Semantic Search: Advanced Social Recruitment Strategies

Press Release from Analytics Search

Google’s continuous algorithm updates intended to improve search result concentration and relevance have transformed how talent sourcers use keyword searches. Semantic search and NLP have altered how Google’s search recognizes synonyms and relevant queries. For a talent sourcer, these changes directly impact keyword searches for job titles, locations, and even emojis. These changes can lead to more targeted social recruitment, though they require talent sourcers to rewire how search logic is used. 


X-Ray Search can be a gateway to sourcing on social networks


Talent sourcers need to know how to go where their talent is. A powerful tool for locating candidates on social networks is an x-ray search. An x-ray search involves using the ‘site:’ operator in search engines to index specific pages on social platforms. By combining the ‘site:’ operator with other relevant keywords, talent sourcers can precisely target candidates on various social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Github, and more.


Semantic Search is a recruiter’s most valuable sourcing tool


The Search Engine Journal defines semantic search as a search engine’s attempt to generate the most accurate SERP (search engine result page) results possible by understanding based on searcher intent, query context, and the relationship between words.


Recent updates are significant for talent sourcing teams, as they directly influence keyword queries and overall search logic. In the past, creating complex OR statements like (CPA OR “certified public accountant”) was required to yield targeted results. This may be unnecessary for some searches with Google’s improved synonym recognition, which also offers more space within Google’s 32-word search limit.


X-Ray & Semantic Search Examples:


1. Related keywords to developer: developerindexed search results for developerSearch results included: developer, developers, software engineer, programmer, programming, development


2. Related keywords for abbreviations: rn

Indexed related RN resultsSearch results included: nursing, nurse, Registered Nurse, RN

3. Related keywords to emojis: 👩     

indexed results for gender emojiSearch results included: girl, lady, female, wife, women, woman 



4. Related keywords for closed quotes: “certified public accountant”

indexed results for "certified public accountant"Search results included: Certified Public Accountant







    • The first three search strings yielded highly relevant results based on the provided keyword.


    • Google’s ability to index emojis and identify gender-related terms offers a remarkable tool for diversity sourcing. 


    • The final search string with closed quotes directed Google to only yield the specific phrase, preventing other related terms like “accountant” or “cpa.”





Google’s aim to better understand contextual meaning of search queries serves as a powerful tool for talent sourcing. Recognizing synonyms can provide more robust results, also allowing for more real estate for adding keywords within Google’s search limits. A comprehensive understanding of Google’s semantic search is essential for achieving optimal search results. As always, it’s key to test and iterate keyword framing for optimal results. 

Companies Mentioned in this Press Release: