Dos and Don’ts of Using LinkedIn for Hiring

If you’re planning to use LinkedIn for hiring, this handy guide will let you know what to do and what not to do on the platform.

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5 Inbound Marketing Strategies Recruiters Need to Know: LinkedIn

With millions of users across 200 countries around the world, LinkedIn is a top social network for both job seekers and talent acquisition professionals across industries. The site provides more than just job posting opportunities though. It’s an ecosystem that can support hiring efforts through candidate engagement, skills and recommendation searches, and talent pool development. However, the sheer scale of this platform offers distinct opportunities and drawbacks making it important to understand the dos and don’ts of hiring on LinkedIn.

To start, along with millions of potential job seekers, you also have millions of employers using LinkedIn for hiring. That means you need to stand out to top candidates through effective strategies and a personalized approach. Although there is a paid service on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Recruiter, you can also successfully recruit for free.

As a recruiter or employer, understanding how others are using LinkedIn for hiring may seem straightforward, but there are definitely right and wrong ways to actively recruit on LinkedIn that will make a difference in your own recruiting and hiring process.

Dos for recruiting with Linkedin 

Remember these 4 steps to use LinkedIn as a successful recruiting tool.

1. Do use personalization and speak directly to the candidate

Personalize your messages to individual candidates using what you find about them online — including skills, experience, interests, and professional activities.

Although LinkedIn has message templates, avoid the temptation to use a generic template format to mass message top candidates. Instead personalize your messages to individual candidates using what you find about them online — including skills, experience, interests, and professional activities.

Be certain your messages make candidates feel valued and create interest in your company and the job. Be friendly and casual with first names rather than addressing candidates formally as Mr. or Ms. Comment on how you see the candidate working with specific areas or leaders in your company, or specific teams or departments.

When recruiting on LinkedIn, follow up with candidates and make sure your message is sincere and speaks directly to the candidate. Avoid generic compliments like “Your profile got my attention” or “Your skills are impressive.” Rather, state exactly what in the profile you see as a good fit for your company’s role, or how the candidate’s interests match your company culture.

2. Do create a candidate profile

If you are in a hiring crunch and have to speed through your recruiting and hiring process, or even if you have a pretty good hiring timeline, creating a candidate profile is one of the best things you can do when recruiting with LinkedIn.

Identify 3 to 5 essential skills needed for the role along with deal-breakers and “nice to have but non-essential” skills.

Use the candidate profile in messaging, job postings, and for your own reference when scouring candidate profiles.

3. Do join relevant LinkedIn groups

Look for active groups in the field you are recruiting for, and join. Follow comments and post your jobs in the groups if allowed.

Engage with commenters who are qualified for your roles in the group and then contact them about your openings. Then, let the group get to know your company and its workforce needs in the course of commenting.

4. Do keep your company’s openings at the top of the company’s LinkedIn page

  • When your company is hiring, make sure those openings are front and center on the company’s LinkedIn page for visitors to see.
  • Make sure the offers are attractive to candidates.
  • Keep the page’s keywords updated regularly so the page comes up when people search for your openings.

Don’ts for recruiting with LinkedIn

Here are some processes to keep in mind when looking for candidates on LinkedIn.

1. Don’t neglect spellcheck and proofreading 

Just as you question a candidate’s abilities and professionalism when you see spelling and grammar errors in resumes and online job seeker profiles, your candidates are looking at your communications from the same perspective.

Don’t lose candidates with sloppy messages and communications. Use spell and grammar check tools before you reach out in LinkedIn.

Just as you question a candidate’s abilities and professionalism when you see spelling and grammar errors in resumes and online job seeker profiles, your candidates are looking at your communications from the same perspective.

2. Don’t ask candidates for referrals

Don’t ask candidates to refer friends and colleagues; you’ll lose the personalization you’ve been working to build and turn them off. There are other ways to find and reach out to the people who work with top candidates instead of asking for referrals.

Focus on maintaining quality relationships with top candidates so they’ll want to tell their friends and colleagues about you and your company. If you want to find colleagues of candidates, use the “Create Search From Ideal Candidates” and “Find Nearby” tools.

3. Don’t stop learning about LinkedIn for recruiting

Keep up with the new features LinkedIn regularly introduces for recruiting and job seeking. Learn about recruiting on LinkedIn via job postings, InMail, personal branding on LinkedIn, message templates, candidate search, alerts, and more.

You can also learn about using LinkedIn Recruiter, the paid feature, to see if it’s the right fit for your recruiting needs.

4. Don’t neglect your recruiter profile

You look for the stellar candidates in LinkedIn, the ones who stand out for presentation of their skills, abilities, and experience and are engaged in their industries. You’re attracted to the best profiles on the platform and so are the top job seekers when looking at employers and recruiters, so don’t neglect your own profile.

  • One of the things at the top of your recruiting-on-LinkedIn to-do list should be to update and polish your recruiter profile so candidates see you and your company in the best light possible.
  • Get a new professional headshot and dump the 10-year old photo your friend took. Make sure you look friendly and professional.
  • Craft an engaging headline that sells you as an effective recruiter and your company as an employer candidates want to work for.
  • Make sure your LinkedIn summary tells an engaging story about you, not only professionally, but personally, with your interests outside of recruiting such as volunteer work or hobbies.
Have questions about supercharging your LinkedIn recruiting efforts or empowering your employees to do their best work? Zenefits can help.
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