I recently asked Thursday Bram, a freelance writer and experienced recruiter, to discuss ways of using LinkedIn for recruitment.
LinkedIn can be a recruiter’s dream: thousands of potential candidates listing their work histories online for recruiters to browse through, providing links to past supervisors and co-workers and even often providing links to their outside projects. But the sheer number of candidates on LinkedIn makes targeting a search absolutely crucial: sorting through thousands of profiles means that a labor-saving tool like LinkedIn just wouldn’t be doing its job…
These five tips can help you narrow down the field to a manageable number.
- Build up your own network
The more connections you can add to your own LinkedIn network, the more people are within your extended network — and the more people you can contact directly. LinkedIn generally limits the information you can access about an individual who isn’t in your extended network. Even with a relatively small network on LinkedIn, your extended network can number in the thousands when you consider the people your contacts know, as well at those people’s contacts.
- Look for warm leads
LinkedIn provides you with several tools to easily contact your network — you can quickly find out if anyone in your network has a recommendation for a particular position. Even if you simply send out a blanket email to your network, you can get back solid leads — complete with links to a LinkedIn profile full of information about that potential candidate. Not only will you get prospects that are likely interested in the position you need to fill but they’ll also come with the recommendation of someone in your own network.
- Use Google to search LinkedIn
Google returns millions of results when you search for LinkedIn, but you can get some useful results by limiting your search. The following search string can be a starting point: copy “site:www.linkedin.com -intitle:answers -intitle:blog -intitle:directory” and then list keywords like your location and the specialty you’re looking for.
- Learn LinkedIn’s advanced options:
Near the top of every page, LinkedIn has a box for searching for particular people. If you click into the advanced options, though, you can search for a lot more than a name. You can search for particular titles, locations, keywords, industries and more. You can start limiting your search by the factors relevant to a job opening and then slowly move outward, expanding your results as your search progresses. For example, you can limit your search to a particular job title in the town where you’re looking to place a candidate. If you don’t find the right candidate in your results, though, you can expand your search to the state level or even ignore location.
- Use LinkedIn’s hiring tools
LinkedIn has a whole set of tools built with recruiting in mind. From posting job opportunities to searching for candidates, LinkedIn’s tools were created with the full extent of its network in mind. While there is a price tag for using these tools — posting a job costs $195 per 30-day posting — they do allow you to take full advantage of the website’s total database.