How to recruit staff using LinkedIn

If you can’t afford to hire a recruitment agency to find the right staff, LinkedIn can come to your rescue. 

At a time when 94% of recruiters use, or plan to use, social media for recruiting (source: Capterra), more companies than ever are finding employees via LinkedIn, minimising the need for traditional job boards. While you can, of course, use the formal LinkedIn job posting service, it can end up being costly for a small business. Here are four ways to use LinkedIn to recruit more efficiently, without having to spend a cent.

Use your network

LinkedIn is a great platform for ‘virtually’ building meaningful relationships with like-minded industry professionals. While engaging and maintaining these relationships is essential for your professional development, you can also leverage these connections when you want to post a job on LinkedIn, without paying for premium positions. Updating a status with a short, punchy description, a link to the job spec, and a call to action will encourage people to not only share your update but also proactively refer suitable candidates to your business.

Use your current employees

Employee advocacy. The buzzword of 2016. But what is it? And how can it help you recruit? Put simply; employee advocacy is the promotion of a company by its employees using social media. By giving your staff an easily shareable link, and asking them to post the job opening to their LinkedIn profile, they can amplify the job opportunity to their network of peers, past colleagues and, of course, the random (but sometimes useful) connections that everyone seems to have on LinkedIn. Even better, encourage them to add a description from their perspective, giving a personal insight into life at your organisation.

Participate in groups

LinkedIn groups are an excellent way to reach out to potential candidates. They can often be a golden guild of people with a very specific skillset, e.g. Marketing Professionals in Ireland. However, you need to interact regularly and participate with the group to avoid being kicked out for using it purely as a recruitment tool. Don’t think of this interaction as a waste of time – participating in groups can be beneficial as it creates exposure and generates interest in your business from prospective employees.


Search for candidates (even passive ones)

You can actively search for candidates on LinkedIn using keywords. Keywords can range from employer names – perhaps you want to find someone who worked for a competitor, who may already be familiar with your market or product – to specific skill sets and job titles. Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a few potential candidates, you can use LinkedIn’s InMails to contact these individuals directly. 

While passive candidates may not be actively seeking a new job, they may be open to opportunities when they see them. Try to remember that basic etiquette still applies, even in the virtual world. If someone fails to reply to your email, don’t bombard them. Think cleverly and only offer roles that are applicable to the individual. There is nothing worse than receiving a generic, blanket text email telling you about an exciting (really?) role in financial admin that you are just perfect for, when in fact, you’re a software developer focused on start-ups.

Write a detailed job description

This information is all well and good but before you even begin to look for candidates you must make sure you have a detailed job description and a firm idea of what it is you need from your potential employee. Make sure your company’s LinkedIn page (you should have one) is up to date with recent information about your organisation and include a link to your website and any social media pages. This will help any potential candidates get an idea of your business and cultural environment, which can be a huge asset when it comes to competitive advantage and attracting the right kind of applicant.

Article by Niamh Linehan. Image from Denys Prykhodov /