If you are looking for the best and the brightest talent for your company, implementing the social media giant LinkedIn in your recruitment strategy makes a lot of sense. Launched May 5, 2003 as an online network for business people, it has within just 12 years engaged 332 million people in 200 countries. These users created their profiles, discussed their skill sets, joined groups and started networking at a pace never seen before in history. Today LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world. United States is its top user, followed by India, Brazil, United Kingdom and Canada.
How can you use it effectively to recruit new talent to take positions at various levels within your organization?
Start with looking at the profiles of students and college graduates that make up the fastest growing demographic on the site. Currently there are more than 39 million profiles for new graduates seeking jobs. According to LinkedIn, these new graduates accounted for 75 percent of the new members in the last quarter of 2014.
While many professionals can get along with the basic free membership plan, as a recruiter you might find it useful to purchase one of the premium memberships. It will give you enhanced search capabilities and 25 introduction requests a month.
To determine graduates with skills and degrees most applicable to your industry and geographic area, you can do a basic keyword search. Use the Advanced People Search function. Select the geographic area you want to search, the essential skills and education level, and you will soon have an amazing data base from which to begin your recruitment process.
If you are new to recruiting in this manner and not confident about which key words to use, just call up a few resumes of suitable candidates and jot down recurring words and phrases that summarize your industry’s prerequisite skills.
Using the same search process, you can also search for experienced professionals in your industry.
What makes LinkedIn so useful compared to just gathering a bank of resumes is that not only can you acquire the knowledge about what potential candidates say about themselves in their profiles, but you can also get a glimpse into how they think.
Take note of what groups they have joined and quietly join them yourself so you can see what kind of comments and responses they post. Watching a potential candidate’s interactions with other group members and reading their point of view on relevant topics will give you great insight into whether they are likely going to fit into your corporate culture. Observe if they naturally become the leader in the group or if they rarely contribute.
Check if candidates that interest you also publish articles or blogs on LinkedIn. How do they present themselves? Are their articles well-researched and eloquent, or are they superficial and mundane?
All of these questions will help you gain valuable clues about potential hires and even determine whether or not you will consider approaching them.
As you hone your skill at mining LinkedIn for talent, you will pick up expertise in being alerted to when candidates might be considering making moves. For example, if a CEO’s profile is static for a long time, but all of a sudden it shows change and the addition of new skills and constant updates, they may be getting restless and are getting their best foot forward as part of planning their move.
Share with us your recruiting experiences and if you have ever used Linkedin in this manner.
Roz Bahrami is a blogger for https://SkyPrep.com, an online training software for companies to train employees and measure results. Roz is a regular contributor to blog posts related to corporate training, L&D and HR technology.