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4 Ways to Recruit and Build Communities on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the recruiting tool of choice when it comes to social recruiting and social media nearly 87% of recruiters visit LinkedIn first before going anywhere else. And yet many companies do not leverage LinkedIn and its search and social engagement features to its full potential as part of their formal recruitment and talent development strategy.

Think of Linkedin as an online rolodex where a recruiter or hiring manager now has access to over 150 million professionals from across the globe.   Some of these professionals are passive as well as active job search candidates.  These professional databases are accessible on the web typically  by increasing your social media connections and footprint.

Your personal profile page is a front facing online tool providing your prospective candidates as well as professional connections a look into what makes you, you.  This means completing your profile in full by adding a photo, including your recent work history, recommendations, and special skills in total. Doing so not only allows for a personal connection but increases your placement within LinkedIn’s search.

While resumes and applications are important part of the hiring and candidate selection process, professional profiles like LinkedIn are often seen as a resume alternative. I tend to agree as online activities surrounding social media are becoming more commonplace.  A social recruiting survey published earlier this week found that nearly 9 million of the 22.1 million Americans surveyed used LinkedIn to help them land a job in 2011.

Individual LinkedIn users can join up to 50 LinkedIn Groups. Within these groups you can build relationships, have conversations, and message group members. Hiring managers and recruiters can join groups and build relationships within very specific industries and candidate pools. It’s important to focus on conversations versus conversions, meaning that group members should focus on comments and posting content before they begin actively recruiting within the LinkedIn Group network.

To attract talent, it’s essential to build connections and develop relationships. Within LinkedIn, maintaining a level of engagement with their connections is equally important. This requires maintaining a presence in their connections “stream.” A LinkedIn stream includes a connection’s updates, announcements, posts, and profile changes from those within their personal network. Posting updates and editing your profile on a regular basis, allows the user to stay on the top of the mind while also establishing value through sharing their knowledge, news, and expertise within their LinkedIn circle of influence.

Bottom line, to be effective in recruiting talent using social media, companies must be where the candidates are and that, depending on the industry, skill level,  and work experience will vary.  While Facebook is trending as the social networking tool of choice, LinkedIn provides tools and search options that make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to connect in a meaningful way with business professionals who are actively creating a professional online footprint.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.

Photo Credit Michiel Gaasterland

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.