6 Tips for Using LinkedIn for Recruiting

LinkedinThere has been a lot of buzz about social media and its potential to play a major role in your employee recruiting strategy. It’s no longer enough to simply post an open position on Monster.ca or Workopolis.ca. So we thought we’d share a few tips for finding and hiring top talent from amongst the millions of professionals that are connected through LinkedIn.

Tip 1 - Expand Your Personal Network

It may seem obvious, but expanding your LinkedIn network is an important first step.  Too many folks use LinkedIn reactively and only when they need something (like a new job or to find a qualified candidate).  But building and expanding your network is an ongoing, proactive process.  Reach out to former colleagues, connect with industry leaders, participate in Groups, and browse the connections that your existing contacts have for opportunities to invite others into your personal network.  Then when it comes time to fill a position, you may not need to look any further than your personal network to find a qualified candidate.

Tip 2 - Develop a Profile for Your Company

Instead of looking for candidates, wouldn’t it be great if THEY found YOU?  Well that’s what can happen when you set up a Company Profile on LinkedIn.  It’s a good idea to include important keywords in your company profile (similar to optimizing your website for Google searches) because online savvy professionals will search on keywords as they begin to compile a list of companies they’d like to work for.

Tip 3 - Leverage Employee Referrals

As you’re building or expanding your network, don’t forget to connect with all of your current co-workers, managers, and other personnel.  After all, some of the best candidates come as referrals from existing employees.  If a lot of the folks in your office are not yet LinkedIn, encourage them to set up a profile and take the first steps in building their online network.

Tip 4 - Advanced Search

LinkedIn provides advanced search capabilities that are often under-utilized.  You can search for candidates based on their location, current or previous positions held, companies they’ve worked for (like your competitors!), industries they’ve worked in, and much more.  Not only will you see contacts in your immediate network (1st level contacts), you can also browse a summary of people in your extended network (2nd and 3rd level contacts) and maybe ask for an introduction to a candidate that you’re interested in.

Tip 5 - Keep Your Network Up-to-Date

If you're actively recruiting, make sure that your personal LinkedIn network is aware that your company is looking to fill open positions.  When people start testing the waters in the job market, they’ll probably kick the tires with their primary network first.  So if you both have a contact in common, you may just get first dibs on the top people in your industry.

Tip 6 - Paid Listing

Last but not least, LinkedIn offers Hiring Solutions (for a fee) which can be a great complement to a posting on your website or Monster.com.  A nice benefit is that your job posting is automatically search engine optimized AND posted on Twitter for maximum exposure.