Where does Hire by Google fit in?
One of the foundational premises of talent sourcing lies in the fact that traditional search engines are notoriously bad at searching for individual people and profiles, particularly as they relate to jobs.
If you’re looking for something, search engines are great. If you’re looking for someone, obviously, there are a few inherent limitations to even the most sophisticated search algorithms.
Search results generally tend to reward “authority,” which works for measuring the relative influence of websites based on a myriad of factors like external backlinks, keyword density and referral traffic. This is why Wikipedia almost inevitably comes up at the top of the organic results for almost every search involving a place or thing.
Not so a person, for whom the concept of relative authority is much more difficult to rank. Results favor a number of different platforms, such as Twitter streams embedded directly in results and the prevalence of LinkedIn profiles at the top of most organic vanity searches, or publishers.
Names return largely based on the prominence of the platform on which information is published rather than the relative social influence or authority of the person’s name you’re actually searching for.
Additionally, there’s no deduplication for names (yet), meaning that unless you’re in the minority of those of us online with distinct names (for example, I’m one of like 8 Matt Charneys in the US – which sucks for them), which obviously only exacerbates the issue of relevant results for talent-based searches.
There are obvious workarounds to these limitations, of course – which is why tactics, like building multiple modifier Boolean strings or performing X-Ray searches, continue to be a viable skillset in sourcing, albeit archaic pretty much everywhere else.