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Sourcing on LinkedIn: analysis of queries for internal search

Evotalents March 25, 2021

Tuesday, March 23.
Work chat.
Two hours before the EvoTalents.School webinar  about sourcing “Sourcer: what I shouldn't miss”.

Masha Naumenko after watching my presentation "Search on LinkedIn": Liu, let’s conduct a survey on a chat with our students and ask them ask which query is correct?

I support this idea and in a few minutes: Here in Irpin' we had a strong wind and the light was gone. Mobile Internet couldn’t help me a lot and the laptop has only 30% charge. I hope everything will be fixed before the webinar.

And so, catching the signal on the windowsill, I come up with variations of queries from memory.

The light was restored, the webinar was successful, and we analyzed all the requests. I want to emphasize on one important thing – we do not have to go to LinkedIn and wait for the reaction of the platform to understand whether the query works. We have to understand if it can work while looking at this query. And for this we need to know and understand the features of different search engines (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc) and different platforms (LinkedIn, GitHub, Behance, etc), where their own  Boolean logic works.

I decided to go beyond our group and conducted a survey on my LinkedIn profile, Ukrainian Sourcing Community on Facebook and on EvoTalents’ Instagram. 

Survey results




In total, 90 recruiters took part in the survey. I think that some of them could answer on 2 or even 3 sources, but still, nearly 10% chose a logically correctly formed request. It seems like not every it recruiter knows which requests work.

How does LinkedIn’s internal search work?

When searching internally on LinkedIn, you can use the advanced platform search with sewn-in filters. To take full advantage of this search, we use:

- Boolean operators: "", (), NOT, AND, OR – which LinkedIn reads in this order;

- five documented operators;

- from nine undocumented operators (the post popular of them are in the picture, you can find more on the blog of Irina Shamaeva).

LinkedIn engineering blog

LinkedIn's home documentation 

LinkedIn search operators by Irina Shamaeva

Important: documented and undocumented operators work only with internal search on LinkedIn. So they don’t work with search on Google or GitHub.

Let's analyze four options we had in the questionnaire.

1. headline:"open to work" -(recruiter OR hr) location:Ukraine.

LinkedIn does not have the operator location: (this operator works when searching on GitHub). And on this platform we use the operator geo: Do not confuse with the built-in filter Locations!

2. skills:"angular 2..7" language:frontend

LinkedIn doesn’t have the operator language: (but it works for GitHub).

3. yoe:4 (senior react developer) -middle -lead

Analyzing the query, we want to find Senior developers, but who did not work Middle (or did not specify this role) - logically a priori contradictory query, because every Senior was Middle. Plus we use the operator yoe: (LinkedIn calculates a number of years and this can be the general experience of the developer, where only the last one is as a developer).

4. firstname:liuda endyear:2010 spokenlanguage:українська

This query is logically correct – one documented and two undocumented LinkedIn operators. But this query should be checked, it means, how LinkedIn identifies language writing.

What should we keep in mind when forming queries on LinkedIn?

We just have to know which operators are perceived by this platform and not allow ourselves to "relax" using LinkedIn Recruiter Lite if we're not confident yet.

And if you want to understand sourcing better and deeper (including non-standard resources), we invite you to our sourcing courses at EvoTalents.School.