5 Mistakes Recruiters Make On LinkedIn
Recruiters today have to know and understand marketing, social media...Their roles are becoming highly complicated for reasons they never had to face in the past. The way they proceed on social media not only can affect the overal Employer Branding, but also their success in engaging the right talent.
First, let's state the obvious. Recruiters are often very communicative and social people but not necessarily experts in Digital Marketing & Communications. So, although they may be amazing at interviewing, profiling, sending emails and phone calls, when it comes to Social Media, they don't always make the most of it.
LinkedIn is the absolute best and most fantastic platform and social network for any HR professional or recruiter out there (I don't get paid for saying this). The amount of capabilities and information is just mind blowing. It is almost like having superpowers. But, you need to know how to use them. Having a profile on LinkedIn and posting some roles or spamming your contacts won't make you the best in the business.
So I put together some points from my observations throughout the last couple of years that can help some of you be more successful and increase your network as a talent seeker. I'm not a recruiter but I do know about Digital Marketing and Communications.
1 - Open Profile Status
Being a Premium member is more than just being able to snoop into more people's profiles. I know you have to go out there to engage with potential talent. And if you're in a staffing agency, chances are, you may need to connect with corporate recruiters as well. Going after people can be exhausting. So, why not give them the opportunity to come to you?
Here is where the Open Profile capability may come in handy for those Premium members in the industry. What are Open Profile messages? It allows "free InMail messages that can be sent to any member with Open Profile turned on, even if they are outside of your network. Anyone on LinkedIn can send an Open Profile message to these Premium members without an Introduction or paying for an InMail."
The same way you are looking for talent, talent is looking for connections that can lead to the right opportunity. If the person doesn't have you as part of their network, they will still be able to send you an InMail to present themselves and try to make a connection or ask you about a position you posted. Will people really contact you? Most likely. And I know this because I didn't get my job by applying online, I got it through a message I sent to a now co-worker through LinkedIn.
To learn how to manage your Open Profile settings click here.
2 - Email not on profile
If you are a recruiter, you are in the business of networking. It is what you do. You surf through the different platforms mingling with potential clients and talent that you can match.
Having your professional email on your profile becomes particularly important when you don't have a Premium account that won't allow you to set up an Open Profile. Not having your email is the equivalent to having a store location closed because you sell online. If you have the location, why not open the doors? You might get some business through there as well.
So where can you setup your email for people to contact you? Easy, on the small box on the top of your profile (where your name and picture are located) you have a section called "Contact Info" on the bottom right corner. It is under your connections number.
Just click and you will be able to set up any contact information you want. Some people have their personal email setup for the account and would rather not put it out there. If you are one of them, you can still add you professional email as part of your job description like I did.
Another option is, to add your email when you share a position. This may sound obvious but every day I see recruiters who miss this one simple step. You may have candidates who have questions about the role or steps and would like to get some answers before trying to go through the application process. You don't want to miss on good talent or have the wrong individuals applying. Give people the opportunity to contact you. It will also give you a sense of their level of interest.
3 - Not responding
The third and biggest mistake is not answering to those who try to contact you. This can not just hurt you but also the company you work for. The whole point of being on a social network is to network. If a candidate or possible client (for those in the staffing world) sends you a message and you don't answer, it will look bad on you, you will risk the person badmouthing your company and you will burn a bridge of potential referrals and collaboration.
I know you can't always help everyone who contacts you. Maybe you don't have a role for them, or they are not the right fit. But if you take one minute of your time to kindly respond to that person and let them know, you will have saved a relationship and your rerputation.
I'm not a recruiter but people often contact me about jobs or asking for my help. I could simply answer that I'm not a recruiter and can't help. It would be the easiest thing to do. But I like to treat others the way I would want someone to treat not just me but my family and friends. I take it upon myself to look if I can refer this person to anyone in my network, or if I can hand their resume to someone. When it comes to some applicants, I review their resume and give them some tips to make it more attractive. My contact may not be able to be able to do anything, and the person who reached out may not follow my advice, but I did my best and I created a relationship. Maybe one day, this person will help someone else or even me.
4 - Not customizing the message
This is just one of my favorite mistakes. It is the number one error that salespeople and recruiters make.
Laziness in general won't take anyone anywhere. This is one Inmail I may not answer when I get it. I just can't express the rage I feel inside when I get a message that was clearly copied and pasted to another thousand people who worked within the same industry or company or held a particular position at some point. If you're really looking for talent you should search (and maybe I should write a post about what this search really means) for potential talent, customize a message and send it to them.
My recommendations are:
Add the person's name (Example: Hello Mary)Add something personal, a proof that you reviewed their profile and a reason why you think it would be interesting for them to give you a chance. They may not be thinking of leaving their job so you need to trigger their interest. People like to feel special and unique (Example: I noticed that you live in the area and have 5 years of experience in customer service within the hospitality industry. I'm looking for a candidate with your qualifications who is interested in taking the next step in their career. I also noticed that you are interested in green energy initiatives which is a very important cause for my client. I'm confident that you may be a perfect match for this role and would love to have the opportunity to talk with you. The position is...I'm sending you an attachment with the description for you to review).Don't ask them to send you someone else for that position, it will make them think that all you want is to get a candidate. Tell them that you are always looking for talent for your different roles so if they ever have someone who needs any help with their job search, they can refer them you. If they have anyone for this position, they will refer them, trust me.If they answer with a "no", answer back by thanking them for their time and asking them to stay in contact if them or anyone they know ever needs assistance in the future.
It's about working smarter. Taking your time to observe your target and approach them the right way is more likely to bring you success than a bunch of copied and pasted messages to targets that may not even qualify. Remember that you may not be the only recruiter trying to find an individual to fill this role and the company will end up hiring the best candidate. You are a matchmaker and your responsibility is with both, the company and the applicant.
5 - Not logging in
This is the one big mistake of many corporate recruiters and another one for the books. I could write a post just on this matter. Once more, I will state the obvious: social network means a network to socialize. So, if you are a recruiter and you have a profile on LinkedIn but you rarely log in, what is the point of you having that LinkedIn profile? Instead of having your company pay a fee for finding you the talent, you could be having the talent come to you.
A friend of mine once applied for a job online that she was very interested in.The system never sent her a message back saying if she had been accepted or not. She sent the recruiter a message through LinkedIn telling her about her interest and by the time the recruiter came back to her 2 months later (impressed and interested because they couldn't find the right fit), my friend was long gone to another opportunity. She will never consider working for this company who valued her time and efforts so little. And because an upset person talks more than a happy one, many of her contacts won't either.
So final recommendations? Remember you're dealing with people, take the time to customize your messages, make yourself available and dedicate at least 30 minutes every day to your LinkedIn during the week.