Intelligence Software

This is a recording of the first of my new series of recruitment webinars. This week I’m talking about using free internet search tools in sourcing Candidates and Vacancies.

In my normal job at Intelligence Software, I spend my time developing recruitment software, clever recruitment ideas, and techniques to help recruiters make more placements. Recruitment has never been a simple process and if anything it is becoming more complicates. In this series of Webinars, I’ll be talking about the many things that recruiters can do to recruit more effectively.

Boolean search

This week I’m looking at Boolean search, what it is and what to do with it. Boolean is simply using the words AND OR and NOT in your searches.

(“Quantity Surveyor” OR QS OR RICS) AND London

This is a Boolean search that can be entered straight into Google.

Notice how quotation marks surround the phrase Quantity Surveyor. This tells Google that these two words should be found together in that order.

I am using OR in capital letters. With normal Google searches this shouldn’t matter, but for other searches, it does. Therefore I always capitalize these words if for no other reason than to remind me that it is an Operator in my search and that I’m not looking for the word ‘or’ on the web page.

Finally, notice that I have used brackets ( ) around all the OR terms and before the AND London, this is important because computers are not that smart and may not know that London is a place and not some specific type of Quantity Surveyor. As a general rule, when using AND and OR together you will need brackets.

When using Google or LinkedIn to search, you actually don’t need to use AND. Both those searches will assume that an AND should be between words unless those words are surrounded by quotation marks.

Then to perform a NOT search, simply use a character immediately before the word or phrase. For example, if you do not want to find estate agents, who may also be members of the RICS then add –“estate agent” to the search string.

X-Ray Search

All this said, my Google search will still give me millions of results. So in effect, I am no closer to finding someone I can place. To improve my chances I might think that it would be great if Google only returned LinkedIn profiles. I can tell Google to only search Linked using the site: operator.

This is called an x-ray search and simply means using Google to search just one web site, in this case, LinkedIn. X-ray searches are fantastic for recruiters as they can be used on any web site. In the coming weeks, I’ll be talking about sourcing on other sites like Google Plus and Twitter and this will be one of the tools to recruit from these places.

Unfortunately, LinkedIn has many different types of pages as well as profiles. I can remove these by telling Google I don’t want directory pages or Group pages etc by using the –inurl: operator
-inurl:dir –inurl:groups

This will give you good results and should show just LinkedIn profile pages.

LinkedIn Searches

The same Boolean search can be used directly with LinkedIn. Simply type into the people search box and the AND, OR and – operators will work just as they do in Google.

LinkedIn also gives a range of filters on the left-hand side of the results to better refine the search.

Linkedin searches work in a different way to Google. Firstly, its search is based on my LinkedIn network. Tis means it limits who I see and how much information it gives me about each profile. LinkedIn search does, however, give me lots of wonderful filters so I can get to the people I want to recruit.

Intelligence Search

My final search tool is a tool that I developed myself. Developing Recruitment Software is very often less about clever recruiting tools and more about keeping the recruitment process as simple as possible. The Linkedin search is very good but more limiting than Google. Unfortunately, to search through Google you have to write quite long and complicated Boolean strings. To solve this problem, I created a Google Custom Search specifically for recruitment. It is available for free on my web site at This recruitment tool allows you to enter a Boolean search and it will only find Google profiles.

Sourcing Vacancies

When I developed this I was very interested , as well as finding candidates, to also be able to find vacancies. On running a search there are further filters that allow you to find profiles of people who have just started a new job. This is extremely for recruitment consultants looking for new vacancies to work on. If a person has just changed jobs then it is likely that their previous employer has a vacancy. Not only that. Having knowledge about the person who has just left gives the recruiter an insight into the skills that the employer will be interested in.

Once the recruiter has identified a prospective client in need of staff. Simply using the company search on the same page will enable then to quickly identify all the people they are connected to who work there.

If you find this webinar useful, please tell your friends and colleagues about it, tweet about it and share it where ever possible. If you like what I do please connect with me on LinkedIn and write a recommendation. My future webinars will be posted on my blog page so please check that for information.

Posted in Social Recruiting