Let’s make one thing clear: Yes, you should still use LinkedIn. It’s still the most popular social network among recruiters, simply because every job seeker should have a profile on the site. This naturally makes a good place for convergence between people looking for jobs and those who want to hire them. It’s easy to become dependent on a single source when it’s a good one. But relying on just one source of hire is a big mistake. There are better, more efficient ways to hire, and limiting yourself to a single outlet will ultimately hurt your hiring process. Here’s why there’s more to recruiting life than LinkedIn:
Problems With LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great database of candidates, but recently, it’s been cluttered with all sorts of irrelevant topics and posts from people who may not know how to use the service.
People want to make connections on LinkedIn, but having more connections means seeing more of these kinds of posts in your feed. It’s not just your feed that get cluttered, either. Maury Hanigan ( @rethinkhiring ) highlights the issue of how when companies rely too heavily on LinkedIn, they can wind up with too many candidates:
“Though they gain access to a seemingly infinite candidate pool, they lose the curation and filtering that headhunters provided. What good are thousands of potential candidates if they don’t respond, are uninterested in the position or turn out to be unqualified?”
LinkedIn is also constantly changing its rules and it can be tough to know just what you’re allowed to do and what you aren’t. As more recruiters jump into the InMail game, of course, the candidate pool is going to tire of even the most targeted messaging. There’s also a good portion of the workforce that is NOT on LinkedIn simply because they know the recruiters and sales people have made it their mecca. Good recruiters need to find newer outlets with better ROI from which to hire. But what are they?
A Good Candidate Is Just Ten Feet Away
Well, not literally, of course. That’s where Rob sits, and he’s already an employee. But if you want to fill a position pronto, you may want to ask him if he knows anyone who could fit the bill. If he values the organization, he won’t offer up someone who works in the field but doesn’t quite fit the culture, or who’s still too inexperienced for your openings.. Instead, he’ll either offer up someone who could be perfect for the job, or not recommend anyone at all. The latter scenario is a bummer, but it also saves you time. This makes employee referrals one of the best, most consistent job sources–currently accounting for 61 percent of all hires .
So it’s well established that referrals are a reliable source of good hires and save companies time and money. The challenge is keeping employees motivated to refer their friends. A new program incentivizing employees to recruit candidates from their personal networks can get stale after a few weeks. You need to keep in mind that the main reward for referrals is intrinsic. Employees want to help their friends–it’s the biggest reason referrals are so popular at Linkedin, of all places! But with an extra incentive (like cash or travel), your employees will be actively engaged in finding your company a new hire. It’s a win-win!
Expanding Your Search
If LinkedIn is not the job oasis everyone believes it to be, what is? The problem with that question is that it assumes there’s a single best location to find your next candidate. Some sources, like employee referrals, are better than others. But “best” shouldn’t mean “only,” and you need to expand your search if you’re going to have a successful hiring process. By widening your search, you’ll create a better, stronger candidate pipeline.
And how do you expand your search? Most of the networks you should be looking into are the ones you’re probably already using. Twitter is a great way to locate passive talent and catalog their skills and experience. Google X-Ray helps you search through every social network, including less ubiquitous ones like Meetup and Medium, specifically for candidates. There are tons of other tools you can use to find candidates for various industries, such as Github for developers .
The point is to find new ways of looking for talent that don’t make you reliant on any one source. LinkedIn is still incredibly popular, but it’s constantly changing API access and building new revenue streams, and recruiters need to diversify their talent pools by using employee referrals and expanding the number of outlets they use to find talent. To be sure, LinkedIn is an important part of the talent ecosystem. But it’s not the ONLY part.