Only 20% Queries Need to Be Boolean

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Sourcing includes three types of search:

  1. Research – finding info on terminology, target companies, schools, job titles, locations, and industry news
  2. Search – finding professionals with promising backgrounds
  3. Cross-referencing – finding additional qualifying professional info and contact info.

“[1] Research” and “[3] Cross-referencing” rarely require complex searching. You can accomplish most of the tasks by Googling for a few keywords and using Chrome extensions.

While “[2] Search” has a technical aspect where you create complex Boolean AND-OR-NOT searches (on LinkedIn or a job board). Advanced Google operators are highly applicable as well. However, you can accomplish quite a bit without any “Boolean complexities”.

Here are some simple – non-technical, “non-Boolean” – approaches to these search tasks. (And there are many more!)

  • Have a short question? Google it. While you can’t Google a job description and expect to see anything useful, you can Google for sites where potential candidates might be present, for example:
  • Have a lead (a perfect candidate, perhaps someone who had declined an offer, or lives in the wrong place, or is already working in a similar role)? Google his or her name along with the company name or skill keywords. Also, Google the email address in the quotation marks. You will find additional background and may find sites with other professionals “like this one”.
  • Search for qualifying phrases someone might have written such as “hired as managing director”. (Sometimes this is mistakenly called “Natural Language Search” – this term means asking your queries in English vs. some computer-oriented notation).

While complex Boolean search must remain part of any sourcing process at this time (please don’t believe that “AI is there” – it is not), you can do around 80% of searches without. Join us at the Sourcing without Boolean webinar to learn all about masterful Googling without using operators and other techniques like the one I described above.


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