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How to use LinkedIn to find star candidates

  • Published in Recruitment
LinkedIn started life as a ‘dating agency’ for employers looking for staff and candidates looking for jobs. Today it is much more sophisticated and operates as a networking platform that combines connecting people with added value in groups where members help each other and discuss topics of common interest. That doesn’t mean it no longer works as means of finding good candidates.
Here are our top tips:
  1. Make sure your contact details are showing on your profile – phone, email and website. Don’t make it difficult for people to contact you. This is just as important as an employer as it is for candidates.
  2. Ensure your website is up-to-date and looks attractive. There’s nothing worse (and quicker to put good candidates off) than a dated website; it says ‘we’re behind the times’ – not the message you want candidates to get. Better still, if you have a job opportunities page, use one of your three website links directly to that page labelled ‘careers with us’ or ‘job opportunities’ or something self-evident.
  3. Don’t use the article function to post job ads. People expect LinkedIn Pulse to be a source of wisdom, learning, knowledge-sharing, opinion and, occasionally, a rant. You won’t win any friends if you post your job specs instead of articles. Be smart and write a really good article about the area you want to recruit in and add a footnote to say ‘If you can recommend anyone who is looking for this kind or role – please put is in touch’.
  4. Use the Advanced search functions to find good matches. If you’re doing this often then you probably need a Premium account to give you more options. Enter all the key words you want to match – not just one or two, you’ll get better results.
  5. Never use LinkedIn’s templates for messages – even the ‘I'd like to join your LinkedIn network’, use your own messages. It’s a small thing, but makes a big difference and gets a huge increase in response rates.
  6. Don’t spam your connections with job ads. At best you’ll be ignored, at worst they’ll just disconnect or block you.
  7. Do make the effort to write articles regularly – even if it’s one you’ve featured on your company blog already. It sets you out as a thought-leader and expert – and good candidates want to work with that kind of boss.
  8. Don’t rely on your company page – far fewer people bother to follow company pages, people buy people and personal relationships are the key to success.
  9. Use your LinkedIn contacts to check out likely people. If you find a good candidate, see if your network is connected to them and find out what they think of that person. It might take a while, but it does mean you don’t invest expensive management time interviewing unsuitable candidates.
  10. Use your relationships to find good candidates. You do have relationships with your LinkedIn contacts, don’t you? Or did you just see it as a numbers exercise?
If you still can’t find the right candidates for your IT roles, give us a call on 020 3762 2020.