If you’re a recruiter using online recruitment software in the UK, then the chances are you have engaged with Boolean search throughout your career without even knowing it. This mathematical concept has been in existence since 1847 and is used today as part of a logic and analysis system for building digital devices.
In fact, as bizarre as the thought might be, if George Boole hadn’t created his law in 1847, Google wouldn’t work as it does today! But how exactly does Boolean search work for online recruitment software in the UK?

How Boolean search powers online recruitment software in the UK

Boolean search in the recruitment context is used to leverage and power vast databases, such as LinkedIn, your recruitment CRM or Google itself, to carry out specific searches in order to find something relevant – a qualified candidate for example -fast.
Recruiters use Boole’s laws to define how they get to their search results, using effective tools that result in a list of both passive and active candidates alike for those open vacancies. Usually, recruiters will begin by carrying out basic profile and CV searches and then move to more dynamic Boolean searches to access more hidden talent.

Why it pays to be Boolean literate

Experienced recruiters will incorporate Boolean laws when using online recruitment software in the UK in order to carry out complex searches which are incredibly targeted. This will mean using a combination of the six Boolean operators as follows:

1. AND – to include multiple criteria into the search and to narrow results, such as ‘recruitment AND consultant’.
2. OR – to obtain an expanded list of multiple results, such as recruitment OR manager OR agent OR advisor. Great for when you are struggling to create a target list.
3. NOT – to exclude certain criteria, such as Recruitment AND management NOT advisor
4. Brackets () – Remember BODMAS at school? With this, the calculation that sits within the brackets will come first. In Boolean search, the same applies, and the search criteria in the brackets will take priority over other search elements. Such as Recruitment AND (Consultant OR Manager).
5. Quotation marks – where ” are used to carry out exact phrase searches, treated as one keyword. These would only be used where you are completely focused on obtaining results for one exact phrase. Such as “Recruitment Manager” and nothing else.
6. Asterisk * This is used to widen your search. For example, admin* would generate results such as administration, administrator, administrated and administer. Like a thesaurus, this tells the search engine to find all words related to the root word.

Putting it into practice

You can get even more from your agency’s online recruitment software by trying your own Boolean searches. Use it on your own CRM, on Google, LinkedIn and job boards. The more you practice and become literate with your searches, the more complex the searches you can carry out, rapidly searching through huge volumes of CVs and obtaining far more relevant and targeted results.