Recruiting & Sourcing Blog

Practical Sourcing & Recruiting Tips and Tricks

The power of NOT in boolean searching


The aim of this section is to understand some really good uses of using the ‘NOT’ modifier when searching.

Example 1
You have a requirement for C++ Engineer who has used python. You run a really simple search;

c++ AND engineer AND python

You get 30 results within you postcode and time options, after an hour on contacting them all you have not shortlisted enough people for the role and so you need to expand the search. You soon realise that an engineer state that they a ‘developer or lead or expert’ and not an engineer.
To stop you running the same search with a few extra terms and seeing the same candidates, you can simply remove all the engineers from your search, so now you only see new candidates

Your new search would look like this

c++ AND (developer OR lead OR expert) AND python NOT engineer

Example 2
Your client has given you a very strict criteria and a long list of requirements. You carry out a search across all time and only come across a few options. You want to go back to the search to remove one option at time to see those who are a 90% match and may have learnt it since their CV has been updated.
To do this take the one criteria out and rerun the search with this removed criteria placed after the search within a NOT modifier to show you only new candidates. For example when this is the first search;

c++ AND python AND gui AND C# AND sql

you might take out c# and try it again

c++ AND python AND gui AND sql NOT C#

Example 3
You are now a professional at thinking outside the box and now start to include every option and combination in your search times to ensure you find everyone. One problem is that you now find lots of people who are not relevant and ideally you want 50 to 70 great results ran than 1000.
Tip run your search, view the results and then add a NOT term to the end of your search and put all the exact phrases that you see that will be for irrelevant people. Note I will usually add one term at a time and re-run the search to ensure I’m not losing the people I want to see. I will usually add at least six terms at the end for quite a few of searches that I run.

(“developer” or “dev” or “programmer” or “devops” or “develop” or “developing” or “development” or “developed” or “developpeur” or “design” or “designer” or “desinger” or “architect” or “analyst” or “coder” or “coding” or “consultant” or “contractOR” or “engineer” or “engineering” or “entwickler” or “expert” or “eng” or “enginer” or “enginner” or “entwicklerin” or “ingenieur” or “guru” or “ninja” or “ontwikkelaar” or “program” or “programatOR” or “programmeur” or “programmierer” or “programista” or “software” or “softwareentwickler” or “technical lead” or “utvikler“)
(HTML or HTML5 or “CSS” or CSS2 or CSS3 or htm)
(Java or “Java-script” or Jquery or “Java script” or javascript or “java” or Rhino or SpiderMonkey or “Spider Monkey” Or “Spider-Monkey” or V8 or Presto or chakra)
(wan OR lan)


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This entry was posted on November 8, 2015 by in Sourcing and tagged , , .


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