There are so many challenges to finding the perfect candidates on the Internet. First there is the size of the internet; just in case you hadn’t noticed it is huge. Second, there is the fact that all information on the internet is disorganized almost as if it was not meant to be searched. If that wasn’t enough we have hundreds of thousands of search tools, it would take a rocket scientist to learn how to use all of them effectively. It is hard enough as it is but even then we usually will make it harder on ourselves than it ought to be. You received your job order, you scan through it, you log on to your computer and then what? Just because you recognize the keywords, it doesn’t mean you are ready to begin you search or does it?
Often times we just see a job requisition and start typing our keywords into a search engine. We see keywords and assume that is what we are searching for. But if we see Oracle, UNIX, SQL, that can return anywhere from Database administrators to software testers. Just doing keyword searches is not enough. You truly may be sabotaging your chances at finding the very candidate you seek by failing to invest time in the beginning to set your search syntax right. The following are five suggestions to improve your queries.
1. Define what you are looking for not by keywords but by skills. If you focus on using the Keywords on the job description you will find the same resumes everyone is searching for. Try to understand what skills your candidate needs to have and develop those into individual concepts.
2. Identify the important concepts within the search. At this point we’re still avoiding keywords we are trying to narrow the list and we are prioritizing the concepts into a searchable list.
3. Identify search terms to describe those concepts. Remember we are trying to stay away as much as possible from the keywords listed on the description. You are not always going to be able to avoid them but the more you stray away from them the higher the chances you will find a different candidate than everyone else.
4. Consider synonyms and variations of those terms. The most useful place to begin is often with synonyms. The best synonyms provide relatively complete coverage for the concept you are searching.
5. Prepare your search logic. Be creative in writing your query, use as many of advanced search techniques as possible. Include such things as wildcards (*), the minus sign (-) to exclude words, the plus sign (+) to be sure a word is included, and quotation marks (“”) to designate a phrase whenever possible. Also use the Advanced Search features of the search engine you are using to maximize the search.
As you implement your search strategy be sure that what you meant is being properly understood by the search service. Increasing your ability to search for candidates in the internet can be a lifelong learning process. One that we, as sourcers and recruiters, need in order to remain employable.