Sourcing Using Google – Part 2

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Boolean Search Basics

In this Part 2 of the 3-part series on Google sourcing, let us explore and understand how Boolean search functions.

Boolean search on Google is your best companion when sourcing candidates. Boolean search allows users to combine keywords with operators such as AND, NOT and OR to produce more relevant results.

The basic operators for Boolean search strings are:


When you want to include two (or more) criteria in your Google search, the operator AND narrows down your search. For example, a Boolean search string for recruiting Android developers should include ‘developer AND android’. This will produce results that include both keywords.


The OR operator, on the other hand, allows us to expand our Boolean search results. People might use different words to say the same thing. OR is particularly useful for synonyms, like ‘bank OR finance OR financial.’


The NOT operator excludes unwanted terms from your Google sourcing search. Instead of NOT, you could also use the minus symbol followed by your unwanted term without leaving a space (e.g. ‘NOT recruiter’ or ‘-recruiter.’)

Brackets ()

You can use brackets to group multiple search strings and set your priorities. This will come in handy, as most candidate searches are complex and combine different keywords. For example, ‘(developer OR designer) AND Java’ indicates that Java knowledge is a must-have both for developers and designers. But, in a ‘designer OR (developer AND Java)’ search, Java knowledge is important only for the developers you’re looking for – not the designers.

Quotation marks “ “

If you want Google to consider the phrase you’re searching for as a complete phrase, you should put it in quotation marks. For example, leaving a blank space between ‘customer’ and ‘service’ will provide pages that contain both of the words ‘customer’

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