Boolean Operators: the tip of the iceberg

Nowadays being an IT recruiter and not working with Boolean Operators is like climbing up the stairs to the top floor of a 20-floor building! Knowing and learning how these operators work is only the beginning. In this case, going back to the building analogy, it will be like knowing how to use the lift but not knowing which floor we want to go to...

The key is to be able to develop a combined advanced search strategy. To get the most out of LinkedIn, we combine different searches with the help of the Boolean operators. We can set our plan and organize our process. This way, we will be able to efficiently reach EVERY candidate that meets our criteria!

-Before we continue, if you are not familiar with Boolean operators, the following article in LinkedIn explains which ones are the most important and how to use them.-

How can we make the most of LinkedIn enhanced searches to contact every candidate that meets our criteria?

Firstly, once we have the job description, we need to define which are the Must have and the Preferred skills/experience of the profile. From there we´ll carry out a LinkedIn enhanced search combining the skills/experience and we will contact the resulting candidates. If a candidate is not found after the first set of interviews, we will carry out another search but, this time, we can take out of our search one of the preferred skills/experience and include it in the excluded list. If we still have not finished the process of finding a candidate, we will continue to take out the Preferred skills/experience until we find ourselves in the last search with only the Required skills/experience.

By doing this, we have set out a plan that considers all the possible candidates for our search!

Let’s see an example: the development leader asks us for a Full Stack Developer with the following skills/experience:

Now, if we use these keywords with the LinkedIn advanced search, we can organize it in the following way:

Once all is set, we begin to create a query path that will include all the candidates.  We use all the skills/experience for our first advanced search, both the required and preferred:

If we contact all the candidates resulting from this search without success, we will carry out another search on LinkedIn. This time, we will take out from the list a preferred skill/experience (NodeJS) and we will ask the search not to show candidates that include that skill/experience in their description (as these candidates have been contacted previously):

If more candidates are needed, we will continue to take out skills/experience one by one in each new search. The following search will be:

Finally, once we have carried out all the searches taking out the preferred skills/experience, we are left with only the required skills/experience, omitting all the preferred ones:

By following this process, we would have managed to contact all candidates available on LinkedIn meeting the search criteria requested. As a result, the assessment of all the possible individuals resulting from our search and, ultimately, the finding of our candidate are guaranteed.

Language in the recruitment industry: how to best write an IT job description?

In this article, we will only focus on how to transfer the technical requirements to the job description.

As in every life scenario, when communicating information, the speaker (recruiter) should be considered. In this case, as the recruiter is generally a non-technical specialist, the requirements should be conveyed with the purpose of spreading the information to be understood by both specialists and non-specialists.

- I am probably reading your mind at the moment -

Why isn´t the IT recruiter a specialist?

The answer is: of course it is!

In my case, I am an IT candidate recruiter specialist but I am not an IT specialist.

I once heard the following phrase which represents us all:… we are a sea of knowledge, but a sea of one-meter depth...

Therefore, the job description has to be easy to understand and also to be measurable, to assess the requirement.

If the requirements are measurable, then we will be able to:

  • Prepare a simple evaluation for the candidate.
  • Forget about the grey areas for the search criteria.
  • Assess the recruiter's performance objectively.
  • Set parameters for all the interviewed candidates.
  • Simply increase or decrease the demand for each criterion.

But, how do we get an easy to understand but measurable description?

We base it on candidates´ experience and for this we summarise the requirements in yearly criteria, to make it easy to read and measurable. For example:

Fullstack Developer

  • Java: 5 years
  • Spring (Jave Framework): 3 years
  • JavaScript: 3 years
  • Angular 2+ (JS Framework): 1 year

This way, we can produce a table that allows us to compare the interviewed candidates:

In this scenario, Candidate Nº 5 meets all of the experience requirements. But if none of the candidates were to meet the requirements, we would promptly analyze the table and determine where there could be flexibility in the years of experience to consider other candidates.

It is worth mentioning that this example is based on the technical aspects but we could spread this table to include all the relevant aspects of an interview, such as salary, languages, geography, interests, etc. By doing this we hold objective data of a portion of the market that will allow us to communicate in a more straightforward way!

Bonus track: In case you are a fan of statistics, with the data we receive from the process, we can check the correlations between the different variables and deeply understand if the criteria are well set.

How to coordinate dozens of interviews and not lose track - or a candidate!

One of the main tasks we do most here at Recruiting is, without a doubt, to coordinate interviews with candidates. We make calls and exchange lots of emails which, by the end of the month, end up being hours invested in administrative work.

In order to save us all this work, lately, lots of new applications have emerged -which are truly worth it- that allows us to share in a simple way our calendar availability.

They synchronize with our Calendar and, by means of a link, allow us to share our availability. We can then send to the candidate that we want to interview a link that allows them to see all the available options being offered.

Then the candidate will be able to choose the time of the interview and this will automatically generate an event in our Calendar and that of the candidate.

By doing this, we will save all those emails asking for availability and confirmation of each candidate!

Of all those available, the one we recommend is Calendly, which also has many other features that will ease our administrative work even more.

Finally, here is a video that will show you more how it works.

Bonus track: It also allows you to add questions that the candidate has to reply before booking the interview. Thus, when you see the event in your calendar, you can also see their answers long before the interview.