After spending several years searching for profiles on LinkedIn, from C-Level / Head of to Tech profiles, through Marketing and Sales teams, I have had the opportunity to search for all possible profiles on LinkedIn. Here, I share the main techniques that I use daily, which work on LinkedIn Recruiter Lite or Pro, to quickly apply in order to optimize your recruitment and attract the best talents to your pool of candidates.
Sourcing is the process of reaching out to talents. For most Talent Acquisition teams, it implies working on Linkedin, which has become a must for all recruiters.
LinkedIn Recruiter is one of the paid versions of LinkedIn. It is a tool developed and designed for the needs of recruiters. Most recruiters use LinkedIn Recruiter, Pro or Lite. Some recruiters also use LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which is the paid version for salespeople. It is a little cheaper than the recruiter version but has slightly fewer features. Sourcing on LinkedIn Sales Navigator will be the subject of a dedicated article later.
Sourcing is a key process for recruiters. Indeed, more and more executive recruitments are done through external hunting, whether carried out by recruitment agencies or internal teams. Optimizing sourcing on LinkedIn is essential for all recruiters for several reasons:
I think I use the job title field for 90% of my LinkedIn Recruiter searches. The key is to use it well! The use of Boolean searches can help you (see below). I use it very little in this field. My approach is as follows:
You have to keep in mind that LinkedIn's filters can be a bit limited for some uses. This is particularly the case with the experience filter. You can filter:
I do not recommend filtering on the year of obtaining the last degree. Indeed, if a candidate has completed a boot camp, a quick training course or a MOOC, LinkedIn will consider that this candidate has just graduated, even though this candidate has more than 20 years of experience! The number of years of experience can give you an indication as to whether a candidate might be open to a new opportunity or not. However, this filter also has its limits. If a candidate changes position within his company, he may be excluded from one of your searches, even though you wanted to target him. That's why I recommend using mainly the filter on the total number of years of experience. One point of attention is that LinkedIn tends to inflate the number of years of experience, considering various internships as full years of experience. I advise adding 2 years of experience to the targeted range. If you are looking for a profile with 5 to 10 years of experience, set it between 5 to 7 years on LinkedIn Recruiter. Your sourcing will be more accurate.
Please note, one of the limitations of LinkedIn is that it does not allow filtering on the number of years of experience in a specific position. Example: I want to find a candidate who has 10 years as a Manager. Unfortunately, I can only filter on the candidate's total experience. I will have to manually analyze each candidate that appears in my search to determine if they indeed have the required experience for the sought-after position. This is one of the filter features offered by the Leonar tool that will allow you to determine:
One of the least efficient filters on LinkedIn is the one that focuses on sectors and industries. The reason lies in its operation. Two problems arise with the filter:
If I take a specific example to illustrate the first point. Let's take all the people working for the company Renault on LinkedIn. According to my LinkedIn Recruiter search, there are about 40,000 of them worldwide.
Now, if I filter on the people who are assigned to the Automotive Industry sector, I only have 27,000 profiles in my search. I have therefore lost more than 30% of potential candidates along the way! Perhaps your dreams candidate was among this list of missing users?
The key is to build relevant company databases that meet your needs, rather than using the sector filter. If you are targeting candidates in the automotive industry, it is better to list all the target companies rather than use the filter in question.
Boolean search allows you to target the keywords you actually want to use and perform various combinations.
Here is the list of Boolean operators that can be used on LinkedIn and their usage:
Note that all of these operators must be written in uppercase to work.
Boolean operators can be used in all search fields.
Candidates who specify that they are open to opportunities tend to respond better to recruiter solicitations.
Indeed, those who specify "Open to Work" make themselves visible to LinkedIn Recruiter Pro users. This is also one of the advantages of LinkedIn Recruiter Pro over LinkedIn Recruiter Lite.
However, these candidates are also the most contacted by recruiters. By limiting yourself to these profiles:
LinkedIn has interesting features for sourcing but which may not be sufficient depending on the use. Recently, many tools, such as CRM softwares, have emerged to optimize sourcing. These tools allow you to improve your results and work more efficiently:
These tools can take you to another level in recruitment and improve your internal processes.
Note that a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software will not replace your ATS (Applicant Tracking System), if you already have one. The ATS or Applicant Tracking Systems is a software used to manage Inbound Recruitment, such as applicants to your job offers.
If you want to find more information related to the differences between ATS & Recruitment CRM, please read our blog post dedicated to this topic: ATS VS Recruitment CRM
Whether you contact candidates by Connection Request, LinkedIn messages, Inmail, or Email, it is important to measure your response rate. Being Data Driven is inevitable for nowadays Talent Acquisition teams.
A good response rate is between 30 and 60%. What to do if your response rate is lower for one of your recruitments?
A low response rate can be a symptom of several causes:
Optimizing your approach will thus improve the results obtained in your talent sourcing process. Don't hesitate to test several contents for your messages and thus refine your approach.
Being a big fan of the "Connection Request Messages", I recommend this approach which allows you to increase your response rate and expand your network on LinkedIn. My advice is to prioritize connection requests over Inmails, which are additionally paid!
Some candidates only respond after one, two, or three follow-ups. This does not necessarily mean that they are not interested:
Following up with candidates can increase the response rate (see point above), and sometimes recruit excellent talents who are currently employed. Don't hesitate to diversify the channels for following up with candidates you absolutely want to recruit. Contacting a candidate via LinkedIn, Inmail, and email maximizes your chances of communicating with them.
Using a Recruitment CRM type software to create multi-channel contact sequences can be a good solution to contact and follow up with candidates on different communication channels.
A list of the best ATS softwares (Teamtailor, JazzHR, Recruitee, Greenhouse...), with their features, pricing and a comparison of pros & cons.
The differences between ATS & Recruitment CRM, pros and cons of each software with the description of the main features and the prices
An exhaustive introduction to LinkedIn automated messaging to help you save time and gain efficiency in your outreach efforts.