Tips that can help your organization find incredible new employees

How to Use Boolean Search Techniques in Recruiting - Talent Intelligence Whether you’re looking for job candidates on LinkedIn, Monster or another site, the terms you enter — and the format you enter them in — can have a significant effect on the quality of the results you receive.

Adopting a Boolean search strategy — using Boolean operators, the words AND, OR and NOT in capital letters, and quotation marks or parenthesis — when searching for information can often help you obtain more targeted responses.

If your organization hasn’t tried to conduct that type of query. or you’re looking to refine your Boolean search skills, the following suggestions will potentially help make your Boolean-based data gathering efforts more successful:

Put exact phrases in quotes

Just typing hiring managers in Virginia into a search field could turn up websites that contain any one of those four words — including irrelevant options, such as a site on tourism in the state, or the definition of the word hiring. Words that are contained between two quotation marks, however, will be treated as a single term. So if you’re looking for jobseekers who have worked as hiring managers in Virginia, enter “hiring managers in Virginia” into the search field.

Include the best Boolean operators

Entering the word NOT in capital letters before the rest of your search terms — such as, “NOT a sales professional” — will exclude options that contain that phrase from your results. Using the word OR will help broaden your results; searching for “human resources OR manager” should pull up links to websites that contain at least one of the terms.

Using another Boolean operator, the word AND, can help you receive results that include more than one specific quality — for example, entering “human resources AND manager” should provide results that involve people in that field at the managerial level. Some sites, however, may not require you to add AND; according to a Boolean search guide published by LinkedIn, for instance, entering two or more search terms on its site will automatically provide results that include all of the terms.

Use parenthesis to prioritize

Words contained within parenthesis will be searched for first; as a CareerBuilder guide on the topic advises, it’s important to remember Boolean logic will read left to right — but like an algebra problem will address the items in parenthesis first. A search for an IT professional who has worked in the legal industry might look like this: (“legal” OR “law firm”) AND (“IT administrator” or “information technology manager”).

Consider using a casual tone

Conversational phrasing may help you get more specific results, according to an article on Boolean search strategy published by the Society for Human Resource Management — such as searching on Twitter for the phrase “I work for” to find candidates from a certain organization.

For additional help with targeted candidate searches, read our blog posts on job description keywords that will attract qualified candidates; which social media venues can help you successfully connect with jobseekers; 4 clever ways to locate unconventional candidates — and how to provide a positive candidate experience once you do.