I had the opportunity recently to chat with Jonathan Rice, founder of Rice Consulting (http://riceconsulting.co.nz). Jonathan and his team specialise in ‘rec-to-rec’, sourcing recruitment and HR professionals for the recruitment industry in Australia and New Zealand.
We had a very interesting discussion about where and how Jonathan as a professional recruiter spends his time in developing his networks, and how he uses online networks in the recruitment process.
In this post we explore the use of LinkedIn by Jonathan and his team as a part of their recruitment efforts.
LinkedIn as a networking tool…
Interestingly, recruiters are one of the key user demographics on LinkedIn, and like Jonathan are keen networkers. In fact, the majority of roles that Jonathan and his team fill are done so via word of mouth referrals – with LinkedIn being a key source. In fact, LinkedIn is used in approximately 75% of all cases where social media features in the recruiting process.
As a professional recruiter, the holy grail is finding the passive job seeker, someone who is content in their current job but would be interested in new opportunities.
LinkedIn is a great resource for this purpose, as it contains a large number of passive job seekers. It is possible to find people (if they have their preferences set in a certain way) who may be suitable for roles.
There are advantages to using LinkedIn this way as a potential job seeker. The employment industry is dynamic and fast-moving, and it is arguably always of benefit to understand what opportunities might be available, or obtain information that would be useful in your current role.
There are also potential disadvantages to using LinkedIn in this manner. Jonathan recommends that a key skill on LinkedIn is learning how to say “no” to a recruiter who appears to be making contact for the distinct purpose of adding you to their database, and subsequently connecting with all of your connections with a view to doing the same. In other words, learn to differentiate these from a recruiter who clearly has properly looked into you and your background and has a specific opportunity for you.
If you are interested in hearing from recruiters via LinkedIn, here are Jonathan’s recommendations:
1. Put in your preferences that you are open to career opportunities
2. Change settings to “open source circles” which basically means that people can send in mails for free (i.e. they won’t have to pay LinkedIn to send full message)
3. Make sure your profile is up to date, and looking good with information, keywords and special strengths and skills so you are more findable.
4. Make an effort to get recommendations from clients or people who you work for.
And if you don’t want to be approached, do the opposite of the steps above!
In our next post, we explore Jonathan’s thoughts as to the use of other online networks such as Facebook and twitter in the recruitment space.
In the meantime, what are your thoughts on LinkedIn in the job searching process? Is it the key pillar of your online job search or recruitment efforts?