How to Recruit Employees Using LinkedIn

By Kathryn Hawkins Monday, May 6, 2013

Are you looking for new employees in skilled fields? Despite a high unemployment rate, it can often be difficult to recruit the right candidates for positions that require certain types of skills or backgrounds. Fortunately, LinkedIn—the business-focused social network with more than 175 million members—is an ideal place to scout for talent. Here are a few tips on using it properly to recruit employees.

Search your friends’ connections. LinkedIn allows you to run searches according to a variety of functions, including industry, specific skills, and companies worked for. For instance, if you’re curious whether you might be able to find an employee who worked for a competing business, search for the business’ name and see who pops up. If any of your immediate connections are connected to that individual, you can request an introduction to your potential recruit.

Share your job posting on your status line. You can broadcast a message to all of your 1st degree connections at any time, so use your status updates to share links to job openings and encourage your contacts to share the message on their own profiles.

Post the job listing on relevant LinkedIn groups. Search for discussion groups that are relevant to your industry or your location, and become a member. You’ll be able to share your job listing there for free, and you can also read the discussions and browse member profiles to see if anyone who’s written on the forum has the skills you’re seeking.

Use LinkedIn’s paid recruiting options. Often, you can find good candidates simply by using the free recruiting methods listed above, but if you’re not getting the right results, try the premium version. By upgrading to a LinkedIn Premium account, you can use “inMail” to contact any user, even without an introduction from a contact. Alternatively, you can pay for a 30-day single job listing or a multi-job pack, and see who finds you. Check out the site’s recruiting options on this page.

Vet candidates by browsing their profiles. Once you’ve narrowed down a list of candidates, whether you found them through LinkedIn or another source, search for their LinkedIn profiles and compare them to the resumés they sent over. Do certain facts not add up properly? Is there a candidate without any recommendations, even though he’s worked for three employers? Candidates can customize their own profiles on LinkedIn, so you’re not likely to find anything overwhelmingly negative—however, if there is a red flag, you may spot it here. On the flip side, stellar testimonials from previous employers can take away the need to solicit references, so you may be able to recognize star candidates right away. You’ll also be able to see who you know in common, so that you can solicit honest opinions from your own connections.

Build up your company’s profile. LinkedIn provides the opportunity to create a page for your own business, where you can share your philosophy, spotlight projects you’ve worked on, and include listings for open jobs. Make sure to fill this page out in as much detail as possible, and keep an eye on who starts “following” the business page. If they seem like high-quality candidates, they may be interested in working for you.

What other successful strategies have you found for recruiting candidates through LinkedIn? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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