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The keyword search makeover

Makeover1Any recruiter that aims to succeed in this tough sourcing environment must first resolve a basic problem: success in recruitment increasingly depends on the ability to search both  search engines and databases. Yet, many of  those recruiter that many assume to be the best at searching are, in fact, not very good at it. I am talking about the well-educated, highly-committed recruiting professionals.

These recruiters have tremendous difficulty addressing this problem. That is because they aren’t even aware that it exists. The reason: they misunderstand what searching is about and how to bring about the right results through it. As a result, they tend to make two mistakes in their efforts.

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The color of your keywords

What color are of your keywords?

Pink Keywords

The color of your keywords

Do you know that keywords have colors? Yeah!! they absolutely do! The thing is, we color the keywords ourselves. We color them by our experience, by our assumptions of what the word means, the assumptions how they relate to the skill they represent, the assumptions of why they performed the way they did, etc… Every keyword that we use is neatly wrapped and colored with this framework of assumptions.

You might not be aware of it but the coloring becomes apparent the first time you search using a keyword. When you enter a keyword into a search engine or database and get irrelevant results and accordingly proceed to discard those keywords, you’ve formed an image. By abandoning those keywords in favor of an alternate word, they show that you have come to believe that the keyword is not worth pursuing any further. Continue Reading →

The key to unraveling your search results

Proper understanding of keyword elements is the key to unraveling search results.

Proper understanding of keyword elements is the key to unraveling search results.

Many recruiters seem to think that keywords are individual words that describe the skills of candidates. While that may be true for them, to a database keywords are quite different. Databases don’t recognize them as either abilities nor do they match them to the specific skills you ascribe to them.

Databases update, modify, and retrieve keywords amazingly fast but they have their limits.  Keywords are neither seen nor read by databases and search engines in the same that way we see or read them. To databases a keyword is just a string of characters. Databases can’t distinguish between a string of symbols, numbers, or actual letters. To a search engine a keyword is just a string of characters. Using something like “@#$#&)”, or “7364639”, or “keyword” are all the same to it. A database doesn’t recognize that when you enter a word like “kids” that a good result might also be “children”. To a database “kids” is just a string of characters. It only matches each character in your keyword to bring only those results that include the letters “k”, “i”, “d”, “s”.

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Cloaked keywords

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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.

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The rules have changed

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The searching rules have changed.

Any recruiter can attest to the fact that searching for candidates and finding the right candidates are two very different things. Keyword searching at its core requires a reshuffling of the sourcing mindset. It requires a certain way of looking at keywords.

The information age has awoken to find us with the largest of indexes being searched with the tiniest of devices. Today, we live in a world of data, huge numbers of files go into our applicant tracking databases and search engines. The more information that goes into them the level of skill required to find information also goes up. In spite of the increased skill required, the way recruiters search database has not changed at all in years.

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Anxiously waiting…

anxious
Never did I think writing a book would be so fulfilling. There were so many thoughts spinning around in my head. It has been feeling like a blender was switched on in my brain for a while now. In the midst of all this madness, many people kept pinging me to ask about what I was up to.

I received repeated requests for advice, tips, techniques, and tools which were the catalyst that got the book started. At times writing just flowed like water from a faucet, I couldn’t stop the words from typing themselves. Other times, not so much. Through it all, my driving thought was that I wanted to share as much as I possibly could with those that wanted to understand search better.

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