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Boolean search: The Holy Grail

  • 235 views
  • 08-12-2020 11:35 AM
Written by
Gastblog door Recruit Robin: Kyara Jorritsma

Coming up with Boolean search-strings isn’t the most thrilling task of the day, we all know that. But luckily there are generators which automatically put these strings ‘on paper’, and we have listed a number of expert-tips. With this you could work more efficiently, or even automatise a part of your search for the perfect candidate. Less work, who wouldn’t want that?

What is Boolean?
With Boolean Search you organize search words by making a combination of keywords. You get to use Boolean operators (AND, OR and NOT) to refine your search task. AND will make you search for both keywords that you inserted, OR will make at least one of the keywords appear in the results and NOT excludes certain results. Unfortunately coming up with search words takes quite a lot of time, synonyms and combinations. Lucky you, because you can automatise a part of it!

Automatising your Boolean process
So what do you say? Less headaches, less time spent, less knowledge on sourcing and Boolean search needed… Automatising Boolean search means that you will have more time (and energy) left to spend, that you can focus on more complex activities, that you work more objectively and can scale up and down more quickly. Apart from that: software doesn’t get sick, make a lot of mistakes or forget anything. You can automatise your Boolean-process using generators, like Monster’s PRS, Trevisan social and the Social Talent Boolean Builder. With just a title and some search words they automatically spew out endless synonyms and related keywords. And voilà, there’s your Boolean String! You can of course automatise your whole sourcing process, using Recruit Robin for instance ;)


Expert-tips on the Boolean Search-field
Are you still not sure what to do with the Boolean-world? No problem, we have summed up a few expert-tips below, which can make you feel like a million dollars. 

1. Use as many synonyms as possible
When coming up with synonyms you have to look beyond what’s in front of you. So not only function titles, but also education levels for instance. When you have ‘Bachelor degree’ as a requirement, you can also enter ‘college’ and ‘higher education’.

2. Abbreviation
Try to be alert! With the function titles a common occurrence is that project manager also gets written as, for example, Proj. Man or PM. And did you know that some candidates do this on purpose, to avoid constant contact with the annoying recruiters? You can now anticipate this and adjust to it!

3. Looking beyond what’s in front of you
With a LinkedIn search you will merely get to see the first thousand candidates, but we have a solution for this! When you have several searches, which exclude each other, you’ll get to see over a thousand results. One example: when you filter on the location, you start by entering regions in the South, and you keep moving to the North of the country. This way you’ll keep getting new results, even though you only have to change one aspect of the string!

4. Search not only on LinkedIn
Boolean works on many search engines and platforms, so it’d be a shame to only use it on LinkedIn. You can also try using it on Google. In this case we also have some secret operators below, which you can use to your advantage. Read on!

5. Secret operators 
Aside from the usual (AND, OR and NOT) operators there are a few secret tools which you can use on Google. With Inurl you can locate the search words in a URL and Intext aides you with finding the search results in the actual content of a page. Aside from that you also have Intitle, which helps you see the results that contain your search words in the title, or file type. With the last one you will only find certain documents in your search results, so you’re filtering on certain file types. This is incredibly useful when trying to find your CV for example, which often have been saved as PDF or DOCX- files. 

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