Use LinkedIn for Recruiting Employees

Social networking sites can yield top quality talent

Use LinkedIn for recruiting your new employees through networking.
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LinkedIn is a business and employment service that launched in 2003. The site has more than 500 million members in over 200 different countries. It was created to help generate opportunities for the global workforce and its mission was (and still is) simple: Connect professionals together so they can become more successful.

Over time, it's become a great resource for employers to network with others and to help in their recruitment needs. The potential for LinkedIn — and other social networking sites — to play a major role in your employee recruiting strategy increases as more job seekers post their profiles each year.

It's not enough anymore just to post a job opening on Monster, CareerBuilder, Craigslist or other online job boards. That's because employers are inundated with hundreds of resumes from unqualified applicants who mindlessly post on the big boards. While you shouldn't forego the job boards altogether, there are better ways to recruit superior employees.

How Employers Use LinkedIn for Recruiting

Here are some great tips to use LinkedIn to help you in your recruitment search.

  • Post jobs on LinkedIn. LinkedIn combines job listings, candidate search, trusted referrals and the power of networks to give you results. By posting a job directly on LinkedIn, you can attract the right candidates, as the site will present qualified job seekers with your posting. You can post your name and your own profile to the listing. Applicants can apply for the job directly through the site, unclogging your own inbox.
  • Use your network. As the recruiter, you can elicit candidate recommendations for a particular job opening. LinkedIn boasts members from all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies. LinkedIn's members comprise 148 different industries and include well over 100,000 recruiters. The more vast your network is, the more quality referrals you will get.
  • Stay in touch with former, valued, trusted colleagues for potential future employment possibilities. You don't want to lose touch with people who you've successfully worked with in the past. These people could be your next best employees.
  • Actively search for candidates using keywords. You can narrow down your search for candidates by cross-referencing your requirements with the qualifications listed in their profiles. This is why keyword-rich, well-developed, complete profiles are recommended for professionals on LinkedIn.
  • Since we're on the topic of keywords, develop a complete, keyword-rich profile for your own company on LinkedIn. Remember, some prospective employees also use keywords searches on LinkedIn. They also look at company profiles to compile lists of places where they'd like to work.
  • Use Inmail. This is LinkedIn's internal email system which allows people to send messages to others even if they aren't connected. The service allows for a maximum 2,000-character message, and the subject line must be filled in with a maximum of 200 characters.
  • Keep your contact information up to date. It's always important to share your details so others can easily contact you whether you are actively or passively job hunting or looking for employees. Even though LinkedIn does offer Inmail, not everyone uses it since it is a premium service for paying members.
  • Use LinkedIn group. Participants in groups may share the interests, memberships, specializations, backgrounds and experience you seek in a potential employee. Group members may also connect you with a potential employee.
  • Upgrade the memberships of your key managers and supervisors to premium so they can search for and contact candidates privately on LinkedIn.

What Some Employers Say About the Power of LinkedIn

Susan Graye, a recruitment manager at Hewlett Packard, has been part of the LinkedIn network for years and has used the site to find employees by searching by the employer (current/past), using InMail, purchasing advertising, and networking. Graye has filled jobs from sales positions to executive-level jobs using LinkedIn. She thinks it allows Hewlett Packard to network proactively and learn on a continual basis.

Another recruiter has been using the site for a good portion of his career. According to Devin Blanks of DB Search Group — a Minneapolis-based staffing and recruiting firm,

"I have personally been a part of the LinkedIn community since my early career. Currently I have been using it frequently to connect with many hard-to-find professionals whom we may not have had the opportunity to connect with using more conventional means.
"Most recently, we wanted to fill a Senior Director of HR position. As this position was more complex than usual and called for a very specific skill set, I used two different approaches to using LinkedIn." First, we posted the position, and second, we viewed potential candidates through second and third party connections via my immediate contacts and requesting an introduction. I got great response, met with a few candidates, and filled the position with a LinkedIn member.
"Most of our candidates come from either our own internal database, referrals, cold-calling, and non-online networking associations. However, when I can't find a very specific candidate through those means, I will definitely keep LinkedIn as a serious recruit networking source."

Greg Buechler, the founder, and CEO of Off the Hook Jobs uses LinkedIn for every search.

"I do advanced searches to identify potential candidates and typically will send InMails rather than trying to get to a person via the introduction route. If an individual has an email address posted in their profile, I may also send an email directly to the person.
"I have filled several jobs over the years and typically they are at the executive level. I don't see much below a Senior Manager or Director level as being very effective on LinkedIn. But at Senior Manager, Director, Vice President, CEO levels, it is great."