I know a lot of people who have accepted recruitment offers through LinkedIn.
Most of the HR messages are standard templates to cold leads which is obviously annoying. This leads to major dissatisfaction by experienced folks.
LinkedIn is also one of the channels we use for hiring. Internal network and personal contacts often work better – but the talent pool is limited.
We hired our first sales engineer through LinkedIn. I’ve also conducted a number of interviews for other roles – most were dissatisfying but it’s similar (if not worse) with other job portals.
I managed to schedule a few interviews for junior front-end positions as well. We hired one of the girls who is still with us. One of the guys accepted another offer literally hours before we sent ours.
One of the reasons I like LinkedIn is that we can monitor certain trends and take advantage of them every now and then. For example, there’s a major layoff in a larger organization. People are obviously looking for new offers which may overlap with our hiring schedule. Moreover, there are certain training academies or other centers that hire only a percentage of their students. Upon completing their training cycle, we can reach out at the right moment.
Just a few days ago we’ve announced another job opening on LinkedIn. I already have 20ish resumes to go through this weekend. I took a quick glance at their CVs and some of them may actually be a good fit – depending on interviews and requirements.
But yes, LinkedIn is still a valid channel for hiring people in certain fields.
In this article, we will discuss the answers to the 6 most pressing LinkedIn questions that you need to know in order to maximize your use of this social media.
1. How Do You Find Job Candidates That Fit?
Sure, it’s a great place to “find” talented fits for your organization.
I stress on *find* as listing them down is just the first step of the process.
I have read a wonderful post on the trouble hiring senior engineers which explain the disconnect between the traditional hiring process and the growing market need for engineers. There have been multiple examples that illustrate the hiring case for more senior candidates:
“When hiring senior engineers, the company doesn’t choose the candidate, the candidate chooses the company.”
Or, put more simply:
“When hiring senior engineers, you’re not buying, you’re selling.”
This is extremely important to figure out while conducting your recruitment campaigns. I urge you to read this post before starting a hiring round as it’s pure food for thought.
LinkedIn is pretty straightforward in its core. Throughout a myriad of filters, you can search for applicants with previous job experience (and its duration), in certain roles, at given locations, you name it.
You can exclude and include companies you want to avoid (friends) or focus on (relevant industries that will reduce your onboarding experience).
There is no better network that lets you filter as thoroughly, review CVs “for free”, and even get access to testimonials.
The real problem is convincing those applicants that your job is worth pursuing. Of course, top talent is already employed or runs their own business. Making the leap should come with a very legitimate reason — which makes it double as complicated if you don’t have the brand positioning in place.
2. How Do You Get Job Opportunities?
There are plenty of other networks and job portals that you can leverage for getting a job. Go to Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor and browse around. Send some CVs over and prepare for the interviews.
If you want to take a lean, less intrusive approach, LinkedIn may still work. Experienced applicants often get bombarded by recruiters who send InMails or call applicants without notice.
That’s why I also joke about LinkedIn being a “Tinder for HRs.” That could backfire for certain positions.
Also, LinkedIn has a separate Jobs portion that promotes job offers nearby. You can also browse company profiles and see if they have existing offerings available.
If you are unemployed or you’ve already filed your resignation later, you can safely apply for other jobs. Post that on your feed, ask some friends to share, reach out to HRs if they haven’t hunted you down. Change your headline to “Currently open for offers” or “Looking for an X job”.
We’ve just interviewed a couple of people with similar headlines since they popped up in our feeds.
The more stealthy approach would be growing your network and accepting more HR invitations. You can send connection requests to HRs with headlines “Looking for X experts” as well – being a better fit for your specific profile.
There are some LinkedIn settings that let you convert your profile to “Open for job offers” or something. This prompts HRs to reach out if you’re on the lookout. Frankly, most would do regardless of that setting.
If you’re experienced enough and work in a niche where your role is in demand, expect an ongoing blast of offers. Otherwise, you may want to grow your network a bit further and customize your profile for higher outreach.
3. Why Do Connections Matter?
Let’s review both extremes in terms of LinkedIn connectivity.
- A fairly new, almost empty profile – poorly maintained, with just a few dozen connections.
- A professional, trustworthy profile with 500+ connections (the upper limit is 30,000).
In the first case, we may be dealing with a shady account or even a fake profile.
While it’s entirely possible to have a legitimate account with just a few connections, it’s trivial to create a new account, add a couple hundred people and receive 20–30 confirmations right away. There’s a special group of people on LinkedIn that label themselves as LION – LinkedIn Open Networkers. They accept almost every request in order to expand the reach of their content and increase the number of 2nd level connections in their circle.
On the other end, this may be interpreted as someone with a very limited professional network. My LinkedIn account is 10 years old as the platform was introduced in 2003. Being the go-to choice as a professional social network, LinkedIn now hosts the profile of over 500,000,000 people around the world.
While you probably won’t connect with your uncle and your second-grade schoolmate, it makes sense to look for business opportunities of any kind – partnerships, jobs, charities, school alumni groups, business networks, potential employees or prospects.
Which is why most people end up having over 500 connections easily – as long as they actually open the platform every now and then.
Sending an informal warning toward your account doesn’t make sense. Here’s why.
- Your employer (and their marketing team) can gain higher reach when you like, share, or comment on their stories. This will populate on your feed (accessible to your network).
- You may refer someone for a job – because your network is large.
- Your profile is probably well-maintained. So you are likely endorsed occasionally. Testimonials look good as well for customers doing some background research.
- You can publish statuses on your own which would lead to a higher engagement.
- You can connect your employer to someone in your network who can be a possible partner or a lead.
- Your participation in LinkedIn groups would be more genuine if your account seems legitimate (and active).
Limiting one’s online presence is counterproductive (as long as it is within the realm of the good tone, supporting the company culture). If your employer fears that you’ll quit right away simply because you have more contacts in LinkedIn, that means that they don’t believe that your offer is reasonable – which is a problem on its own.
4. What Are the Most Popular Kinds of Content?
I don’t see a ton of self-proclaimed “growth hackers” on LinkedIn, although it’s crowded with “content creators”.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about them.
On the bright side, the general tone in LinkedIn is positive, motivational, empowering. It’s less critical and hostile — and attackers often get reported. It resembles Quora’s BNBR much more than Reddit’s free speech.
Those “content creators” also led to spikes of traffic and the continuous growth of LinkedIn. As a business professional myself, I find no alternatives to LinkedIn – XING is smaller (and Europe-oriented, if not primarily the German population) and AngelList is niched and less engaging. I don’t fancy using Facebook for work; Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest are a no-go, Twitter lost traction and has been stalled for a couple years now.
So bringing more people to LinkedIn is a positive thing overall — it helps close more partnerships and interact with people in an organic, non-intrusive manner (so long as they are also hooked thanks to the new movement).
This also brings opportunities for the new generation Z — video creators and storytellers who don’t have business or practical skills (required in a corporate environment). I see teens who have started successful businesses thanks to LinkedIn. That has to be a good thing.
5. How Do Growth Hackers Work?
On the flip side…
LinkedIn is loud and resembles Facebook lately. I see tons of selfies, motivational quotes, landscapes and a long queue of videos while scrolling.
I don’t particularly enjoy the content produced by most recent rockstars. It brings zero value to me. “Tony Robbins” everywhere. I’d much rather learn something than watch entertaining videos with no practical outcome.
Community hubs are really strong. They call them “sharing pods”. Content creators sync their posting schedules and make sure they boost each other’s content – and a single comment would suffice. Pods are powerful and quickly populate everyone’s feed with the creators’ latest content.
LinkedIn’s feed is generally poorly executed; timely content rarely works well unless you boost it with your network. Which is why creators usually post just once a day, get some traction from their pod, and exponentially grow from there.
I believe the positives overcome the negatives, but high-quality content is rare to find. What picks up is usually controversial, and designed for success. Great content fades away unless you craft it for engagement.
6. What Is the Modern Way of Writing Posts?
I can’t give a positive example right now of storytelling campaigns on LinkedIn since my feed is flooded with the “modern way of writing LinkedIn posts”.
If you haven’t seen your LinkedIn feed lately, it’s likely that most of your “influential” friends have adopted this way of communicating with short sentences, one at a line. Stories are usually about a big entrepreneurial win or, more often, a failure that turned into an outstanding life lesson.
Think of the thoughtful and inspirational “good morning” quotes on Facebook or deep quotes by Einstein and co embodied into a square picture on Instagram or Twitter.
The sad part is that I see that recurring behavior by people that I respect and follow – or at least used to.
“And then… I woke up.”
That’s what most of those stories are about anyway.
I couldn’t go through the second half – it didn’t make sense at first.
Storytelling of this sort is probably great when I purchase a book for the weekend by a respected author known for that kind of writing style. Otherwise, I see little to no sense in investing actual know-how and experience into bland stories on LinkedIn.
There’s an elegant way to share your life story, if you feel like it, without going through the hoops of writing emotionally-driven content on a regular basis that doesn’t attract new readers. Storytelling can work. I follow a good chunk of folks who are not as active on LinkedIn and contribute to the most established digital outlets. They keep writing engaging content that’s emotional, inspirational, exciting and educational at the same time.
But I firmly believe that the popular format nowadays is far from what generates a high-quality network.
What direction do you think LinkedIn is headed? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to connect with me on LinkedIn!