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Overcoming Linkedin Search Limits

LinkedIn most likely are on the path to killing Recruiter Lite and will force to switch to Recruiter

A couple of weeks ago I was preparing my searches for new recruitment projects. It so happened that I began working on several different projects at the same time. So naturally, I was deep down in LinkedIn building Boolean strings, refactoring them and trying to have the purest candidate pool. At the end of the day, I was finishing up, when a new message popped up on my Linkedin profile.

I'm using the Recruiter Lite subscription (and yes, I still think that the standard Recruiter seat is a rip-off, but this is a story for another time). Well, this was a new one for me... and it caused me frustration because:

  • I'm paying money for a premium service
  • These paid services are far FAAAAR from ideal ones (just look at the search results that you get)
  • There are ALREADY loads of random restrictions
  • LinkedIn most likely are on the path to killing Recruiter Lite and will force to switch to Recruiter

Ok, ok, I had my fun ranting, now let's get back on the topic!

So immediately I start thinking - there should be a way to overcome this. So it happens that quite recently I was researching other search engines and their capabilities.

Let’s start with the obvious one - Google. If you adjust the settings, turn off the safe search, sometimes switch to Incognito mode (for non-recommendation-based results), and extend the results per page, you can get a pretty decent outcome. But there's always a "BUT", right? Yup, you're right...

You see, if you would like to build a proper Boolean string, you're limited to only 32 words.

Of course, for smaller or exploratory searches it might do. But what if we want to go deeper? You could actually tinker with their Programmable Search Engine, but it's a bit of a hassle. Perhaps this is not a surprise for you, but the internet is a magical place, where you can ask and you shall receive!

So, I took another try but this time with DuckDuckGo. For those who are not familiar, this is another search engine, but not as biased on ads and recommendations as Google.

I was actually even surprised while testing this search engine - the limit is amazingly high! It allows you to have 152 words in the search query and the symbols limit is 500. I've checked my more extensive Boolean strings within IT which amount somewhere 365 symbols, ~70ish words, so you should also be well covered 😉

During my testing, I was able to get somewhere between 109 and 173 decent profiles. So, in those times when you're trapped by LinkedIn search limits or you simply do not have a premium account, remember that there are other ways to get those candidates' profiles :)

P.S. happy hunting!