Internet Recruiting

LinkedIn
www.linkedin.com

This month I have devoted the entire column to LinkedIn. I am sure most of you are either members or have thought about becoming one. At the very least you have heard a lot about it. Starting out as a social network, as it still is, it has turned into a great resource for sourcers and recruiters, for finding candidates, locating job order leads and networking in general. I am very pleased to have an interview with Konstantin Guericke, the co-founder of LinkedIn, plus a review for a fairly new book by Bill Vick, and a piece on Shally Steckerl’s new LinkedIn Cheatsheet. If you have even the slightest interest in this resource…read on…

Interview with Konstantin Guericke
Co-founder of LinkedIn

Me: Konstantin, as the co-founder of LinkedIn, tell us how you view the world and the world views LinkedIn.

Konstantin: We started LinkedIn with the idea that relationships matter, no matter which business you are in. LinkedIn is designed to help professionals get back in touch with the people they’ve worked with, to strengthen relationships with former co-workers, clients and business partners, and to effectively leverage those relationships to get business done. Not sure how the world views LinkedIn. Some people may see LinkedIn as a place to look up people before a meeting. Others probably see it as a place to find an inside connection to a potential customer or to find a recommended service provider. Recruiters tend to see it as a great place to find and approach passive candidates.

Me:  Could you explain the term “social networking” to our readers?

Konstantin: I think of social networking as a way to gain and use social capital more effectively than was possible before. For example, using LinkedIn, I’ve been able to help my professional colleagues more than ever before and with far less effort on my part. So I feel that I’ve increased my social capital — and I’m sure there will be times when I’ll be able to draw down on this accumulated capital, like when I need to do a backdoor reference check, for example.

Me: The Fordyce Letter subscriber base is comprised of many third party recruiters. How can a member recruit candidates using LinkedIn?

Konstantin: I recommend clicking on the “advanced search” link next to the search box which is on every page once you are logged in. You can search by industry, region, title, company, etc. All the profiles you find are maintained by the professionals themselves, so it’s like an opt-in list rather than a database — which translates into high response rates. The results will be shown in two tabs. People within three degrees of you will be shown on the first tab. Three degrees means the friends of the people your contacts know. If you find someone two degrees away from you, you can see which of your contacts know this person and ask one of them for an introduction, or you can contact them directly. The second tab shows the results from the entire LinkedIn Network. Since there is no introduction path, you can only reach people outside of your network directly via a system called InMail.

Me: How can a member use LinkedIn for getting job order leads or marketing his or her service?

Konstantin: First, you need to have a full profile that shows the keywords a potential client is most likely to search for. Second, make sure you are connected to your past clients. This ensures you show up at the top of the list when contacts of your clients search for a recruiter on LinkedIn. Finding a recommended service provider is one of the key ways people use LinkedIn, so be sure you also get recommendations from past clients — there are a lot of recruiters on LinkedIn, and our data shows people are five times more likely to select a recruiter with client recommendations on their profile. Finally, I’d set up my account with OpenLink, which makes it easy for potential clients to contact you without having to go through an introduction or use an InMail.

Me: Can a member actually post job orders to the service?

Konstantin: Yes, our job postings have become quite popular lately. Interestingly, the more senior the position, the better the results. You can also distribute your job to your connections on LinkedIn asking them to pass it on if they know of good candidates. If you have a lot of connections, be sure to use this selectively or you may be using up your social capital quite quickly. Finally, for each candidate who applies, you can get a list of people this person has worked with in the past — and you may be surprised to find that people you know have worked with the candidate at a prior company. It’s never been easier to do backdoor reference checks.

Me: What about networking with other recruiters in order to facilitate split fees?

Konstantin: Yes, with so many recruiters on LinkedIn, this is definitely possible. I recommend picking recruiters where you both know someone in common to ensure the deal goes off without a hitch.

Me: Tell us a little about the networking process. How do you get started?

Konstantin: First, you need to have connections. Most recruiters find that between 20 and 30% of their contacts are already on LinkedIn. To find out whom, I’d go to the tools section (see footer of every page) and use the ‘find contacts’ wizard. I’d not necessarily connect to everyone in your address book, but only to those who you feel you can genuinely recommend to others. If they ask for an introduction, be sure to really help them — if you give them a strong, specific recommendation, you are helping them much more than if you are just passing on the message with a note such as “hope you can help” or “passing it along,” which makes it look like you can’t recommend the sender and can put your connection into an awkward position. What comes around goes around — reputations get enhanced or destroyed on LinkedIn much faster than ever before, so be sure you keep up with your connections and add value when making introductions.

Me: Is it a free service? If not how much does it cost to join up?

Konstantin: It is free to join, and most of the functions I’ve talked about are free-of-charge. Many recruiters do end up upgrading their account to the business or pro level, which are $20 and $200 per month respectively, since those accounts gives you the ability to contact people outside of your network and to contact them directly through a built-in messaging system called InMail.

Me: Sounds like a great service for any recruiter. Where do we go and how do we sign up?

Konstantin: That’s easy — just go to www.linkedin.com and register. It should take less than five minutes to register and try some searches for projects you are working on. Also, it’s a lot of fun to see what the people you went to school with are doing now, so don’t miss the “classmates” function. And you never know if one of your former classmates knows someone who needs a recruiter or works with a candidate who is just perfect for a search assignment.

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My thanks to Konstantin for taking time out of his busy schedule to assist with this month’s column. Anyone with any interest in exploring LinkedIn further can visit the website at www.linkedin.com

Happy About LinkedIn for Recruiting
Book Review

Bill Vick, industry icon, one of the early proponents of Internet recruiting and one, I am happy to say, I have personally known for many years (since his RON days), has written a book telling you everything you ever wanted to know about LinkedIn. Good thing for us, Bill’s book is written for recruiters letting us all know how we can utilize this powerful resource to recruit more candidates, get more job orders, and make more placements.

The book starts out by offering an overview of how recruiters can best utilize the network. Detailed explanations and instructions on getting known, getting connected, getting endorsements … all part of the process of building your LinkedIn network, are offered.

Bill also offers full chapters on using LinkedIn for marketing and finding new clients and also how to use the service as a candidate-sourcing tool. There is also an entire chapter devoted to using LinkedIn as a collaboration and recruiter fee split tool.

Even more than a recruiting or marketing tool, LinkedIn has become most well-known as a networking tool and place to develop solid, trusting relationships. An entire chapter is devoted to using LinkedIn for this purpose. Sprinkled through the book, in every chapter, are quotes by industry leading big billers, recruiters and sourcers offering advice and comments relevant to the topic at hand.

Bill also includes a comprehensive listing of sites inside LinkedIn to accomplish any task that he writes about in the book.

Anyone with any interest in using LinkedIn as a recruiting, marketing, or networking tool should take a look at this great resource. It retails for about $50 in an eBook format and is also available in a paperback version as well. You can find out more information about the book at www.happyabout.info/linkedin4recruiting.php. Thank to Bill for his help with this article.

LinkedIn Cheatsheet

One more “must-have” item in today’s LinkedIn lineup includes a new resource by nationally renowned master sourcer, Shally Steckerl, The LinkedIn Cheatsheet. Similar in format to his very popular Google Cheatsheet, this two-page document offers recruiters and sourcers alike the ability to go into LinkedIn and be immediately productive using the easy-to-understand examples.

He offer tips and examples including using Boolean strings, limiting results, connecting to power networkers, international searches, reference searches, one-click references, bookmarking, finding 2nd and 3rd degree connections, recommendations, and direct contacts.

Shally also includes a nice extra: “5 Never-Before-Seen Hacks” that enable you to conduct searches beyond your own LinkedIn network. Included are the Site Hack, the Link Hack, The URL and Title Hack, The Group Hack, and The Freshness Hack.

For more information on this item, or to place an order, visit Shally’s website at www.jobmachine.com.

Mark E. Berger, CPC has been in permanent placement since 1979 and has been a partner in Berger/Nowlin, Inc. since 1997. Previously, he owned M. E. Berger & Associates, a permanent placement firm. He has been heavily involved in internet recruiting since 1996 and has successfully attained the AIRS CIR (Certified Internet Recruiter) designation. He is on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Assn. of Personnel Services and can be reached via email at mark@swatrecruiting.com.

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