:94131 radius:25

Here is a snippet from one of the results:

Using LinkedIn’s Advanced Operators in “OR” Statements

Be careful when attempting to use some of LinkedIn’s advanced operators in OR statements. For example, here are two different ways of trying to search for people with a current title of 1 or more specific titles:

Exchange (ctitle:engineer OR ctitle:admin OR ctitle:administrator)

That syntax does not run – here is the message you get:

Taking a different approach: Exchange ctitle:(engineer OR admin OR administrator)

That synatx runs, but we can see from the results page that LinkedIn “sees” it differently that what the exact syntax would dictate:

LinkedIn appears to prefer enclosing the OR statements in quotation marks, like this:

exchange ctitle:”engineer OR admin OR administrator”

However, when you examine individual profiles, you will notice LinkedIn highlights past titles even though I specifically searched for the title terms using the current title operator of ctitle:. So using LinkedIn’s Advanced Operators in conjuction with OR operators isn’t an exact science, to say the least.

Sorting and Modifying Your Results

After you execute your “hand coded” search using LinkedIn’s advanced operators, you have the option of sorting the results by the usual values and you can also modify your search as you can if you had constructed your search using LinkedIn’s advanced search interface.


If you like being able to “hand code” Boolean search strings, it’s nice to know that we can effectively take advantage of nearly all of LinkedIn’s major search options/parameters (such as current/past company, current/past title, zip code radius, industry, etc.) by combining LinkedIn’s advanced operators with Boolean strings to get precisely the results we are looking for.

Although you can save searches via LinkedIn’s “save this search” feature – if you are using LinkedIn with a free account, you are limited to saving 3 searches. An added benefit of being able to craft complete search strings using LinkedIn’s advanced operators is that you can create your strings in Notepad or Word and save them for future use as well as quickly modify them (copy and paste a search, then change paramaters without having to retype the entire string).

If you enjoyed this post, I recommend you read my follow up post on how to use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search Operators as search agents.

Searching Twitter for Sourcing and Recruiting

Twitter is cool, but Twitter is shallow. A shallow source of human capital data, that is.

As a micro-blogging application, each “Tweet” is capped at a max of 140 characters (hence “micro”), and people fill out their short “bios” to a lesser or greater extent. Don’t go to Twitter expecting to leverage it as a resume database, or even as you would LinkedIn. I don’t recommend Twitter to the sourcer or recruiter who is looking to be able to run complex Boolean search strings, sift through tons of data and have a high degree of control over critical candidate qualification variables. 

Although Twitter wasn’t designed for sourcers and recruiters to find people with specific skills and experience, there are a couple of ways to attempt to pull this off.  For this post, I will focus specifically on searching Twitter through Twitter’s search interface as well as x-raying Twitter using the site: command. I won’t be covering any of the various 3rd party Twitter search apps (such as Twellow and others) in this post. Continue reading

The Internet has Free Resumes – SO WHAT?

BEWARE: This post takes a contrarian (yet fact-based!) view of the Internet as a sourcing tool that may be unsuitable to some readers. If you don’t want to hear anything other than how awesome the Internet is for sourcing and recruiting, please stop reading now. 

The Internet has Free Resumes – SO WHAT?

Okay, so you can find free resumes on the Internet.  So what? What’s the big deal?  The fact that the Internet is free? While free is nice and certainly can’t be argued with, I am sure you have also heard that you get what you pay (or don’t pay) for. Or if it’s too good to be true – it is.

So let’s take a look at what you get for free on the Internet:

Not a lot of resumes

If you are a sourcer or recruiter I am sure that at some point in your career you’ve read somewhere or heard someone say how the Internet has 10X the number of candidates that can be found on the online job board resume databases. I’ve always taken that for face value because, to be honest, it’s really tough to prove or disprove such a figure/statement. However, I am a bit of a skeptic and I don’t just accept what I read or hear at face value – especially grandiose statements/claims, so I’ve taken a critical look into the matter.

While you may be able to find more names/people on the Internet than you can find on any given internal (corporate) resume database or the major online job board resume databases such as Monster, Careerbuilder, etc., the Internet does NOT have more RESUMES, even when it comes to the most common job titles and roles. 

In fact, I’ve found that the Internet has in many cases at least 10X FEWER RESUMES than you can find even on ONE major job board. Continue reading

Recruiting Technology is Not Anti-Relationship!

Technology and Relationships are not Oil and Water

When I write posts about creating Boolean search strings to source and find talent/human capital – I often get responses from readers and those I train, especially staffing industry veterans who focus on executive search, that state that the foundation of recruiting is based on relationships built by human interaction and networking.

I couldn’t agree more.

Why does it seem to be ingrained in human nature to have an either/or mentality – as if things have to be one way or the other, but not both. Like phone sourcing vs database sourcing. You can and should do both, and I hope you are trying to contact and develop relationships with people identified via both methods.

If I wanted to be obtuse, I could argue that the phone is impersonal – and that to be a really good recruiter, I should never leverage the phone to make contact with people. Instead – I’ll just wander around looking for people to meet in person to establish a wonderful professional relationship with.

By the way – there isn’t anything instrinsically impersonal about leveraging technology to find or communicate with people. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s this thing called email that quite a few people use these days, and you know what? – it seems to work. I’ve also heard that there are millions of people communicating with something called text messaging, and that there are more text messages sent every day than phone calls made. How impersonal! :-)

Let’s face it – if it didn’t work, it wouldn’t exist and be used by so many people so often.

When I talk about leveraging technology for talent identification and acquisition, my primary point is NOT that it is a replacement for any other method of candidate identification, nor am I saying technology is a replacement for human interaction and relationship building. My point is that there is more and more information stored about more people somewhere electronically every day – and you can either learn how to harness the power of using Boolean logic to create search strings for Talent Mining that can ACCELERATE your ability to establish MORE relationships with MORE of the RIGHT people, MORE quickly…..or not. Continue reading