Boolean Training for
Sourcers and Recruiters

John A. Childs

BOOK TO BE PUBLISHED

The Boolean Book for Sourcers and Recruiters

featuring

iPROBE

(Integrated Power Recruiting One, Boolean Enabled)

by

John Childs, MSEE, BSEE, CIR

John.Childs @ ChildsBooleanTraining.com

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The Boolean Book for Sourcers and Recruiters

featuring

iPROBE  (Integrated Power Recruiting One, Boolean Enabled)

 

Summary and Overview of the Book; (see video summary)

In the past when I've taught classes on Boolean recruiting, I would start by going over what AND & OR do when putting together a Boolean search string.  Almost every time I would look at my audience and see eyes rolling as if to say, "yeah, yeah, we've seen this before and we know all about AND's & OR's". 

Yawn. 

But when I put up a slide with a req/job description and asked them to write the Boolean search string that would find candidates for this req, that is when like pulling down a window shade, a glaze would come over their faces and I knew  I had lost my audience.  I would plow ahead and continue my teaching, but my audience had already put their minds into 'Park' and pulled up the emergency brake.   Frustrating, because I wanted these sourcers and recruiters to "get it". 

It's a book.  It's a workbook.

In addition to being a book, this will also be a workbook.  You will be given a variety of Boolean search examples and asked to answer multiple choice questions.   You'll start with a "budget" resume database consisting of 3 resumes. Then you'll write 3 word Boolean search strings to select one or more of these 3 resumes.

It is much easier to grasp these concepts if you do hands-on practical (and fun) exercises each step of the way

Speed anyone?

This book is about using Boolean to accelerate the recruiting speed and accuracy of sourcers and recruiters.   This works with either Google, Indeed.com, or LinkedIn Recruiter or some other paid job board or free web site.    In fact, anytime you access a database of any kind, whether it is realized or not, it will be using some form of Boolean.

Enhances flipping & x-raying too!

Here you won't find a big focus on using x-raying, flipping, and other sophisticated tricks and techniques on how to find hidden directories, or other complicated and esoteric techniques on how to find those passive candidates.   I leave that to companies such as AIRS (Advanced Internet Recruiting System)  and also to recognized individual experts such as Shally Steckerl, Irina Shamaeva,  Glenn Thayer, and others.  However, it's very important to remember that these techniques and strategies need a knowledge of Boolean for optimum power and efficiency!

Starting in the basement

Trust me when I tell you that as we move through this book, we are going to move very slowly and very simply.   Instead of saying we are going to start on the "bottom floor" and work our way up, we're going to start in the basement! 

We will begin by dedicating a section, one-by-one, to each of the following Boolean operators:  AND, OR, NOT, Wild Card Asterisk (*), and Parentheses (  ).    For now, just as an example, the first Boolean operator we're going to be covering later is:  AND. 

Below are three "resumes" and these three resumes are the only ones in this resume database purchased from Discount Database (once again, we get what we pay for).  The keywords are written in English and are surrounded by what ad copywriters use when laying out a brochure.  These are meaningless words that are randomly generated typographic filler text [Latin].  They are written in a BOLD black font in order to make the keywords stand out.   I wanted you to get a visual representation of how keywords can be scattered about on a resume.

Resume #1:  John Doe

Sed an bonorum gloriatur. Laboramus vituperatoribus mel ad, tale inani partem no sea. Vel ad rebum prompta invidunt, vocentEum ad duis vivendo. Ei offendit lobortis ius, an vel veniam partem. Adhuc libris quo ut. His et tritani labores I have five years experience as a Senior Technical Recruiter admodum, eruditi hendrerit eu qui, ea nec sumo choro sanctus. Ut

 

Resume #2:  Richard Roe

ius, ignota Elephant eloquentiamEx aeque periculis abhorreant eum, sit ut illum tation lucilius, dicam My daughter is a Senior in high school and she wants to get into a Technical field so she has been talking to an Army Recruiter. iudico tacimates ne eam. Nec minimum elaboraret an, te nam  fuisset dissentiunt vix ne, timeam eligendi te mea. Eu

 

Resume #3:  Joe Boe

Ea elitr iudico corrumpit vis. Alii wisi illum recusabo ea sed, delicata   I am an electrical engineer and I've been having a tough time finding a job as an engineer, so I'm going to get some advice from a friend of mine who is a  Senior Technical Recruiter verterem ut pri, at omnes quidam est, cu pro atqui altera bonorum. Melius verear.  t vix ne, timeam eligendi te me

Then continuing with the AND example, the reader is given exercises to do like the one given below.  The reader will enter either Yes or No in the blank spaces as shown below.  As we cover the remaining Boolean operators of OR, NOT, Wild Card Asterisk (*), and Parentheses,  we will stop on each one and give similar exercises to complete just like the one we will do with AND. 

 

 

Resumes Selected  ("Surfaced" or "Pulled Up")

Exercise Number

Boolean Search Strings

#1 - John Doe

#2 – Richard Roe

#3 – Joe Boe

1

Senior AND Technical AND Recruiter

Yes

Yes

Yes

2

Recruiter AND Senior

 

 

 

3

Technical AND Senior

 

 

 

4

Technical

 

 

 



After describing and giving individual examples on how AND, OR, NOT, Asterisk (*) Wild Card, and Parentheses, we'll be working with Boolean search strings that will use a mix of all of these Boolean "operators", as they are called.

Five Easy Steps to Building Winning Boolean Search Strings & Boolean Bob

Having now built a foundation on how the basic Boolean operators [ AND, OR, NOT, Asterisk Wild Card (*), and Parentheses()] work, we can now move to the five easy steps to building a successful Boolean search string.  You're going to be shocked at how easy this is and also how powerful and accurate it is!  In this section you're going to be introduced to Logan Login and Boolean Bob.   Boolean Bob is very important because of the way "he" (a software program) reads a Boolean search string and then based on the keywords in the search string, he can pull up / surface just the resumes dictated by the search string.  Boolean Bob goes into a resume database with the precision of a surgeon's scalpel and extracts just the resumes he is looking for.  Only resumes with one or more keywords from each set of parentheses are pulled out of the resume database……..more on this later.

The Blackberry Pie Baking Contest

Another way to illustrate how resumes are selected from a database is to use the analogy of a Blackberry Pie Baking Contest.  Before contestants can get into the mega kitchen with many stoves, they has to go through several check points.   Each check point has a checker who is only looking for one of the required ingredients in their baskets (set of parentheses).  If a contestant has that ingredient, then he/she is passed along to the checker at the next checkpoint (2nd set of parentheses).  This continues until all contestants have either been rejected for not bringing all the ingredients or else have cleared all checkpoints required to get into the large competition cooking kitchen with multiple stoves.  May the best man or woman win……or in our case may the best man or woman who has all the right "ingredients" which are the required skills listed on the job description on the requisition form, pass the interview and get the job!!

 Examples of Doing a Search Using LinkedIn Recruiter, LinkedIn (free version), Google, Monster, Indeed.com, Taleo Business Edition, Taleo, and Infogist.

The basic concepts for Boolean are the same for all resume databases. However there are slight differences in how you write the search strings for the databases mentioned above.  One example is that LinkedIn Recruiter requires that AND & OR be in all caps and Google doesn't use AND.

Before diving into the screen shots of how each of these databases are used to mine for resumes, I'll be taking one search string and modifying it to show how the same string needs to be modified to be compatible with each of the above databases.

Next, we'll be going through screen shots of these databases showing the field where a Boolean search string has been entered and then the screen shots showing the resumes that are pulled up or surfaced.

We'll be using example searches for the following positions:  HR Manager, Accountant, Salesperson, Tech Support, Administrative Assistant, Recruiter, etc.

 Using Boolean in Searching for the Passive Candidates

There are may ways to search for the passive candidates, with the definition of a passive candidate being someone who doesn't have their resume posted on a resume database website. I read where it was said that LinkedIn Recruiter had 80% passive candidates.

AIRS (Advanced Internet Recruiting System) has an excellent training program.  I've been through their training and received my CIR certification. The techniques taught by AIRS allow you to find resumes in just about any form of electronic media.

Another method is using the free U.S. Patent Office Database where you can find patents for things like software programs, electronic devices, and a myriad of other categories.  This will give you the person's name and where they work.

The www.IEEE.org  (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) website contains technical papers written on a variety of subjects revolving mainly around computer hardware and software, electronic devices, and information technology subjects.  The technical papers are divided into the following three sections:  Title,  Abstract, and Content     The Abstract is a short paragraph giving a summary of the paper.  The special Boolean search engine allows you to search for keywords in just the Title  or in just the Abstract.  With each paper you will be given the name of the Authors (I found one paper that listed 16 authors who were that rare breed of analog transistor-level circuit designers!).   There will also be a field called Author Affiliation which just gives you the name of the Company or University where the Author works.

There is another similar database that covers a much wider range of technical topics like Physics, Astronomy, etc.   It is searched in a similar way as the IEEE database.  The only drawback to this database is the pricey access.

 Active (posted in a resume database) vs. Passive Candidates

There are many opinions on this subject.  In the book I will be devoting an entire chapter to the discussion.   Upfront,  I'd like to make an opening statement in four inch high letters, in bold underline, and in red, but I will restrain myself.  Instead, I will simply state that recruiting Active Candidates and recruiting Passive Candidates can both be effective.  It just depends on the make-up of the individual recruiter.  There are some recruiters who make a practice of recruiting both types of candidates.

Over the years I've often I heard it said that only 15% of candidates have their resumes posted on a job board which is said to leave this vast rich field of the remaining 85% of potential candidates.   A further assertion is made that because "this 85% pool of people are not looking for a job is because they are happy where they are".   Conversely, this stated statistic implies that the 15% of people who have posted their resume are by definition not happy in their jobs.

I did a little research and a Gallup poll shows that only 30% of Americans are happy in their jobs.  That's a big decline from the 85% number.   The question then becomes what percentage of that 70% "unhappy" group has their resume posted on a job board.  Does that mean that 70% of  these unhappy potential candidates have their resume on a job board??  Probably not, but I do know senior people in high tech companies who are very unhappy in their jobs and don't have their resume posted.  For some, "change" is very stressful and the pain of change outweighs the fear of the unknown of a new job.

I will elaborate in a dedicated chapter on this subject, but suffice it to say for now that for the last 15 years as a technical sourcer and recruiter, 99%  of my hires have been non-passive candidates who had posted their resume on a job board.   The acid test came during a four year period with a defense company made up of a conglomeration of six very high tech individual companies and 100+ recruiters who when they had a hard-to-fill position, gave the job req to a 8-10 member SWAT team of which I was a member.  The complexity of theses reqs were off the scale and mostly, even with my technical background, I had never heard of before.  The degree of difficulty was further ratcheted up with some some requiring Secret and Top Secret Clearances along with a Lifestyle Polygraph test.   The thing I loved about this job was that from day to day I never knew what kind of reqs, and from which of the 100+ recruiters scattered over the six internal companies were going to be given to us, .  Because of the very wide and very unpredictable assortment of jobs to fill, attempting to build a pipeline would have been futile in this particular environment.  I loved the challenge though.

In the book chapter on this subject, I will be giving my "Top Ten Reasons Given Why Recruiting Only Active Candidates Won't Work".

 The 'Integration' aspect of iPROBE (Integrated Power Recruiting One, Boolean Enabled)

There is a very nice integrated process flow starting with the Job Description and ending with the Required Skills being converted into the OFCCP Basic Qualification Questions 

This integrated flow starts with taking the Job Descrition on the requisition and transferring the state Required and Desired Skills onto a special form that is taken with you when  you interview the hiring manager about the job.   You do this because the stated Required and Desired Skills are usually not totally correct because: 

  1. Required Skills turn out to only be Desired Skills; 
  2. Desired Skills turn out to really be Required Skills;  and
  3. there are Required Skills that appear no where on the req. 

There are several reasons why this typically happen, but regardless of the reasons for the changes, there is a secret technique that will bring to light what the true Required and Desired Skills are.  This technique answers the question, "When do you want to know what the hiring manager is really looking for."  If you start correctly, you'll finish correctly and be successful on any search.

After the interview with the hiring manager has revealed what the true Required Skills and Desired Skills are, then this form is changed slightly and sent to candidates in the form of a two column matrix.  In the left hand column are listed the Required Skills and the candidates respond to each of the Required Skills by very briefly describing their experience related to each of the individual Required Skills. 

The Required skills are re-worded to be Yes/No questions which flow into becoming the Basic Qualification questions required by OFCCP below.  For example, 'Must have 5 years HR experience'  becomes 'Do you have 5 years HR experience', which is then now a Yes/No question.

This completes this end-to-end integrated recruiting process.  In the book will be explained why this is a tremendous advantage to both the hiring manager and to the candidate!

 OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs)

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is part of the U.S. Department of Labor. OFCCP is responsible for ensuring that employers doing business with the Federal government comply with the laws and regulations requiring nondiscrimination.

There are many facets around OFCCP rules and regulations, however here we are dealing with just the subgroup of "Internet Applicants" under the umbrella of OFCCP rules and regulations.  Again these apply only to companies doing business with the federal government.

  1. The individual submitted an expression of interest in employment through the Internet or related electronic data technologies;
  2. The contractor considered the individual for employment in a particular position;
  3. The individual's expression of interest indicated that the individual possesses the basic qualifications for the position; and
  4. The individual, at no point in the contractor's selection process prior to receiving an offer of employment from the contractor, removed himself or herself from further consideration or otherwise indicated that he/she was no longer interested in the position.

All four above conditions for Internet Applicants must be satisfied.  For the #1 condition, the government defines this condition as being satisfied if anyone has their resume on some form of internet media, whether or not they applied for this specific job.  This means that if you are working with a database that has 1 million resumes, then theoretically I million people applied for your position.

OFCCP requires that all candidates who meet the basic qualifications (BQ's) must be considered.  In a nutshell the basic qualifications are the same as each of the Required Skills except the required skills are required by OFCCP to converted to Yes/No questions.  Candidates who can answer Yes to all the Basic Qualifications questions shall be considered

 Order a Free eBook

 So the next time as a Sourcer or Recruiter you are faced with finding qualified candidates for a difficult position, you now have an avenue to be confident in knowing that you have very specific and precise tools to enable you to accomplish a successful job search!!

You can order a free eBook of The Boolean Book for Sourcers and Recruiters featuring iPROBE (Integrated Power Recruiting One, Boolean Enabled) by sendng me an email to me at John.Childs@ChildsBooleanTraining.com.  Just include your Name, Title, Company, Location, and Email Address.   The free eBook will take excerpts from the completed book and will also summarize the final version of the book.  

If you have ideas for parts of this book that need to be clarified, added on deleted, please let me know.  The book is almost completed, but still is a work in progress and has time to be modified. Also I solicit problem reqs you are having. From the few selected, I will write a Boolean search string with the condition that the sourcer or recruiter has interviewed the hiring manager as described above to determine the REAL Required and Desired Skills.

Quote:

"In any area of life, there is nothing less important than the score at half-time.  If you're behind, don't give up.  If you're ahead, don't let up.  Finish. Your best days are yet to come!"    John Childs



 

 
 Link to John Childs Resume