Online job boards get your job postings in front of a broad audience, but while they return a long list of applicants, they are not necessarily the best qualified candidates. In today’s job market, using all the tools at your disposal is vital to attracting and retaining top talent.
Many companies and top recruiting firms are finding success using LinkedIn to reach a more targeted candidate pool. In addition to your LinkedIn company profile, consider leveraging your personal profile as part of your overall recruiting strategy to uncover hidden “gems” in your social network.
Here are 5 LinkedIn strategies you may be overlooking:
1. Continue to develop your own personal network
It’s important to continually develop and expand your personal network of professionals to whom you can send a request for a referral of a particular candidate. Stay in touch with former, valued colleagues. They can be a great source for top talent. If you are like the average LinkedIn user, you have between 300 and 500 1st-level connections and may have several top candidates among this group. With a basic LinkedIn account, you can see the full profiles for 1st and 2nd level connections. Not everyone is actively looking, but most people are open to discussing opportunities.
2. Upgrade your personal membership (if you haven’t already) to Premium.
The minimal monthly cost is well worth the investment. Some of the tools you will have access to include the ability to:
- see full profiles of your 3rd degree connections,
- use introductions to open conversations,
- set alerts for saved searches to be notified of any new profiles that fit your search criteria, and
- get a list of people in your network who can provide a reference for someone you are interested in.
3. Actively search for candidates among LinkedIn members by:
- Searching Keywords for the Required Skills: A quick keyword search for the required qualifications will identify qualified candidates. You can view their profiles and reach out to the ones you choose directly without an introduction.
- Searching References: LinkedIn allows users to write recommendations for others in their network. You can search based on references from recommenders you trust.
- Search Past Employers: Search your current and former companies for people with the skills and experience you seek.
4. Join LinkedIn Groups
Join LinkedIn Groups in relevant industries and get involved in their discussions. In addition to being connected to a group of people with a common interest, you’ll learn who the influencers are in the industries and disciplines you are recruiting. Group members may also know of a potential employee with the qualifications you seek.
5. Leverage your co-worker’s networks.
Solicit other company employees to be Ambassadors to share your recruiting posts. You’ll gain exposure to qualified candidates you might not otherwise reach.
Take advantage of these often overlooked strategies of using your personal LinkedIn profile as part of your recruiting efforts. You’ll be a step ahead of your competition in attracting top candidates.