10
 min read

Demystifying Boolean

You are already using Boolean logic every single day outside of the workplace!

So many people are skipping around the internet making Boolean search seem like the most complicated tool to use for candidate sourcing, but it is in fact the easiest tool to use when the world stops overcomplicating it.  

Whether you are operating in a market dominated by active or passive candidates, the critical piece of the puzzle is identifying the best person for the job.

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 Recruiter, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Xing, Viadeo etc), resume databases, professional directories and more.

Boolean search is the sourcing technique that works on all of the above platforms.

You use Boolean logic EVERYDAY!

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 to 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.

  • I want chicken or beef but I do not want fish. Translated into Boolean: (chicken OR beef) NOT (fish)
  • I do not mind if we have red wine or white wine. Translated into Boolean: ("red wine" OR "white wine")
  • I want sticky toffee pudding for desert but without the sauce. Translated into Boolean: ("sticky toffee pudding") NOT ("sauce")

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.

Operators:

  • AND is used when you want everything. For example, I want chicken AND beef
  • OR is used when I do not mind either. For example, I do not mind having red wine or white wine.
  • NOT is used when you do not want something. For example, I do NOT want sauce.

Moderators:

  • " " is used when words need to be grouped together to create an exact phrase. For example, "sticky toffee pudding".
  • ( ) is used to group sections that need to be thought about together. For example, I want sticky toffee pudding but NO sauce.

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

Ok that looks a bit overwhelming in a chunk, lets use the Boo Chrome Extension from Tooled Up Raccoons to break this down ...  

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OK, so you may not be writing your instructions down in this way but your mind is automatically creating these instruction to enable you to inform decisions like this EVERY SINGLE DAY, evidencing that anyone can create a Boolean string.

Not as hard as you thought right?

(FYI, you would not typically use the quotation " " moderator to surround a single keyword (usually a phrase). Boo, the Boolean Ninja (our Boolean building Chrome extension), uses the quotation moderator for all keywords. This allows the tool's built in Boolean logic error detection to function at its best.)

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.

STOP.

Why not create a precise instruction, a.k.a a Boolean string, like we did in the dinner example above 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 scrummaster, 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 should be excluded? Director, VP, Vice President.

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

Ok that looks a bit overwhelming in a chunk, so let's use Boo to break this 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.

So lets summarise what you now know, you Boolean pro!

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

  • AND is used when you want everything. For example, I want chicken AND beef.
  • OR is used when I do not mind either. For example, I do not mind having red wine or white wine.
  • NOT is used when you do not want something. For example, I do NOT want sauce.

Modifiers are symbols you can use to organise keywords and include: quotes and brackets.

  • " " is used when words need to be grouped together to create an exact phrase. For example, "sticky toffee pudding".
  • ( ) is used to group sections that need to be thought about together. For example, I want sticky toffee pudding but NO sauce.

Yes there are more operators and moderators out there but let's start with the basics and build from there.

How can a Boolean Armed Raccoon help you?

Tooled Up Raccoons has been created by recruiters for recruiters, to help you simplify your recruitment process and optimize your candidate search to gain industry advantage.

Boo, the raccoon is a Chrome extension.. She is a powerful tool that speeds up and simplifies candidate searches by streamlining the Boolean string writing process.

Boo allows you to gain the necessary competitive advantage by employing your recruiting brainpower rather than relying on AI or Machine Learning to write Boolean strings for you.

Core features include:

  • Update: Update or edit your Company lists and Keyword strings without leaving your Chrome browser tab. Highlight any word, phrase or company name on any website you're on and immediately add it to your chosen sequence. Forget jotting down words on sticky notes - let Boo do it for you.
  • Simplified editing: Deconstruct and edit your Boolean strings and Company lists efficiently without leaving your browser tab. Switch between views to see deconstructed sequence versions and quickly rebuild existing strings by adding or deleting keywords.
  • Team collaboration: Work independently or connect to your teammates and create powerful Boolean strings together. Share, edit, and easily access updated versions to maximize your team's efficiency.
  • Error detection: Don't lose another precious minute squinting into your screen looking for logic errors in your Boolean strings. Employ Boo to identify and highlight mistakes in your lists or strings and correct them instantly.
  • Important and export: Use Boo's built-in Import and Export function to upload any existing Boolean strings from your computer or export the ones you've built on Boo to use elsewhere. Whether you want to send multiple strings or lists to a colleague or need a leaving colleague's work safely stored - Boo's got you covered.
  • Revision history: Enjoy the freedom of updating your strings without the fear of "ruining" them. Access and retrieve any earlier versions of your Boolean strings - Boo stores all of your update history to come back to whenever you feel like you've gone in the wrong direction.

Don't let another perfect candidate slip through your fingers. Outsource the industry's best by writing clever and efficient Boolean that stands out from the crowd. 

Leverage your intelligence and the powerful tools Boo employs to leave your competitors wondering why their AI-driven headhunting process doesn't bring results. 

For as little as £7.49 per user per month. With no set-up costs. 

Ready to give it ago, then head over to the main website to watch a demo to simply download the extension and start building epic Boolean today.

Leverage Boolean today
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