what are benefits of using semantic search in recruiting

The Benefits of Semantic Search in Recruiting

We have already dealt with the basics of Boolean search and its applications in sourcing and recruitment.  Owing to the limitations of Boolean search there was a need to migrate towards a more comprehensive and intelligent search technology which was partly fulfilled by semantic search.

Let’s examine how semantic search has proved to be a great help for recruitment software developers and where the future of sourcing and recruitment is headed:

What is Semantic Search?

Looking up the definition of semantics reveals it as “meaning or interpretation of a word or sentence”. Semantic search is defined as a search technique which takes into account the meanings of words and the searcher’s intent, looking beyond the exact word for word match of the search query.

Semantic search works at contextual and conceptual level, allowing you to search for “meanings”, rather than simple “words”.  Applicant Tracking Systems are a great help for recruiters because they present a centralized database ready for sourcing profiles. Earlier, recruiters wasted precious time going from one source to other source searching for the matching candidate. An ATS solves this pain point.  But is that all to the much hyped “recruitment technology”? Shouldn’t the ATS be able to provide you with the best possible candidate for the job, and not just matching profiles?

What is Semantic Search?

However, most ATS providers currently lack that search intelligence which can guarantee such results, even if they have the vastest database of prolific candidates. Semantic search intends to solve this problem.

(Also Read: How to select an applicant tracking system)

How semantic recruitment works?

Jobseekers do not write their resume for software. An average ATS often misses the best candidates as their search function which relies solely on Boolean is not capable enough to understand the words that they are using to phrase their skills and experience.  A recruiter when uses a particular query for searching their database, might be missing on candidates who chose different words to describe the same qualification. Semantic search solves this by understanding what the candidates are conveying and how it relates to the search query.

For instance, when a recruiter searches “content marketer”, semantic search takes into account the expanded meaning of the word by using language patterns and fetches all the best possible related results that may also include candidates  with “digital marketing”, “content writing”, or “blogging” as their key skill. Thus, leveraging semantic search, recruiters can source from a larger pool of qualified candidates.

(Also Read: Why Your Applicant Tracking System Needs to be Changed?)

What are the Benefits of using Semantic Search in Recruiting?

Some of the key benefits that application of semantic search in ATS provides include:

  • Larger pool of qualified candidates to choose from
  • Recruiters need not have to type every skill nor they need to have the knowledge within an industry or skill set to return all relevant candidates in the database
  • Reducing time to source candidates
  • Providing a boost to the recruiter’s talent sourcing capabilities
  • Recruiters can enjoy more time for performing the actual HR responsibilities of engaging with the relevant candidates
  • Greater productivity for recruiters

(Also Read: How to Reduce time to hire)

What is the future of Semantic Search in Recruiting?

It will be wrong to assume that Boolean search is any less powerful than Semantic. However, relying solely on any one of these search technologies will only result in a compromised ability to source relevant candidates. Until AI and machine learning becomes mainstream, ATS vendors will have to keep finding ways to combine the strengths of both in their offerings. In the end, a human touch will always remain an absolute must to make the difficult decisions.

(Also Read: The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment)