By now, LinkedIn has been around for as long as anyone can remember, but it is only recently that this social network has been perceived as something recruiters cannot live without. Many claim that LinkedIn has revolutionized the job market, while others are still struggling to use this massive network of professionals and job seekers effectively. Commonly, recruiters often divide potential candidates on LinkedIn into 2 categories, the active and passive applicants. Active job seekers are those currently searching for career options and potential job opportunities. Passive candidates, on the other hand, are people currently employed and do not search for jobs. However very often it is the passive talents that are sought after in the corporate world, as they are perceived to be the ‘better’ type of candidates: since they are already working, they must be better than the ones looking for jobs, right? This might not be so.
It is certainly true that most experts and high profile professionals are already working and is unlikely to be on a job hunt. In fact, according to a research by LinkedIn, 79% working professionals are passive rather than active candidates. These passive talents are not out looking for jobs, thus they need a whole new different, and much more personal approach than normal job seekers. This could actually be very time consuming and even expensive.
Companies very often wrongly assumed that active applicants are unemployed, and thus they are unemployable while ignoring many potential candidates. Such unjustified belief often cost companies great hires while wasting their time and resource on other uninterested passive candidates. To successfully employing Linkedin as a recruitment tool, HR professionals need a balanced hiring strategy catering to both the active and passive job seekers. Fortunately, LinkedIn is a service that is well suited for such purpose. There are various things companies can do to get their hiring message across to both the active and passive candidates.
Create a Company Page
The first thing companies can do to hire effectively on LinkedIn and gain access to a large database of job seekers is to create a companies’ profile. Up to this point many HR managers prefer to use their own and their colleagues’ profiles with their LinkedIn connections to get the hiring announcement across. However this has very limited reach and depends greatly on the personal network of the recruiter. Imagine a HR manager tasked with looking for a new IT support executive, who proceeded to announce the news with her connections on LinkedIn and then hoped for the best. But since this person is a professional in the recruitment industry, very few people he know have any connections to IT professionals, and even less have any actual IT experience. So the message did not reach its target audience and few potential candidates turned up. To avoid this issue, companies should consider having its own LinkedIn page to connect with experts from various industries, which make finding the right person for the right job a more efficient process.
For the active applicants: Creating a company page will allow employees to link their LinkedIn accounts to the page directly, making the company’s name visible to everyone within each employee’ connection network. This will help greatly in boosting the company’ credibility and greatly extend the hiring announcement’s reach on LinkedIn to job seekers.
For the passive candidates: Approaching a professional through a company page instead of a personal connection will make the candidate feel much more valued. They will see that their skills and expertise are appreciated and sought after, and they truly deserve the offer, instead of thinking that they can only have the opportunity through personal connections.
After being created, companies can then update the page similarly to facebook and twitter. It is very important that the LinkedIn page is not neglected, so that people are constantly reminded of the company and its operations. This will push the company to the top of people’s mind, making hiring easier as the company is well recognized.
Join relevant groups
With a massive amount of users, it could be baffling for recruiters to find a place to start. Joining relevant groups might be a good place to begin, depend on the specific of the hiring position. The more frequent a company can participate in these groups, the more connections can be established.
For the active applicants: There are a variety of groups dedicating solely to job seeking and recruiting on LinkedIn, with member number in the thousands. Such groups are frequently visited by active job applicants, making it very easy for recruiters to approach them. As these groups are focusing solely on finding the right person for the right job, there is little need to build and maintain a relationship before the candidates can be approached. These groups are also a good alternative to LinkedIn job listing service and can be done continuously.
For the passive candidates: Instead of joining dedicated job seeking groups, recruiters should consider joining specific groups that are relevant to the position being hired. Active participation should be done frequently to establish the company’s interest and build lasting relationships with prospective candidates. People in these specific groups are often experts in their field of knowledge with extensive experience and thus even if they do not become potential candidates, they are still valuable contact point for companies in the future.
Consider LinkedIn paying service
To fully realize LinkedIn potential as a recruiting tool, recruiters may want to consider its paid services. There are various such services on LinkedIn for recruiters to pick and choose, effective at targeting both active and passive candidates. Simple premiums such as the paid job listing option provide straightforward benefits .i.e allowing the listing to stay visible for longer and to a wider audience, while expensive package such as the Recruiter account option that grant users unlimited access to the LinkedIn network,
For the active applicants: Upgrading LinkedIn account beyond the basic version provides users with a variety of search filter and allow for more results. A basic LinkedIn profile can only view the first 100 results of a search, while upgrading extend this range to 300 to 1000, which is more than enough to cover all relevant results. This can help recruiters in quickly searching for job seekers with good credentials. Combined with the paid job listing services, LinkedIn can be an economic and efficient recruiting platform.
For the passive candidates: The Recruiter account subscription is LinkedIn most popular service currently, which basically allow the users to search and view the full profiles of other LinkedIn users while remain unanimous. Unlike standard account with severe restriction on the Inmail’s function (which is basically LinkedIn’s network email service)The subscription also allow for folder organizing, talent tracking and various other benefits that make LinkedIn one of the most effective talent recruiting service on the net.
Ultimately, LinkedIn is becoming more and more relevant in the HR industry, changing the way recruiting is conducted: the Forbes magazine has even featured an article of how “LinkedIn is disrupting the corporate recruiting market”. However, using LinkedIn only as an after thought is a waste of time and resources. Companies seriously thinking of employing LinkedIn as a hiring tool need a balanced strategy to target both passive and active talent to utilize LinkedIN at its full potential.