The Two Rules of Searching

Aug 9, 1998

If you find that searching the Internet isn’t producing the candidates you want, maybe it’s time to change your ways. Let’s consider two prevailing cardinal rules. First, know what you’re looking for before you start your search. And, second, automate wherever you can. For the first rule, think about the position you need to fill. Talk to the hiring manager or the department manager to find as many specific position-related words as you can. Then, arm yourself with those keywords to focus your search. In the past, you would look for a Cobol person; now, you’ll try adding “mainframe,” “debugging,” “telon,” “cobol-II,” “cce,” “cics,” “mvs/vsam,” and other descriptors that surfaced from your talk. Remember to include the Boolean operators AND NOT to exclude words commonly found in job postings. For the second rule, think robots. For better or worse, these robots can’t roll up their sleeves and do all the legwork for us. But, there are a number of software applications, both free and paid, designed to expedite your searches. The better ones are quick, let you build Boolean searches, save results in a database, and allow you to make notations within the files. The beauty of robots is that while they’re slaving away gathering more names for you, you’re making contact with the names you already have. Whether you’re new to Internet recruiting or a skilled practitioner, you know there’s a skill to constructing effective search queries. For some people, the skill is intuitive; for others, it’s acquired over time or with help. But, once you’ve mastered it, don’t bother doing the actual search alone. Let the robots roam.

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