X-ray Searches: The Secret to Uncovering Specialized Candidates

Blue Rock Search often uses X-ray searches when looking for specialized candidates. This technique has straightforward fundamentals, despite how its name may sound snazzy and high-tech.


An X-ray search uses an ordinary search engine—such as Google or Bing—to home in on candidates with a particular skill set you require.


While this may sound simple enough, X-ray searches require a deep understanding of both executive recruiting and how search engines work. Otherwise, a search for every mention of a particular proficiency will result in millions of profiles. Therefore, it is necessary to be knowledgeable on search string operations to narrow down the results into a manageable search process.


A regular X-ray search starts by identifying the site name in the search, which is then developed through more parameters and keywords. The search string—the following step in the process—is crucial, as it provides the “instructions” to the search engine on how to narrow down results to a manageable, useful level. Search strings can help you locate candidates whose profiles present multiple important skills, list a particular company or job title, or, in turn, do not have a particular keyword in their profile, among many other possibilities.


Blue Rock’s team employs their expertise when using this technique on client searches. A successful X-ray search requires both knowledge on these search strings as well as an in-depth understanding of the requirements of a position. Blue Rock’s team expertise leads us to achieve results that a DIY approach simply won’t uncover.


How Technology Makes a Difference

The combined expertise of the Blue Rock Search sourcing team reflects over 25 years of experience, which is further supported by major investments in top recruiting and sourcing resources available in the current market.


Before LinkedIn was around, techniques like X-ray searching were necessary to discover top talent on the internet. Today, there are many free and paid options to format your searches and uncover talent quickly and easily. Blue Rock Search invests in the top technology platforms, all so that our sourcing team can work efficiently to place qualified candidates in front of the recruiting team.


Blue Rock uses several technology platforms to achieve results. Our sourcing and recruiting teams use LinkedIn Recruiter, which allows us to quickly connect with the top talent on the platform. Our sourcing team also uses HireEZ, which helps them leverage an advanced AI technology to discover and quickly engage with over 800 million profiles. In addition to these, our team uses ZoomInfo Recruiter, which enables us to access the most updated and accurate contact information available to directly connect with candidates.


As a specialized executive recruiting firm, Blue Rock does not need to reinvent the wheel for every search. Crelate—our Applicant Tracking System—allows us to maintain contact with the top talent in the markets we serve. We combine this tool with other software to consistently update relevant information in our database, which allows us to get searches off the ground and speed up hiring timelines.


Blue Rock Search has a record of providing quality, efficient performance that results in placing top candidates at our client’s organizations. Our optimal combination of experience in X-ray searches, command of technological resources, and effective methodology ensure our clients a successful sourcing and recruiting process.


By Bryan Vass


About the Author

As Director of Research and Sourcing for Blue Rock Search, Bryan Vass leads the research and sourcing activities supporting the Franchise and Customer Experience practices based in the Sarasota, Florida office. Bryan has extensive experience working within Lean, Six Sigma, TPM, Continuous Improvement and Operational Excellence positions across all industries, including manufacturing, supply chain, healthcare, energy, and business services.

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