Marketed as the ‘business’ social media platform, LinkedIn is really a big job market. It is a great place to advertise and attract interest from highly-skilled people. However, the sheer size of the platform can also be its downfall, as it can become hard to identify the best professionals suited to your vacancies.

Recruiting as a profession has evolved significantly in the past decade. It seems that everyone is online, and often on more than one platform, making themselves seen. While people might use one platform to promote their taste in music they might use another to paint an image of themselves as a photographer and another as an intrepid traveller.

This can make it hard to sort through all the information, which is why LinkedIn is a good place to start when searching for your next hire. The platform is designed with businesses and making connections in mind. The site is not about your weekend exploits, but rather your white paper that shared industry insights or your blogs about productivity. To make the site work for you, there are a few things you need to know.

The key is in the search

LinkedIn offers a really useful search tool that allows for refinement on multiple levels. You can search for people by job title, location and even what company they work for. Utilising these parameters helps you find the right candidates fast.

The site does have many freelance workers advertising, and they can be a very effective alternative to a long-term hire if you are open to negotiating contracts. Most freelancers enjoy the freedom of being their own boss, but also enjoy the stability a contract can offer, if it’s the right fit.

Using the search filter you will see that there is a broad range of options available to you, from schools attended to companies worked for. If you are a LinkedIn Premium member you can search by seniority level, years of experience and group memberships too.

To narrow your search, you’ll need to use the toolbar to the left of the results. This is where you can select the country and even the region. This will then present you with local talents who are relevant to your vacancy.

However, many of the people who are sourced in this search are employed and not looking for just any opportunity. Many are ensuring that they keep an eye on the market and options. Luring these professionals from their positions can be a difficult task.

Getting through to the ‘perfect’ candidate can be difficult. They are probably reluctant to connect with an unknown recruiter and there are hundreds of other recruiters out there doing what you’re doing. These people are highly desirable candidates. If you are eyeing them, then it is likely that there are many other people offering them deals too.

So you need to stand out.

LinkedIn Referrals

About 80% of recruiters say the best channel to recruit quality candidates is via employee referrals. They usually take less time to hire, are a better cultural fit, higher performers and stay longer.

LinkedIn has a paid product called LinkedIn Referrals. It automatically identifies your existing employees’ first-degree contacts that are a good match for your open job advertised on LinkedIn. The software then sends a summary of these matches to your fellow employees every couple of weeks or so, to increase engagement.

The idea is that you are approaching a warm lead making it easier to connect with the talent you are seeking and engage with professionals who are more likely to not only be interested in your opportunity, but also be a good fit with your business culture.

Lastly, once you have managed to convert the candidate and essentially bring them on board you need to nurture them. Nurturing a top talent not only helps to improve employee retention, but it also helps to save costs in the hiring process and aids the development of a family environment within the workplace.