I am going to come clean and tell you that I have had a really hard time determining the direction I wanted to take with today’s blog. There is a ton of information online in regards to recruiting on LinkedIn®. Go to any search engine and type in "Recruiting on LinkedIn®". You will find hundreds, if not thousands, of entries that will support why you should use LinkedIn® for recruiting.
Since I promised to include each of the big three in this series, but I don't have months to review all of the information that is out there, I decided to take the question to my favorite sounding board, my husband Mike. He asked me one simple question that put me in the right direction:
“If I were to start a recruiting career tomorrow, why would I want to use LinkedIn®?”
The short answer is, if you are not using LinkedIn® in 2013, you will be left out. Recruiter or not, every professional should have a LinkedIn® account. I really believe this. Beyond the basic recruiting tools like providing up-to-date news and industry specific articles, the networking opportunities, and premium tools they offer to identify candidates, it boils down to a few general uses. These are completely free and one really should be using all three of them.
Use LinkedIn® to Engage More Clients and Find Awesome Candidates
Imagine being on the phone with a client; you type a few keywords in to a LinkedIn® search box and suddenly you are looking at a list of individuals who have the title or skill he has asked you to find. Click on one. Suddenly you have the candidate’s features, achievements and benefits, yes, that good old FAB analysis we were all trained on. It is right in front of you via their profile page. Sure, they are just a target at this point. You will still need to make contact, qualify, and sell the candidate on the opportunity. Tell me, how amazing do you find it to have an example of a potential candidate in front of you, even if you have never recruited this position? It is right there for you as you qualify this job and gauge the hiring manager’s expectations. You can ask the employer if this profile would be the type of candidate they would hire. If you can determine this candidate’s eligibility,would they meet with him today? Even if this candidate does not quite meet their criteria, consider the trust you are building about your ability to identify and obtain top talent.
Now; let's say you get that job order, or maybe a different one. Using a job distribution tool, you can add the LinkedIn® application and broadcast this to your entire network of connections. This helps make posting fast and that is very powerful.
Maintain Relationships and Keep Up Career Changes
Another valuable feature a recruiter using LinkedIn® should think about is their network is constantly being updated. I have been known to refer to my LinkedIn® connections as my Rolodex. I know. I'm showing my age again. My point is this: the contact information for your LinkedIn contacts is updated by the contact and LinkedIn® will notify you when it happens. I have used LinkedIn since its infancy and I love the fact that I can get to information on my former clients, prospects, candidates and colleagues in a minute. I will even be notified if they take a new job and can congratulate them. Keeping up with this is important because you just never know when a candidate will become a client, or vice versa.
Become a Thought Leader That Others Want to Know
Finally, perhaps the advantage I find most beneficial to using LinkedIn® for your recruitment business, is the ability to position you as a thought leader. If you are using LinkedIn® as a recruiter, I hope that you will participate with their groups. They are the key to becoming a thought leader in your industry on LinkedIn. Don’t just join and sit back and watch. Get involved in the discussions. Post your own questions or share blogs you find interesting with the group. Many of these groups have thousands of members. You might choose to join a group in the industry you recruit for. You could join a recruitment-specific group where those seeking a new opportunity will look for the best and brightest to help them in their search.
As of January 2013, LinkedIn® has 200 million profiles. Over 75% are professionals with a degree. It boasts members from every Fortune 500 company, including many of their executive leadership. * Now consider that these resume-like profiles, when complete, offer all of the things you will use to present your product, the candidate. Even things not traditionally available on a resume are in there. LinkedIn® encourages their members to have their profiles embellished with interests, group affiliations, endorsements, recommendations, work samples and more. Will you be LinkedIn® for your recruiting, or left out?
I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn® and to follow my company REKRUTR. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Send me a connection request and select "friends" for how we know each other. Type " blog" in the body of your request.
Amy McDonald has been working in the human resources and recruiting industry for over 20 years. Amy has worked with hundreds of recruitment professionals throughout her career, training best practices in sourcing candidates and refining the recruitment process. She currently is the President and CEO at REKRUTR.com