Maximize Your Hiring with Boolean Operators

  • Maximize Your Hiring with Boolean Operators

    Maximize Your Hiring with Boolean Operators

    Most of us are familiar with how Boolean operators make our search engine-based lives easier, and job recruiters are no exception. The use of Boolean operators in recruitment is well-established, though many recruiters apply the terms without understanding how they work or why they’re necessary for finding quality candidates.

    Your Guide to Boolean

    Before we discuss Boolean’s role in recruitment, here’s a quick primer on the most common operators in use.


    The AND modifier connects search strings with multiple terms and provides results that include either keyword or both keywords.

      • Ex. Web developer AND designer


    The OR function lets users find results among multiple keywords for which only a single match is important. This is common when recruiters are seeking candidates whose skills go by multiple designations.

      • Ex. Content writers OR copywriters OR content authors


    The NOT function prevents specific results from appearing in search. When seeking candidates with titles that overlap with other industries, this exclusionary tool can be tremendously helpful for recruiters.

      • Ex. Engineer NOT software engineer

    “” – Quotation Marks

    The “” quotation modifier allows users to search for specific terms arranged in a precise order. A normal search for outsourced recruitment, for example, would provide results for both outsourced and recruitment with an implied AND operator between them. However, this changes when quotation marks are added.

      • Ex. “outsourced recruitment” will produce only results that use the uninterrupted phrase outsourced recruitment

    () – Brackets

    The () brackets modifiers designate which keywords should be given higher priority in the results. Terms included within brackets will be assessed separately from the rest of the keywords, most commonly used in conjunction with the OR operator.

      • Ex. (Web designer AND web developer) OR web engineer

    Boolean Recruitment Strategies

    Boolean operators represent strategic use of information systems to efficiently manage data. For recruitment purposes, this data includes the massive amount of human capital data, CV information, and other hiring data that exists on sites like LinkedIn and Monster as well as the recruiter’s own Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). Boolean operators save recruiters from the hassle of manually digging through each platform by hand, and supports the recruitment in several key ways:

    • Candidate variable assessment: Across experience, location, compensation, and more, Boolean functions leveraged with human capital data sources (job boards, resume databases, your own ATS) to prioritize specific variables. This type of granular control means that recruiters can locate the candidates who meet their exact specifications before the shortlist process begins.
    • Candidate identification speed: By strategically including and excluding search terms on top of each platform’s built-in search variables, recruiters can speed up their candidate search and connect with relevant prospects based on the unique variables defined by each recruiter.

    Boolean operators let recruiters manage deep wells of candidate data beyond basic search functionality. And while the rise of AI and machine learning-based recruitment tools offer streamlined recruitment beyond even what Boolean operators can provide, there’s no denying that they still have an important role to play in candidate selection.

    To learn more about how you can optimize your hiring practices to connect with the most qualified candidates from around the world, contact us at Urgenci. We’ll help you maximize your recruitment strategies and ensure that your team is staffed with the talent you need to produce results.

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