Talent Acquisition

How to Recruit on LinkedIn: 15 Practical Tips

LinkedIn has the potential to be a great recruitment tool for sourcing and marketing your brand, but it’s important that you make the most of the platform to optimum results. Here are 15 useful tips for recruiters already using LinkedIn.

1. Make sure your LinkedIn profile has these 4 essentials:

  • A picture –  should look professional and reflect your brand, people like dealing with faces as opposed to just text – studies show you get 30% more clicks in search results when you have a picture. And you are 7 times more likely to come up in search if you have a photo. As a recruitment professional you want to be approachable and a profile picture is an absolute must.
  • A headline – (along with your name and picture) is what comes up in search results and based on this the user will decide whether to click on you or the competitor. Make sure the headline talks about what you do and not who you are, i.e. “Recruiting Java Developers to Top Tier Consultancies in Manchester” instead of Consultant or Recruiter at Agency X – which means very little. You have 120 characters at your disposal, make sure you make the most of these.
  • Your summary –  (the bio section) is where people go to see what you are all about and what your track record in the industry is. If you get someone to take their time to check this out you will want them to read 2-3 paragraphs about what you have done, what you can do for them and something memorable. Remember to add your contact details at the end of this section if you want new people to get in touch.
  • Keywords – Finally, you have to get the right keywords on your profile or you will not come up in any searches. Yes you might come up in searches for your name but let’s face it if someone already knows your name you already have a foot in the door. It’s better to come up in the search for “Java recruiter Manchester”. Just remember that there is a fine balance between spraying keywords across your profile and staying professional.

2. Customize your public profile URL:

You can make your personal profile look more professional by customizing your LinkedIn public profile URL. When you sign up LinkedIn will automatically assign you a URL with a long number to identify your profile, but this can be changed to your name, company etc. in order to look tidier and make you profile easier to find.

3. Create a showcase page for your company:

Whether your company is large or small, creating a Showcase Page is fairly simple and makes it much easier for people to keep up with company news and also to expand your reach to new people who were previously unaware of the business. Make sure you add a summary about who you are and what the company does on your page and you can also use your showcase page to to share updates and interact with potential clients/candidates.

4. Boost your LinkedIn SEO:

LinkedIn users run thousands of searches every day, typically to find someone that can help them in their niche or location. The good news is that you can influence your own search rankings fairly easily. To get better ranking make sure to insert relevant keywords in your headline, in your job title and in your summary. Use keywords such as industry, location, company names (if that’s allowed), and even names of people.

5. Alter your privacy settings:

Most users on LinkedIn have realised that every update they do on LinkedIn will be visible to their network. As a result some people prefer not to connect, join groups, update their profile as they want to stay under the radar for whatever reason. There are however ways of hiding your activity and other bits on LinkedIn, all on the settings page:

  • Activity broadcast – If you want to make lots of changes to your profile but not notify your network, turn the broadcasts off and you can operate under the radar. This is of course very useful for candidates you headhunt, as the candidate may not want the world to know they are connecting to a recruiter and improving their profile, getting recommendations etc.
  • Who’s visited your profile – Unlike Facebook or Twitter, on LinkedIn you can actually see that other users have looked at your profile. How much you can see depends on your own settings, if you allow others to see your name, you’ll be able to see theirs.
  • Hide connections on your profile – Some candidates complain that ‘recruiters only connect with me so they can have a look at my network’. Well, these people don’t realise that you can hide your connections from being browsed on your profile.

6. How to connect with new people:

There are of course lots of ways of connecting with people you’d like to get in touch with. If you have their email you can tick the friend option. Or if you are stuck you can ask a common connection to introduce you, the trouble with that is that it takes time – the other person has to go in and manually forward your message.

A good way to do it is through the group short cut. Have a look at that person’s profile, scroll down and sew what groups they are a member of. If you happen to be in the same group, great. If you’re not, you can always join a group they are in as you are allowed to connect direct with people in the same group. You are also able to send messages to users who you are not connected to but you’re in the same group.

5. LinkedIn is all about connections, the more you have the better visibility your profile will have and more people you will be able to search for. But it’s also about quality connections, it’s worth identifying the so called ‘super connectors’ in your field and start connecting with them – if they have 1,000 relevant connections that will save you a lot of leg work.

7. Who to connect with:

LinkedIn is all about connections, the more you have the better visibility your profile will have and more people you will be able to search for. But it’s also about quality connections, it’s worth identifying the so called ‘super connectors’ in your field and start connecting with them – if they have 1,000 relevant connections that will save you a lot of leg work.

8. Connecting etiquette:

The best way to connect with new people is not revolutionary; it’s just actually taking an interest in the other person. Personalise your invite where possible, have a look at the profile and try to find some common denominators. Are you a member of the same group (a very useful way), did you notice they are connected with someone you know, did you go to the same school or do you share a passion for trainspotting? Whatever it is, put it into your invite message and I can guarantee the person won’t mark you as a spammer. The worst thing that can happen is that they ignore you or politely reply that they only connect with people they have met.

9. Engage with your connections:

Once you have built a network of connections it is important that you engage with them. You can do this by starting conversations, liking their updates, sharing your own updates that are likely to provoke discussion, but be sure to stay industry relevant.

10. Join groups or start your own:

By joining groups for your industry and interests you can get involved with discussion with other like minded users and expand your network. You can use these to share content that has taken your interest or blog posts that you have written yourself.

If you can’t find the group you’re looking for,  why not start your own based around specific interests? It’s a great way of getting people talking, at the same time as promoting your business or brand.

11. Post status updates:

Posting status updates is a great way to build engagement with your connections and get your brand seen, as anyone who likes or comment will then automatically share it to their newsfeed. Here’s what you could share:

  •   Sharing valuable information that educates, inspires or entertains your audience, such as relevant industry articles, general business hacks and occasionally something light like ‘How Darth Vader was the best project manager ever’.
  • Share a vacancy every now and then but do it in the right way. Instead of just pushing out a link to a job specification on your site, describe the opportunity and what makes it unique if you can. ‘
  • Share events you are going to is always useful, if someone in your network is thinking of going they will get in touch. And it shows that you’re out and about amongst your clients and candidates. If your company hosts events, these should definitely be shared as well in status updates (and listed in the events section).

12. Publish on LinkedIn:

LinkedIn has recently introduced their own publishing platform, so users can now publish long-form posts about professional topics. If you’re an expert in your and fancy yourself a bit of a writer, then make the most of this feature to share your knowledge and get yourself seen. Consider it an opportunity to position yourself as a ‘thought leader’, showing your clients that you’re at the forefront of your industry. These posts become part of your professional story when people visit your profile.

13. Advertise jobs:

Anyone can advertise a job on I but it comes at a price. When you set up a pay-per-click campaign you can target segments on I such as CFOs and FDs based in Manchester in the Pharmaceutical industry. This will narrow down your audience to a few hundred people and only they will see your ad. The smaller the target group, the less clicks, but when you do get clicks you know they are right. So it’s better to get one relevant click per week than ten tyre kickers.

One way of doing ads for free is of course your status update; another way is to post it into groups (job discussions). These are in theory good ways but the trouble is that most people see those updates as adverts and tend to ignore them.

14. LinkedIn activities to get involved in:

  • Check your homefeed, this may sound very basic but very few recruiters actually keep an eye on the homepage of LinkedIn. This is where you see what’s happening in real time and it’s your chance to tell members of your network that you are there and that you care.
  • Do at least one status update per day and make it count. It’s better to go for one quality update that gets attention from your network (and beyond) than a number of updates that nobody outside your team will care about.
  • Be active in one or two groups, not more. It’s very hard to keep track of ten discussions happening in as many groups so again, go for a quality discussion in a useful group.

15. Check your analytics

LinkedIn offer analytics that give you an insight into who are reading your posts and your company’s performance on LinkedIn You can view the data by using LinkedIn’s analytics page, where it tells you who is engaging your individual posts are and  understand more about your follower demographics. This information will help you to target the right audience with your content.

By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.