Basic Boolean Search Operators and Query Modifiers Explained


Basic Boolean Operators Explained

No, those aren’t my hands.

I never cease to be amazed by what you can find on the Internet and what people take pictures of.

Now that I have your attention, this post is going to focus on the basic Boolean search operators and search modifiers symbols and will not go into any detail of the many special Internet-only search commands/operators.

Although a great many people seem to think that Boolean = Internet search, Boolean logic and searching has been around WAY before the Internet. And here’s a quick fact: you don’t have to capitalize Boolean operators on any of the major job boards and many of the major ATS’s.

Go ahead – try it. Nothing will explode and your searches will execute.

And now, back to the Boolean basics…

Boolean Search Operator: AND

The AND operator is inclusionary and thus limits your search.

It should be used for targeting required skills, experience, technologies, or titles you would like to limit your results to. Unless you are searching for common words, with every AND you add to your Boolean query, the fewer results you will typically get.

Example: Java AND Oracle AND SQL AND AJAX

On most Internet search engines and LinkedIn, every space is an “implied AND,” and you don’t have to type it, as every blank space is interpreted as an AND operator.

Example: Java Oracle SQL AJAX

Bonus: You can use the ampersand (&) as the AND operator on Monster.

Boolean Search Operator: OR

The OR operator offers flexible inclusion, and typically broadens your search results.

Many people incorrectly think the Boolean OR operator is an either/or operator, when in fact it is not.

The OR operator is technically interpreted as “at least one is required, more than one or all can be returned.”

Although some search engines, such as Google, do not require you to encapsulate OR statements with parentheses, if you don’t on most databases and LinkedIn – your search will run but execute in a way that you probably did not intent.  As a best practice, I tell people to always use parentheses around OR statements as a matter of good search syntax.

Example: Java AND Oracle AND SQL AND AJAX AND (apache OR weblogic OR websphere)

The returned results must mention at least one of the following: apache, weblogic, websphere. However, if candidates mention 2 or all 3, they also will be returned, and most search engines will rank them as more relevant results because of such.

The best ways to use OR statements is:

  1. To think of all of the alternate ways a particular skill or technology can be expressed, e.g., (CPA OR “C.P.A” OR “Certified Public Accountant”)
  2. To search for a list of desired skills where you would be pleased if a candidate had experience with at least one, e.g., (apache OR linux OR mysql).

Bonus: You can use the pipe symbol (|) for the OR operator on Google, Bing, and Monster.

Boolean Search Operator: NOT

The NOT operator is exclusionary – it excludes specific search terms and so the query will not return any results with that term (or terms) in them.

Example: If you were searching for an I.T. Project Manager, you may want to employ the NOT operator in order to eliminate false positive results – results that mention your search terms but do not in fact match your target hiring profile.  In this case, you could run: “project manager” and not construction – this search will not return any results with “project manager” and the word “construction” contained within them.

On all of the major job board resume databases, some ATS’s and LinkedIn, you can use the NOT operator in conjunction with an OR statement.

Example: .Net AND NOT (Java OR JSP OR J2EE) – that search will not return any results with any mention of Java, JSP, and/or J2EE.

Bonus: NOT has 2 main uses

  1. Excluding words you do not want to retrieve to reduce false positive results (most common usage)
  2. Starting with a very restrictive search with many search terms, you can use the NOT operator to systematically and progressively loosen the search into mutually exclusive result sets (not so common usage, but very effective strategy)

Basic example:

  1. “Project Manager” AND SQL AND Spanish
  2. “Project Manager” AND SQL AND NOT Spanish
  3. “Project Manager” AND NOT SQL AND Spanish
  4. “Project Manager” AND NOT (SQL OR Spanish)

Bonus: You can use the minus sign as the NOT operator on many sites and search engines, including LinkedIn.

Boolean Search Modifier: ASTERISK *

The asterisk can be used on most resume databases and non-Internet search engines as a root word/stem/truncation search. In other words, the search engine will return and highlight any word that begins with the root/stem of the word truncated by the asterisk.

For example: admin* will return: administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.

The asterisk is a time saver for search engines that recognize it (most major job boards and ATS’s) because it saves you from creating long OR statements and having to think of every way a particular word can be expressed.

LinkedIn does not support the asterisk, so you will have to construct large OR statements to search for all of the various ways someone could mention each term you’re searching for. For example: (configure OR configuring OR configured OR configures)

Boolean Search Modifier: PARENTHESES

As a best practice, use parentheses to encapsulate OR statements for the search engines to execute them properly.

Remember, the OR operator is interpreted as “I would like at least one of these terms.” Think of parentheses as your way of telling the search engine you’re looking for one of THESE: (_______________).

For example: (apache OR weblogic OR websphere)

If you don’t enclose all of your OR statements, your search may run but it will NOT run as intended.

Boolean Search Modifier: QUOTATION MARKS ” “

Quotation marks must be used when searching for exact phrases of more than one word, or else some search engines will split the phrase up into single word components.

For example: “Director of Tax” will only return “Director of Tax.” If you searched for Director of Tax without the quotation marks, on some search engines, it will split up the words Director and Tax and highlight them as relevant matches even when not mentioned as an exact phrase.

Bonus: Google auto-stems many search terms, so if you are looking specifically for the word manager, it will still return managed, management, etc. – even if you don’t want it to. If you put quotation marks on a single word in Google, it will defeat the auto-stemming feature and only return that specific word.

There you have it – Boolean basics!

If there is something you would like to see me post about with regard to Boolean logic and search tactics and strategies – let me know.



Lean Recruiting: No Forecasts or Talent Pipelines Required!

Lean Recruiting: No Forecasts or Talent Pipelines Required!

This is a follow up post to this article I wrote on Lean/JIT recruiting, which I circulated as a dicussion topic through a few of the larger staffing and recruiting groups on LinkedIn. I recieved some interesting responses, some of which led me to believe that perhaps I was not clear enough with my explanation of Lean/Just-In-Time talent identification and acquisition.

A few folks mentioned that an accurate workforce plan/forecast with enough lead time would be required to possibly achieve Lean recruiting, and others commented that Lean recruiting would only work for high volume hiring or for frequently recruited positions.

Real-world experience running Lean/JIT recruiting teams has shown me that neither of the above is correct. With properly trained and capable recruiters and access to a large internal database and perhaps a few online resume databases that support full Boolean queries, Lean/JIT recruiting can be achieved with NO lead times or hiring forecast, and is equally effective with hiring profiles that are regularly or irregularly recruited for.  In fact, Lean/JIT recruiting can be acheived for positions that have NEVER been hired for.

To some people, this may seem outlandish or impossible, but I assure you it is neither.

I would never argue that developing a hiring forecast is a bad idea. That is, assuming of course that it is accurate and nothing unexpected ever happens. Lean thinking (as well as reality) tells us that forecasts are merely guesses – no matter how educated, and cannot accurately predict the future. If a recruiting or staffing organization relied heavily on a workforce plan – what happens to them when things change and there is an unexpected deviation from the plan? Typically – scrambling, finger pointing, excuses, and general chaos. :-)

If a recruiting organization is fully set up and empowered to achieve Lean/JIT recruiting – having a hiring forecast is a good place to start. However, if there are unexpected deviations from the workforce plan, the recruiting team is infinitely nimble and can turn on a dime and achieve results in 24-48 hours with little to no stress. 

The very idea of building a talent pipeline goes against the grain of Lean philosophy, which focuses heavily upon reducing “in-proccess inventory.” In recruiting and staffing, “in-process inventory” would be a talent pipeline, or more specifically, candidates that have been identified, contacted, and recruited prior to actual need.

I am aware that to many recruiters and recruiting and staffing organizations, building talent pipelines is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that appropriately qualified talent is available when the actual need arises. It’s necessary because their team/organization is not trained to, nor enabled with the appropriate resources to acheive Lean/JIT recruiting. If you cannot reliably identify and acquire well qualified candidates within 24-48 hours of receiving a request, you really don’t have an option other than building a talent pipeline. In my opinion, talent pipelines are only necessary for those who are unable to achieve Lean/JIT recruiting. Continue reading

Boolean Contest!

Boolean Contest – come one, come all!

Irina Shamaeva and I were chatting a few weeks back and she asked me if I thought a contest focused on Booolean strings would be a good idea. You can imagine my reaction – “Of course!” She thought offering prizes of ResumeFinder or ResumeGrabber would be a great idea, and Chandra Bodapati, CEO of eGrabber, was gracious enough to offer his fantastic products FREE to the winners!

Here are the Official Rules of the Worldwide Boolean Strings Contest – 2008, sponsored by eGrabber

The contest starts on Tuesday December 9, 2008 and ends on Sunday December 21, 2008.
To participate, you need to complete three steps.

1) Post one new discussion item either on the “Boolean Strings” group on RecruitingBlogs or the “Boolean Strings” group on LinkedIn.
(Your post can be a tip, a question or a reply to somebody else’s question. Post between 12/9/08 and 12/21/08.)

2) Download and try ResumeFinder and/or ResumeGrabber.
(This step is optional but you get one bonus point for this.)

3) Answer questions in this Quiz.
(This is a multiple choice quiz on your mastery of Boolean Strings.)

The contest will have multiple winners! One person for every 25 participants will get the tool of his/her choice, ResumeFinder (a $349 value) or ResumeGrabber (a $495 value).
Plus, eGrabber will offer one month subscription to ResumeFinder to everybody who participates in the Contest! Check the box at the end of the quiz and you will receive a ResumeFinder product key.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday December 23. The top winner will get the title “Boolean Strings Master – 2008″. If you have any questions or comments please email us at

Good luck, and good Boolean!

Master Boolean Logic and Raise Your Game!

When it comes to golf, what’s more important – the clubs or the golfer?

It should be obvious that it is not the clubs, but the technique and skill of the person wielding the clubs.  Tiger Woods could play better than most people even with 20 year old clubs found at a yard sale. 

If you own a set of golf clubs but can’t play 18 holes in under 100 strokes, it’s more likely due to your skill and ability level rather than the brand and price of your clubs. Simply owning a set of clubs (even the best available) does not make you a great golfer.

Likewise, just because you have access to the Internet, an internal database/ATS, social networks, and perhaps a job board to two (which all “speak” Boolean, by the way!) – it does not automatically mean you are adept at leveraging those information systems to quickly find great candidates. You either know how to wield Boolean operators to quickly find the best talent available in these resources or you don’t. Your ability (or lack thereof) isn’t due to the Boolean operators themselves – it’s knowing how to use them and the search strategies you apply.

If you are in a sourcing and/or recruiting role and you are not fluent in Boolean, you are no different than someone who owns a set of golf clubs, but who cannot play very well. It’s not the clubs – it’s on you.

More information about more people is being stored somewhere electronically every day and it will only continue to accelerate and increase. Whether you realize it or not, if you are not adept at interfacing with databases, applications, the Internet and social networks (in other words, creating Boolean search strings) to find and retrieve human capital data you are already at a significant competitive disadvantage, and it will only get worse over time.  Technology can be a productivity multiplier, but only if you know how to use it to its full potential. 

I continue to be fascinated by recruiting and staffing professionals who show no desire to learn how to apply Boolean logic to query sources of candidates for talent.  Hearing a sourcer or recruiter complain about having to learn how to harness the power of Boolean search strings is like running into someone on a golf course complaining that golf is a difficult game.  Why are they on the golf course? Why are they even trying to play if all they are doing is complaining about how hard it is? They’ve chosen to play the game – why don’t they stop complaining, take some more golf lessons, practice a lot, and get better? Golf is golf – the game doesn’t really change – it doesn’t get more difficult with each passing day. People who set a goal of becoming good at golf make a conscious decision to get better and take lessons and practice a lot to improve their skill and ability.

Similarly, if you’ve chosen a career in recruiting and staffing (by design or by accident), instead of making excuses and complaining about how hard it is to learn Boolean logic and to create effective Boolean search strings, why not stop complaining, make a conscious effort to improve your skill and ability – get some training on how to create and leverage effective Boolean search strings, and practice a lot to get better? In this case, it’s not a hobby – it’s your career! What could be more important than learning how to be more effective at your chosen career?!?!?

Technology isn’t going away.  There won’t be any less information about people stored electronincally in the future – quite the opposite. Learning how to apply Boolean logic to create effective search strings to leverage information systems to increase your effectiveness and your productivity as a sourcer or recruiter isn’t that difficult – all it takes is a conscious decision to commit to improving your game, getting some training, and lots of practice.

Lean Sourcing and Recruiting: JIT Candidate Acquisition

Lean Sourcing and Recruiting: JIT Candidate Acquisition

According to globally accepted supply chain management principles (such as those of Lean and the Toyota Production System), building and maintaining product inventories is wasteful. In an ideal state, companies would acquire the right material, at the right time, at the right place, and in the exact amount.  This is called Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory management.

However, many HR, recruiting and staffing organizations push their teams in the exact opposite direction – focusing specifically on building candidate inventories through “proactive” recruiting, the theory being that when a specific need arises, they might already have candidates already identified in their inventory. This begs the question – why don’t more organizations adopt Just-In-Time (JIT) talent identification and acquisition into their Human Capital supply chain management philosohphies and systems?

I think there are 2 major reasons for this: #1 Many sourcers and recruiters rely heavily upon cold calling, referral recruiting, and posting jobs to find talent, and #2 Most HR, recruiting and staffing organizations don’t (or are simply not able to) effectively leverage technology.

Cold Calling, Referral Recruiting, Posting Jobs

While cold calling into companies, referral recruiting, and posting jobs can be effective techniques for identifying talent, they are slow, time-intensive processes that have an intrinsically low probability of delivering precisely the right talent quickly for any specific manager or client request. Additionally, posting jobs yields a very low percentage of qualified applicants – sometimes less than 5%-10%. Using only these methods, if a recruiter waited for a client or manager request before they began recruiting, it could literally take weeks or months to find the right people, which certainly would not be delivering value to the client (a core Lean principle), nor would it provide a timely flow (another core Lean principle) of candidate submissions in response to the client’s or manager’s request. To compensate for this, recruiters really have no choice other than to proactively recruit candidates even when they don’t have an active opening/need, in the hopes of having candidates whenever they do receive a job order/request. However, hope is not a strategy. Continue reading

Resumes on the Internet: Monster vs. Google Round 2

In response to my post of Resumes on the Internet: Monster vs. Google one of my readers commented that “While it may be true that Monster has more resumes than Google, using a zip code search is not a fair comparison for Google. People who post their resumes on Monster are required to enter their zip code, while people who resumes are stored online will generally only put their email and/or phone number. Also, even using the term resume can be limiting in Google. Because it was not built to only index resumes, you have to get more creative to filter out the noise. You can try the ~CV or ~Resume, you can also take that out completely and search for types of documents, .DOC, .PDF, etc. and look for words commonly found in CV’s like education, objective, etc.”

His comment inspired me to get these industry heavyweights into the ring for a second battle and experiment with not using zip code ranges or the word “resume” when searching for resumes on the Internet using Google. Let’s begin with the same searches as Monster vs. Google Round 1.

Search #1 – Java, Oracle, Sprint or Nextel, State of MD

Google #1 Zip range (original search) = 4 results

(intitle:resume | inurl:resume) java oracle (sprint | nextel) 20601..21930 (MD | Maryland) -~job -~jobs Continue reading

The Sourcer’s Fallacy

A significant step on the path of sourcing enlightenment is becoming aware of, and not falling prey to The Sourcer’s Fallacy.

The Sourcer’s Fallacy is the conscious or unconscious belief that:

#1 If you haven’t found what you’re looking for in a particular database, social network, or on the Internet – that it’s not there,


#2 After you’ve run searches in a particular database, social network, or on the Internet that you have found all that there is to be found.

Some quick secondary sourcing facts:

  • No single Boolean search string can find ALL qualified candidates
  • Unknowingly, most sourcers and recruiters employ Boolean search strings that make it nearly impossible to find every possible qualified candidate, let alone the BEST candidates
  • Most people are not aware of the candidates they did not find – but that does not mean that they are not there to be found

Enlightened sourcers and recruiters are always aware that there are candidates that they are missing and not finding when they run Boolean searches to find people. This awareness drives them to consciously and creatively think of ways to uncover those candidates hiding in of every source of human capital.

Don’t fall prey to the Sourcer’s Fallacy.

Searching Facebook for Candidates

I recently received a request from a reader to come up with some example Boolean Strings for finding software engineers on Facebook who are from Top 10 schools (Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, CMU, etc) and live in the Silicon Valley.

***Quick disclaimer***
I am definitely not a Facebook sourcing guru – I don’t see it as a high yield source for proactive and highly precise sourcing as it is a relatively “shallow” source of information, it’s search interfaces are quite limited, and when x-raying into Facebook you can’t see much information. I’d invite anyone reading this that has suggestions and best practices to please add them.

Okay, now that I got that out of the way, searching inside Facebook for people that you don’t “know” (they aren’t your “friends” yet) has become more and more restricted over time. There are a few ways to search for people within Facebook – I will cover 3. Continue reading

Why learn how to master Boolean search strings?

Image by shawnblog

Image by shawnblog

Why bother to learn the arcane art and science of Boolean search logic?

It really bothers me when I read or hear about the idea that sourcers and recruiters don’t need to worry about learning how to craft and execute Boolean queries for talent identification and acquisition. This opinion usually has something to do with the idea that creating effective Boolean search strings is a time-consuming and difficult-to-learn process, and ultimately ends up in lowly “buzzword matching.”

It’s one thing to hear this kind of thought coming from a software vendor that’s selling a product, claiming that their “fuzzy logic” or “artificial intelligence” application can match candidates to job openings as well as a senior sourcer or recruiter can, without the need to learn how to create and run advanced Boolean queries. I get it – they’re selling something…the idea that their software can reduce or eliminate the need to train yourself or your sourcing/recruiting team on how to create effective Boolean search strings. I can’t blame the software vendors – they’re trying to make money.

It’s another to hear this kind of thought coming from a staffing professional – that’s just scary. It tells me very clearly that the person expressing this opinion doesn’t have a strong understanding of, or a high level of expertise with, the inherent power and control advanced Boolean search tactics and strategies can afford a sourcer or recruiter when it comes to talent identification and acquisition. If you don’t know how to use it or only have a basic level of understanding of it, how are you qualified to have an opinion on it, least of all a potentially negative and damaging opinion? Yes, I do know what they say about opinions. I’ll keep it clean here.

Discounting the power and value of learning how to effectively wield Boolean search strings is no different than saying that there’s little value in learning how to effectively perform cold calling/phone sourcing. With either method of sourcing, primary or secondary, it is more the person applying the concepts, tactics, strategies, and techniques than the Boolean operators or the phone sourcing scripts themselves. Make no mistake – it’s the human element that gets the results.

Okay, so Boolean Logic isn’t as sexy as Social Media and certainly isn’t the staffing buzzword du jour. However, does anyone think for a second that the world is going to go backwards to storing everything on paper? HELLO?!? With more and more information being stored electronically (pretty much everything, really) – online somewhere (Social Networks, blogs, job boards, etc.) or buried in a corporate database/ATS, it’s worthless unless you can retrieve it. You can’t retrieve information electronically without using some kind of query logic. So how does it make sense to think that it’s not critically important that sourcers and recruiters learn how to manipulate information retrieval logic? Continue reading

Resumes on the Internet: Monster vs. Google

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 boards. 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 little bit of a skeptic by nature and I tend to question everything. Socrates and I would have been fast friends. I don’t typically accept what other people say or write just because they say or write it. So that whole “there are TONS more candidates on the Internet than the job boards” thing has been slowly eating away at me and I’ve decided to take a stab at dispelling the myth by pitting The Internet (via Google) vs. Monster.

Before you jump all over the Boolean search strings I settled on for this little exercise – I’m going to keep them relatively simple for easy apples-to-apples comparisons. I am well aware that the searches you see below can be tweaked in many ways – and just so you know, I did experiment with them before settling on a particular search string format. I did not find any significant variation in the results by tweaking the approach I took to pulling resumes. For example, when I used intitle:~resume, I got a couple extra CV hits, but also a bunch of false positives that were not resumes – so I kept it pure and simple at intitle:resume.

I chose to go with 1 Internet search engine (Google) and 1 major job board (Monster). Yes – I know that there are resumes that you can only find using other search engines (hey – I do have a Black Belt in Boolean) – but I figured I would let the 800 lb gorillas of their respective niches battle it out. Plus, there are other major job boards – so we’re even.

It is important to bear in mind that I set out to just run a little experiment to see how many resumes I could find via Google for particular search terms/skills in specific locations vs. how many I could find on Monster with the same search terms and locations.  I chose the state of Maryland and a 20 mile radius of 94118 in San Francisco, CA. 

Google – are you ready? Monster – are you ready? Now, LET’S GET IT ON!!! Continue reading

Targeting PAST experience on LinkedIn – can it be done?

I recently had a recruiter ask me if there were any way to be able to search LinkedIn for people who have worked at a specific company in the past, but who are NOT currently working for that company.

I can see why some Sourcers and Recruiters would want to specifically target people who are not currently at a company, but have worked there in the past. I’ve done a bit of digging on this, and I have yet to find a way to reliably targeting past experience while ensuring that you only get results of people who are not currently working at the target company.  When searching within your network on LinkedIn, as you may know, the only controllable option you have is to be able to search for people who are currently at target companies. If you leave the “current companies only” option unchecked, you will get results with a mix of people who are currently employed at your target company as well as those who are no longer working there. Also – when searching inside your own network – you are limited to results of people to whom you are connected up to the 3rd degree.
Going beyond your own LinkedIn network, you can try using Google and other Internet search engines and employ the site: command to search into LinkedIn – but we have to be aware that this is not a method that affords you precise control over current or past experience.  However, I’m going to give Google, Exalead, and AltaVista a thorough LinkedIn Boolean workout. Continue reading

Twittering for Sourcing

I recently saw a discussion on ERE started by Erika Hansen Brown on the topic of using Twitter for sourcing. I weighed in on the discussion, which can be found here:

Personally, I think that Twitter is most effective when leveraged for passive talent identification and acquisition via recruiter and/or employer branding and job opening notifications. Some of the people and companies listed in the replies in this discussion as examples of successful Twitter usage seem to be using it exactly for this purpose.

I don’t think that Twitter is nearly as effective as a tool for active talent identification and acquisition, primarily for two reasons – #1 It’s a shallow source of candidate information, and #2 It offers only basic search options resulting in imprecise results.

With very little depth of information available for Twitter users, Twitter isn’t an effective option for the Sourcer or Recruiter who is looking to be able to have a high degree of control over critical candidate qualification variables, including specific experience (quality, quantity, or depth), precise location, education, etc. If you’re interested, I wrote a post about shallow vs. deep sources of candidate information here:

Now, we can’t fault Twitter for being a shallow source of candidate information, or for having a simple search interface – it wasn’t designed to be a highly searchable database of human capital. So simply leverage it to the best of your ability in the most effective manner available. I wouldn’t expect to use Twitter as a “high yield” sourcing or recruiting source – but if leveraged properly, it can certainly result in successful hires.

The value of a resume database

How do you value a database? I say that the value of a database lies not in the information contained within, but in the ability of a user to extract out precisely and completely what the user needs.

When talking about the value of a company’s internal candidate database or the online job board resume databases, we must always be aware that their value is more accurately quantified by the user’s ability to find and retrieve any and all candidates who are appropriately qualified for their needs.

There are 3 major contributing factors as to why most sourcers and recruiters inaccurately value the resume databases they have access to.  #1 Talent Mining capability, #2 The search interface/engine, and #3 Believing the hype that the job boards only have desperate, active or poor quality candidates. Continue reading

Resumes are not dead!

With the buzz I continue to see and hear surrounding Twitter, social networks, Internet sourcing (blogs, articles, etc.) and such, it’s easy to look at resumes as dull, outdated, or at least “uncool” when it comes to sourcing and recruiting. I fear there are many people who get blinded by the “shiny object” factor of each and every “next new thing” that will supposedly revolutionize staffing, leading them to overlook the significant and tangible advantages that resumes have over other sources of talent identification information.

The limitations inherent with using Twitter, blogs, Internet articles, LinkedIn profiles and similar sources for talent identification is that they are what I classify as “shallow” sources of candidate information. In most cases, they contain very little information regarding critical candidate variables such as skills and responsibilities, quantity and quality of experience, career history and accomplishments, education, precise location, etc. Many shallow sources of candidate information simply do not provide ANY information regarding some of these details. With little or no information to go on, it is extremely difficult to search for and identify candidates who have a high probability of at least meeting the minimum requirements for your opening, let alone exceeding them.   Continue reading

Job Boards = Bad Candidates? Don’t believe the hype.

I continue to see well respected thought leaders in the staffing industry make claims that the value of the job boards is waning and that the quality of candidates on the job boards is low.

A few years ago, I weighed in on an ERE discussion in response to the question of, “What would happen if the job boards became obsolete?” I noticed that many people in the discussion took the stance that the quality of candidates on the job boards is low.

I originally wrote this post back in 2008, and because there is still a strong belief in 2012 that job boards somehow only offer low quality candidates, I am taking the time to update my thoughts and republish an article on the topic, using statistics to prove that the job boards have the same percentage of “A” players as LinkedIn or any other source.

Once it’s published, I will link to it here.


Talent Mining – what is it anyway?

By my definition, Talent Mining is a simple adaptation of Data Mining, which according to Wikipedia is the process of sorting through large amounts of data and picking out relevant information, or “the nontrivial extraction of implicit, previously unknown, and potentially useful information from data” and “the science of extracting useful information from large data sets or databases.”

I define Talent Mining as the science of sorting through large amounts of human capital/talent-related data, typically found in resume databases, on the Internet, in social networking profiles, blog posts, etc., and extracting out relevant and useful information from the data that can be used for talent identification and acquisition. Continue reading

Black Belt Boolean

I know – you may be asking yourself, “What is this guy thinking?” A blog about Boolean queries when all the buzz is currently about Social Networking, Mobile Recruiting and such? True – Boolean search strings aren’t as sexy, shiny or new as Facebook, Twitter or Cloud Recruiting. However, in the hands of an expert, and in my direct experience, advanced Boolean search strategies and tactics used in conjunction with internal/corporate resume databases and job boards (yes, I said job boards – more on that later) can and do yield higher quantities of highly relevant results more quickly than any other method of talent identification and acquisition. Continue reading