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I find it totally crazy that the average candidate links to a recruiter on LinkedIn… Here’s why.

The Lights Are On but Nobody’s Home

LinkedIn… Nothing more than a room full of people having a jolly good chat and advertising jobs. Candidates are everyday Joes (or Joannas) wandering around. Statistically speaking a candidate is likely to be in the room but ignoring what’s going on around them. They have a pretty poor profile (they aren’t a job hunter so why bother?), they’re a group member (but the only interaction they have with the group is to delete the daily digest they receive as it gets in the way of their day), and they have a boss…

Have Boss Will Travel

They’re in the LinkedIn room. Their boss is with them (they’re a connection on LinkedIn). A recruiter wants to connect with them. They say “yes why not” – their boss sees their LinkedIn “now connected to” update – oops!

How does this go down? How do they explain why they have connected with a recruiter? I have yet to work for any organisation that promotes looking for another role whilst working for them. 

How to Get More than Certifiable Candidates Connecting with You

If you specialise in placing certifiably insane candidates, then carry on as you are (I bet your interviews are interesting, you are one of the few recruiters that actually has a USP, and your website content is unique!)

If however, you’d like to have a less restricting strategy then here are a couple of tips to help you get more candidates accepting your LinkedIn invites (and they’re so obvious, sorry!):

  • Be known for more than being a job board (I know I harp on about this, but you’ll attract more talent if you have something other than jobs to offer AND passive talent will be more justified in connecting with you if you are not obvious in your aim about trying to recruit them.
  • Having group discussions, commenting on and Liking updates is not time consuming – so no excuses, get on with it (even if you only spend 5 minutes a day on this, it’ll pay you back massively by increasing confidence in you and raising your profile in a very noisy “I’ve got a vacancy” room)

Make sure that your profile talks about more than simply about placing candidates – what can you say about what you do as a consultant?

Final (and probably most important) tip: 

make it easy for candidates to get in touch if they don’t want to rock the boat with their boss by visibly connecting with you. The contact data you enter into your phone and email fields on LinkedIn only shows once you have connected, so I always advise adding it to your summary (and also your contact preferences) to help active and passive candidates get in touch if they need your help.

Terrible cliché, but you reap what you sow. If you only attract candidates that are looking for roles and don’t care who knows it, then that’s all you’re likely to get – is that what you want?

Alternatively, if you had a table to fill, who would you want at that table? Think about your strategy – demonstrate a mindset that attracts people who are part of that mythical 80% of passive candidates, and give them confidence that connecting with you will not get them institutionalised!

 Thanks Bullhorn Reach for publishing this blog.

We run LinkedIn for Recruiters courses for time-starved recruiters, who think they have a handle on LinkedIn, but want to improve their profile, increase their relevant application response and place more jobs. Read about the courses here.

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