Anyone can use Boolean

May 14, 2024

Way too many people are skipping around the internet making Boolean search seem like the most complicated sourcing technique for candidate sourcing and business development, but I am here to tell you they are lying!

When we tell people that the entire squad at Tooled Up Raccoons is addicted to Boolean, they often think we look like this ⬇️ but that could not be any further from the truth. Let me explain.

Whether you are operating in a market dominated by active or passive candidates/clients, you are searching a unicorn or your search results are full to overflowing, the critical piece of the puzzle is identifying the best person.

The biggest challenge you have is finding a sourcing technique that can be used across a HUGE pool of talent that exists within your in-house database/CRM or external platforms such as social networks (LinkedIn Recruiters, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Xing, Viadeo etc), resume databases, professional directories and more. Boolean search is the sourcing technique that works on ALL of these platforms, and so many more! What you probably do not know, is that you use Boolean EVERYDAY! Let me elaborate!

Boolean search is an approach that is accessible to everyone; it's incredibly powerful and is something you already use every single day of your life (even if you are not writing it down). Yes it's true. Every single day you are using Boolean logic to make simple decisions. Whether it is what you wear that day or even what to eat, you are applying logic to inform a decision. Still don't believe me? Take your dinner for example.

You will notice that the Boolean translation in written form includes these terms ... AND, OR, NOT, " ", ( ). These are called operators and moderators, but ignore the geeky words for now and lets chat about what they do.

Now lets put this all together to create an example Boolean string ...

OK that looks a bit overwhelming into chunks (you can do this in our chrome extension):

OK, so you may not be writing your instructions down in this way but your mind is automatically creating these instructions to enable you to form decisions like this EVERY SINGLE DAY, evidencing that anyone can create a Boolean string. Not as hard as you thought right? Lets look at a work example for a technical recruiter. Picture this ...

You have received a new role to work on. You review the job description and qualify the opening with the hiring manager to fully understand their expectations of the potential candidate. The hunt begins. You open your internal database and external platforms (Talent pools). The filter options are very specific and will potentially limit the results of qualified candidates. This will take up valuable time tweaking the filters to generate varying results of suitable profiles.


Why not create a precise instructions, aka a Boolean string, like we did in the dinner example about but this time we create it in line with what the hiring manager is looking for. Let me walk you through a recent example for a job we worked.

What skills does the hiring manager NEED? Either agile, waterfall, scrum. AND PMP, project management professional, CAPM, CSM, Certified scummaster, Prince2, APM, associate in project management, PPM or professional in project management.

What job titles are appropriate? project manager, project management, program manager, program management, programme management.

What job titles shouuld be excluded? Director, VP or Vice President.

Lets put that into an instruction, aka Boolean string ...

OK that looks a bit overwhelming in a chunk, so lets engage Boo again to break this string down ...

So instead of hunting based on vague filters, you can now use Boolean strings that will help you identify candidates with the closest fit to the requirements.

Worried about missing out on potential candidates? Don't. You can edit these strings as you go to keep evolving and refining your searches (check out our tech that can help you do this in seconds).

So let's summarised what you now KNOW (well you already knew but did not realise you knew).

Operators are used to combine or exclude keywords / phrases and include AND, OR, NOT.

Modifiers are symbols you can use to organise keywords and include: " ", ( )

Yes there are more operators and moderators out there, which you can learn about on the Raccoons training academy, but lets start with the basics and build from there.


Now instead of doing all the above yourself, get into the Tooled Up Raccoons technology and let us do the heavy list for you and then you just watch the magic of Boolean come into your candidate discovery world! It is game changing!

Lets go hunting!

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