Are you using LinkedIn to recruit employees?

Using LinkedIn to recruit employees for your small business is a no-brainer but getting started may be daunting for the uninitiated. Here’s how to put your best foot forward the first time.

Most professionals have got around to setting up a LinkedIn profile at some stage, but few really know how to get the most out of the platform, especially when it comes to finding and hiring new staff.

Below are some top tips for companies of any size using LinkedIn for recruitment.


1. Complete your profile and grow your LinkedIn network


There’s nothing worse than looking up someone on LinkedIn to find a messy profile with no image, a badly written bio, or missing information. As an employer, you should not only have an up-to-date personal profile page, but also create and maintain a company profile on LinkedIn.

The company page should be include your company bio, relevant information about your products and/or services, links to your website and social media pages, as well as active connections to the profiles of your current employees.

READ: A guide to relationship marketing for beginners


2. Share content that cuts through the noise


Once set up, use LinkedIn to regularly to share content that relates to your company or brand. This could be things such as testimonials, news stories relevant to your industry, or ‘owned content’ that you create, such as blog pieces.

Having an active and engaging company page can not only help you with the recruitment process when you start hiring, but can also passively allow potential new recruits to connect with your company and get you on their radar before you need them.

READ: 4 ways this post helps your LinkedIn content shine


3. Use your existing employees for added clout


To expand your reach, harness the connectivity of current employees who can share relevant posts to their followers. This increases the reach of your posts significantly, but also allows staff to expand their personal networks to include people who may become useful down the track.

Once your pages are in top condition, you’re ready to start searching for candidates. LinkedIn has several ways to find candidates online, ranging from paid job posts to searching for passive candidates.


4. Post your job ad


When using LinkedIn to look for candidates, the first step is to create your job post. LinkedIn provides the facility to create online job postings to advertise open positions.

Job seekers can search for these opportunities on the LinkedIn network, and posts will also be recommended to potential candidates through the “Jobs You May Be Interested In” feature.

READ: How to write a job ad that attracts real talent


5. Be seen, be engaged but most of all, be engaging


Much like Facebook, the more connections you have on LinkedIn the more your content will be seen. Participating in group conversations is a great way to expand your online networks and expose your posts to a broader range of people.

Another way to engage with a wider community on LinkedIn is to post a question to a group that is specifically related to your job ad, including a link. Often the people who respond in these groups can be influential and can help point candidates in your direction.

It’s also beneficial to ask your current employees to share your job post with their networks and groups. LinkedIn works well with referrals and allows your staff to connect with suggested candidates within their first and second network connections: people who may not be available for you to connect with personally.


6. Find passive candidates


LinkedIn is perfect for finding ‘passive candidates’: those who are listed as currently employed, but ‘open to new opportunities’.

Studies show that around 80 percent of people listed on LinkedIn consider themselves to be passive candidates, and this allows you to search according to your specific qualifications and experience requirements. Depending on your LinkedIn subscription, you can then contact potential candidates directly via InMail.

InMail messages are sent directly to other LinkedIn members who you’re not currently connected to. When placing a job ad, you will receive Free InMail messages to reach out to your recommended matches directly, but if you have not placed an ad and you have a Basic (free) account, you must upgrade to a Premium account to use InMail.


7. Get bidding!


LinkedIn also provides an opportunity to bid for top placement in the “Jobs you may be interested in” section of the LinkedIn jobs homepage. According to LinkedIn, members are over three times more likely to apply for a sponsored job, so as well as allowing you to reach more candidates, this option can also make your post more appealing to potential applicants.

Like with any online activity, track your time and spend against results so that you can focus on activity that works best for you. You may find that employee referrals are your most effective method of recruitment, whereas another industry gains more from sponsored posts.

There is a wealth of talent available on LinkedIn and many of them are just waiting for the right opportunity.

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