According to the SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, LinkedIn is still the most popular social media platform for recruiting, with Facebook and Twitter following closely. That’s due in part to LinkedIn Recruiter features such as an intuitive homepage, InMail, and an intelligent recommendation engine. SHRM conducted a survey of recruiting and staffing professionals in early 2013 at companies with 500 to 24,999 employees, finding that use of social networking sites for recruiting is up by 21 percent from 2011, and recruiters and employers are using LinkedIn Recruiter to find candidates for salaried and director/manager-level candidates. Jobvite’s 6th Annual Social Recruiting Survey showed that 94 percent of recruiters on social media use LinkedIn to search for and contact candidates, post jobs, and vet candidates before interviewing.
LinkedIn Recruiter Homepage
LinkedIn Recruiter, LinkedIn’s paid search product, has a homepage loaded with effective tools that make any recruiting activity more efficient. It works by “learning” how you use the site and arranges the features you use most so they are always easily available when you are in LinkedIn. The pages load fast so busy recruiters can navigate through recruiting tasks quickly and easily with Recruiter’s simple and intuitive design. Another way LinkedIn Recruiter works intuitively with users is by suggesting “people you may want to hire,” presenting LinkedIn profiles similar to recent searches within you’ve made. Other LinkedIn Recruiter homepage features include a navigation bar, notifications, smart to-do list, and an activity feed with updates.
The LinkedIn Recruiter navigation bar enables users to quickly click through features without looking around the entire LinkedIn Recruiter website. Users can access notifications to check on the activity of current jobs and projects, taking them right into their work in progress in LinkedIn Recruiter. The Smart To-Do List feature lets users create useful to-do lists for profiles, projects, and jobs, eliminating the need for paper notes or separate documents to organize a recruiting project. The Activity Feed streams updates about activities in LinkedIn, including InMail activity, candidate profile changes, a user activity history view, and team activity view.
LinkedIn Recruiter InMail
InMail, LinkedIn’s private messaging feature, lets users create templates for recruiting communications, track InMail results with reports, and create direct marketing campaigns. InMails can also be customized to present compelling information to prospective candidates to introduce employer brands and create engagement. InMails can be used as formal or casual communications, with or without additional recruiting materials such as job descriptions. Users get the best responses from personalized messages, but it really depends on the purpose of the communication. If you just need a large number of candidates with specific skills in one geographic location, use an InMail introducing the company and types of positions sent to all candidates from a search. If you have 10 very qualified candidates that you want to interview, use more personalized individual InMails. Or use a three-part InMail engagement plan that introduces the company in the first letter, describes open positions in the second letter, and then invites candidates to an event such as visiting the recruitment booth at an upcoming industry convention.
Recently, LinkedIn eliminated the ability for users of LinkedIn Recruiter to send free messages to fellow group members. Fortunately, though, you can still do so with the Corporate version of Recruiter, and also with the free or Premium versions.
Intelligent Recommendation Engine
One of the new features that LinkedIn Recruiter added in 2013 is an intelligent recommendation engine. “People You Might Want to Hire” matches data points between job postings and LinkedIn profiles to reduce the amount of search required to determine who to contact. The more searches you do or jobs you post, the more LinkedIn Recruiter “learns” or understands the kind of candidates you are looking for and goes out and brings them to you. It automates a big chunk of the online search process within LinkedIn.
Get the Most Out of LinkedIn Recruiting
To get the most out of recruiting with LinkedIn, users can optimize their profiles, join groups, use effective and compelling headlines, and use Amazon’s Reading List to create some engagement around relevant books.
According to Kissmetrics, a web analytics service, photos create engagement in social media and get 39 percent more interaction than text-only posts and sections. Optimize your LinkedIn profile with the best profile photo, preferably a professional headshot, or even a series of headshots to change your profile regularly. You want anyone and everyone who comes to your LinkedIn profile to see you in your best light, and your profile photo must reflect that. Your photo will most likely be the first interaction with job seekers and employers and it is how people will first engage with you, so it needs to be attractive and professional.
Join LinkedIn Groups
Join LinkedIn groups that have the types of candidates you are looking for to create engagement and vet candidates before reaching out to them You can see how candidates communicate and what their interests and passions are in group discussions, as well as gauge leadership qualities and areas of expertise. Participating in groups to give advice and find resources, help people in your industry, and connect with group members for referrals and industry information.
Use Creative and Effective Headlines
Don’t use job titles as headlines in your LinkedIn posts. Use creative and descriptive headlines for the most effective job postings. Be specific so that job seekers immediately understand the job and opportunity. The right kind of headline gets attention, creates engagement, and prompts readers to visit your profile and take action. “I need to talk to passionate, engaged Cobol software engineering professionals today” and “Wanted – Skilled Ruby on Rails Experts with a Passion for the Mobile Payment Environment” tell job seekers immediately what you’re looking for in candidates and cut through some of the recruiting process by filtering out those without the exact characteristics needed.
Amazon’s Reading List App
Create some engagement with your LinkedIn presence with Amazon’s Reading List application. Add it to your LinkedIn profile comment about the latest recruiting, job search, human resources, and industry books you’re reading or would like to read. Not a big reader? You don’t have to read everything to use this app in LinkedIn. List a few new and relevant books and read reviews about them to start commenting and get some discussion going.
As you can see, many of these tips to optimize your success with LinkedIn don’t require you to have any specific membership level, such as LinkedIn Recruiter. There are many ways to take advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer, proving that a little knowledge can go a very long way.
Andrew Greenberg’s roots in recruiting date back to 1996. He has experience both on the agency-side and corporate-side of the staffing business, with a focus in the financial services space at companies like Bloomberg and UBS. He also has core experience with information technology staffing, and has worked for major software companies such as SAP Business Objects and IBM/Informix Software. To get in touch with Andrew, you can reach him by email or by phone at (800) 797-6160.