Sourcing Tools

Not a workshop goes by without someone asking about Recruitin.

“Why would I learn Boolean or X-Ray Search if I can use a tool like Recruitin?”

But the supposedly helpful sourcing tool hasn’t been updated in years. This results in many mistakes in the search queries it generates. If you don’t know how to use Boolean operators and commands or how to use them, you won’t be able to spot these mistakes.

It doesn’t seem that serious until you realise you’re missing out on potential candidates.

Let’s have a look at some simple examples.

Recruitin generated search string for LinkedIn


We’ll be looking for a Java developer in Wrocław who isn’t a senior (so a junior or mid level developer)

Recruitin is a sourcing tool that builds search queries.

Recruitin generates the following query which returns 8920 results. 

~ “java developer” “Wrocław” -“senior” -intitle:”profiles” -inurl:”dir/ ” site:pl.linkedin.com/in/ OR site:pl.linkedin.com/pub/ 

Recruitin generated search query.

There is however a couple of “buts”… 

  • First of all, LinkedIn has changed profile URL structure several years ago: currently, you will no longer see the /pub element in the links

            site:pl.linkedin.com/pub/ might not exclude relevant results, but it makes your search string unnecessarily long, which generally isn’t a good thing

  • Wrocław is added as a keyword, but there are two other options.
    You can either look for the location phrase and eliminate any results where “Wrocław” doesn’t actually indicate the location, but appears for example in the name of the university a potential candidate finished: “Wrocław, woj. Dolnośląskie, Polska”
    Or you can use the inanchor: command to narrow the results down to profiles where Wrocław indicates current location only: inanchor:Wroclaw
  • Despite using ~ which is supposed to find synonyms for the keyphrase that follows, the only job title we see in the results is java developer. This can point to the fact that the tilde simply doesn’t work
  • There is a space after the ~ – since every space in Google is the AND operator, this is a mistake in itself
  • The search query is long and complicated



My search string alternative for LinkedIn


If you look at the search string I’d like to suggest, you’ll notice it’s much simpler:

site:linkedin.com/in “java developer” -senior “Wrocław, woj. Dolnośląskie, Polska” 

My own X-Ray search string

Since I’m looking for people located in Poland, I can expand my results by adding the job title in Polish:

site:linkedin.com/in “java developer”|”programista java” -senior “Wrocław, woj. Dolnośląskie, Polska”

kwerenda stworzona bez użycia narzędzia recruitin

If I want to narrow down my results even further, I can use the intitle: command to specify that I only want to look for profiles where “java developer” is the current job title:

site:linkedin.com/in intitle:“java developer” -intitle:senior “Wrocław, woj. Dolnośląskie, Polska” 

And as you see, I’m down to a manageable 464 results rather than the 8920 results I received using the Recruitin search query.

You may think that the more results you get, the better, but that’s not really true. By reviewing irrelevant results, you’re losing time. That’s the time you need to review relevant profiles – so in the end, you end up missing out on your potential candidates.


Recruitin generated search string for GitHub


Things get even weirder if you use Recruitin to create a search string for GitHub.

Let’s say we’re looking for a Python developer in Warsaw. 

Recruitin created this search query that returned exactly 3 results: 

site:github.com “joined on” -intitle:”at master” -inurl:”tab” -inurl:”jobs.” -inurl:”articles” “Python” “Warsaw”

Recruitin generated search string for python developer in Warsaw

It seems incredibly suspicious, even if you consider the fact that location is an optional field on GitHub and may simply not appear on some of the profiles.


My search string alternative for Github


I created an incredibly simlpe search string, based on the three things we’re looking for. The first one is narrowing down to user profiles only, the second is the coding language and the third, the location I’m interested in: 

site:github.com “block or report” Python Warsaw

My own search string for GitHub - as you notice, it's much simpler than what Recruitin suggested!

My suspicion proves to be correct. The overly complicated search string created by the sourcing tool eliminated over 2500 results! Can you really afford to miss out on these candidates?

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