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Courting Candidates: Best Practices for Recruiting with LinkedIn

As Jim Collins said in Good to Great, “If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.” Recruiting is all about getting the right people to join your organization. So how do you do that in the digital age? You court them. Just like the dating process of finding, meeting and choosing the right partner, hiring follows a similar process. At last count LinkedIn has more than 610 million users. So how do you ensure you’re meeting the “right people” in this sea of candidates? Here are our top four best practices for recruiting with LinkedIn.

1.    Get set up. You’ll want to present yourself well. Making a good first impression is key, so as a professional business you need a company LinkedIn profile page. And as an owner, recruiter, HR professional, or franchisor, you need a professional personal profile page as well. Represent your business and personal LinkedIn profiles just as you would in a business meeting or hiring scenario. Remember, all your posts and shares and comments leave a traceable digital footprint.

2.    Date. Get to know people on LinkedIn. To find the “right people” for your recruitment requirements you might have to “kiss” a lot of frogs! (metaphorically, of course). Use the LinkedIn features to your advantage and search for candidates by filtering results by titles, companies, location, industry, interests, and years of experience. Once you shortlist your results, use InMail to reach out to them directly. Remember to be authentic and genuine. There’s nothing worse than a transparent one-sided request to connect. Share value by commenting on what people post and like other posts that represent your industry.

3.    Integrate lives. Use your real-world connections to enhance the reach of your digital content. When you post something on your company page such as a job listing or industry-specific article, ask your company employees to share it. This way, the exposure of that post is multiplied again and again, making it more likely  the right people will find it. Talk to people in the real world about your LinkedIn activities and they’re more likely to interact with you online.

4.    Get engaged! Ideally, all social media is about authentic engagement and LinkedIn is no different. Build the connection and relationship first, then engage by commenting and liking posts, articles and video. Use LinkedIn Groups to connect to networking groups in your specific industry. Engaging in groups and showing up authentically to add value is laying the foundation to getting strong referrals in the future. Read and write published posts on LinkedIn that add value to your professional network.

While the above are relationship-based ways of using LinkedIn to grow a network of candidates, there are other avenues to use LinkedIn with recruiting. Here are a few practical tips on posting jobs on LinkedIn as well as products that LinkedIn offers that can assist recruitment efforts.

Posting jobs on LinkedIn can be a low-cost way to experiment as you set your own budget. Job postings are billed on a pay-per-click basis. Make sure to get the most out of your postings and follow these recommendations:

1.    Be professional. Use your company logo on the job posting to present yourself and your company well. Be sure your posting is well written and proofread so there aren’t any type-o’s.

2.    Sell it. Write more than just the job duties and responsibilities. This is your opportunity to appeal to candidates to get them interested in your company and the opportunity available. If you can’t describe the greatness in what you offer, how will they be able to see it?

3.    Grab attention. They say it takes 7 seconds to form a first impression. With a LinkedIn job posting you have 3 lines to get their attention. Make them count!

4.    Make it easy. Use InApply to make it easy for applicants to apply. This feature allows candidates to apply via LinkedIn straight from the posting.

5.    Use your own profile. Be sure your own LinkedIn profile is filled out and represents you and your company well. Job posters are visible to candidates on every job posting so as the poster you are the face of your company.

Other options to consider depending on your company size and needs are LinkedIn products designed for recruitment. These vary in cost from approximately  $2,400 – $9,000 annually but offer some excellent ways to reach and qualify candidates.

Recruiting is all about finding the right people, so you have a qualified pool of candidates from which to choose. These efforts don’t happen overnight. It’s a practice that is nurtured over time. Thankfully, LinkedIn is a tool that has many options for a variety of businesses to help enhance their recruiting efforts. And if you’re in a pinch and need to hire but don’t have the time to invest, you can always outsource it to us! Check out and see what’s right for your recruitment needs.

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