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How to Maximize Recruiting with LinkedIn

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Nearly nine out of 10 job seekers have a social media profile. More and more people are joining these networks on a daily basis, making it easier to find top talent online. Recently, I wrote an article about recruiting with Twitter. But Twitter is not the only social network you can use to your advantage.

Twenty-six percent of job seekers have used LinkedIn to hunt for work in the past year (that’s actually more users than those who have hunted on Twitter). The site is built for professional networking, so why not use it to your advantage? LinkedIn makes hiring for your startup easy. You can save time and money by using LinkedIn to build a pool of talented candidates.

Create a personal and company profile. If you haven’t already created a profile for yourself on LinkedIn, do it right now. You need to have a complete, descriptive profile on the site in order to be seen as a credible connection. After you’ve completed your own profile, create one for your company. Professionals will view this page with the hopes of learning more about working for or with your company, so make it good.

Build a network of professionals. One of the most primary functions of LinkedIn is for users to connect with other professional people. Building a strong network is the first step toward better recruiting on the site. Connect with people you’ve worked with and others in your industry. These connections will come in handy in the future when you need advice or referrals during hiring.

Advanced search for candidates. Once you’ve established a good presence on LinkedIn, it’s time to kick the recruiting up a notch. Figure out exactly what you need from the new position you’re filling, and find it. Search for these people based on employment experience, location, education, and more. When you search on LinkedIn, the profiles with mutual connections will appear first, so you can ask the person in your network about the candidate. Now you can feel confident in inviting candidates to apply for your open position.

Join industry-related groups. LinkedIn groups are great because they provide the opportunity to share a conversation with other professionals who have similar interests. There are groups for companies, industries, and other things you might be interested in discussing. Join a group or two in order to find qualified candidates. Invite these people to join in a conversation on the group page, or send them a message about your job opening.

Post job descriptions. Finally, LinkedIn would not be the premier professional network if it didn’t allow you to post job descriptions directly onto the site. Make them come to you. Job seekers will be able to search for what they choose, and your job opening will come up in their search results. Just be sure to write your job descriptions with strong keywords in order for users to find you.

LinkedIn is a perfect network for recruiting candidates for your startup, so do it the right way. Start now, and you’ll be on your way to hiring the best professionals for your company.

Do you use LinkedIn for recruiting purposes? What strategies work best for you?

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About the Author

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010). Find Heather on Google+.

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