Friday, August 24, 2012

Keyword dreams!!

Some of you may know that I am somewhat of a sourcing geek. Well, last night I had a sourcing dream to prove it. I was dreaming about keywords. If that don't beat all. I can't have normal dreams like other people. I have to dream about search related stuff.

Anyway, I guess you'd like to know about my dream. In my dream I was having this discussion with other recruiters about what was more important to effective searching on the web. Whether it was Keywords, Boolean or the tools you used them on. I argued that keywords are such a big part of searching that it is easy to overlook how important they are to the search process. Without the use of keywords we wouldn’t be able to communicate with either databases or search engines effectively.

The other recruiters in my dream made strong cases for the use of boolean or the advanced knowledge of search engines and for strategies but I came out of my dream convinced that by mastering the use of keywords we advance the cause of our search far more than with any of the other items they argued for, after all, it was my dream right?

I thought I would present my case here, at least here I'm not really talking to myself, I hope. Anyway, my thought is that it is thru the use of keywords that we communicate to the search engine what information we intend to get out of it. But that is not where it ends. It is not as simple as typing your words on the search box and immediately finding your perfect candidate! Did you know that keywords are neither seen nor read by the search engine in the same that way we see or read them? To a search engine a keyword is just a string of characters. Using something like “@#$#&)”, or “7364639”, or “keyword” are all the same to a search engine. It can't distinguish between a string of symbols, numbers or actual letters.

It is difficult to get anything out of a conversation when the other party is taking your words and taking the meaning completely out of them. How do you expect to get good results out of a search string when you may now know how the search engines read your keywords.

Just think of it. A search engine doesn’t recognize that when you enter a word like “kids” that a good result might also be “children”. Remember to a search engine “kids” is just a string of characters. Instead it just matches each character in your keyword to bring only those results that include the word “kids”. Search engines typically compile a thesaurus like file/program to overcome this limitation. (I'm over simplifying here. It is an complex set of algorithms much more complex for me to understand!.) They use this file/program when the search string contains commonly used terms that are associated with our keyword; it then reflects them as a hit on your results. This gives us the impression that it’s searching what we intended to find. More commonly though this file/program displays associated words rather than synonymous terms. So rather than returning results based on your keywords it is returning those pages that have your keywords found within it as well as other pages that have any of those other words that are typically associated with your keyword.

A search engine looks for records that match the characters typed. That is to say, it will not read the word rather it will try to match the string of characters together in its listing of indexed terms. To understand this is crucial to understanding the results returned by the engine. A database or search engine doesn’t see either meaning or the ideas represented by the words or even an implied relationship to other thoughts or ideas from your words no more that it could identify sarcasm. Knowing this puts a different spin on keyword doesn't it.

There are other reasons for my belief that keywords are far more important than either boolean, advanced field commands, or any other tool or strategy. Yet I can't help but feel that it is the most often overlooked part of our search. Not enough time is spent on understanding how keywords are being process and techniques we can use to drive better results.

Well I'm going back to take a nap.Now that this is out of my head, maybe I can catch some zzzzz's. Hope you enjoyed by ramblings.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A about three years ago I started on a Health Journey. I had to begin taking care of myself. My doctors informed me that my eating habits were causing me all kinds of health issues. Like most people I remained in denial. I began taking my meds and figured the was good enough. I did a half-hearted attempt at eating healthy but didn't put a lot of effort. Somewhere along the line something changed in my mind and I gained a real interest in finding out what was going on in my body. I began to notice what I ate, when and where. I guess I finally began listening to my dietician but more than that I started enjoying eating healthy. I don't know how it happened but I stopped thinking of salads as rabbit food. My eating habits have progressed to were salads are no longer a side dish, they are the main course!!! Now I research a lot of food for its nutrition facts and health benefits. This is really cool to me as I have began to notice many changes in me due to the new acquired tastes. Sooooo, I thought I would start exploring my culinary exploits here. Maybe some of you might appreciate the tidbits of information I have been finding about food and nutrition. If not just ignore the post and go on to the next one. My latest exploration took me to potato juice. That doesn't even sound good does it? The first thought I had was: "wow, french fries in a glass!" I just happened to be reading an article which mentioned potato juice and it intrigued me enough to do a search for more articles on the subject. It appears that as unappetizing as it sounds there are some real health benefits to drinking the . There are many places that talk about that so I won't go into it now but if you are interested. I would say start with this article and follow the links from there. http://www.examiner.com/article/health-benefits-of-potato-juice. By the way, I read another article from these doctors in Japan who documented a lot of cases of healing with potato juice. I wish I would have taken note of where I found it to share with you but "c'est la vie". It seems strange that something so simple can be so effective but i think its worth looking into. Needless to say, since I do have a juicer, I decided to try this spud extract. I went and bought some organic potatoes and last night and will be trying them as a juice beginning today. I am curious but I suspect I will need to add some apples or lemon for flavor control. We'll find out soon. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Good Morning all,
I can't say how good it feels to be writing again. This morning though it was kinda hard to get out of bed. I just lay there trying to re-capture my dream. I was having such a nice dream. I would say it was rather misty and but it was just a teaser of a dream. I'll spare you the details but I was mad for waking up. Anyway I got out of bed and made myself the vegetable juice I have made a practice of. That natural juice is so invigorating! Maybe one day I might share some of my juicing recipes.
Yesterday I decided to get a haircut after work. I told the lady to use a #2 attachment on the clippers I didn't realize my hair was going to be cut almost to the root with that damn thing. Normally I tell them to use a #3 and they use scissors at the top but this lady just did the entire head with it. I guess I should have specified better but now I'm sporting a new sexier look. If you ever saw "V for Vendetta" and saw Megan Fox with her stubble, you know what I mean. I rode my bike again today for a few minutes before settling in to write, with my new shiny head. There is nothing more exhilarating than the wind in your face early in the morning. It is almost like nature's kiss. There is a certain freedom in it that is just indescribable that just inspires you to write.
I have been thinking that I am going to continue to use this blog to just let my thoughts go and I am going to start posting my sourcing articles on the HireCentrix site. So if you would like sourcing stuff you might want to check it out. I might rant about some sourcing stuff here but I'm going to send the more formal articles there. Just to let you know.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I recently posted an article at HireCentrix. The article is titled "Are Recruiters better than Sourcers?" Feel free to stop by and check it out. I truly enjoyed writing it and hope you enjoy reading it as well.
Good Morning,
Such a beautiful day today. I went riding my bike this morning. For those that don't know, I have a little Suzuki Boulevard s40. It is small but economical and such a joy to ride. I enjoy the feeling of the breeze in my face specially when it is nice and cool as it was here in Dallas today. I feel more alive when I ride the bike than when I drive my car so needless to say I have been driving it everyday now. My car is gathering dust I think I need to sell it but it does come in handy like when I have to go to the office which is seldom.
Anyway last night I participated on Facebook on an interesting conversation about people who make up things on their resume. In this particular instance it was someone who has industry recognition but even though they don't have the credentials they claim to be a professor at a top school. You can follow the thread here. This sent my mind just reeling and have been thinking about it since. Russell Klosk mentioned "why lie? In a day and age where thanks to HiTech and Gen Y degrees aren't the only entry point to a profession any longer as well as the fact that absolutely everything can be verified with little effort time or money? It's a shame at times that their isn't an actual "black list" as people like this need to be on it". I couldn't agree more. Especially as they freely post the conflicting information on public profiles.
As a Sourcer, my role is to find people for hard to fill roles, in my role I read a lot of resumes and it never ceases to amaze me when I see that a person posted a resume years ago and their updated resume omits quite a few things that their original one once had and on occasion I see the conflicting degree information. You would figure that if they were going to make something up they would keep it consistent on each resume. It just seems worse when they totally make up stuff like saying they teach at a top school since that is easily verifiable. You can go to the school directory where all professors are listed for example. My thought is that the lie keeps getting bigger as they realize it the deception worked once and they start making things up irrationally testing people to see how far they let them go.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Guess what!!!

Ppppsssstt! Don't tell anyone. I decided to start writing today. I really don't have much to say but I wanted to start it more like a thought journal. But I'll have to warn you my thoughts are not always that congruent and you might need to read between the lines or just make it up as you go kinda like I do. Anyway, some things have changed in my life. I have been getting my health back on track. Cholesterol and sugar levels are getting me a smile from my Doctor so I guess I have been doing okay. My ticker is ticking better now. Oh yeah! I'm a recovering type 2 diabetic now. Doctor has me losing weight. I have lost quite a bit but I occasionally indulge in little forbidden pleasures but overall I am eating mostly rabbit food. The odd thing is that I like it now. I have been learning to play in the kitchen. The coolest thing is that I make my own salad dressings. I have been getting really crazy with them too. I try all kinds all kinds of fancy vinegar, i.e. champagne vinegar, sweet red wine vinegar, raspberry wine vinegar, they give the dressing such a nice touch. I have to admit that even though I like to cook I haven't always been comfortable in the kitchen. My imagination has always gotten the best of me and I start imagining conversations with the knives and pans and before you know it I'm in the middle of an argument (The knives are jokesters and the pans take life too seriously. Maybe they have to since they are always under fire, hhaha.) If you ever want to hear me ramble for hours on end, just get me started on healthy foods, I think I can talk as much about it as I can about sourcing. I am excited to start writing again. I will start exploring some sourcing stuff like before but I will explore some of the others stuff that is making my life interesting too.