LinkedIn has more than 500 million users, and they’re all on the site for business purposes. While not everyone is looking for career advancement when they visit the social networking site, you’ll have better luck finding interested candidates here rather than a general audience site like Facebook.
However, you’re competing with every other recruiter who wants in on the same talent pool. You need to use LinkedIn like a pro to get ahead of your competition when searching for the best candidates.
Top talent often has recruiters beating down their doors. If you want to stand out in their overfilled Inmail boxes, you need to keep things relevant and interesting. Before you send out any messages, look through their LinkedIn profile, any articles they posted and the content they engaged with.
Gain an understanding of who this candidate is as a person and what’s most important to them. Even if you don’t have the best offer or most enticing position, put in the effort to give them a personalized and authentic approach.
LinkedIn provides a robust search feature that helps you sort through the hundreds of millions of users, so you only see the people who closely match your ideal candidate profiles.
For example, you can filter for specific titles, companies, schools, locations, industries, nonprofit interests, function, years of experience and keywords. You end up with an incredibly specific set of results that allow you to target exactly the right people for your position.
LinkedIn Groups allows you to discover promising talent that you may not encounter through the LinkedIn search functionality. Some people don’t want to fill out all the information in their profile, so if you’re looking for particular keywords that aren’t present, you could overlook your next star.
Industry-specific groups give you a way to keep an eye out for any strong people who bring plenty of knowledge to the table. Not only do they know their stuff, but they’re also willing to be helpful and generous enough to share it on a semi-public forum.
LinkedIn Groups has the added advantage of giving you a low-risk way of building up your reputation as a recruiter in your particular industry. When you’re participating in conversations and connecting with the group members, you can end up with strong referrals.
If you’re looking for candidates who have in-demand skills, you might want to take a look at LinkedIn ProFinder. While this service is primarily designed for freelancers looking for projects, you can find people with specialties that are hard to recruit out of the current talent pool. These candidates might not be currently involved in a full time, in-house role for a company, but with the right offer, they might just change their mind.
Another way to look for great candidates who don’t spend a lot of time filling out their profiles is through the articles and blog posts published on LinkedIn. Thought leaders and subject matter experts can cover everything from their impressions on the latest industry news to tutorials on how to use a particular piece of technology. Reach out to the talent who seem to align with your recruiting needs.
LinkedIn is a treasure trove of high-quality talent, and while it’s a competitive environment, you can easily come out ahead. Use these tips to get the most out of your LinkedIn recruiting strategy, and reap the benefits of the candidates that end up coming your way.
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