When trying to decide how to recruit employees — qualified, experienced employees who are a good fit for your company culture — it's often useful to go beyond the information you receive in a résumé from a candidate search site. Many employers head to LinkedIn to get to know candidates better and further research their backgrounds. Even if you don't use the paid features of the site, you can usually find useful details that help you make better hiring decisions.
We interviewed a number of small-business owners who use LinkedIn regularly to vet candidates. Here are the ways they make use of the social media site:
Extra References to Contact
Ian J.H. Reynolds, a partner at software development company Zibtek, often reaches out to a candidate's first- or second-degree connections to ask for more information about them. He then uses that information to pose follow-up questions to the candidate, gather more data, confirm details shared by others, or determine that they aren't a fit. "We have passed on candidates based on interactions with connections on LinkedIn," he says.
Keaton Kruser, talent coordinator at app development agency Fueled, uses LinkedIn Recruiter's search function to zero in quickly on the most-qualified pool of potential hires based on factors like title, former employer or alma mater.
LinkedIn Recruiter is not free, but many users pay for the service to save time in their search. Using Recruiter System Connect, LinkedIn can integrate with your existing applicant tracking system and allow you to view feedback from other recruiters in one place. And by using a template, you can reach out to multiple candidates en masse via InMail.
More Context on the Candidate
Deborah Sweeney, CEO of business services company MyCorporation, uses LinkedIn to evaluate the trajectory of a candidate over the years. How long have they been in each position? Does their profile chart a steady increase in responsibilities? Also, are they connected with peers or managers above their level? Taken together, these details start to give you a sense of a person's real experience level and abilities.
"It helps to create a picture around the evolution of the candidate and their commitment," Sweeney says.
Easier to Find an Influencer
Airto Zamorano, founder of SEO specialist Numana SEO, looks to see if a candidate is sharing professional, relevant content on their page, such as original articles or blog posts by industry experts. "I see it as a bonus," he says: Hiring someone who is already a social media influencer is a great way to increase the reach of your small business.
If you're wondering how to recruit employees and vet a candidate pipeline, don't overlook LinkedIn as a talent acquisition tool. Start with these simple strategies to refine your approach and get a leg up on your competitors.