LinkedIn Best Practices & Power profiles
LinkedIn – Best Practices
It’s the Holiday’s again, time for all recruiters to reassess and plan for 2012. If you’re like me you want to take stock of how you did personally over 2011, proactively looking at ways to do things faster, better and more efficiently in 2012. This story starts back in December of 2010, I evaluated many of the social media options available online, and chose to revamp my profile on LinkedIn. This was an effort to help me attract passive candidates for my open positions. LinkedIn has (in my opinion) the strongest market buzz, a very clean and professional look, and is easiest to use. My profile was much like everyone else, it was basically a resume of the jobs I had held and all the typical recruiting jargon while in those roles.
I took a step back, and looked at this tool and focused on a basic fundamental of what LinkedIn is, a marketing tool. I looked at my profile as if I were a job seeker or a potential client and made an assessment of the information I had from that “third person” perspective. It was glaringly obvious that the information I had in my profile was not of any interest to that audience. Furthermore, I looked at the stats of who I was connected to, more recruiters and sales people to with the same “resume” profile. It became clear that I was using the tool in a way that would not help me find candidates, make placements or find new clients.
After this revelation, I created my 2011 marketing plan, which started by deleting my account from LinkedIn and starting all over from the beginning with 0 contacts. It was very difficult for me to let go of the 300 or so contacts I had amassed over the years, However from a recent survey I sent my new 1400 first level contacts, confirmed that this all paid off in the end. This is what I did to get the most of my profile, If you’re on LinkedIn and not doing these basic steps then you are missing out on an incredible opportunity.
How I use LinkedIn:
Network Building Philosophy – Understand why your there and what information you trying to convey. If you’re a recruiter and your profile is about interview’s, phone screens, offers etc. then that’s your audience, other recruiters. If you want to use LinkedIn to attract, network and hire potential candidates then you need to rethink how and who you are trying to reach. Most importantly understand how those seeking your services find YOU!
Branding- Make sure that you associate yourself with your company, your company spends lots of money on advertising etc.. Think of how many LinkedIn users know your name, then think of how many users know your companies name? It’s a no brainer that a lot more people know who Kelly Services is over Tom landers, so make sure you leverage that and use it to your advantage. It adds immediate credibility and also helps visitors instantly understand the industry and vertical you represent. Don’t be afraid to be obvious.
Search – LinkedIn is searchable by Google and operates similarly, therefore the key words contained in your profile are a directly correlated to how people find you. If you are a Mechanical Engineer looking for a new job, think about the words they would you use to find those types jobs online. If your recruiting for those types of people and those words are not in your profile, then they are not finding you. So make sure those words are included in your profile somewhere.
Creating a rich Profile – When they do find your profile what information is keeping them there or actually makes them want to contact you? By now everyone knows what recruiters do, your job is to stand out from your peers and competitors online. The content on your page should be able to inform anyone of the types of people you are looking for and working with, as well as the type service you offer and the company you do it with, all quickly and clearly. If you were asked by someone at a party, what do you do? Your answer would most likely be something around the types of people you recruit for and the associated industry, not that you make 100 calls a day, post jobs online and search CareerBuilder, etc.
Recommendations- Online, You are who others say you are. Meaning, if candidates and clients take the time to make recommendations about you and your performance for others to see, it means everything. It adds credibility to your level of professionalism and ability to help. Visitors to your profile are more apt to reach out to you when the read others experiences with you are positive. Make sure your asking for recommendations when you make a placement or have another positive experience with someone in your network, strike while the irons hot!
Build a Power Network – Ask everyone you talk with to connect with you when you have them on the phone, send them an invite before you hang-up. If you’re talking with them, then they probably are a good current or future contact in your network, make sense?
Interact – Now that you have invested the time to build this power profile and made these new connections what do you do? Provide them meaningful content, articles, jobs your working on and other relevant information that shows your on top of the pulse of your market and are very knowledgeable about your respective industry. There are many new tools available that allow you to post your open positions on your profile page. Candidates will now look to your page or “news feed” for what your working on and that keeps them regularly coming back. Now you have real value, your network views you as an industry expert and trusted advisor! Reap the rewards!
As you continue to grow your network conversation by conversation, your becoming perceived more and more of industry expert and building an industry reputation for yourself and your company. That work is paying off in the form of a large passive candidate and decision maker pipeline that can and will result in new revenue for you and your companies pocket!
Don’t over look the power of this tool, remember your building for tomorrow and patience is the key. Be judicious of who your connecting with so you can show value and make real placements. Once you have invested the time in building this network it will begin to build itself through recommendations and referrals which equals less effort and higher returns. Happy holidays!
Have questions or want to know more? I can be reached at thol405[at]kellyservices.com
Note: I do not work or affiliate with LinkedIn in any way. All posts contained in this site are of my own thoughts and Ideas and are soley mine.