Friday, October 21, 2005


Maybe its just me, but I dig Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Their accapella crooning speaks to something down deep into my soul. Maybe it was Joseph Shabala' singing or perhaps it was the melody of the music (more than likely it was the email somebody sent me), but something was calling me to South Africa. Specifically, I was being summoned to an African searchengine and (WoW!) so glad I did. Dear readers, it is my pleasure to introduce you to a nifty little engine you (probably) have never heard about - Funnel.

Funnel proudly searched (at this writing) 4,138,772 pages and documents from South African web pages and it does it right! Not sure how many of you are into international searches for talent, but if you are looking for candidates in South Africa, you must check Funnel out for yourself. I performed an elementary search for resumes using this search string: vitae "computer science" and 96 results came back.

Not impressed? I was when I saw how relevant the results were. On the first page 8 out of 10 results were just what I wanted to find. On the second page 6 of the 10 results were what I wanted with 4 being close, but not quite pefection. I wondered how I could tweak my results to get even more relevant search results. So I looked cover their help menu and took notes.


1. "and" is assumed, so no need to add it in your search strings 2. Funnel ignores marks like "http" and "", as well as some numbers and letters, if they do not help in the search process. 3. Use quotes when searching for phrases. 4. Use the minus sign (-) to exclude words. 5. Use { } when creating a boolean "OR" command 6. You can perform complex boolean searches by manipulating the brackets { } and parenthesis ( ) symbols. 7. You can use the asterix (*) as a wildcard. 8. Capital letters are not important

Okay, so now that I have a bit of intel on Funnel's processes my searching should be a bit easier. I go at it again with increasingly better results.

Click a link to see for yourself.

{vitae cv "curriculum vitae" resume} "computer science" {vitae cv "curriculum vitae" resume} "computer science" -jobs {vitae cv "curriculum vitae" resume} "computer science" -jobs +university

It is also important to mention that in the Advanced Search of Funnel that you can limit your results to specific file formats, search specific domains and includ related keywords in your search. For example, a search for "cars" with the related keyword search tells Funnel to seek out car, cars, cara and others. (Hmmm... Is "Cara" another way of saying cars over there? I'm more than a little week in Afrikaans.) I think that Funnel does this automatically so you may have to opt out of it if you are trying to be specific. I say that because I tried a search for resumes but limited my query to Word documents only and noticed that above the search results (see screenshot below) were derivatives of Vitae, CV and computer. Certainly not a bad thing to automatically add associated keywords to you query (just ask Google).

So what is my opinion? In a nutshell... "Wow! This engine can search! It is easy to navigate and even offers an interactive map of South Africa. As more pages are indexed into its system, this good engine will only get better.

Digability Rating: Sourcers Dream (if you are recruiting in South Africa)

[If you like what I give away, you will love what I charge for. Check out Digability: The Recruiter's Guide To The Internet.]


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