MT EXPERT: How to recruit using LinkedIn

LinkedIn hit 15 million members in the UK this week. MT asked Richard George, its spokesperson, for his top tips for using it to recruit.

by Richard George
Last Updated: 05 Feb 2016

With 15 million members in the UK and 277 million worldwide, LinkedIn is a great place for companies to discover and compare candidates from across the world at the click of a button. But as green shoots emerge and confidence returns in the UK, competition to attract the best and brightest is fiercer than ever for companies of all sizes.

So, how can you use LinkedIn to hire great people? Here are three tips to consider:

Don’t sit back, lean forwards

At any one time, only one in every five people are actively looking for a new job. But don’t let that fool you into thinking people who aren’t looking for a new job aren’t interested – about three quarters of these ‘passive candidates’ are open to hearing about job offers.

Instead of waiting around for the perfect candidate to become available, be proactive and start building a relationship with them – invite them for a coffee and introduce them to your business. Even if they’re not ready to make the move straight away, our research shows passive candidates are 120% more likely to want to make an impact on a team and a third more likely to want challenging work, so they can be worth the wait.

If you build up a list of potentials, you’ll be able to move more quickly whenever you do have a vacancy to fill, instead of having to settle for second-best.

Be discoverable

When top candidates do come on to the market, you can bet they’re in high demand. That means they can afford to be picky about who they work for – and they are, with our research showing reputation is the most important factor for people when choosing a new employer. So make sure they know who you are and what your company stands for.

Having something as simple as a ‘working for us’ section on your website is a great way to demonstrate what your company is like as a workplace. Using professional networks to build up your image as an employer is also useful when engaging potential candidates while they’re in a professional frame of mind.

On LinkedIn, for example, you can develop Company Pages to share your business’ values and goals, or update people on your latest news. This can become an extremely powerful showcase of reasons why great candidates should consider working for you. A strong reputation can also help you halve how much you spend on hiring, so from a bottom-line perspective, investment should be a no-brainer.

Your existing employees are also powerful ambassadors for your company, so encourage them to share their experiences online and let their networks know about upcoming job opportunities. Great people tend to know more great people and our data shows potential candidates are 22% more likely to have a positive impression of a company and 29% more likely to consider a job with them when they have a first-degree connection, so make sure you’re using them.

Go mobile

We all know our world is becoming increasingly mobile, and recruitment is no exception. More than 40% of visits to LinkedIn now come from a mobile device: a significant number of our members only look at jobs while they’re on the move.

Embracing m-recruitment means more than reformatting your website to fit on the small screen. It means really thinking about what content you need and how easy your site is to use, instead of drowning candidates in flashy videos and complicated contact forms they won’t have the time, not to mention the battery life, to look at.

Online, there are now more channels, tools and data insights than ever before, giving businesses instant access to international talent pools, so ensure you’re using them all to find the best candidates for you. Ultimately, your employees are the lifeblood of your business, so make sure you’re not missing out by leaving your recruiting strategy to chance.

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