When many people think of social media for business, LinkedIn is one of the first, if not the first, website that comes to mind. A recent Jobvite survey estimated that 93% of employers use LinkedIn in some capacity for recruitment purposes. In the same survey, for all hires organizations cited as being made through social media outlets, 83% of those employees were found through LinkedIn. As a professional networking site, it dominates the industry. If you aren’t currently utilizing LinkedIn, how should you get started? If you are, how can you improve upon what you are already doing?
With any social media site, the first and foremost piece of advice will be to create or develop your organization’s page/profile for that site. Like the 2 million other company pages on LinkedIn, the purpose of creating and maintaining a profile page is multi-faceted. You will be building up your employee brand, allowing current and potential employees to network with you, increasing awareness about your company and job opportunities and ultimately driving traffic to your company website/careers page. This reasoning may be similar moving forward in this series of posts, however, be sure not to assume that your strategy for one social media site will be equally effective for another. A unique strategy should be developed for each specific site with goals targeted towards the particular form of social media’s features and usability.
LinkedIn boasts 161 million professional profiles and is by far the largest and most popular site for professional networking. Once you have established an employer profile you can use it to reach out to and impact these potential employees. To begin, Sajjad Masud, co-founder and CEO of Simplicant, suggests that “a good way to engage with candidates who are passionate about your industry and your company is to develop a community of qualified individuals who follow your company page on LinkedIn. Taking part in LinkedIn group discussions and sharing interesting content, as well as current openings, will bring a new audience back to your company page and eventually to your careers site. You can also promote your openings on relevant industry groups to get your jobs in front of the right candidates.”
LinkedIn in offers the ability to target job ads based on candidate characteristics and other criteria. LinkedIn Recruiter allows recruiters and hiring managers the ability to better target active and the harder to reach passive candidates. Reaching out to employees in order to connect and ideally solicit employee referrals from is another added benefit of LinkedIn sourcing.
After identifying qualified candidates, whether through LinkedIn or elsewhere, be sure and review their LinkedIn profile if possible. Many times a beefed up résumé created for the potential employer may not match the education/employment history that a candidate has put up for the world to see. Remember that the same candidates you are looking at, as well as current employees, will be looking at your profile. Branding is a large part of generating interest among future hires and keeping current employees engaged. Ensuring the proper development and maintenance of your company page is key.
To maximize the potential of LinkedIn for your business:
- Create a company page or develop an outdated profile.
- Create a community of qualified people that follow your company page.
- Spawn conversations and discussion via posts and group discussions.
- Post current job openings and get people talking about them!
- Promote open positions on industry or other relevant groups.
- Use LinkedIn to search candidate profiles, checking for consistencies between submitted résumés and profile information, as well as overall grammar, attention to detail, and other non-discriminatory information offered on a profile.
- Utilize LinkedIn job postings and services like LinkedIn Recruiter.
- Encourage employees to engage and connect via LinkedIn.
- Keep your organizational profile updated in order to help maintain your company brand.
Comment with any other ideas you have used or come across for utilizing LinkedIn!
For more recruiting and engagement strategies, continue on in the Social Media Series for articles about: LinkedIn. Facebook. Twitter. Google+. YouTube. Pinterest. Instragram. Yammer. Quora, Dribbble, and GitHub. Also look into advice on Managing Employee Use of Social Media, How to Create A Social Media Policy and Social Media Branding and Marketing strategies.