Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Searching for candidates, part of Up and Running with LinkedIn Recruiter.
- Searching for candidates that you might want to contact is one of the core features that you'll use Recruiter for. Some people use Recruiter to search for candidates for a specific job opening but lots of people use it just to begin networking and communicating with people that their company might have a general interest in. Either way it's important to know the most effective way of searching through candidates. Now, you should start the search with as much information on hand as possible about you ideal candidate. I'm going to start broad in this example so our initial search will turn up a lot of results.
But then I'm going to filter it down until we get a list of the best candidates from my search. So, let's start by searching for a graphic designer. To do a search I'm going to click on the search field up here at the top of the Recruiter homepage and if you don't already have your location set you should do that. This is set to the United States. It's got my zip code there. And I'm going to broaden this out just a little bit. I'm going to set it to within 50 miles. And then I'm going to do a simple keyword search and I'll search for the word "designer".
Now, this gives me over 6000 results. That's because my search term is just to broad. The word "designer" will include interior designers, fashion designers, and so on. So, to tighten up the keyword search you need to know how the search works and you need to leverage something called boolean modifiers. So, for example, if I change this search to "graphic designer," like that, that's still not what I want.
This will search for anybody who has the word "graphic" and the word "designer" somewhere in their LinkedIn profile. And it should show me some desirable candidates but it's not as focused as it should be. Instead, what I want to do is a search like this. I'm going to wrap the term "graphic designer", this two word phrase, I'm going to wrap this in quotation marks. And now I'm down to a little over 1400 results. So, by wrapping multiple words together in quotation marks it searches for that specific phrase.
So, the results for this search will only give me people who have the phrase "graphic designer" in their profile. And that's a really good start. So, wrapping words in quotation marks is one of the boolean modifiers. Here's another. My candidate must have experience with Adobe Illustrator. So, I'll do this search. I'm going to add "AND Illustrator". Now, you'll notice that the word AND is capitalized. AND is the next boolean modifier and when you've got boolean modifiers that are a word that you add to your string they have to be in all capitals.
So, now I have even fewer results, a little over 700. So, this is getting better. I can combine multiple words or phrases with the AND modifier and it gives me results for people that have both of those search terms in their profile. And I don't need to wrap the word Illustrator in quotation marks because it's a single word. But if I wanted to filter out people who maybe draw illustrations but don't use the application Adobe Illustrator, I might modify my search string this way.
I could add in, in quotations, "Adobe" and then close the quotations here. So, now I'm searching for the phrase "Adobe Illustrator" and that gets me far fewer results. But you should really be careful with something like this. Some people who are proficient with the application Illustrator might not include the word Adobe. So, I might be filtering out really good candidates here. Once you understand how the boolean modifiers work you'll need to experiment until you get the best search terms.
Let's try another boolean modifier. Let's say I need to hire somebody to lead my graphics department. The candidates that I'm looking for might have different job titles so I might try the OR modifier. So, I'm going to keep "graphic designer" and I'm going to delete the rest of this here. I'll put in the OR modifier, and again I'll have to put that in all caps, and I'll put in another phrase. So, I'm searching for anybody who has the phrase "graphic designer" or the phrase "art director". So, I get a little over 1800 candidates who have either of these two phrases in their profile.
So, let's look at another important modifier. I can wrap sections of my search in parantheses to group sections of my search terms together, giving them an order of operations. Sort of like doing an algebra equation but much easier then most algebra problems. This is very useful when I need to do an AND and an OR in the same search. So, I need my candidate to be able to speak Spanish. Now, I could just add at the end of this string "AND spanish", like that but it would be a much more efficient search if I wrapped this phrase in parentheses.
So, it's going to search for anybody who has one of these two phrases and the term Spanish somewhere in their profile. And this is much more focused giving me 281 results. And I can add more parenthetical sections here. So, maybe I need just somebody who speaks one of the major European languages. So, it's not just Spanish that I'm looking for. So, I could open a parentheses here and I'll do "(spanish or german or italian or french)" and I can close those parentheses.
Now, this gives me more results because now I'm searching for anybody who has either the phrase "graphic designer" or the phrase "art director" but also has the word "spanish OR german OR italian OR french" somewhere in their profile. So, I'm really targeting exactly what I need here in this search. Now, the last boolean modifier that I want to see is the one you use when you want to exclude certain keywords or phrases. So, I want a strong experience candidate but I do not want somebody who is to experienced or to expensive for this role.
So, I might find some keywords to exclude using the NOT modifier. So, at the end of my search string I'm going to add in "NOT", again all capitals, and I'm going to put in "CEO". So, I don't want anybody who has the word CEO in their profile. So, now I've really sharpened this down to a very small list of candidates. I'm down to 362 results. Now, that's still a few too many for me to go through but we're really starting to narrow it down. Now, there are other filters here. You can see "Years of experience", "Years in current position", but I don't want to look at the filters here, I want to look at the filters on the next screen.
So, for now I'm just going to hit "Go" and now we're going to get the search results based on this search string. So, from here it might be nice to just browse through the list of candidates that I have on this search or you might want to further filter it down more. Over on the left side we have a list of all of the filters that you can use to really narrow down the search even more. Now, I'm not gonna talk about all of the search filters but I do want to show you how they work. So, let me scroll through and find one that I might want to use. Now, when I originally did my search I searched within 50 miles of my current location.
So, now it gives me an option for more geographic locations within my current area. So, I might want to use this filter to limit my search to only candidates in the Santa Barbara area. I just click on this check box and now I have fewer search results. If I want to I can turn this filter off again. Let's do a few more. If I scroll down to "Years of experience", I want to filter down to candidates who only have three to five years of experience. So, somebody who's not to new but somebody who's not been working for too long in the industry.
And let's do one more. Under the category of "Degree", I could click on that, and I could do a search. If I just start searching for Bachelor's Degree I can see that comes up on this list. I could search for a very specific type of degree but I'm going to make this easy. I'm just going to go to a Bachelor's Degree. So, there are a bunch of other filters that you might want to look through but know if I got back up to the top I can see that I've narrowed this down to 28 search results. And if you want you can remove any of these filters right up here at the top.
So, I could click on the little "x" on one of these filters and it would remove that filter and it would give me more people in the search results. So, I'm going to need to tweak and experiment with these search filters to get a good list of people but this is why you need to approach this with a solid list of criteria that you want in a candidate but you also need to know what criteria you're willing to flex on if you don't find a good number of candidates. But for now I've got a really good start and I've got a great list of targeted candidates that I can start to sort through.
- Using Recruiter's powerful search features to find candidates
- Saving candidates to a project
- Contacting candidates and viewing message status
- Managing interested candidates
- Monitoring Recruiter stats