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I am still surprised how much searching is still done with the primary focus on skills and experience.

Why aren’t people including search terms that try and distinguish exceptional performance vs average?

If you have 7 years vs 3 years of experience, does more experience make you exceptional?…..I think we could agree it does not.

Why not create a search string that you could tack onto your searches like this:

(“exceeded plan” OR “surpassed plan” OR “beat plan” OR “exceeded target” OR “exceeded goal” OR “presidents club” OR “Top 1%” OR “Top 5%” OR “Top 10%”).

Let’s make this relevant with a specific example of searching for sales people at SAP. I did a broad search to start with salespeople at SAP, I would get over 4,000 results. It took me all of 1 minute scanning profiles to work out that SAP awards their top sales people the ‘Winners Circle’ award for exceeding quota/plan. If I now just simply add the term “Winners Circle” to my search string, I now get 115 results.

If I am looking for an exceptional sales person working for SAP, why on earth would I not start there first?

The same logic applies to lots of different companies and different job titles. Want to find top performing Software Developers at Microsoft?. Simply add “Gold Star Award” to your search string.

What about searching for Analyst’s that have won a “collaboration award” on Indeed?

I think you get the gist of where I am going with this. I have personally taught my sourcing teams and managers in the past to research competitor companies to find out the specific names of company awards that are given to their exceptional employees. Heck, LinkedIn makes it ever easier with a specific awards section that candidates use on their profiles, and we know people like to show off.

I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to have my teams add a few keywords or a search string like the above to keywords just to potentially bring back the top-performing profiles first. I thought maybe some of you might like your teams to do the same in the future as well.

Need some Intelligent Advice on how to? Come visit me at McINTOSH & Co.