The Secret to Finding Job Candidates Through LinkedIn

Hiring is an essential part of running any business. To keep all roles filled, you have to be able to recruit and hire. But with today’s scarcity of available talent, this task has become surprisingly challenging. Between the War for Talent and the rise of Employee Wellness, there are a surprising number of hurdles between an average business and hiring a new employee.

Fortunately, the tools for hiring have become incredibly diverse. Some are even intuitively designed to help you connect with the enthusiastic and qualified candidates you’re looking for. LinkedIn is precisely one of those tools. A ‘social media’ site designed solely to help professionals further their careers.

Finding Candidates Through LinkedIn

Of course, actually finding the candidates you want doesn’t happen automatically after making an account or listing a job on LinkedIn. Like all tools, there are skills you can learn to make it work better for you. Today, we’re here to talk about how to strategically build your company’s LinkedIn materials and use the intuitive search features to connect with the candidates you seek.

Candidates Come to You

The first approach is to make yourself more approachable for job seekers. Professionals actively looking for a new job will often search LinkedIn for listed positions and companies that suit their needs.

Describe Your Company

Start with your company page. Many of the best candidates in the job seeker pool right now are currently employed. But there’s something about their employment that is lacking. Perhaps they have to work too many late nights, or their office is too uptight, or they want to do more work that benefits people directly.

So describe the company and the office culture. Go into detail about your mission, the kind of work you do, and how you treat employees. Don’t forget to mention the types of benefits and perks you offer. This will help your page appear for job seekers who are dreaming of the work environment you provide. In other words: people who are a ‘good fit’.

Write Keyword-Rich Job Adverts

Writing your job adverts for LinkedIn, focus on keywords that apply directly to the job duties and description. Start with your list of skills, and be absolutely clear about the difference between ‘minimum required’ skills, ‘learn on the job’ skills, and ‘dream candidate’ skills to get your best group of applicants.

After this, describe the job as honestly and completely as you can, using industry-standard phrases for the duties and experiences. This will help your job adverts to be found by job seekers using the LinkedIn job search feature.

Remember to include sometimes-sensitive details like pay range and work-life details like expected hours, percent travel, and client-facing duties. This will matter to people and will attract more ‘hits’ from curious job seekers.

Provide Contact Information

Only paid LinkedIn users can communicate directly through the platform. So if you want free-account candidates (ie: most of them) to be able to contact you, display at least one contact email and phone number on your company page. And print it again on every single job advert. This will allow candidates to reach out with questions, cover letters, or to check if there was an error with their application on the site.

Reaching Out to Candidates

You may also be thinking about how to find and reach out to candidates through LinkedIn. This is another popular way to go, especially for small companies and recruiting teams who are just starting to build their candidate network. Here’s how to optimize your search:

AI Referrals For Posted Jobs

When you post a job, there’s one pretty good way to know if you have written it with the right keywords. LinkedIn will offer you a selection of current members whose skills appear (according to their AI) to match what you’re looking for.  These AI suggestions can be incredibly helpful in giving you a direction and a few people to start with in reaching out to fill a position. But also remember that LinkedIn doesn’t actually know if these people will be interested. Just that they might, pragmatically, be a good fit.

Keyword Search for Qualifications

Of course, you can do your own keyword searching. Just like job seekers can keyword search for your positions, you can search for LinkedIn members with the skills and experience you’re looking for. Search with industry-standard job titles and the most important skills for each position. And by location, if that matters to the position.

You may also want to search according to certain company culture features to find people who would be a good fit. Like candidates who want to work remotely, enjoys working nights, or is cool with office dogs.

Connecting with InMail and Email

When reaching out to candidates — essentially ‘cold calling’ professionals — it’s generally seen as less creepy to send a LinkedIn message through their internal system known as InMail. Unless the candidate’s profile says to contact them directly at a particular email, always start by sending a LinkedIn invitation or message.

This will send an email to their personal email as well. The thing is, only paying members can actually chat through InMail, so many people who are interested will take the conversation to email immediately. Don’t be surprised either way, but always connect through LinkedIn first, which seems a lot less like stalking or recruiter-harassing which is a problem for highly desirable candidates.

Candidates Through Networking

Finally, don’t forget that your own growing business network can become a great source for candidates.

Keep Track of People You Know Are Great

If you have worked with, managed, or interviewed someone who was totally awesome but your paths have parted ways, keep track of them on LinkedIn! There’s a pretty good chance that they’ll be looking for a job within the next decade, and you might just have the perfect spot.

The benefit of keeping track of people you already know is what you already know about them. You know if they are hard workers, team players, or a good fit for your company culture. You know if you would be comfortable with them managing, trust their judgment, and possibly even what their weaknesses are and can make sure they are covered.

Ask for Referrals From Your Network

Also, even if your contacts aren’t looking for a job themselves, they might know someone. A coworker looking for a job in your city, an ex-colleague who’s coming back to the workforce, or even a former manager who was great. References can come from anywhere, so don’t be shy to let your network know when you’re hiring. They might just know the perfect person. Or someone else who does.

LinkedIn is a great place to connect with the right candidate, and it has all the benefit of DIY social media style outreach where employers and candidates often meet on the same level to weigh an employment opportunity. And the best part is that even ‘misses’ where you connect with someone but don’t hire them can turn into future hires or great references down the line. For more advice on how to hire through LinkedIn and other modern hiring methods, contact us today!