We now use search engines such as Google and Bing in all areas of life to quickly find the most relevant information online. So-called Boolean operators can be very helpful by allowing an even more accurate search - also ideal in recruitment. A Boolean search assists in the active sourcing of suitable candidates via search engines, in CV databases, business networks and company talent pools, based on specific keywords and complex search criteria, often with longer "search strings" (Boolean strings). In the second step, the search engine, external database or professional HR software then returns a list of results with detailed information about potential candidates, sorted according to how well they fit the search profile.
An overview of the most important Boolean operators:
A conjunction used when the search results must contain both criteria. Example: Engineer AND Manchester
For searching for alternatives. Example: engineer in Manchester OR engineer in Bristol
To exclude certain search criteria. Examples: engineer NOT London, assistant NOT marketing
To show all pdf documents on a website, for example, to find candidates' original documents in business networks.
Returns all domains with URLs containing the term "career".
Shows all pages containing the term "engineer'' in the text (not however in the title).
To show all pages containing the term "engineer" in the title.
A Boolean search should, through its quickness and accuracy, determine the most relevant candidates for a vacancy in the shortest time, thus minimising your recruitment costs. This procedure makes sense particularly where there are a large number of candidates and contacts (talent pool); and equally so, when looking for people with very specific skills and knowledge.
Further information about Boolean searches and useful tools:
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