89% of recruiters have hired someone through LinkedIn, according to research from Herd Wisdom.
With LinkedIn accounting for twice as many hires as Monster.com this year, it’s clear that as a tool for sourcing quality candidates, the professional social network is the new head honcho.
In fact, odds are you’re probably already using it to hire top talent and advertise recent job openings.
The question is: are you using it to its fullest potential?
LinkedIn has a ton of functionality—even if you have just a free profile—that you may not be aware of. Here are the top three tips for getting the most out your efforts when using LinkedIn for recruiting:
1. Use your network
The best hires always come from employee referrals.
It’s why Opower, a 350 person software company hiring tons of new people, hosts “Talent Tuesday” each week. Current employees bring their laptops, and are given free food to search through their LinkedIn connections and find potential fits for open positions. If a LinkedIn referral results in a hire, the referring employee makes $1,000.
Here’re the tricks to get the most out of your existing LinkedIn network:
- Search like a boss: Not only can you search keywords that appear in your connections’ profiles (like “programmer”) but with “advanced search” you have the option to narrow these down by location, school, industry, and work history. More filters are available if you upgrade to a paid LinkedIn account.
- Tag your connections: Not enough people use this feature, but right underneath each of your connections on the Connections page is a little link (it appears after you mouseover) to “tag” them. Clicking on this allows you to categorize your connections in any way you want. You could select the Ruby on Rails programmers, for instance, and tag them all with “Ruby” to be able to pull up the full list in seconds.
- Use group messages: Save time messaging the prospects you do find by sending group messages to multiple people at the same time. Note: try to tailor this as much as possible (e.g. send one group message to people all from the same area, or the same school, so you can include specifics in the message—tagging is especially useful for this).
2. Leverage groups and posts
LinkedIn’s groups are a lot more powerful than people give them credit for.
The big thing with groups is, if you’re a member of one, you can message other members even if you’re not otherwise connected to them.
This makes it much easier for recruiters to find and reach out to great passive prospects. Use the “Members” page of a group you’re part of to search through everyone in that group. You can narrow down the results with keywords that appear on candidates’ profiles.
LinkedIn also allows you to search through other peoples’ public posts (by clicking on the button to the left of the search bar).
This is a goldmine for finding people currently looking for jobs in specific industries. A simple search for “looking for a programming job” for instance, can pull up hundreds of results which can all be filtered (in the advanced search options) by location, title, etc.
3. Use LinkedIn’s paid options
This isn’t the bush leagues; these are advanced tips, and professionals know the really good stuff comes with a price.
Thing is, LinkedIn is good at what it does, and it charges for its best stuff. If you want to get the most out of the social network, you’ll need to pay. But on the bright side it’s still likely to cost less than going with an outside search firm or head hunter.
LinkedIn Talent Services uses the network’s vast amount of data to market your job board posts better, find passive candidates, and measure the success your talent brand efforts. You can even show your employment ads to people who are looking at your employees’ profiles.
Other cool tips?
What other lesser-known features of LinkedIn have you used to supercharge your recruiting? Add them in the comments!
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