In my experience speaking with recruiters there seems to be a wide range of competency when it comes to writing search strings, where to search, etc. It also looks as though the knowledge base around these ideas is controlled by few and consumed by the recruiting masses, often times in the form of paid training classes, webinars, and workshops at shows like ERE, Sourcecon, and others. I was thinking the other day that this situation feels like the perfect application for a public wiki - a site where people can share and categorize search strings and ideas in general on where to go and how to best use it. Is anyone aware of something that exists like this already? If so please share. If not, you can also VOTE HERE and let everyone know what you think of the idea.

This is not to say that I plan to create it but just wanted to get a sense of what others think of the idea. Maybe we're all too competitive to share our secret sauce?

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Great idea Steve. The way I'm initially envisioning this is a very simple, clean wiki that allows people to publish a string, type in a scenario/comment, and tag it. I'm also thinking about allowing people to vote on ones they like, add to it, improve it, fix it if it doesn't work, etc. but I haven't thought about the best way to do that yet. To address your concern about an "expert" posting a string as way to advertise for their training/consulting services maybe there should be a "report this" feature but i'd hate to have to monitor the site like that and am hoping there is a better way for users to police it themselves.

Steve Levy said:
As long as I can remember, I've tracked the performance of my search strings. If you really want to do this, ask people to send in the search strings used for a particular job title, job group, whatever, specifying the search engine used in the search as well as a short description of "sourcing project."

The last thing I would want would be for this opportunity for "experts" to shill their fee for services upon offering their string to the cause. As noted, those of us who initially delved deeply into the search engines and their capabilities freely gave away our knowledge. This should not be a direct platform for selling search tools or consulting services; if someone wants to contact an "expert" offline, that would be reasonable...
Michael and all,

I just started a group here on Recruiting Blogs called "Boolean Strings".
Please join! Let's create a community here and share search knowledge with each other.

The site needs to be developed. We are open to putting a wiki-based content there if you'd like to collaborate on that. We are also open to other suggestions.

Also created a parallel group on LI,


...I'd hate to have to monitor the site like that...

ERE started out as a very sharing and caring environment but now you can't read a discussion thread without someone selling their "expertise" or software-based recruiting product.

If you consider a cadre of people to serve as a "Board" with rotating responsibility, it would be a step in the right direction.
Hi Michael,

Sounds like you have a good idea, but as an all encompassing list of gathered searchstrings there would need to be a large group willing to participate and add in order for it to serve purpose beyond what's out there posted on uncountable blogs/sites. I voted, I would love to know what your outcome is.

Depending on where you want to go with this, it could be a great resource or a complete waste of time. As you mention below you're thinking it through.

Keep me posted on what your outcome with this idea is and be sure to post the poll results!
Thanks Kristen. Yes, that's always the challenge - set up for a party and no one shows up. We'll need to think that through. Initially we'll need to build out content which we can do by crawling various places and looking for things to add. We also might need to explore building a widget to embed in other applications, toolbars, etc. to make it easy for people to add strings to the Wiki. Just thinking out loud for now but thankfully we have a team of smart developers that usually come up with some good ideas as to how to make those things work. Our CEO is on board which is step one in getting the resources to work on it. I'm can't make any promises yet though on the timing.
MJ- Use an open source model that we've used in s/w dev for decades. Essentially, any addition or change cannot take place unless it is "tested" by a certain number of members of the community. I don't want to scare people but their are legal issues surrounding open source software and I suspect will surround an open source project such as this. Click here for a primer on these issues as related to software. There are tried and true bug tracking procedures that we can model upon.

Once again I'd like to reiterate that anyone selling their product or service be banned.

Thanks Michael (unless you prefer Mike...)

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