I Am So Over The “B Word”

Kelly Dingee Kelly Dingee, Sourcing

And by that I mean “Boolean.”

There are Boolean groups, Boolean blogs, Boolean trainers.  There’s probably a Boolean 12 Step Program as well in a city near you.

There are people that critique Boolean, with no Boolean expertise.  There are people who speak of it’s demise.  Which is odd, because it’s logic and then you can run in a circle because we’re talking about the demise of logic?  How can that be?  And then there are people selling Boolean like it’s going to save the world, or at the very least your search.

It’s rare that you read about search in the recruiting world without Boolean being smashed in your face.  And I daresay more than a few people have their eyes glaze over when that word is bandied about.

I was actually relieved as I was flipping through Shally Steckerl’s tome The Talent Sourcing & Recruitment Handbook to see he has started using “logical operators” to describe the commands we input into a search engine.  He also introduces the average sourcer to the concept of “logical disjunction” and points out that referring to a sourcing search string as a B-Word search string is a bit of a misnomer as most B-Word search strings are looking for a result with only two possible values. And he must be right; this site agrees.  You should get his book—it’s a different read from what’s out there.

As I dig more and more into it, I’m finding others ditch the B Word as well.  The sites I go to when I’m looking for a kick start refer to search operators. And search strings… well they are search strings.

There are still a gazillion plus one references to Boolean search and Boolean search strings out there.  And I daresay I’ve contributed a few of those references in this very blog. But I for one vow for 2014 to reform. I’m keeping it simple with operators and strings!