The Four Best Resources for Brushing Up On Boolean

March 11, 2016 at 9:00 AM by William Clarke

Sourcing With Boolean

Boolean logic is one of the savvy recruiter’s most basic, yet powerful tools. That’s because Boolean search is applicable to every platform you use to source talent, whether it’s Google, Twitter, or Facebook. Using Boolean search well not only helps you find more top talent, but it also hones in on specific candidates that fit your location or skillset criteria.

While the Boolean fundamentals are pretty straightforward, advanced Boolean is where things really get interesting. That’s where the true sourcing gurus differentiate themselves from everyone else, and it offers you an extraordinary opportunity to refine and develop a skill that has an immediate effect on your end results.

So how do you go beyond basic Boolean into the depths of Boolean wizardry? Well, there’s a handful of excellent places to start:

Boolean Strings

Run by Boolean wizard-in-chief Irina Shamaeva, Boolean Strings is dedicated to brilliant tips and tricks to help sourcers maximize their results. Content ranges from custom Boolean search strings for specific positions to social media sourcing hacks to reviews of various sourcing and recruiting solutions. Shamaeva, a trained mathematician before she became a recruiter, has a unique combination of technical smarts, practical know-how, and creativity that makes her blog one of the most immediately valuable and helpful destinations on the internet. She even has a page that has helpfully aggregated all of the most important sourcing tools around. Bookmark it now and return often.

Our recommended starter post: Boolean Is Alive And Well But Long Boolean is Dead

The Sourcing Institute

The Sourcing Institute is the single best place to develop your sourcing skills. Founded by Shally Steckerl, Stefanie Steckerl, and Rob Delp, the Sourcing Institute offers a host of services, trainings and resources for you sourcers looking to up your game. If you’ve ever been to a national recruiting conference or follow Hiring On All Cylinders, chances are you’ve heard of Steckerl. He literally wrote the book on talent sourcing: The Talent Sourcing and Recruitment Handbook. If you’re a modern talent acquisition pro, it’s the closest thing you have to an industry bible.

But you can benefit from Shally’s inimitable knowledge and expertise without buying the book (though you definitely should get it). In fact, we’ve just teamed up with the Sourcing Institute for the 2016 World’s Greatest Sourcer competition. Want to put your skills to the test and get the opportunity to work directly with Shally (one of our three gamemasters)?  Sign up to compete in #WGS16 and see how you stack up against the world’s top sourcers and recruiters.

Our recommended starter course: TSI’s Sourcer Certification program


Boolean Black Belt

Boolean Black Belt is Glen Cathey’s blog dedicated to sourcing tips, recruiting commentary, and helpful explainers of complex topics such as semantic search. If you’re not familiar with Cathey, he’s a true thought leader when it comes to sourcing hard-to-find talent and can be counted on to make appearances as a keynote speaker at some of the bigger annual recruiting conferences around the world. 

Boolean Search Makes Sourcing Easier And More Effective

He has his hand on the pulse of the industry, and Boolean Black Belt is chock full of insightful articles that explore the ins and outs of modern recruiting. Cathey’s priceless insights into many of the biggest ideas, tactics and strategies driving the sourcing industry forward make Boolean Black Belt one of the best places to stay sharp, and he’s a true Boolean mastermind. 

Our recommended starter post: The Most Powerful Boolean Search Operator


SourceCon is one the biggest brands in sourcing and their blog is an excellent resource for inexperienced and experienced sourcers alike. Featuring posts from the sourcing industry’s foremost innovators talking shop, the blog has a wealth of posts on various ways savvy sourcers can leverage search, Boolean strings, and other hacks to get the most of their of their sourcing efforts. The best thing about SourceCon is that the range and quality of the posts means that both casually browsing or searching for specific tips and discussions of specific resources or pain points are equally fruitful. 

Our recommended starter post: How to Be a Google Power User 

Those are just a handful of the best places you can boost your Boolean skills, but if you’re also interested in a quick refresh on the basics, be sure to check out The Recruiter’s Guide to Boolean Basics and Natural Languages with Shally Steckerl of the Sourcing Institute.

Have you got some favorite Boolean destinations of your own? Share them in the comments!

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