In one of our last posts we talked about how little control you, an employer, have over your employees’ LinkedIn Profiles. If you recall, everything in LinkedIn begins with the employee, the individual. If you’re not providing insight and training on how your employees’ LinkedIn Profiles should appear, they may go too far or not far enough. What’s worse? Regardless of which extreme they go to, their LinkedIn Profiles may not best represent them or your organization.
While you can’t really own any part of your employees’ LinkedIn Profiles, you can encourage them and even work around their Profiles by managing the LinkedIn Profile real estate.
Here are some tips for how to get started:
Share the value of LinkedIn with them. If you’re an owner, CEO or anyone who leads and you are NOT convinced about the value of LinkedIn, stop now. Read Jessi Hempel’s Fortune magazine article, LinkedIn:How It’s Changing Business (And How to Make It Work For You). You can’t possibly encourage and share insight if you don’t understand it yourself.
LinkedIn is not for everyone. Yep, I said it. (Although I really think it’s for about 99 percent of people). You will have employees who don’t care, are “old-school,” are not interested in being relevant, aren’t able to think critically about who they are and what they do. I could go on but you do get the idea. For these employees, share the why of LinkedIn, high level. If they actually want a LinkedIn Profile, have someone do it for them. At least this way you know they look good and have the right information about your company.
Provide ongoing training and LinkedIn insight. LinkedIn is in the fast lane and they don’t wait for all of their 225 million+ members to get up to speed before they change, update and add new features. Your top employees will be fine, it’s the other 80 percent you need to consider. They will be working to keep their Profiles complete and missing the power of what’s beyond the LinkedIn surface.
The power of LinkedIn is in the nuance. Who you connect with, how you ask for introductions, gather insight and intelligence, how you participate. We are well beyond getting a gold star for having a Profile, it’s now time to actually use it well. We all have to begin somewhere though, and ongoing training provides new ways to use LinkedIn and should come from LinkedIn specialists who use LinkedIn every day in a variety of ways.
Craft a template for various roles in your organization. A salesperson’s Profile is going to look different from the head of R&D, the HR generalist, the office manager, the clinician, etc. There are, however, basics that provide not sameness but consistency throughout your company. This is particularly important when people are looking at your employees from your LinkedIn Company Page. Crafting a template and sharing it with your employees gives them a better understanding of their LinkedIn Profile real estate.
And, finally,use Work With Us Ads, one tool in the LinkedIn suite of Talent Solutions. Work With Us enables you to showcase your employment branding message or relevant jobs on each of your employees’ profile pages. Viewing your employees’ profiles is one of the most common ways talented professionals are interacting with your brand on LinkedIn. Work With Us allows you to participate in every one of these interactions through exclusive ownership of the ad units on each of your employees’ profile pages. Access the power of your employees’ networks to connect passive talent with your brand and relevant jobs.
- Be part of the conversation every time a candidate engages with one of your employees
- Display content personalized to the viewer to let them know you’re hiring people like them
- Reach your employees’ best professional connections to let them know you are hiring
- Drive quality traffic to your LinkedIn Career Page or career site and to your most relevant jobs
- High relevance leads to viewer engagement far exceeding industry averages
If you understand the value of LinkedIn then Work With Us ads probably make sense to you. Owning the real estate increases your branding and the likelihood of reaching those people who understand how LinkedIn works. Those are actually the people you are looking to recruit anyway, right? Protect your brand and direct people along the path you want them to take—to your LinkedIn Career tab or job slot listings. By the way, Work With Us ads work best when integrated with LinkedIn Recruiter, Job Slots, and an upgraded Career Page. And, the bonus: LinkedIn has recently realigned it’s pricing structure for Work With Us to make it more affordable for small and mid-sized businesses.
We encourage you to consider bringing your employees, especially those that are client-facing, up to speed before you work around them. As the employer, you should consider how you can take it up a notch on LinkedIn, strengthen your employees’ Profiles and create a platform for your company. It’s time to move off the sidelines and into the game. No one else in your industry is doing it? We’ll talk about that next week.
Need help to figure LinkedIn out? Let us know. As a LinkedIn Affiliate Partner, we work with companies to determine the best Talent Solutions for their needs and strategy. It’s simple but it’s not necessarily easy, no worries, we help you navigate.