When sourcing job candidates, we’ve discussed using Instagram, browser extensions, and even specific web tools, such as Hiretual and Sourcible, but let us not forget to also incorporate the most popular “top dog” that’s available to everyone – Google.
Yes, Google can help you find countless resumes and expand your talent pools by miles, but do you really know how to use this huge, powerful search engine for precise recruiting?
You may be thinking, “I know how to use Google. All you do is type in what you’re searching for and click search. Easy peasy!”
Well, it’s not so easy when you’re trying to find candidates with specific requirements. You could get lost in a sea of millions (or billions) of resumes and search results. There is no way that you can easily sift through all those results to find exactly what you’re looking for.
This is where Google’s advanced search comes in handy. It helps to narrow down search results for complex searches through a method called Boolean search. Using different keywords and search strings delivers different results.
What is Boolean Search?
Back in 1847, George Boole, an English Mathematician, discovered a new algebraic method based on values that were either true or false.
Our brain naturally thinks that most outcomes can be arrived at through a series of logical choices. For example, you may think, “I am searching for a candidate who is a website designer OR developer but NOT a graphic designer.”
When using search engines, you must know how to “speak their language,” which is Boolean. Boolean is a word used to define the process of combining certain keywords with “operators,” words like AND, OR, and NOT. “These operators tell the search engine how to use the keywords in the search.” When used in certain ways, keywords and operators can help you get the most relevant results for your specific searches.
Once you learn how to use Boolean, you’ll find out that you can discover practically anyone, anywhere. You can even use Boolean searches on other searchable sites, like LinkedIn and Facebook.
Below is a helpful graph that explains how to use Boolean operators in your searches:
Google Advanced Search
Now that you understand a bit how Boolean searches work, let’s dive into this advanced search feature.
When you go to the Google Advanced Search page, you use the boolean search method to conduct your search. The top portion of the page will find pages based on how you use the operators. You can search all words, exact words, any words, or not include certain words. You can also use a numbers range, for example, if you wanted to search for people within a date range.
The bottom portion of the page allows you to narrow your search down even further. You can find results using certain languages, in particular regions, and within a specified time period. You can also search specific websites or domains. You can even tell Google where to search for terms, such as the whole page, page title, or web address. Google can also pull up certain file formats, like documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, etc.
The benefit of using Google’s advanced search is that you don’t need to remember all the operators and symbols to use. Just type in the fields and when you hit the search button, Google adds everything in for you.
Now, let’s take a look at Google Advanced Search in action. Just type in your criteria and submit:
This is what the search looks like in Google:
Google creates your Boolean search for you, using the symbols and operators, and you can tweak it as you need to. Now this is a Google search that is easy peasy!