Boolean Search


HR Glossary

Boolean Search

Finding a suitable candidate must not be a difficult task since we have so many platforms with basically every filter needed. Hence recruiters use the Boolean search string, to search from a particular group candidate.

The advances in recruiting with artificial intelligence, are making these challenges easy. But if you are yet to harness its power, using Boolean searches while hunting job boards, Indeed, LinkedIn could be of great help.

What is Boolean Search?

Boolean search is a query methodology that is used to widen, narrow, or filter search results. It allows the combination of different elements to conduct a search and utilizes any search engine to its absolute potential.

Employers using Boolean search can narrow down the pool of candidates they are presented with by specifically looking for what is required in the job role.

Why is Boolean Search important in recruitment? 

Searching for candidates any number of perfect candidates in a small period of time makes the recruitment process a lot easier. And by using boolean search you can not only find candidates who have the right skills and experience, but the real hidden gems to be specific. 

With a lesser amount of time consumed and easier recruitment, the cost per hire also becomes lower. 

Hence mastering the art of Boolean search will allow you to find that perfect candidate – even when it may seem impossible. 

Tips to apply Boolean Search in recruitment?

  • Modify the search string regularly

Remember that the more operators added to your search string will narrow down your results. Complex search strings will help you identify your ideal candidate.

This may lead to the elimination of qualified individuals from the talent pool too. Therefore, try to cut or add operators as needed to adjust your search results.

  • Keep a record of the successful search strings

Whenever you use Boolean search methods, make note of the search strings you use most frequently and the ones that generate a higher quality of results. And keep those strings with you to save time on future searches.

  • Be conscious of the false positives

False positives are the results that may look accurate but aren’t. You may find some of these, even with specific and complex search strings. Carefully analyze each result and verify it meets your requirements.

  • Make candidate personas

If you create a custom candidate persona for every open role, it gives you the needed information to recruit the right people. Doing this will help you to narrow down your Boolean search strings and perfectly narrow the results. 

The 6 Basic Boolean Search Operators For Recruiters

  1. AND

The functionality of AND: It includes multiple criteria in the search result.

When to Use: Use it to narrow the search results based on multiple requirements. 

  1. OR

The functionality of OR: It includes one or more criteria in search results

When to Use: Used to expand your search results. 

  1. NOT

The functionality of NOT: It excludes not needed criteria from search results 

When to Use: Used to narrow your search results by omitting unwanted criteria.

  1. Brackets ()

The functionality of Brackets: It group search phrases and prioritize operators 

When to Use: Used to include multiple operators without changing the search query. 

  1. Quotations “ ”

The functionality of Quotations: It searches for the exact phrase

When to Use: Use the quotations operator when you want results that include an exact phrase. 

  1. Asterisk *

The functionality of Asterisk: It searches for variations of the root word

When to Use: Used to broaden search results when there are multiple variations of a root word.

How To Apply The 6 Basic Boolean Search Operators?

You can try to create your own Boolean searches within the recruitment LinkedIn, job boards like Indeed, or even on Google. 

By practicing and mastering Boolean search and with the application of basic rules, searches can be performed that would otherwise seem difficult. You can also save time searching through hundreds of CVs and it will provide you with more targeted and relevant results.

Keep visiting Xobin to read about more interesting topics like this.

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