What Is Boolean Search in Recruitment?
Boolean search in recruitment is defined as the structured process of using mathematical operators such as AND, OR, and NOT to broaden or limit your candidate search on CandyJar.
It helps find more relevant results when you have been given a unique set of instructions for a specific type of candidate and your current pool of candidates don’t match those requirements.
Boolean search is based on George Boole’s Boolean logic. George Boole was a prominent mathematician who laid the foundation of Boolean algebra.
Mastering Boolean searches for recruitment will take a while, but if you get it right, it can help you find a goldmine of talent that your regular candidate search may not be able to.
Let’s dive into these important Boolean search operators and modifiers that can help you get maximum value on CandyJar, and how you can use these operators.
Boolean Search Operators
You can perform a search with three basic operators:
The operator “AND” helps you broaden your search by adding multiple keywords to your search. For example, you can use this operator when looking for a content writer and creator. The search string would look like this:
Java AND PHP
When you want to specify alternatives for the role or skill you are looking for, use the OR search string. For example, you could be looking for a content writer or creator or developer. In that case, your search query would look like
PHP AND Java OR Kotlin OR Android
The NOT operator is a great tool to limit your search to specific terms. For instance, if you want to look for a Java developer but not an Android developer, then the results that show up will exclude the term “Android” from the search. Your search query will look like this:
PHP AND Java OR Kotlin AND NOT Android
Boolean Search Modifiers
Boolean search modifiers are tools to help you streamline your search further. Here’s how to use the three key Boolean search modifiers.
1. Parentheses ()
Parentheses work in Boolean searches just like they do in math – they give priority to what is within them. For instance, if you are looking for a content creator who works in healthcare, your search query should look like this:
PHP AND (Java OR Kotlin) AND (server OR cloud) AND NOT Android AND NOT Frontend
This prioritizes the search for a PHP and Java/Kotlin developers and then for skills in servers or cloud technologies. This search string also excludes Android developers and frontend skills.
2. Quotation Marks ""
Quotation marks help you find exact phrase matches in your search. For example, just a name or even e-mail of a candidate will give you searches for the words or symbols.
Java AND (“Bob McQuinn” OR “firstname.lastname@example.org”)
However, for example, searches for “CSS-blah-blah-development” will result in exact phrase matches.
Our recommendation is to experiment with quotation marks. Sometimes in specifying terms with the NOT operator within quotations, the search yields result for exactly those terms.