At 706+ million users in 200+ countries, LinkedIn is one of the most used social media platforms for making connections. While it used to be primarily used for recruitment, it’s also now used for sharing content and maintaining professional relationships. It’s also one of the few places where you can repeatedly post about your job search or career wins without annoying your followers.
Despite the shift in usage, it’s still a major network for finding new jobs and job candidates. Recruiters, both fresh and seasoned, can always use a refresh on their LinkedIn recruiting strategy. Here are a few tips for you to up your recruitment game.
1. Update your LinkedIn company profile
How do you want your company to look to potential new hires? While it varies from industry to industry, most would agree that you want to present a professional page that clearly communicates your company’s values, interests and information.
It never hurts to check your company page every now and then to make sure it’s still communicating what you want. If things have changed or there are major updates at the company, then it’s time to refresh your LinkedIn Page. Having a fully filled out profile helps with recruitment efforts, especially if you’re using the network to make new connections.
2. Update your personal profile
Next up, check your current profile to make sure everything is up-to-date, including your current job title. In a brief glance, will a candidate be able to see that you’re a recruiter? When you’re creating your job history, don’t stop with your current one. Add in a few others and also complete the other profile sections. You don’t want to appear as if you were a scam recruiter.
Another overlooked part of a personal profile is your photo. This is not Facebook or Instagram. You want to have either a professional portrait done or have one that clearly shows your face, even when it’s a small avatar icon. Having an updated profile will only enhance your lead generation strategy.
3. Up your LinkedIn marketing game
The company page should not be silent. Beef up your LinkedIn marketing by posting relevant company and industry updates. As a company, you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field so recruits and prospective employees will feel like they’re going into meaningful work.
In addition to frequently posting and engaging, you’ll want to take a look at the Life section of the company profile. This is accessible as a paid feature called LinkedIn Career Pages. This is where you can put more information about working at the company. Everything from department highlights to employee testimonials can live here. In Pinterest’s case, each department has its own tab that highlights its strengths and quickly introduces you to what life is like there.
Marketing and recruitment go hand in hand. Especially in today’s climate where consumers care about the company they purchase from, you want to create a company image that appeals to your ideal candidate. Posting will assist with that. Marketing on LinkedIn isn’t limited to Company Page posts, though. It also includes how you use your personal page.
4. Join relevant groups
If LinkedIn is a major recruitment tool for you, then you need to spend more time on it. That means joining groups that are relevant to you and your job, such as industry-specific groups, alumni groups, local or regional business groups and more. All of these groups are access points for you to post jobs. However, don’t be the person who only posts about job openings. It’s still a social network and you’ll need to be interactive within the groups.
This is also a good time to check in on your industry. Not every industry is on LinkedIn. Some, like information technology and financial services, have a high presence and will be easier to establish connections. If your industry isn’t very active on the network, then you will need to work a little harder to find connections. On the flip side, it’s easier to be a big fish in a small pond than the other way around.
5. Make and maintain important connections
LinkedIn is big on connections. The more connections you have, the better your chances of finding a suitable candidate. LinkedIn makes it easy to find alumni in your field or past and current employees, especially when personal profiles are populated with past companies, skills, schools, and associations.
This being said, you don’t want to be the person who requests to connect with everyone in their field. With each connection, personalize it with how you’ve met or why you want to connect. Take half a minute to look at the profile to make sure your message matches up with the person. It gives your company a bad look if you auto-fill your introductions and it doesn’t make sense.
LinkedIn isn’t only for making connections, it’s also about maintaining them. While a new connection is useful, a nurtured one is even better. Share useful posts in your field of expertise and engage with individual and company posts.
6. Create Job Posts or Job Slots
Creating a job post is free and you have the option to boost it with an advertising budget. This is best for small businesses or those who hire less frequently.
For companies that hire more often, LinkedIn has a paid program called Recruiter where you can post Job Slots that provide you with even more recruitment features. These include helpful items like receiving recommended candidates based on your post criteria, analytics and a dedicated messaging platform.
Within the job post itself, you need to cover the basics of title, description, how to apply and the best way to contact for additional information. But beyond that, you need to stand out. There are over 20 million open jobs on the network right now. You want to attract the most relevant candidates. An easy-to-peruse job and company description will be more digestible to those who browse through dozens of job postings a day.
When sharing job posts onto individual and company networks, treat it like another piece of content. You don’t want to only post the link, you want to add your commentary, quotes or useful information from it.
7. Optimize the keywords
Something that isn’t always considered with job postings is the importance of using the right words. Too much industry jargon limits your possibilities. Even if the job title will be unique like “culture curator,” put the more commonly searched for title in the job posting, whether it’s “music curator,” “horticulture curation” or whichever terms best fit your industry. You can always mention “culture curator” further down in the job description.
If you’re stuck on which job title to settle on, search through the jobs directory to see which ones have the most results.
In addition to the right job title, focus on the skills needed for the position. If you use keywords that are often used in personal profiles, your job posts will show up for the best matched candidates.
8. Encourage employee advocacy
After you’ve made your connections with past and current employees, it’s time to encourage activity on their profiles. Recruiters shouldn’t be the only ones posting about the company or job openings on a personal profile. The more employees share about their achievements and life at the company, the more brand awareness is generated.
To make it easy for employees to share news, use an internal bulletin or newsletter with easy-to-share tidbits. This can range from big company achievements to individual employee spotlights. Include links, graphics, sample copy and encourage employees to share with their networks. The power of personal stories through employee advocacy shouldn’t be overlooked when attracting prospective candidates.
9. Use InMail with care
If you’ve been on the network long enough, you’ve likely received a request for connection or InMail message from someone you’ve never met and only tangentially related to your industry. Don’t be that person.
Messaging or using InMail should be used with care for candidates that you really want to recruit. Add in some sentences that are personalized to their profile, skills and what they’re looking for so you can stand out in their inbox.
10. Consider paid advertising
If you want to get in front of a lot of peoples’ eyes, you’ll need to consider paid advertisement. There are a variety of LinkedIn ads that could be useful to recruitment efforts. You can add advertising to an existing job post, pay for InMail, create a Lead Gen Forms and create a conversion goal for job applicants, just to name a few.
If you do decide on paid advertising, make sure you’ve already taken a look at our other tips. A job post ad won’t be as effective with a half-filled company page or poorly created job post.
In addition to selecting the correct objective, you’ll also need to set up the right ad audience. Much like other social networks, LinkedIn provides you with target audience options, helping you advertise jobs to the most relevant people.
11. Research LinkedIn Talent Solutions
While many of the above tips are free to execute, this one is not. LinkedIn has a slew of options for recruiters that are willing to pay for more features. Called Talent Solutions, there are options for you in every step of the recruiting process. If you manage a high number of openings or candidates, this may be the best solution for you.
LinkedIn Recruiter is a tool that surfaces the best candidates for you, helps you manage them and provides you with relevant analytics to improve your efforts.
LinkedIn provides a number of useful tools, both free and paid, for recruiters to connect with the best candidates. A mix of marketing, profile updates and optimization and continual engagement on the network will help enhance any company’s recruiting efforts. Because new features are constantly being released, follow along LinkedIn’s own page on recruiting and learn more about how to incorporate employee advocacy into your LinkedIn recruiting strategy.