X-ray Search: How to use Google to accurately find talent, anywhere on the Web

X-ray Search: How to use Google to accurately find talent, anywhere on the Web

Google indexes 35 trillion web pages. (Compare the volume with LinkedIn's. LinkedIn profiles are 0.001% of Google's Index!). Chances are your next incredible candidate is in Google, not on LinkedIn.

What's an X-Ray boolean ?

In search, we call a Boolean a combination of words and operators that tells search engines exactly what you’re looking for. You can find candidates, resumes and cover letters that are stored within personal websites, job boards, social platforms (Dribble, Twitter, Behance, Github etc…), or any other website where your target audience can be. Typically websites that are relevant to your industry. You only need to use a unique set of search commands.

For example, the command:
site:linkedin.com/in ("Backend Engineer" OR "Fullstack Engineer") AND "Ruby" AND "San Francisco"
→ Tells to Google to search on LinkedIn for pages that contains either "Backend Engineer" (in this exact wording - that's what quotes “” are for), or "Fullstack Engineer" and contains Ruby and contains San Francisco.

AND & OR are called operators, and need to be in capital letters.

👉 Try it now : copy these commands, past them on Google and change the parameters to fit your needs and see the results for yourself.

2 other examples from the awesome Morgane Conrad (Talent Manager at Folk), use these 2 parameters to find people who may not have a Linkedin account (there are much more than you think, typically a lot of engineers don’t have an active Linkedin profile) :

  • inurl:about.me + Tech stack + Job title + City ex : inurl:about.me and Ruby and Engineer and San Francisco
  • site:.me (intitle:CV OR intitle:resume OR inurl:CV OR inurl:resume) (“Job title 1” OR job title 2) AND tech stack AND City ex : site:.me (intitle:CV OR intitle:resume OR inurl:CV OR inurl:resume) (“Engineer” OR Full stack) AND Ruby AND San Francisco
Pro tip : For websites, forums, or social medias that are specific to your industry, you can try to find one or 2 words that are on all pages that are relevant to you, so that you can match these relevant pages with the keywords you are looking for.
Example: say there is a forum dedicated to your industry, where people create their profiles with their experiences and skills, and in these pages you have noticed that the wording "my profile" is always present in people’s personal pages. Then you can make an X-Ray research like site:forum.myindustry (keyword 1 OR Keyword 2) AND "My Profile" This way Google will only search within these specific pages, in this forum.

Otherwise Recruitin is a great tool that can help you create X-Ray commands based on your keywords in seconds:

Why is it so powerful ?

Because not only it allows you to search for people across the web, and not just in Linkedin. But even in Linkedin, X-Ray is at least as powerful as Linkedin’s Pro accounts (Recruiter Lite, Pro, or Sales Navigator), and often better as it can give you results they don’t give you.

Things you can search with Linkedin Pro accounts as well as with X-Ray:

  • Name: site:linkedin.com/in intitle:”Steve Jobs”
  • Current Job Title: site:linkedin.com/in intitle:”backend engineer”
  • Current Company: site: site:linkedin.com/in intitle:crew
  • Past Company: site:linkedin.com/in -intitle:Slack inanchor:Slack
  • Years at Company: site:linkedin.com/in present AROUND “2..6 years” Product Designer

Things you cannot search with Linkedin Pro accounts, but can with X-Ray:

  • Last Job Title (even if left): site:linkedin.com/in inanchor:”devops engineer”
  • Job descriptions: site:linkedin.com/in “scaled up” start-up cloud bay area
  • Last School: site:linkedin.com/in inanchor:harvard
  • Grades at School: site:linkedin.com/in GPA AROUND(3) “4.0” accounting

More examples by the Incredible Irina Shamaeva:

Who Needs LinkedIn Recruiter? X-Ray vs. LinkedIn Search Comparison Chart
LinkedIn.com LinkedIn Recruiter Google X-Ray (finds public profiles) Google Example Name Y Y intitle:<name> site:linkedin.com/in intitle:”phil tusing” Current Job Title Y (false p…

GCS in a way to use Google’s index to search a specific website, a group of websites or the entire web. Google has many layers of index. Google custom search would only use the main index. Basically it means that you can create your own search. But the real power of Google Custom Search lies on the fact that you don't have the same limit for the keywords. In fact Google’s limit of keywords is 32. It’s a challenge for long searches, especially for diversity sourcing – for example, searching for women’s first names, Latino last names, or diversity colleges. But Google Custom Search allows you to extend that limits to much more than only 32 keywords.

Here is an example of a Custom Google Search that searches on Linkedin :

Programmable Search Engine

Where you can type the following search to start with : "Backend Engineer" OR "Fullstack Engineer") AND "Ruby" AND "San Francisco"

If you want to go further and create your own Google Custom Search, here is how: