Increasingly, LinkedIn is becoming the recruiting tool of choice for companies who want to tap into a large pool of talented candidates. Not all employers, however, are applying the best strategy to use the social media platform for promoting jobs to those candidates whom they most want to attract. Applying a few of the following tactics can improve your chances of finding that perfect person on LinkedIn.
1. Know Your Industry
One of the biggest mistakes any recruiter can make in properly promoting a job to the right candidates is not knowing his or her industry. Writing a well thought out job description requires industry knowledge. A job description is a marketing tool for attracting candidates. It should thoroughly and knowledgeably explain the job as well as its function within the company.
Once the job description is written, industry knowledge is essential to understanding where to look for the right candidates on LinkedIn. A working knowledge of the lingo, a basic understanding to the types of people drawn to the type of position advertised, and the ability to understand when a candidate has valuable translatable skills are all key to knowing not just what key aspects of a job to advertise, but to whom they should be marketed. Knowing your industry also makes you more likely to know which groups to join and start discussions or to post about your opening. It also goes without saying that a working knowledge of your industry is essential in sounding professional and knowledgeable once you begin interacting with candidates.
2. Go After Passive Candidates
Passive candidates comprise a very large part of the LinkedIn demographic. Passive candidates are simply candidates who are not actively searching for a job, but who are not opposed to speaking with an employer about open opportunities. It is true that, for many, the grass is perpetually greener on the other side. LinkedIn blogger Lou Adler suggests using some more creative methods to attract viable passive candidates, particularly for jobs in which the number of openings far exceeds the talent pool. For instance, he does not necessarily limit his searches to candidates strictly within the industry for which he’s looking. He also takes his time in creating email and voicemail outreach inquiries. A strong subject line, as well as a strong job description, is necessary; as well as the invitation to briefly engage further one-on-one.
3. Sponsor High Priority Jobs
Quite simply, sponsoring a job on LinkedIn draws more candidates because matching candidates are more likely to see it. Sponsoring a job is a pay-per-click feature available on LinkedIn, in which employers are provided higher placement on the list of jobs in which potential candidates might be interested. In return, when the candidate clicks to view the job, the company pays a fee. Sponsored jobs are also featured on the LinkedIn homepage. Of course, one of the critical elements to a sponsored job posting is, of course, a very strong job description since candidates are more likely to respond to job postings if they have a good understanding to what they are replying.
4. Use Your Existing Employees as a Promotion Tool
Chances are one of your best recruiting and marketing tools are your existing employees. Existing employees are not only more likely to have friends who work in a similar field, they’re also likely to be your best spokespeople – especially if your company morale is good. They’re also more likely to have a feel for the current climate in the industry. They not only know where and how to find good candidates, they know for what good candidates are looking in both a job and an employer. This means they know how to nuance the field.
If your employees don’t already have a presence on LinkedIn, encourage them to join. Publicize it to your employees when a new job opening becomes available. Make a link to your job posting available to them and encourage them to share within their LinkedIn network. And then they tell someone, who then tells someone, and so on.
5. Make Sure Your Company Has an Engaging, Up to Date Profile
It’s important to have a well-maintained LinkedIn company presence that accurately represents the company and, like a good job description, explains what the company does (its products and/or services), as well as highlights some of its core values. Images and multi-media tools should be incorporated to encourage visitors to explore and entice them to want to know more. Encourage your employees to link to your company profile and use targeted updates to notify specific candidates about job openings.
6. Use Networking Groups and Forums to Spread the Word
Aside from personal candidate profiles, LinkedIn contains groups and forums where industry professionals go to network as well as discuss the latest developments in their field. Knowing which of these forums will attract the hottest talent is a job promotion tool that requires special skill. People are more likely to notice, follow, and link to you if you give them a reason. Forum posts or replies that you contribute should be accurate, well constructed, and professional. In fact, many networking forums and groups restrict recruitment activity to only those recruiters who maintain an active presence within them.
7. Maintain a Recruitment Blog
A recruitment blog helps establish a credible recruiting presence for your company. It’s also a great platform for marketing your business to prospective employees by presenting the reasons why working at your company is rewarding. Blogs are also ideal frames for images and multimedia that can initiate conversation, which could lead to candidate interest and further discussion.