Best practices for recruiters: Part 2 – improve your search

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If you missed part 1 of our four-part series, click here to catch up.

So you and your fellow recruiters have now put together some fantastic content within your job descriptions, after reading our previous blog post. Right? If not, don’t worry, you can always start now.

With that in mind, here’s our next point to discuss on the road to creating best practices to stick to when you’re working on finding top candidates for your opportunities. Ultimately, our goal is that this series of blog posts will help you to become a better recruiter in the long-run.

Once again, this all stemmed from a conversation that I had with our team of Technical Recruiters here at OSTechnical. The next thing that came from this discussion, after improving your content for maximum impact and effectiveness, was improving your search strings and saved searches.

Part 2: Improved Saved Search and Search Strings

1. Revisit your search strings

How often are you updating your search strings for new words, phrases, etc.? If you keep looking for the same information over and over again in similar roles, there’s no way you’re going to pull a fresh crop of candidates. It’s simple logic.

2. Find a refresher tutorial on Boolean logic

When I dug deeper into this suggestion, there’s a TON of information everywhere with tutorials for improving Boolean searching. But when you look into the world of Boolean searches as they’re related to recruiting, it’s pretty clear that a majority of recruiters are forgetting, or opting not to use, parentheses in their searching.

Just as a reminder, when you’re using parentheses in your searching it will clarify your query to get the maximum results that are the most efficient and pertinent to your search.
Check out one of my favorite spots to stop at for Boolean logic tutorials: http://booleanblackbelt.com/

3. Fine-tune your search criteria

It’s a simple premise. The more basic the search, the more basic the results. If you’re looking for a high-quality.Net Developer candidate with a lot of experience, you can’t just search for a .Net Developer.

The easiest way to accomplish this is moving away from terms that are buzzwords like “java” or “lead developer”, etc.

Instead, utilize terms that are more semantic in nature. I know, that’s a fancy way of advising you to search for what the person does in their job. Words like build, create, contribute, and manage, are all prime examples of searches you can pull together to find what you’re seeking.

4. Review the source tools you’re using

When it’s time to find candidates outside of your ATS/CRM and internal database in your company or firm, are you going to the same place? Do you even know where the best candidates are coming from? Is it your business’s website? Is it LinkedIn?

If you can take some time to build up a list of viable sources outside of your ATS/CRM, you will be in great shape.


It’s a marathon, not a sprint to improve your recruiting on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual basis. I know, and I think that a majority of talent recruiters out there know, that these are practices that take time. It takes time to develop your search strings, your Boolean abilities, and more.

But remember, keeping these pointers nearby, or even printed up on your cubicle wall, can keep you on your toes and working and recruiting more effectively than most.
See you next week for round three!


Do you have any additional pointers you think we should add? Post them in our comments below!

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