Hiring Managers: Are you getting the most out of LinkedIn?
Chances are, unless you are a full-time recruiter (and maybe even if you are!), you are not fully utilizing LinkedIn‘s potential when it comes to networking to find top candidates. As anyone who has provided recruiting support to expansion stage companies knows, without a large candidate database and a brand name behind them, more work is required to grow your network and source top talent.
Below are 7 tips which I believe all hiring managers should find useful to get the most out of LinkedIn…
1. Get networking! A common misconception about LinkedIn is that unless you know someone personally, you should not connect with them. The whole purpose of the site is to network, so be open to it! Expand your network by connecting to 2nd connections, 3rd connections, and people in common groups who you would want to network with when you’re hiring. In your connection request, write a brief message about why you’re reaching out to them, as opposed to keeping the generic request message. Speaking of which… Let’s connect!
2. Pay for TopLinked or a Premium Membership to grow your network. Unless you are always responsible for hiring or you are scaling your team, it may not make sense to do this for an extended period of time. However, anyone who is hiring will get a jumpstart on building their network and see stronger search results with a few months of these paid services.
3. Study your competition. How are your competitors using LinkedIn for recruitment? Check out what groups they belong to, how and where they post open positions, etc. Try it for yourself and see if you yield stronger results. It is also helpful to look at their employees’ profiles, to see what backgrounds they have, and what other companies they worked for which prepared them for their current roles.
4. InMails work… sometimes. The response rate is fairly low, so to get the most out of your InMails, craft a thoughtful message that does not sound like spam. Hopefully, you are only contacting those who you are very interested in, so take the time to craft a message that does not read like a form letter. Another great thing about InMails that you may not know? If they are not read by the recipient within 7 days, you’ll get the credit back.
5. Your profile is a marketing tool. Think like a potential candidate and take a look at your own profile. Does it give an accurate picture of your professional background? Why should a potential candidate want to work for you or with you? Why should they want to work for your company? These are all things that can be communicated on your personal profile, and potential candidates you reach out to may decide whether to network with you based on what they see. Make sure that you are not only communicating what potential candidates should know about you, but also what they should know about your company and its mission as well.
6. Know how to search. LinkedIn responds to traditional Boolean searches. So, if you need to get more specific in your potential candidate pool, make use of “OR” and “NOT”. To learn more about how to search LinkedIn for specific results, check out this entry in their Help Center.
7. Explore the site. Get yourself out there!
- Join groups relevant to your company’s industry and become an active participant in group discussions.
- Ask questions
- Put the “in” icon or open networker icon on your profile to show that you are open to networking.
- Use the “save this search” feature to quickly pull up frequently used searches.
- Save candidate’s profiles to folders for easy future reference.
- Put notes in candidate’s profiles when you interact with them, so you have documention of the last interaction you had.
LinkedIn is the largest live professional networking site. It’s certainly not the be-all, end-all of recruiting and sourcing candidates, but it is a fantastic place to grow your network and gain referrals. Take advantage of its services as you build your team!
For additional information and LinkedIn tips, check out Firstful of Talent.