As an every-day user, LinkedIn is a great way to keep in touch with colleagues, highlight a resume of professional accomplishments, and search for jobs. As a recruiter, LinkedIn can serve as a robust tool for finding top talent.
With 450+ million users worldwide, LinkedIn houses a large ecosystem of potential candidates. However, if you’re a recruiter that’s just starting out, or don’t have the expendable capital for a $100/month individual recruiter license to send direct InMail messages to candidates, access to this talent pool can be severely limited.
Looking to capitalize on all the free benefits LinkedIn has to offer? Use the following tips to get the most out of LinkedIn without having to pay for it:
Your profile serves as a simple, free way to make a first impression to job seekers. When starting to build out your personal LinkedIn page, ask yourself: what do I want to be known for/as?
From there, make sure you have these five pertinent profile elements:
Once you’ve completed your profile, now is the time to start expanding your network to connect with talent—and utilizing your current network of connections is a great way to do this! However, it’s important to note that you might not be able to leverage all of your connections. If you haven’t kept in touch or you aren’t selective in who you accept (i.e. requests from people you don’t know/haven’t worked with), they probably won’t serve as a solid introduction for someone in their network you want to connect with. Only utilize your close, professional connections when seeking references.
Another way to strategically extend your network and find quality candidates is through the use of groups. While groups can serve as a great way to reach beyond your first-degree connections, it’s important to discern what makes a good group. A group that not only puts you in touch with the types of connections you’re trying to make, but one that is also active, is a great place to invest your time. Furthermore, don’t just join the group—contribute to the conversations at hand, share relevant content, and serve as a resource.
Another alluring aspect of joining groups is it allows you to InMail other group members, even if they aren’t first connections. Simply go to the group’s home page, click “members,” and search for the people you’d like to message. It’s a nice workaround for being able to message candidates, without paying for a premium account!
If there is a specific, potential candidate that you’re interested in connecting with or approaching about a job opportunity, the best course of action would be to request or InMail them. When doing so, explain how you found their name (this builds ethos if you have a referenceable point), use conversational language, and be specific/quick to the point about why you’re contacting then (whether it be just to connect or because you have a job opportunity).
The easiest way to continue engaging with your new and established connections is through frequent posts. Something as simple as a daily status update allows you to stay at the top of potential candidates’ newsfeeds, and subconsciously, the top of their minds. Good examples of statuses to post include: items you’re working on, content you’ve created, news about your company, industry news/insight about careers and job searches, advice/opinions, events, questions, videos, and job opportunities.
From a best-practice standpoint, have your posts vary in type, remain relevant to work, and occur at least once a week. Also, if you’re sharing something that’s important and you want to make sure you’re reaching a wide range of connections (i.e. events your company is hosting, jobs, etc.), a little bit of repetition is okay. By posting often and experimenting with different types of posts, you can start to measure what works for you specifically, based on what provides you with the most direct engagements.
Undoubtedly, posts make you seem more accessible and familiar to candidates. Therefore, when you go to approach them about a potential job opportunity, you’ve already established a presence that potentially makes them more open to talking to you.
When utilized to its fullest potential, LinkedIn can serve as a cost-effective, efficient means of finding top talent for your clients. However, it’s important to note that LinkedIn has its limitations (even the subscription version), and therefore, should only serve as one tool in your recruiter arsenal. Ultimately, being successful on LinkedIn, and recruiting in general, derives from an ability to make lasting, trusting connections with others—and there’s no price you can put on that!
Source: LinkedIn recruiter advice and statistics provided via presentation by Anthony Juliano, VP/General Manager, Asher Agency.