It’s easy to look at Boolean search strings and think, “That looks terrifying. I don’t have time to decode whatever that says.” Because it’s origins lie within algebra and computer science, you’re not alone in thinking that some of the concepts appear a bit confusing. When it comes to sourcing tech candidates, Boolean doesn’t have to be complicated. Even knowing the basics of building a Boolean search can help you find the right developers in a more efficient way. To give you a little extra motivation, here are a few reasons why knowing (and using) even just the basics of Boolean search can make you a more productive tech recruiter.
Imagine that your mobile app development team needs to hire another developer. You probably have a list of required languages you’d like to include in your search, and if candidates must know all of those languages, you could build Boolean search strings that contain each one. However, your keyword searches aren’t limited to the number of tech languages you can rattle off. Let’s say that the ideal mobile app developer we’re looking for also has some knowledge of sports analytics. Of course, you shouldn’t rule out a qualified candidate if he or she doesn’t have that particular background, but a Boolean search string allows you the flexibility to see if that needle in a haystack is on the open market.
When I was a recruiter, there was always an initial rush of excitement when I’d search for candidates and find hundreds of profiles on the platforms I used. That excitement often turned to frustration, as I realized that most of the candidates I was reviewing weren’t even remotely qualified for the positions I needed to fill. A colleague of mine reminded me to use Boolean search, and I realized two things. First, doing so didn’t return quite the same volume of candidates as I had found previously. More importantly, I was finding the right people for the job far more quickly than I had before. Sure, using Boolean search to find developers might not bring you immediate results, but you will ultimately spend less time searching for candidates, leaving you more bandwidth to engage with the people who are ideal for the job.
Even if you’re struggling to learn the basics of Boolean, you’re actually putting yourself in a great position to have some truly unique conversations with developers. In fact, most programming languages include at least some Boolean logic. What does that mean for you? Developers have made no secret of the fact that they’re more receptive to recruiters who are willing to learn about what they do. Engaging a candidate about the challenges you’ve faced with Boolean logic will ultimately resonate with that person far more than the traditional recruitment pitch ever has in the past.