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2082085 - User Guide to Search Logic - Recruiting


Recruiting User Guide to Search Logic


SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Management


Recruiting Search Methods

  • “Simple Search”: The Simple Search tab under the Candidate Search component of Recruiting provides the ability to search on Resumes/CV, Candidate Profiles, and Cover Letters using keywords and phrases.
  • “Tag Search”: The Tag Search tab under Candidate Search component of Recruiting provides the ability to search Candidate Profiles for specific tags that have been assigned to the individual.
  • “Advance Search”: The Advance Search tab under Candidate Search component of Recruiting provides the ability to search for specific keywords and phrases on the Resume, specific fields on the Candidate Profile, and tags assigned to the Candidate – or any combination of these.


The following are search characters and terms which will provide more advance capabilities in targeting searches. These can be used on both the Simple and Advance Search tabs, in the Recruiting module.
Search Logic – is based on a multi-dimensional search algorithm, which includes a ranking prioritization of results based on criteria occurrence, frequency, stemming, and relativities of all criteria.


  • is the most influential aspect of search logic. E.g.) Candidates will be ranked higher if they match more or all of the search criteria. Frequency: the number of times a search criterion is found on the Candidate. E.g.) People with the word “Engineer” in their profile/resume multiple times will be ranked higher than people with fewer references to the word “Engineer”.


  • helps identify similar words to the search criteria. E.g.) searching for the word ‘Engineer” will also look for derivations of the word, such as Engine, Engineering, Engineers, etc.


  • includes a variety of searching logic, which helps to find superior matches. The uniqueness of criteria matches provides a relevancy boast to the results. E.g.) 'Microplasticology' is given more weight in ranking results than the word 'project', due to its uniqueness. The location of search criteria to one another provides a relevancy boost to the results. E.g.) ‘Engineer Vice President’ is ranked higher than Candidates with both the word ‘Engineer’ and ‘Vice President’ located distantly in the resume/CV.


Wildcard Characters (question marks, asterisks, and tilde)

  • Wildcards are characters which can be used as search criteria to narrow or expand alternatives in the search results.

Question Mark Character (?)

  • the ? question mark character can be used when searching for terms where a single character is now know, or is variable in the results desired. When the exact spelling of a name is not known, then the question mark character can be used to identify people with any character in that location. E.g.) Searching for Thomps?n will return people named Thompson and Thompsen.


Multiple Character (*)

  • the * asterisk character can be used as a wildcard when searching for terms, where any number of the characters are not known. Using the asterisk will results in the greatest diversity of matches. When the search needs to include a wide variety of results, the asterisk is the best option. E.g.) To located people which have the terms certificate,

certification, certified, cert. - you can search cert* which will return results with any of these terms in their profile/resume/cv.


  • to search on the specific capitalization of characters, use the “” quotation marks around the letter(s). The default behavior of a search does not treat capitalized letters any different than non capitalized ones. If, however, the capitalization is important to the search results, then use quotation marks around the specific letter. E.g.) Searching on the term Success”F”actors will rank results higher where the letter F is capitalized, than ones where it is not (e.g. Successfactors, successfactors).

Fuzzy searches (~)

  • to do a fuzzy logic search use the tilde ~ symbol at the end of a single term. Fuzzy logic provides assistive search logic to find similar spellings. Eg) Search for a term similar in spelling to roam use a tilde at the end of the word “roam~”. This search will find terms like foam, roam, roams, room, road, roads, etc.

Phrase searching ("")

  • to search for more than one word in a specific order, use ‘quotation marks around the full phrase. A Phrase is a group of words surrounded by double quotes such as "hello world", will rank that full phrase higher in results. E.g.) Searching for the exact phrase "Project Manager” will only result in top Candidates which have the exact phrase Project Manager.
  •    It also does a more intelligent searching by looking for words that originate from the given word and searching for the same. For eg If searched for "competency development", it will pull all the results that matched the word and also the result of Phrases like "competing developers"

   Note : keywords like "the" or "it" or "of" are extremely common they were not exactly matched

Mixed searches

  • both wildcards and phrases can be used in combination to identify the best overall match. E.g.) searching for "Project *" will return project manager, project owner, project coordinator, project sponsor, etc. Note, the more wildcards, the more diluted the search results may become (e.g. results are ambiguous when searching for “Pro*

Search Terms

  • When search for terms, it is possible to add the AND and OR operators to the criteria statement. These operators will act as follows on the search: OR Logic (default behavior) - searches using multiple words, will be treated as an "OR" expression. In other words, the
    engine will look for anyone who has Term A OR Term B. The result set will be the combination of people with Term A, Term B, as well as people with both Term A and Term B in their profile/resume. E.g.) Sales OR Marketing = results in people with Sales and Marketing, only Sales, and only Marketing in their profile/resume). Note, using the ‘or’ term in search criteria can be used, but it is not necessary.


AND Logic (specific behavior)

  • searches using multiple words connected by "AND" will be treated as a single search criteria (e.g. Sales AND Marketing). In other words, the search engine will return to the top of the result those people who have BOTH words in her/his profile/resume. This will result in very smaller search results, because 'both' conditions must be met. (e.g. Russia AND USA = only people with both the word Russia and USA in their profile/resume) The word AND must be expressed in the search field between the two words.

Matching (aka Stars)

  • When conducting a Candidate Search, the system can now display a relativistic ranking of the Candidate matches, based on the criteria provided. This is shown using a display of stars from 5 (perfect match) down to half a star (barely matched) - in half star decrements. This provides the User with a clear understanding of the top matches in the list, but also a relative rank
    between Candidates in the list. E.g.) four star matches are much better than two star matches



  • Some words appear so frequently in a language, that their usage will render a search useless, since the uniqueness of the results are lost. Because of this, most search engines contain 'stopwords' - which are not indexed, nor used in any search. For example, the word 'the' appears in most books over 10,000 times in a typical book - so searching for pages with the word 'the' will return virtually every page in a book. The SuccessFactors' search engine also ignores stopwords. The following is a partial list of stopwords, in English, which are
    currently ignored in searches: an, and, are, as, at, be, but, by, for, if, in, into, is, it, no, not, of, on, or, such, that, the, their, then, there, these, they, this, to, was, will, and with.


  • Case Insensitivity: Searches will not consider the letter case, unless the letter is surrounded by quotation marks (e.g. "S"uccess"F"actors ).
  • Security: only fields that are marked as "*"read" in the data model can be searched against (e.g. hidden fields are not searchable).
  • Custom Fields: custom fields on the Candidate Profile are indexed and searched.
  • Character Wildcards cannot start the search criteria. The wildcard characters of asterisk, question mark, and tilde cannot start the search criteria. E.g.) *person is not an accepted search term, but “*person” is acceptable.


Candidate Search Examples:

  • Definition: Simple Candidate Search Examples
  • Simple search: Searches for each term independently and ranks by frequency
  • Criteria: Wind Technology
  • Results: Candidates with Wind OR Technology


  • Definition: Boolean search: Include terms such as AND, OR
  • Criteria: Wind OR Technology
  • Wind  AND Technology
  • Results: Candidates with Wind OR Technology
  • Candidates with Wind AND Technology


  • Definition: Phrase search: Use quotation marks "__"
  • Criteria: “Wind Technology”
  • Results: Candidates with the phrase Wind Technology
  • Definition: Wildcard search: Use asterisks, question marks, and tildes
  • Criteria: Tech*
  • Manage*
  • Results: Candidates with Technology OR Technologies
  • Candidates with Manager OR Manages OR Management


  • Definition: Mixed search: Use both single terms and phrases
  • Criteria: “Project Manager” AND Wind
  • “Project Manager” OR “Wind Technology”
  • Results: Candidates with Project Manager AND Wind
  • Candidates with Project Manager OR Wind Technology


Search, Logic, Candidate, Keywords, Terms , KBA , sf candidate search , LOD-SF-RCM , Recruiting Management , How To


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