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7 Secrets for Finding Your Next Great Employee on LinkedIn

Did you know LinkedIn is over a decade old?

In the fast-fingered society of today, no social networking platform lasts that long without regular users discovering its most effective methods of operation.

LinkedIn lends itself to intuitive job posting and talent searching. Anyone can follow a step-by-step guide for how to use its basic functions.

The question is, how do you learn the platform’s best kept secrets without spending hours digging for them yourself?

Get the insiders’ scoop. Here are seven secrets from our recruiters here at Insperity.

Tip 1: Search by keyword, not job title

Across industries, various companies use different job titles to refer to the same collection of skills.

For instance, one marketing firm may use the title of “marketing coordinator” to refer to an entry-level marketing role, while another company may call it something completely different.

Therefore, if you perform a search using only this title, you’re likely limiting your options unnecessarily, leaving out potential candidates who could be equally or even better qualified for the job.

The best way to search for candidates is by first identifying the most important keywords associated with the role. Usually, these are the skills or experiences you need candidates to have.

For example, the firm that is searching for a marketing coordinator should use keywords like, “marketing,” “copywriting” or “office management”. This will help ensure their search results include candidates with these skills, even if their titles differ from the company’s terminology.

Tip 2: Set up automatic notifications on saved searches

Once you’ve performed your search and filtered your results, you have the option to save it for future reference. LinkedIn will automatically send you an email if a new profile that meets your search criteria is added to its network.

To save your search, select the “save search” link at the top right corner of your results page. You can then choose how frequently you receive email notifications.

These emails may allow you to reach out to fresh prospects before your competition does.

Tip 3: Don’t just join a group – engage

A “LinkedIn Group” is where a collection of professionals with similar interests and roles, or who work within like industries, can share information, jobs, news, etc.

Recruiters and hiring managers who jump into groups and immediately try to connect with members usually won’t be very successful. If you have no obvious reason for joining, share little to no content and are largely unfamiliar with the information posted, you’ll have nothing to work with when trying to message or personally connect with potential candidates.

Also, people well-versed in their industries can pick out a phony in a second.

What you need to do is join the group you’re interested in mining for talent and build significant rapport with the members before reaching out to prospects.

You can do so by posting statistics your target demographic would be interested in, industry-relevant news stories to start a conversation or even engaging content about your company to build a brand presence within the group.

By doing so, you gain credibility and can reach out to potential candidates using references to the content you’ve shared.

Tip 4: Messaging is key

This tip is perhaps the most important of all.

The whole intention of proactively mining talent using LinkedIn is to build a personal connection with the individuals you are seeking to recruit.

Whether you’re sending an InMail message or an initial connection request, keep the following points in mind when crafting your message:

  • Show you’ve taken the time to review your potential candidate’s profile by referring to a specific detail in your message, such as the school he or she went to or a shared personal hobby or interest.
  • If applicable, mention that you’re a member of a group they’re in, too. This is a great way to make an initial connection and start a conversation.
  • Communicate casually. There’s no need to be overly formal when building a connection. Your prospects are human, too.
  • Leave out the lengthy job description. Connection invites have a character limit, but even when writing lengthier InMail messages, don’t waste space and lose your prospect’s interest with a canned list of roles and responsibilities.
  • Sell a conversation, not the job. Deliver a short message requesting a follow-up call with your prospect to discuss the role. Describing what you’re looking for in a candidate in text won’t do the role justice.
  • Include an exact date for the follow-up conversation to happen. Doing so targets your message and enacts a sense of urgency, rather than leaving it open-ended with no actionable next steps.

Tip 5: References are a last ditch effort

When connecting with prospects, your number one goal is to schedule a conversation with them to talk about the role you’re looking to fill. You want to get that individual interested in the job.

If you’ve discussed the opportunity with your intended prospect and have confirmed that there is no interest, then, at that time, ask if he or she knows anyone else who might be interested in the position.

You don’t want to distract from your main intent by leading with a request for referrals.

Tip 6: Job ads don’t reach passive candidates

When you post an advertisement on LinkedIn soliciting candidates for a particular role, not only are you putting out the money to do so, but you’re also missing out on passive candidates.

“Passive candidates” are prospects who are well-qualified for a role, but who are not actively looking for a new job. However, when presented with the right opportunity, they may consider a change.

Job ads won’t effectively reach these individuals.

Alternatively, when you proactively reach out to prospects, even passive ones, you’ll be better able to develop a personal connection and garner interest in your new opportunity.

LinkedIn ads get the greatest traction when used to source candidates for executive level or niche positions.

Otherwise, personal messaging is a much more effective, proactive method.

Tip 7: Premium may be worth the price

If you or your team regularly use LinkedIn to source talent, investing in a Premium LinkedIn package such as Recruiter Lite can make messaging talent a whole lot easier and effective.

With a basic, free LinkedIn account, you can only send connection messages with a limited character count to individuals outside of your network.

On rare occasions, prospects you’re reaching out to may have a Premium account with the “Open Profile” option turned on. In this case, you can send them InMail messages without a strict character limit.

By investing in a Premium account such as Recruiter Lite, you gain access to all kinds of additional services and abilities including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Anywhere from 30-unlimited InMail messages allowed between you and any LinkedIn member
  • 8 additional advanced search features such as seniority, function and years of experience
  • InMail templates you can customize to save time when crafting messages
  • Organization tools like folders for sorting candidates, added notetaking abilities, etc.

But it’s not cheap.

Starting at $119.95 per month, your final price is based on the size and scope of the Premium package you select.

However, when you have a large team using LinkedIn every day, a Premium account can increase the efficiency and success rate of their efforts.

Why it matters

When searching for talent to fill roles within your company, you want to make the right choice. And find the best talent out there.

By proactively looking for individuals who excel in and enjoy their current roles, you can potentially source a great candidate for your company before competitors’ recruiters are able to reach out to them.

Keep the momentum going

These secrets to mining the right talent are just the tip of the iceberg.

Get even more tips and tricks. Download our free e-book, Obstacles to Hiring: How to Overcome Nine Common Challenges.