Using The Power Of Search To Improve Your Candidate Pool

In competitive hiring markets all around the world, recruiter success can be defined by the ability to find high-quality candidates at speed… and that’s where the power of search comes in.


But despite major investments in cutting-edge CRMs and job boards, many recruitment companies are accessing only a fraction of the talent discoverable through their existing resources – battling other agencies for the same candidates and struggling to gain a competitive advantage.

Simply put, the power of search is the tool of the future when it comes to performing candidate searches; allowing recruiters to circumvent traditional, tedious, and quite frankly, repetitive recruitment methods.


By unlocking the full power of advanced search, recruiters and agencies can expand talent pools by up to 100% if not considerably more, decreasing the time to fill roles and uncovering exclusive talent pools they would’ve otherwise missed.

The Challenges Around Candidate Searches

Across more than 10,000 recruiters internationally, serving a wide range of industries:

48% of searches contain errors
100% of recruiters could further increase their candidate pools
100% could save time and optimise how recruiters work through search


It’s fair to say the data on the quality of candidate searches in the recruitment industry makes for an alarming read… so what’s causing these issues?


Although they may have access to premium resources such as LinkedIn, job boards and specialist CV databases, recruiters with sub-optimal search techniques uncover the same profiles as competing agencies and lack ways to deliver a differentiated solution to their clients.


The answer, for many, is to layer on more resources – more job boards, more subscriptions, and more rectech… but with other agencies also having easy access to the same tools and job boards becoming increasingly more expensive, the problem persists.

Leveraging the Power of Search to Build an Advantage

Rather than add more platforms, recruiters can vastly increase their relevant candidate pools by mastering some advanced search techniques which can produce over a 100% uplift in talent pool size from the same tools they already use.


This competitive edge multiplied by the number of recruiters in an agency can mean a game-changing increase in recruiter billings and a huge improvement in ROI from investments in existing resources.


For no additional cost, time spent refining search processes can have an impact on bottom-line performance that is both immediate and sustainable.

5 Ways To Find Hidden Talent

Hidden talent can be difficult to find, hence the name… but there are a few proven methods that can help you source even the most niche candidates.

1. Reversing job titles

Though it seems counterintuitive, reversing standard job titles in search queries can capture a whole new range of candidates who have written their job titles in this way, either in their LinkedIn profile or their CV.


Adding ‘not’ to filter out the conventional job title narrows down the search to exclude profiles found by standard search techniques.


Covering this angle in searches can quickly reveal candidates that are not only less likely to be found by other agencies, but are also less frequently contacted and may be more responsive to recruiter outreach.


e.g. “Manager Quality Assurance” AND NOT “Quality Assurance Manager”

2. Removing asterisks

Despite common belief, asterisks do not work in many search platforms and using them for ‘stemming’ (to find variations of a word) if an asterisk search is not supported means losing out on large numbers of relevant profiles.


Instead, manually listing variations and full expressions can deliver up to 90% more profiles.


e.g. Engineer OR Engineering

3. Including abbreviations

Especially on social platforms (such as LinkedIn), candidates may use informal abbreviations of all or parts of their job titles.


Including these in search unlocks a previously untapped pool of highly relevant profiles that won’t show up in search results where the full word has been used to search.


e.g. Mgr OR Manager, (“Snr Developer” OR “Sr Developer”)

4. Capturing all versions

Searching “HTML” won’t automatically find every version of HTML that a candidate may have written in their profile, such as HTML5.


The principle isn’t exclusive to technology searches and is true across any markets where ‘versions’ of skills or qualifications exist.


Assuming that including part of the search term will return all variants leads to scores of missed profiles, where writing all variants out in full captures the complete talent pool.

5. Splitting/Combining Words

Often the spacing between words can be enough to generate up to 4x more profiles, where some CVs do and some don’t include a space.


e.g. Frontend OR “Front End”

SourceBreaker, Not Just a Powerful Search Platform

With SourceBreaker’s growing ontology, searches automatically include all variations of any selected keywords and return unique, value-generating candidates in just a few clicks.


Combining dozens of intuitive features, one of many core aspects surrounding SourceBreaker is its ability to leverage the power of search in seconds, making it a recruiter’s best friend and a competitor’s worst nightmare.


For more information on SourceBreaker as a powerful search tool, click here!

TL;DR Key Takeaways

  • The power of search is essential for recruiters looking to uncover high-quality candidates quickly, expand talent pools by up to 100% or more and gain a competitive advantage.
  • Many recruitment companies struggle with suboptimal search techniques, which results in the same profiles as other agencies, a lack of differentiation, and time-consuming searches.
  • By mastering advanced search techniques, recruiters can increase their candidate pools and gain a competitive edge, resulting in a game-changing increase in recruiter billings and ROI from investments in existing resources.
  • To find hidden talent, recruiters can use reversing job titles, manually listing variations and full expressions, including abbreviations, capturing all versions, and splitting/combining words.
  • SourceBreaker is a powerful search platform that automatically includes all variations of any selected keywords, leveraging the power of search to return unique and valuable candidates in seconds.

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