LinkedIn is to recruiting as a soda shop is to ice cream. It has evolved into a community of 330 million professionals that are looking for a job, wanting to advance their careers, or simply showing off. There is no other social media with that much educational and professional information about its members thereby making it a valuable resource for recruitment.
However, with 83% of members willing, if not rearing, for new career opportunities, it can be like panning for gold. You could end up with a long list of candidates, and no real way to separate the wheat from the chaff.
If you don’t have the time or patience to sort through all the results in a typical search, you should streamline your process. Here are some ways you can cut through the fat and get to the meat of the selections.
Use your status update box
Some people in your network are likely to know someone personally that could fill in the blanks in your personnel files satisfactorily.
You can get some solid recommendations by posting your requirements in your individual status update box in lieu of posting your dog’s first birthday photos. The beauty of doing it this way is you keep your search to a limited circle.
You post your requirements to people that know you and your business, and their networks, so you have a better chance of getting the best candidates quickly. Of course, you still have to do your due diligence and screen the candidates, but it’s an efficient way to do a search without having to do a search.
Use Boolean search terms
When you make a keyword search on LinkedIn, you could be overwhelmed by the sheer number of results you get, and you could miss your perfect candidate in the mess.
The best way to get the shortest list possible is to make a Boolean search, which allows you to filter the search results according to conditional statements using AND, OR, NOT, double quotation marks (to search for exact words), and brackets () (to create subsets in the search).
These are not complicated terms, but it can make your search laser-targeted if you use them correctly. Just remember that Boolean searches do not look at dates. For example, if you are looking for a systems analyst, you may get candidates that were once systems analysts, but have since moved up or to other things. The “NOT” statement could help you avoid those in positions that indicate they are no longer systems analysts, i.e. NOT “director.”
Confer with your hiring manager
If you are not handling the hiring yourself, then you need to understand what your hiring officer or manager wants for the role and in a candidate before doing a search to avoid wasting everyone’s time.
For example, you may like a candidate for a certain position, but the hiring manager feels otherwise. Since you are doing the search, you may never see eye to eye on any of the people you shortlist.
Get a clear list of requirements and qualifications to make sure you are looking for the same type of people.
Create an intriguing InMail invitation
LinkedIn can make it easy for you to invite likely candidates for the position you need to feel through InMail. However, the more important the position, the more likely the candidates you are inviting are highly qualified and in demand. You have to make sure the invitation to apply you extend to them is intriguing and attractive, to motivate them to make contact.
First impressions do matter, so the first thing you have to ensure is that your message is grammatically correct and error-free. You can get a professional writer from Essay Scholar Advisor to make a generic message for you, and simply put in details about the candidate to customize it.
Most people also make the mistake of revealing too much in the first email, when all you really want is to get their attention. Once they respond in a positive manner, you can then reply with a more detailed invitation for an interview.
Limiting your search to local candidates may work for some positions, but you need to remember that expertise can go beyond your borders.
You may find your perfect candidate for a key role in your organization in another state, maybe even in another country. Location can take a back seat in such cases, especially if you can get your candidate on board a couple of months earlier. The costs of relocating the new hire may be justified.
Think LinkedIn Recruiter
If you have the budget and the need, you may want to consider using LinkedIn Recruiter. It will cost you some, but it does make your search more comprehensive and faster.
It has a ton of features that can save you a lot of time when hunting for heads, figuratively. You have Saved Searches, so you don’t have to start from step one every time you need to find a new guy, and Update Me, which keeps you informed about anything going on with a candidate you are keeping your eye on.
Use your company page
What can be better than to have candidates come to you? Your company page can do that for you if you update it regularly, and post relevant information that a potential hire will find interesting.
Members can follow your page, so you can use it to post career opportunities and they get alerts. You can even go the extra mile and get a paid subscription that includes some important features to help you in recruiting the best talents available, including the ability to post job ads and excluding other company pages from popping up on your company page.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.