If you just configured SharePoint 2013, you might stumble into common problem in Search feature: people search result is empty. We have configured several SharePoint 2013 farms for our clients and for our own Development farms, and we consistently faced this common behavior. So, today we decide to document what we did to make SharePoint displaying search result in People Search.
Check User Profile Service Application
People Search takes data from User Profile Service Application. So, the first thing you should check is User Profile Service and User Profile Synchronization Service. Make sure both services are up and running, and also make sure user data is successfully synchronized to SharePoint. You can check this from SharePoint Central Administration.
Check User Policy for Search Crawling/Content Access Account
Search Crawling account and Search Content Access account should have Read Only permissions in My Sites web application user’s policy setting. Usually this configuration has been performed automatically by SharePoint. Nevertheless, we should check whether this condition is met. If not, add it manually.
Grant “Retrieve People Data for Search Crawlers” Permission
Check whether we already grant Retrieve People Data for Search Crawlers permission to Search Content Access account. To check this, go to Central Administration > Manage Service Applications, and then highlight (don’t click the link) User Profile Service Application. On the ribbon, click Administrators icon.
Make Sure sps3://<server-name> is Included in a Search Content Source
Go to Search Service Application in Central Administration, and make sure you have included sps3://<server-name> in Start Addresses of a Content Source.
Afer you make sure all steps above have been performed, do crawl manually from Central Administration. After crawling is completed, you can perform people search. Now you should see some result.