Recruitment Blog

X-ray screening for success!

Ryan Shiba
Head of Learning at JobAdder

Finding candidates has become a hot button topic for recruiters. Today, there are even more tools to help power you to find qualified candidates for every position. Social recruiting has become a great source when researching and sourcing quality candidates, but limited search results on basic LinkedIn® accounts may restrict your ability to search each month.

X-ray searching is a technique used by recruiters to source talent from websites, directly from internet search engines (e.g. Google). The use of boolean search terms to find keywords and phrases within an appropriate site is at the heart of an excellent x-ray search.

Need help building your talent pool? Download our ultimate guide to sourcing talent.

How do you perform a simple x-ray search?

Although X-ray searching may appear to be complicated, it’s quite simple. As an example, let’s say you want to search user profiles on LinkedIn® for .NET developers in Denver using Google. Your search string might look something like this: site:linkedin.com and “you know” and Denver and “.NET.”

Let’s break it down in parts to give you a better understanding of how this works. Keep in mind that the “and” operator is present to ensure that all criteria that you need is in the search.

  1.  site:linkedin.com – This is telling Google to search only on the LinkedIn® website.
  2. “you know” – This is included in the string in an attempt to limit search results to user profiles (as compared to showing .NET job postings in Denver). The phrase “you know” does a pretty good job of this because it is somewhat unique and found in public profiles. The “quotes” inserted to ensure that results will only display pages in which the words “you” and “know” appear right next to each other.
  3. Denver – This is the search location. Keep in mind that this will include any users that have “Denver” anywhere on their profile and not necessarily indicate their current location.
  4. “.NET” – This will return profiles that have “.NET” listed somewhere on the page.

You can also use this cool tool:

Another option is to use a custom search engine designed for specific sites. In these cases, a lot of the search string is essentially already completed for you. One great example of this is the LinkedIn® x-ray search tool created by Recruitment Geek. In this case, all you have to do is enter your search criteria, such as “.NET” AND “Denver” and you will receive up to 100 search results of matching profiles.

There you have it! X-ray searches are as easy as pie. With this tool, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your sourcing efforts each month. Happy recruiting!



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