Boolean search Operators and How is step by step of active search

What is Boolean search?

In this article we will define you about Boolean search Operators and How is step by step of active search.

The definition of Boolean search is a way to filter or expand the results of your searches, being perfect for selecting new professionals to fill positions in your company.

Boolean search is to help you find information more accurately on the internet. This can be useful both when searching for talent during the hiring process and in finding satisfactory results on Google.

Nowadays, companies do not wait for the professional to apply for the position to make a proposal.

But in order to find these professionals, you need to know how to use the results refinement tools available on search engines and social networks such as LinkedIn .

It’s about actively recruiting candidates, and today we’re going to talk about how Boolean search logic will help HR find the perfect candidates.

Most likely you came to this text through a Google search.

Otherwise, keep in mind that Boolean search is used on sites and spaces like the one offered by that company’s search engine.

Simply put, using this tool is nothing more than adding a few words to your search to direct the search.

Let’s say you’re searching LinkedIn for people with experience in digital marketing and press relations.

By means of the Boolean operators it is possible to have exactly these results and many others.

Doing a Boolean search helps you get more specific results that best suit your needs .

This characteristic makes knowing how to use this tool a mandatory skill for the HR team working with recruitment and selection .

The words behind a search

Something very important when performing a search is the choice of keyword to be used.

The search will basically bring up results that are related to the chosen keyword.

A practical example is the range of possible results that combine with the word “foot”, see:

  • foot;
  • mole‘s foot;
  • crowbar;
  • table leg etc.

Each combination generates a different result because it describes different things. But why is it important to know this?

Because you need to know how some skills you are looking for in candidates are described.

So, if you’re not sure how to describe what you’re looking for, it’s worth doing some research and evaluating which results are most relevant.

Sometimes there may be more than one name for what you’re looking for, so it’s important to pay attention to that.

What are Boolean search operators?

Below you will find the three Boolean operators and other ways to search and make the most of the options that search engines can offer.

It is worth noting that the vast majority of search engines — whether Google or even social networks like LinkedIn — work exactly as we describe below.

Soon after this chapter we will talk about an exception to this rule. So stay tuned, because it’s an important platform for HR teams.

1-AND or E

This operator associates two or more words, making all the results shown have all the search terms.

Let’s say you’re still looking for someone who has worked in content marketing. However, you want to narrow your search to find candidates where you live.

One option to achieve this is to search as follows: “digital marketing analyst AND São Paulo”.

Searching using this operator will show results with all search words.


This Boolean operator can be interpreted as the opposite of what we talked about earlier.

Instead of narrowing the search, the OR operator extends it and offers results that have at least one of the keywords entered in the search field .

Let’s say you still want to look for collaborators to set up a marketing department, so we can continue with the same example.

The profession of digital marketing analyst can also be described as a media analyst.

So, to save time on research, you can write it like this: “digital marketing analyst OR media analyst”.


This is also another way to narrow your search and filter to exactly the result you want.

For example, by searching for “advertising NOT journalism”, it is possible to eliminate all people who have a background or experience in journalism.

Thus, your research will be focused only on communication professionals trained in journalism.

4-Use of quotation marks for greater specificity

One of the situations that you may come across when doing some active searches for candidates is that when you search for compound words, you get results for each of the words.

For example, when searching for marketing analyst, you can get results for both the word analyst and marketing .

This causes the search to lose its specificity and lead to more accurate results.

However, by searching using quotation marks, you make it much clearer to the search engine what you really want to look for.

When searching for “marketing analyst”, you will only get exact matches to your search .

5-Using parentheses for groupings

Here it is for those who have a little more mastery of the Boolean operators we talked about above.

In this case, the parentheses group the Boolean operators as if they were math equations .

For example, when searching for “analyst AND (marketing OR media)”, you are conditioning the word “analyst” to one of the options in parentheses.

In this way, the results received will concern the “marketing analyst” and “media analyst”.

6-Search with double quotes

Putting the keyword in quotes also makes you get the exact match on the resumes registered on the platform.

Let’s say you’re looking for people from a specific location, just search for “LOCALE NAME” and you’re done.

The logic is exactly the same.

7-Search with + and –

This is where things get a little different, but the logic remains very similar.

By using the + symbol associated with a word, you will be making it positive in the search, very similar to the use of AND. On the other hand, the – strips the search word, like NOT.

When applying this concept in practice, you can search as follows: “digital marketing analyst” +manager -Company Name Competitor.

That way, you’ll always get results for a digital marketing analyst who has management experience and doesn’t work at a competing company. It’s easy to understand, isn’t it?

Boolean search in recruitment and selection: understand how it can help

Would you rather save time by creating filters to find the best results for your search, or would you rather try each keyword and hope it’s a relevant result?

Nobody likes to waste time, do they? It is for this reason that Boolean search is ideal, because it brings numerous benefits to the recruitment and selection process .

The main advantage lies in the possibility of finding the best candidates for a vacancy in less time .

It is also a way to streamline the selection process. Through the active search to find these professionals, it is not necessary to go through the process of analyzing dozens of resumes.

As such, this is an indispensable skill in the arsenal of anyone working in the HR department.

Why actively search for candidates?

HR has been modernized and is currently a much more strategic department than it once was.

The use of technologies by this department is especially necessary to generate the greatest possible value for the company.

When the organization is passively searching, there are often multiple applications from individuals trying to get a shot at the vacancies.

This is a good model, as it tends to attract a lot of people, but there are some disadvantages.

The first is that individuals who are already working do not usually follow job sites or even news about available vacancies. After all, real talent is rarely looking for a job.

Bad hires made through passive search can also negatively influence company turnover .

Thus, active recruitment, which is also called hunting is one of the differentiators of HRs who are looking for the best candidates.

Of course, to maximize the chances of success of this approach, especially with individuals already allocated in the market, it is necessary to build a good employer brand in order to seduce these professionals.

How is the step by step of active search

Interested in hunting the best candidates for your company’s vacancies?

We will talk a little about how to perform active search and make the most of the Boolean operators that we teach in this text.

In the active search, there is no disclosure of vacancies and it is not expected to receive CVs from interested people.

Here, you will seek out and convince a professional to join your company . Here are some steps to perform this task in the best way.

1. Define the platforms

The first step of successful hunting is to define the best platforms to find the ideal candidate for your company.

These individuals are not always in CV banks, sometimes it is possible to find competent professionals on freelancer websites, for example.

Keeping an eye on these unconventional locations is an indication that HR is on the cutting edge, has an innovative vision, and is willing to find new talent wherever they are.

2. Understand how the professional is called in the market

Already know where to look? Perfect! Now it’s time to learn about the profession you are looking for.

It is common for professionals to be called in different ways, see the example of the “digital marketing analyst” who can also be called a “media analyst”.

Not only, there is an aggravating factor: on platforms like LinkedIn, there is no standardization of professions.

In this way, employees can name their own position any way they want, making the search a little difficult.

So it’s interesting to understand how people name the position you want to fill so that you use the right keywords.

3. Use Boolean search

Now is the time to apply your knowledge of the Boolean operators that we have talked about extensively in this article.

Also discover the particularities of the platforms themselves, as they may have their own filters that facilitate the search — even more than the operators themselves.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button