If you’re new to the recruiting game and are unsure of where to begin finding talent, start with LinkedIn®. LinkedIn is basically professional Facebook, where working professionals in all industries can connect and leave the clutter of their personal lives behind. If you’re new to recruiting and LinkedIn, here are some tips for using the “free” version of LinkedIn to find top talent.
Yes, I said “free” because there is a premium/paid version as well. However, if you’re just getting started, it’s better to master the basics before spending the money. In the webinar Free LinkedIn Recruiting Tools: Yield More Qualified Interviews Using Ideal Search Strings, Calendar & Text Expander Tools, and More, Brynne Tillman, Chief Learning Officer of Vengreso, explains the ins and outs of using LinkedIn to search for potential candidates.
Creating a Candidate-Centric Profile
To start, you need a good profile to lure potential candidates in. Tillman says you want to position yourself to intrigue the candidate. Just posting your résumé and job title to your LinkedIn profile isn’t enough, you need to make yourself stand out.
Treat your profile like you’re applying for a job. You want to stand out from other recruiters, but you also want to give candidates a sense of who you are recruiting for. Tillman says an enticing profile will get candidates to take your phone call. Here are a few tips to make your profile as enticing as possible.
4 Major Elements to a Candidate-Centric Profile
Back in the day, when newspapers were actually printed—I know newspapers are still being printed, but let’s face it, it’s a dying medium, who knows how much longer the print versions will be around—editors used to post all the important, attention-grabbing information “above the fold” (meaning, the space on the page that appeared before the newspaper was folded).
Treat your LinkedIn profile like a newspaper, and make sure all the important info is “above the fold,” recommends Tillman. When it comes to your profile, the “fold” would be the headline, profile pic, and banner. This is the information someone sees before they start scrolling through the rest of your profile, so make sure you have the most compelling info in these areas.
Here are the 4 major elements your profile will need to have in order to provide candidates with the information they need to take your phone calls.
- Create a compelling banner. The banner is the image area that sits behind your profile picture. Tillman suggests using a banner image that features the company logo you are recruiting for, as well as a mission statement for that company.
- Use a professional headshot. When selecting your profile picture, you want to use a professional-looking head shot. Tillman suggests making sure you are facing the camera and that there is good lighting. She says that eye contact is a great way to build a relationship, even if it’s just from a profile picture.
- Create a compelling “headline.” The headline is the title that appears under your name. Tillman advises against using your job title, such as “recruiter for X, Y, and Z company,” and instead, try using something more compelling to get the candidate’s interest. Tillman points to her profile headline as an example: “Transforming the Way Professionals Grow Their Business by Leveraging LinkedIn to Schedule More Calls with Targeted Buyers ? Learn Social Selling Tips in My Summary Below.”
- Say what you do in the summary. You’ve hooked the candidate in with your compelling headline; now you can use the summary space to describe what it is you actually do. Explain what your job is as a recruiter, how you help the company you recruit for, why you recruit for this particular company, and what’s in it for the candidate you’re trying to recruit. Tillman also adds that your summary is a great place to explain what sets you apart from the rest and advises using a call to action—for example, “Here’s a link to my calendar [link]; please pick a time that works best for you”—to entice the candidate to reach out to you first.
Tillman also explains that the experience section of your profile should be short, sweet, and to the point. She says you don’t want to bore the candidate, so keep that section to two or three lines.
When it comes to recruiting next steps, you’ll only get to this point if your LinkedIn profile is on point. Make sure to hook candidates in and keep them engaged and wanting to learn more about the company you’re recruiting for. In part two of this article, we’ll look at how to use the search function on LinkedIn. In our final installment, we’ll focus on how to communicate with potential candidates after you’ve found him or her through your LinkedIn search.