More than 97 percent of recruiters polled by Bullhorn used LinkedIn for recruiting in 2012 and 98.2 percent of recruiters use social media for recruiting. For those who are not finding success with LinkedIn recruiting and are not using social for recruiting at all (for the sake of this post, we’ll consider LinkedIn social media, although I believe it’s a platform or business tool) it’s because they say they can’t measure it, and 25 percent claimed they didn’t know how to use it. Continued learning and coaching is key to garnering success in terms of understanding how it all works. As for measurement, placements are your number one metric, so success should be pretty easy to monitor if you are keeping track of how people get to you.
That is not necessarily generational. Yes, young professionals may know how to use social; the buttons to push and the tactics involved are more instinctive to certain generations, but they may fall short in adding business acumen and context around it. They most likely lack network depth and professional credibility to make it all sing. On the other hand, those that have all those attributes may be less inclined to know the buttons and the tactics, concerned they will post the wrong thing or worse, think they don’t need these platforms.
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, my hope is you can get yourself somewhere smack in the middle. Knowledgeable, confident, aware, interested and effective. To that end, let’s look at 11 key tips to help you be more effective with LinkedIn recruiting so you can rise above your competitors, which include other recruiters, staffing firms and your clients, who now believe they are well equipped to manage talent acquisition on their own.
1. What do clients and candidates see when they view your Profile? Build a complete and optimized LinkedIn Profile―I can’t imagine how many times I say this and yet go back and see it hasn’t been done.
2. Tweak your Profile. Even if it’s complete and good, add something new, keep it current and separate yourself from everyone else in some way. If the number one activity on LinkedIn is looking at people’s Profiles, then someone may look at five or ten recruiters’ profiles to try to select one. You have to stand out from the rest in some way — differentiate yourself.
3. Continue to differentiate―with your network. As a recruiter, your strategy is to connect with as many people as possible, but how many do you really know? Make a point of knowing a core group well. You can’t partition your LinkedIn network yet but I recommend you close your network so only you can see your connections. Yes, this doesn’t necessarily make sense for social but your network is your livelihood, you need to protect it.
4. Build a LinkedIn Company Page. Whether you are a company of two, 22 or 200, a LinkedIn Company Page adds value and credibility to you and your organization. In fact, the smaller the company, the easier it will be to create a consistent, compelling marketing and recruitment branding message. If you aren’t the admin on this or in charge, encourage those who can build it to jump in and get it done. Does your client have a good LinkedIn presence on both their individual Profile and their LinkedIn Company Page? If not, your job becomes more difficult.
5. Uncover the potential in University Pages and Company Pages. Follow and search within each of these areas and see what you might learn from the content the university and company is posting. Perhaps they really aren’t doing anything on these pages? Great, this may give you an advantage when looking at younger candidates (40 and younger who are stifled by the lack of social acumen on the part of their company).
6. Leverage targeted Groups. This is a no-brainer but stop just posting jobs and pitching. Give people a reason to look at that company and position. Remember, the majority of people you are talking to are passive. They need more than a post to interest them. Look for new Groups on a regular basis, it may be a small or new Group where you find a pot of gold.
7. Create and curate content to build subject matter expertise and interest. Ask yourself: what do your network, passive candidates and clients (the CEO, owner or human resources department) want to hear about? What can you share that they need to know and learn more about? Whenever possible, create your own content and when it’s not, curate high-quality content from other sources (try to find the less obvious sources―don’t pull everything from the Wall Street Journal or Harvard Business Review).
8. Share your content. Share on LinkedIn through your status updates, your LinkedIn Company Page updates, LinkedIn Group status updates, job discussions and through your team members.
9. Start your own Group. This is a significant investment of time, energy and dedication but it allows you to better manage who is there and what is being talked about. Have a real reason and a couple of people who will help you.
10. Personalize. Don’t send the standard message or invitation if you can help it. Review your InMail message, would you respond to it?
11. Consider LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions. This is a good solution for search and staffing firms. A Recruiter Professional Services license provides access to not just a portion of LinkedIn members, but the entire network, a huge advantage especially if you are recruiting regionally, nationally and internationally. It also allows you to manage LinkedIn not from individual Profiles but as a company.
As a LinkedIn Alliance Partner, we are seeing how clients are leveraging LinkedIn for talent acquisition and retention. We’re here to help individuals and companies better understand, navigate and uncover the opportunities LinkedIn offers. Three people join every second, that’s 1 million per month. Every day the network becomes more valuable and more chaotic. Let us know how you are using LinkedIn as a recruiter, we’d love to hear and even showcase.