A strong search strategy is simply a product of good keyword choices fueled by the understanding of your search tools. Keywords are one of the most crucial aspects of a successful search and/or sourcing campaign. They are important to us as recruiters as we depend on them to be able to find candidates within our databases. They are important as they can provide a steady flow of candidates for recruitment success.
Using keywords to search ought to be simple. It can be, as long as you get the principles right. Of the many search tools available today, there is none better than the simple ones. While most search tools offered today have a lot of bells and whistles, they can either be expensive or take a long time to master. It doesn’t have to be that way. Searching for candidates doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you keep it simple.
It is safe to say that keywords touch just about every aspect of our work. We interact with them every day, sometimes without realizing it. So just by nature of being a recruiter we know quite a bit about working with keywords, databases, and search engines. A few things remain a puzzle though. Even though we understand well how to enter keywords into search boxes, we don’t understand exactly how they work.
There are few brilliant techniques most of us use that really work. We put them easily into effect and serve us well. There are probably some techniques whose effects we can search with, even if they aren’t completely understood. We don’t know how we know, we just do.
The concept of keywords is cloaked in a level of simplicity. It seems so simple to just select a keyword and enter it into a search box. This simplicity masks the complex algorithmic framework that drives keyword search. To understand the complexity, we will examine some of the mechanics between algorithms and keywords.
This can be split into three areas.
1. Structure of keywords. The structure describes how databases see words and how they work with them and the rules that guide them.
2. Uniqueness. This describes their relationship to other words, how they are connected, and how they affect each other.
3. Keyword environment. Understanding the dynamic keyword environment is critical to predicting how they will respond to the large number of influences.
A concrete understanding of keywords can significantly increase the breadth of search performance. Seeking to understand how keywords work will create “aha!” moments. It is also one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities you can perform as a recruiter. Especially as the “right” keywords can either make or break your candidate search strategy.
Persevering to gain an understanding of the use of keywords allows you to articulate your search strings more forcefully. It provides the tools to tweak, and troubleshoot even the most complex of queries. It saves you time and frustration. It bestows on you the right tools to easily find the very candidates you need. It extends the ability to better integrate new technologies into your tool belt. It grants you the ability to offer a higher degree of value. It makes you a more meaningful contribution to your team and a more active and aware recruiter.