4 Foolish Mistakes Recruiters Make on LinkedIn

Your colleagues are getting great results recruiting with LinkedIn; meanwhile, you’re being ignored like the digital equivalent of a clipboard-wielding nuisance on a busy high street. It’s time to ask yourself: what am I doing wrong?

You sound desperate.

Recruiting on LinkedIn is like online dating. Do you think John is going to have ladies racing to the phone to arrange that date? No? Then why would you expect your LinkedIn connections to be thrilled when you post the same thing, substituting salesperson for girlfriend?

Lay off the capslock, stop begging, and remember that two exclamation marks are never better than one. When you’ve got recruitment KPIs to meet, sometimes you feel desperate – but you should never sound it. Remember, you’re not just looking for someone to fill a void; you’ve got something valuable to offer the right person.

You’re full of clichés.

“My client”, “competitive salary”, “unique opportunity” – sound familiar? Sometimes you’re not able to reveal details like salary, but don’t replace them with meaningless clichés; instead, focus on what you can tell the candidate.

Tell them exactly what’s required of them and what they’ll get in return. Why say “must be flexible” when what you mean is “some evening and weekend work will be required”? Or “excellent benefits” when you can say “annual bonus”? Candidates are much more likely to get in touch if you are specific and transparent.

You treat LinkedIn like Facebook.

Not all social media was created equal. Your actions on LinkedIn reflect on your company as much as they do on you. Maybe you are sick of cyclists/your mother-in-law/Mondays, and maybe it’s alright to post that on Facebook - but LinkedIn is different. It's a professional setting and people will draw conclusions about your company from your actions there.

That doesn't mean it has to be all work and no play. Doing a run for charity at the weekend? Go ahead and share it! Got drunk and fell asleep with your mate's lampshade on your head last night? Best kept between you and him.

Before you post any update or comment, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable saying it in the office in front of your boss, clients, and candidates. If the answer is no, save it for Facebook.

You’re annoying.

Successful recruiters have their eyes fixed on long-term relationships, not just immediate gain. You know this – but are you applying the same principles to your efforts on LinkedIn? When was the last time you contributed to a group, answered a question, or made a recommendation for someone else?

Don’t underestimate the potential returns of being helpful. If you frequently make insightful comments on a group, the members are much more likely to value your opinion, check out your profile, connect with you, and eventually pursue your opportunities. If you jump the gun and go in there with nothing but ads and mailshots to offer, expect to be ignored.

How to source candidates on LinkedIn

Ailsa Partridge

Ailsa is a technical writer and solutions engineer working at Instructure in London.

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