How to Effectively Recruit on LinkedIn 

The following is adapted from Recruiting Sucks… But it Doesn’t Have To: Breaking Through the Myths That Got Us Here.

Recruiters need to understand that LinkedIn is a great tool, but it has its limitations. There are some really superstar executives and tech folks on LinkedIn, but a lot of people end up getting buried. So how should we use LinkedIn?

Recruiting Sucks

Establish Credibility

Let’s say I’m a recruiter filling roles in finance. I can’t just keep going back to the well of people in finance and spamming them the same messages. Instead, I need to get involved in the user communities. There are a gazillion and one groups to choose from and users can be involved in up to fifty of them.

In these forums, you can start to comment on other’s posts and build credibility as a real source of value. It’s a way to prove you’re actually subject matter savvy in particular spaces. When you establish more credibility, potential candidates are more likely to respond to you. 

Prioritize Quality

Volume isn’t everything. Instead of spamming one hundred people, do some research and InMail ten of the right people. Google their names and research them to see if they have written anything or won any awards. It shows that you’ve done some background research and your due diligence on candidates.

In a nutshell, it shows you genuinely care!

Tailor Your Approach

It’s also very important to consider your approach when reaching out to someone. The wrong thing to do is to send the “Hey, I’ve got a great opportunity for you!” email. Instead, say something along the lines of “Hey, I saw this on your profile” or “I found this on Google” and emphasize that you want to know more about them as a person and the next steps they foresee in their career. Generic spam messages are all about the recruiter; this individualized approach is all about the candidate. 

When the focus of attention shifts away from the recruiter, we see response rates go from 10 percent to over 60 percent. Often, I don’t have to spend much time at all on recruiting because my response rates hover around 80 to 90 percent. In this industry, a sniper shot is more effective than a shotgun blast. If you’re methodical about your approach, you can get what you need while still living within LinkedIn. 

Maintain a Robust Profile

When it comes down to it, a recruiter cannot be haphazard about anything. If you are a recruiter on LinkedIn, you need to build out your profile to make sure you are just as credible as the candidates you wish to hire. Think about it: if you reach out to somebody on LinkedIn, what’s the first thing they’re going to do? They’re going to look at your profile!

Most recruiters tend to be very generic in their profiles. They take an approach like “I’m the recruiting god. I do everything.” Yet, that’s not necessarily what candidates want to see. If you’re recruiting within the finance space, a candidate is going to want to see that you’ve got expertise in the field. Your profile must reflect this. 

Be strategic about your use of LinkedIn and you’ll find more of the right candidates responding to your outreach.

For more advice on effective recruiting, you can find Recruiting Sucks on Amazon.