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Boolean Search Secrets to Make You More Effective

January 11th, 2017 Comments off
Boolean Search Secrets to Make You More Effective

If you’ve been in the HR space as long as I have, you know the hardest part of recruiting used to be knowing how to find the people you wanted to hire. Recruiters often played the role of detectives who used ruses and telephone networking techniques to lead them to the candidates they wanted to interact with. The technology is different today but the basics of HR are still the same.

How Recruiters’ Jobs Have Evolved

Until the mid-1990’s, Boolean logic — the foundation of Boolean search — was the exclusive province of librarians, lawyers and software developers. As the World Wide Web emerged, Boolean search came of age as one of the primary tools of recruiters around the world. Boolean search involves using specific logic and special ‘operators’ to dig deeper into search engines like Google.

Today recruiters have access to an abundance of information about prospective employees using the leading search engines. Finding what they’re looking for involves being able to be specific enough.

Tips and Tricks You Can Start Using Now

Boolean operators can be used to narrow, expand or refine the results of a search query:

• OR means that the search results should include either of two terms. i.e.,
MBA OR Masters of Business Administration
The search results will include either of the two terms but not necessarily both. You can make long strings of OR to make sure that a large range of terms are included.
• AND means that the search results should include both terms. i.e.,
Java AND C++
All search results will include both terms.
• NOT means that the following term should be excluded from search results. i.e.,
Java NOT C++
The search results will include the first term and will exclude results that contain the second term.

In addition to these core operators, Boolean includes powerful modifiers

• Quotation Marks “__“ mean that the search engine should treat the words inside of the quotation makes as a single search term. The search query “baseball player” returns documents with those two words together. Without the quotes, the search results contain documents with those words anywhere, not necessarily next to each other
• Parentheses (_____) are especially useful with long strings of OR queries. i.e.,
(Java OR C++ OR Ruby OR JavaScript)
• Asterisk * (or Wildcard) allows the search to contain the stem of a word. The search develop* would return results with any of the following words: develops, developer, developers, development, developments, developing

Connecting With Candidates Using Search

When this all began, more than 20 years ago, using search to solve problems was a novelty. Back then, the notion of Boolean search referred to the use of terms like OR, AND or NOT to increase the effectiveness of a query. In the intervening years, all search engines have added advanced search capabilities that include a variety of terms and symbols to expand the effectiveness of the user.

Each database that you use to discover candidates will have some advanced search capabilities. They might include:

• Date ranges so that you can search only documents that emerged in the last month, last year or in a specific time frame.
• Document types so that you can specify PDF, doc, docx, xls or ppt for example. Search results will only contain these types of files.
• Specific domains: This modifier forces the search to only look at a specific domain. This is useful to search competitor websites.

Developing strong skills in search techniques makes the difference in the quality of recruiting results. The more a recruiter can unearth results from easily available sources, the more valuable he or she is to the organization. Boolean search techniques matter because they provide a competitive differentiation.

Are you doing what it takes to stand out from the competition?

Want to become a pro in the fundamentals of Boolean search? Check out our guide to learn how sourcing masters use Boolean to tap into talent across the web. 

9 New Toolkits With Salary and Skills Data to Focus Recruiting Efforts

January 9th, 2017 Comments off
candidate search

Whether you’re a recruiting novice or a seasoned sourcing pro, starting a new candidate search can be overwhelming. You want to be targeted with your search, yet you don’t always have the time or resources to spend on pulling data or perfecting your sourcing techniques. But if you go into a search unprepared, you may end up spinning your wheels – and taking a long time to fill the position.

So, how can you better focus your recruiting efforts? By starting your candidate search with a few key insights and shortcuts:

  • Average earnings data: It’s not enough to just know what your company has historically offered in terms of compensation for the open position. By having median earnings data for the specific occupation as well as other similar occupations, you’ll get a better sense of what your competitors are paying and how your compensation compares.
  • Top skills: What are the hard and soft skills to look for in a candidate for your open jobs? Having a list of desired skills on-hand while sourcing candidates will help you more easily narrow down your pool of prospects.
  • Boolean search basics: If you want to quickly and effectively source candidates for your open positions, you need to know how to perform a Boolean search.

New Industry-Specific Hiring Toolkits Available Now

Here is the good news: CareerBuilder has done a lot of this legwork for you. We have created nine industry-specific hiring toolkits filled with key earnings and skills data and Boolean shortcuts to save you time and help you hire the best talent more effectively. You’ll find toolkits for the following industries: sales, retail, light industrial, IT, insurance, hospitality, health care, engineering and transportation.

Download your industry-specific toolkit today

The Benefits of Algorithmic Candidate Recommendations

November 29th, 2016 Comments off
Algorithmic recommendations

Do you have a hard-to-fill job? Not enough qualified applicants? You could search through a candidate database. Or, even better, save yourself the work and rely on algorithmic candidate recommendations. This is the message from a newly published paper in the Journal of Labor Economics by my economist colleague John Horton, from New York University’s Stern business school.

Algorithmic recommendations can increase the job filling rate by 20 percent

John collaborated with the ODesk (now Upwork) online work platform to do some experimentation in 2011. Employers were randomly assigned to a control group (business as usual) and to a treatment group (algorithmic recommendation). Without the recommendation, employers can either look at candidates who applied to their jobs, or search candidates on the ODesk database. With the recommendation, employers got up to six candidate recommendations based on their job opening. Employers with technical jobs (e.g., web programming and mobile development) typically had a hard time filling their vacancies, but the job filling rate was 20 percent higher for those who saw candidate recommendations.

Interestingly, candidate recommendations did not dissuade employers from hiring other non-recommended workers. This shows that candidate recommendations were not duplicating employer efforts, but were a real value added to employers.

Algorithmic recommendations are especially effective for jobs with few applicants

It is interesting that, in the ODesk experiment, algorithmic recommendations only had an effect for technical jobs and not for nontechnical jobs. When digging deeper into the data, John found that part of the difference could be explained by the fact that nontechnical jobs already had plenty of applicants. It is for the hard-to-fill technical jobs that the algorithmic recommendations were more effective, increasing job filling rates.

Recommended candidates are as good as employer-sourced candidates

When comparing recommended candidates and those sourced by the employer themselves, John found that recommended candidates were just as skilled and performed just as well on the job. Therefore, employers can rely on algorithmic recommendation to do at least as good of a job as themselves when sourcing candidates. This is especially remarkable given that the recommendation algorithm used at the time of the experiment (2011) was quite simple, and more recent algorithms are much more sophisticated.

For example, CareerBuilder now has a Talentstream match product that uses advanced natural language processing techniques to match jobs with the most suitable candidates. The product is currently available to staffing companies and other companies that use the Bullhorn ATS. The search engine allows employers to search not only in their candidate database but also across other sources like LinkedIn. Furthermore, search can be refined by specifying the relative importance of different skill requirements.

In conclusion, if you regularly find yourself with hard-to-fill jobs, you could benefit from algorithmic candidate recommendations.

Get in touch with your sales representative to learn more.

 

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Become a Sourcing Pro: Boolean Search Fundamentals

June 10th, 2016 Comments off
Become a Sourcing Pro: Boolean Search Fundamentals

Sifting through thousands of resumes in a database to find that one perfect candidate can be demanding — but it doesn’t need to be complicated. To quickly and effectively source candidates for your specific open jobs, you need to learn the language of your resume database: Boolean.

You need to know how to perform a Boolean search, a simple way to search by keywords and broaden or narrow your results as you need. You can boost the quality of your search results, get a leg up on the competition and hire candidates faster with this guide to Boolean search fundamentals.

This guide will introduce Boolean search fundamentals, such as:

  • Why it’s important to know Boolean
  • Expanding your search for candidates
  • Narrowing resume results
  • Excluding candidates that may not be relevant

 

Download the guide today and you’ll be on your way to becoming a sourcing pro in no time!