Last week, I went to Washington DC to attend an event for professional recruiters. It was hosted by LinkedIn, and it was basically a sales briefing on the new tools they’re introducing to help growing companies find, engage and track job candidates. I thought I’d share a few takeaways for business people who have hiring on their minds.
LinkedIn Network: Size & Composition
At the conference I learned LinkedIn has about 175 million members. About 20% of them are actively looking for a new job, but the other 80% are what recruiters call passive candidates. They are not overtly looking for a job, but many of them will consider the right opportunity if it presents itself to them. These are typically the best candidates, and you need to figure out how to differentiate your outreach. The Vsnap perspective on that is simple: make it more personal and you’ll see an increase in responses. Make that prospect feel special, rather than making him or her feel like she is wearing a nametag that says Candidate #173-a. The differentiating nature of a personal touch is especially significant in hiring, since this is the people side of the business.
According to the presenters, 85% of US companies say they will use social networks for recruiting this year. Obviously this means that job seekers, active and passive, should keep all of their information current. But it also means that companies should keep their social networking profiles active and fresh.
Dial Down The Noise
We’ve all experienced the difficulty of keeping up with all the activity in our online social networks. Companies should be sensitive to this and avoid adding chatter that doesn’t add value. Empty noise is the surest way to make those fantastic-but-passive candidates disengage. Especially the really sought-after ones. Remember, they’re actually invested in their current jobs. The last thing they want to do is waste time online uncluttering their messages. So while online social networks let you reach tons of people easily, your actual interactions with them need to be high-quality if you want to hook them into really considering your company.
Think Outside The (email) Inbox
Our email inboxes are cluttered with emails of all types. Part of the value of reaching prospective candidates via social media is that your message finds them in a place where they don’t have 50 unread emails. LinkedIn is good for this, and so is Twitter, where @ mentions are easy for the recipient to scan and act on. (This is one reason why sharing non-private vsnaps via Twitter is so effective, and we expect the same to be true once we integrate Vsnap with LinkedIn next month).
LinkedIn is leading the way in making it easy for growing companies to access high-quality hires, but businesses that are mindful of these best practices will make the most of this resource – and they’ll build brand awareness and word-of-mouth even beyond the candidates they engage directly. At Vsnap, we think this is super important, and we want to learn from you — so I’d love if you use the comment section to tell us your top tips on using social media to access job candidates. Feel free to put a link back to your Twitter handle or LinkedIn profile!