Using LinkedIn to Recruit Talent

October 4, 2012 by Bethany Wood
Human Resources Issues

woman using laptop in restaurant

The economy has drastically changed over the past decade.  With companies loosing revenue, and many shutting down entirely, employers have had to lay people off and many temporarily stopped hiring.  While these knee jerk reactions were often warranted to save companies from financial failure – a business cannot sustain long term without appropriately staffing itself to meet the needs of its customers.  A company needs customer interfacing staff along with support staff to ensure smooth operations.  Simultaneously during the recession we have seen a change in how business is done.  Many companies are using the internet and online solutions like never before.  The ease of use, and low cost have made things like video conferencing more economical than flying employees to directly meet with clients and advertising through the internet may cost less than taking out a traditional print ad.

With all of these changes in how we conduct business and market products it only makes sense that how we recruit employees change as well.  Now that companies have started to adapt to the new normal and understand which organizational changes are lasting and which were temporary – many have started to look at their current staff and evaluate which positions to fill.  For many companies hiring someone for the exact same position no longer makes sense.  Hybrid jobs that combine multiple old positions may make the most sense.  In situations like these it becomes harder to find the perfect candidate, knowing they require a wider range of skill sets.

Social Media can make the recruiting process easier.  Many professional recruiters have started using sites like LinkedIn to identify candidates.  By joining industry forums you can search members that are already working in your industry segment.  For example if you need to hire an employee to take over the finance department of your company you can join various “finance groups” on LinkedIn.  Recruiters will post job openings to let members know they are hiring.  By looking at members individually you can find people that have the specific skill sets and experiences you are looking for. LinkedIn is essentially an online resume and networking site so you have access to their job history, recommendations from peers, and can see their comments and activity in forums to better understand their thought process.

When using LinkedIn or other social media sites to recruit make sure to still adhere to all human resource laws by carefully wording your post or request.  Munly, Munley & Cartright recently published a blog that addressed how lawsuits related to human resource issues have significantly increased over the past few years.  Make sure to protect your business by conducting the search and interview process with the same level of care you normally would.  Just because it is a social forum does not mean your business is exempt from adherence to anti-discrimination guidelines and the like.  One way for businesses to proceed is to engage people within forums, build connections and start a dialogue with people.  You may find the right employee by starting to collaborate and discuss industry happenings.  This casual forum for discussing topics allows you, as the potential employer, to identify whether someone is a cultural fit for the team before ever posting the position.  It also enables you to determine a persons true skill sets and experience level by asking them questions pertaining to challenges you are having or idea you have.  Whether or not you choose to hire the people you meet through LinkedIn – you will have expanded your reach and met talented people that can contribute to your next great idea.

 

Bethany Wood

Bethany Wood is a serial entrepreneur and has started several successful companies in a variety of fields including manufacturing, distribution, consumer goods, financial services, marketing and consulting. She is currently the President of SEI International and has business interest in the US, India and China. As an entrepreneur Bethany is constantly finding opportunities to expand SEI’s holdings and as a business owner she is continually learning new ways to improve business performance. As a writer Bethany contributed to and edited the Back to Basics management book.

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