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On this subject, here is an article about the recruiting and LinkedIn: Common assumptions are great when they hold up. When facts support the assumption. Many assume the LinkedIn is the only place to source talented candidates.
LinkedIn soon became a busy recruiter’s dream the moment it gained enough members to be useful. At the same time, it became a bit of a nightmare for employees wanting to jump ship. The one social network swarming with recruiters is also where employees connect with managers, making it the worst possible place to advertise overtly that you are looking for a new role.
Some employers, including those at investment banking giant J P Morgan, now get nervous when staff give and receive too many endorsements. A memo went out in 2015 asking employees to list only the most basic details on LinkedIn, including “boiler-plate text”, that seemingly few at J P Morgan are “exactly happy about.”
Investment banks aren’t the only companies hoping that staff keep a low profile on the professional social network. Startups in the technology sector, where competition for talent is fierce, are also known for keeping a watchful eye on social media profiles and connections with recruiters.
Not everyone looking for a job will instinctively use LinkedIn if only to ensure their managers don’t get suspicious. Not only that but with 400 million users worldwide, it simply isn’t possible to assume that your entire talent pool is to be found on LinkedIn, except for recruiters looking for new jobs. Recruitment is perhaps the only sector where we can assume the opposite; hence, the common fallacy that LinkedIn is the only place to go for great candidates.
Where to look for talent, if not on LinkedIn?
Firstly, define what you are looking for.
Compile a table of search terms, based on the job description and candidate profile. This could include the following:
- Job title and versions of the same title. Some companies could label the same job role using a slightly different title. Useful to know if you are hoping to poach talent from a competitor.
- A list of the top target companies where your candidates work.
- Sector-specific keywords and phrases based on their current roles.
- Systems, technology and other tools they use – where applicable, given the skills transfer you are looking for. Draw up the same list based on essential skills.
- Education – what courses or qualifications are you looking for?
Given that most people are, on average, spread across around 4-5 different social networks, there is a good chance that their “professional” profile is somewhere other than LinkedIn. Even if you find someone through a social network that blurs the lines, such as Twitter or Google+, a passive or active candidate is likely to respond when presented with the right sounding opportunity.
How to search beyond LinkedIn?
There are two ways to attract or find the talent you need: searching other social networks directly, using the keyword and other data you have put together, or publishing and distributing content across a wide range of social networks.
The top three social networks beyond LinkedIn where you are most likely to stumble across candidates, or they will see your content: Facebook, Twitter and Google all have deep-search tools, such as graph search, Followerwonk and Google x-ray search, that make it easy to find people based on keywords and other search terms.
Twitter lists are also a goldmine of data, with designers and developers, for example, often using the same username across multiple social networks. Find a candidate on Twitter and you can usually locate the same person on Behance, GitHub, Pinterest, Instagram, Quora, Reddit and other online communities and forums.
Locating talent when it’s a seller’s market for candidates makes this already difficult task, even more challenging. However, limiting your search to a single social network – LinkedIn – is effectively tying one hand behind your back.
Publishing employer branding content, interesting articles and job adverts across a much broader range of social networks and niche online communities is the best way to reach the talent pool you need to eventually increase inbound talent flow.
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