We all like to do our bit for charity and the community as a whole. So when we were asked to abseil 30 metres off the side of a building, we er.. jumped at the chance. The big event will be on Sunday the 5th of April at Sheffield Wednesday’s football ground. We will be doing this in aid of the Sheffield branch of the Alzheimer’s Society. More to follow…
Boolean search can be a very powerful feature to have on a website. We employ it on both our job and CV searches. However, it can be very frustrating due to the fact that many people don’t fully understand or know how to properly use it. With this in mind we have decided to write a primer on how to use it on our sites. We will explain some basic principles as well as the common pitfalls.
Boolean search is a way of searching a database using a set of basic rules based on the principles of boolean logic. Boolean logic consists of four rules (referred to as logical operators) OR, AND, NOT and ().
This is represented by a pipe symbol (|). This is normally on the left of the letter Z on your keyboard. The OR operator will bring back results that contain either of the words in your query. So:
- Sales | Manager
Will return documents that contain just ‘Sales‘, documents with just ‘Manager‘ (or ‘management‘, ‘managing‘, etc) and documents that contain both terms.
This (represented as a + or a &) will return documents that contain all the words in your query. So the following term:
- Sales +Manager
- Sales & Manager
Will return documents that have both of the words in them. The words can be in any order and be any distance apart. It is also worth noting the position of the plus (+) symbol. It has to immediately precede the word with no spaces. The query ‘Sales +Manager’ is very different to ‘Sales + Manager’. It is also worth noting that if you don’t use an operator, many search engines will interpret that as an AND. So ‘Sales Manager‘ is the same as ‘Sales +Manager‘ and ‘+Sales +Manager‘
This (represented by a – or a !) will remove a term from your results. So the following term:
- Sales +Manager -Bank
- Sales +Manager !Bank
Will return documents that Contain both the terms ‘Sales‘ and ‘Manager‘ but not ‘Bank‘. As with the AND operator, it is important to note the position of the minus (-) symbol.
The group operator lets you group terms in your query to further refine your results. Items in groups will be evaluated together. Take the following query:
- Sales | Manager -Bank
Without any grouping this will return documents with either the terms ‘Sales‘ or ‘Manager‘ but without the term ‘Bank‘. But if we did this:
- Sales | (Manager -Bank)
It will return documents that contain the words sales or documents that contain the word ‘Manager‘. However, of the documents that contain the word ‘Manager‘, it will exclude the word ‘Bank‘. Another example is:
- (Sales | Bank) +Manager
This will return documents that contain both the terms ‘Sales’ and ‘Manager’ or documents contain both the terms ‘Bank‘ and ‘Manager‘.
Got that? Good Lets Move On
We use search engine software called Sphinx to provide our searches. Sphinx, like many search engines, provides extended rules to basic boolean logic. One of these is the phrase search operator (represented by double quotes). So the query:
- “Sales Manager”
Will only match documents that have the words ‘Sales‘ and ‘Manager‘ next to each other in that order. We can combine this with other rules. So that if we do:
- “Sales Manager” -Bank
It will remove all reference to the word ‘Bank‘ in the results. We will therefore not match ‘I was a Sales Manager at the local bank‘.
That’s all you need to get you started. Hopefully this information will help you get better results from the searches you run in ours system
Welcome to our new web development blog. Over the coming months we will be using this blog for various purposes. As well keeping you updated with developments on our sites, we will be posting useful information on relevant web technology and the Recruitment industry in general. We will post articles and tutorials and try to answer any questions you may have about our system.