Archive for Linkedin

Using Linkedin to identify and engage with talent – a guide for hiring managers.

Posted in Linkedin, Social Media with tags on December 5, 2011 by edcook

Over the next few weeks I’ll be writing a blog on using Social Media and specifically Linkedin to engage with potential, passive Talent.  I’m going to write it from the perspective of providing a guide for corporate hiring managers.  The first post is an introduction and some tips on creating an engaging Linkedin profile.

Introduction.

If you’re sceptical about the power or relevance of social media, before reading the rest of this please watch the following video. [YouTube video – http://youtu.be/x0EnhXn5boM]

There are currently 2 million Australians using Linkedin (2011).  Corporates are increasingly weaving it into their recruitment strategy as a cost effective way to engage with the passive market.  Building Talent communities is all the rage and these companies aim to build authentic relationship with potential employees.

In the past the most valuable asset an Agency based recruitment consultant had was their Agencies’ database.  This is no longer the case; Linkedin is a database that anyone can access, with user-updated, relevant information.  As a result agency recruiters are struggling to evolve their business model to one that justifies the high fees they charge clients.  In my opinion, there are only two recruitment models that will survive: 1. The volume recruiters that run assessment centres for their clients and 2. Executive Search Consultants that extensively map a market and have the skill to engage with passive talent.  The traditional, transactional recruiters will no longer be able to justify the high cost and low value add of their service.  So, what’s the alternative?  Hiring Managers can use Linkedin to firstly build a relevant network and then actively engage with that network, alerting relevant connections when they are looking to attract talent into their team.  The aim of this guide is to provide information to enable a hiring Manager to do this effectively.

Your Linkedin profile reflects your online brand.

What does your Linkedin profile say about you?  Would someone looking to work at Dimension Data know what you do by looking at your profile?  Does it portray you as a specialist within your field?

If you Google your name you are more than likely to find yourself appearing somewhere on the internet.  Before meeting with you, people are more and more likely to Google your name; the Google search algorithms place more importance on Linkedin information than on most other sources.  This gives you the ability to manage your online brand, by creating a Linkedin profile with relevant, accurate information.  As we build Dimension Data’s brand awareness in the market potential recruits will be searching Linkedin, looking for relevant hiring managers to approach, a prominent Linkedin profile will enable you to establish yourself as a Dimension Data ambassador.

So, what does a good Linkedin profile look like?  I’ll run through the various parts of a profile and suggest some ways to maximise its overall effectiveness.

Who should I connect with?

I personally connect with anyone I meet with in a business setting, this would include: networking breakfasts, suppliers, clients, past colleagues current colleagues.  I also receive quite a few invitations, I generally split these into three groups: People I have met with in the past – I accept these.  People who share a common focus (same industry etc) – I accept these and may reply to arrange to catch up face to face and thirdly people I’ve never met and do not have any similarities in terms of focus – I generally reject these.

The main benefits of having an extensive, relevant network is that when you carry out an advanced search or share an opportunity to share you will have access to a substantial group of relevant people.

Summary and Specialties.

The summary gives you the opportunity to concisely communicate your strengths and areas of expertise.  As I’m looking at this from the perspective of a hiring manager, someone who reads your summary should be thinking “I’d love to report to this person and I’ve got a good idea of what they do.”  Have a look at other Linkedin profiles to get an idea of what to write in your own.  The Specialties section is somewhere to dump keywords that describe all your skills; these keywords will enable prospective candidates to find you when they conduct an “Advanced search”, more on this later.

Publications and Applications sections.

Do you write a blog or have you presented on a specific topic as part of your job?  These sections provide

you with the ability to showcase your knowledge; once again, someone that views your profile should gain an insight into your interests, knowledge and ability.  Having read your opinions here, hopefully you’ve piqued their interest and they want to meet you to find out more.

Experience

Taking the time to complete your experience again provides people with the opportunity to find out more about you in order to make an informed decision whether to approach you.  Also, when you do meet someone they will be knowledgeable about your background so you can have a concise, relevant conversation.

Next week I’ll explore using Advanced search to identify passive candidates and also look at ways to approach them.

Tips for using Linkedin, Xing etc to find a job in the current market.

Posted in MBS Careers with tags , , on April 30, 2009 by edcook

I’ve recently been speaking to a number of students that have expressed frustration with regards to their job search.  One in particular told me that he had applied to over 60 advertisements placed by Recruitment Consultants and had received a response from only 5 of them.  Not surprisingly he was still waiting to hear from these recruiters.  In my view relying on recruiters to find a job will prove to be extremely frustrating and more than likely fruitless.  I was speaking to another MBS alum the other day who reached the final cut for a CIO role.  He was told by the recruiter that 360 jobseekers had applied to the advert, the chances of making it to interview stage are remote.  So,  what are the alternative strategies?  I’m using professional networking sites more and more in my job.  Used properly, I believe these are the most powerful tools for building a network that will lead to opportunities in the future.  Also, rather than paying contingent recruiters to place an advert online, more hiring managers are now searching Linkedin for profiles first, if you don’t have a good one, they won’t find you.  Here are some tips for getting the most out of the wide range of networking sites:

  • Make sure your profile looks professional.  The summary needs to clearly articulate your key strengths and what you are looking for.  Professional photograph, not one of you at the pub with friends.  Brief descriptions of where you’ve worked (in the employment sections) and key achievements.  If you do a Google search (e.g Linkedin profile suggestions) there are plenty of websites giving advice on the ideal profile.  Make sure you have plenty of relevant keywords which will come up in a search.
  • Get recommended,  if you have worked or studied with someone, ask them if they would recommend you.  Your profile will move higher up search results and you come across as a credible professional.
  • Personalise the link to your Linkedin profile and use it.  On your profile page, look for the “Public profile” section, click edit and change the number to something more personal eg. a standard link would look like this http://www.linkedin.com/pub/2/167/a43 and a personalised one would look like this http://www.linkedin.com/in/edcook24.  Once you have done this add it to your e-mail signature, when you e-mail someone asking for advice, if they want to know more about you they can have a look at your profile.  This is far more subtle than attaching your CV to every e-mail you send out.  You can see how effective your profile is by how many people view it or how many searches you come up in (home page right hand side).
  • Let other users see that you have looked at their profile.  This is something I have only recently changed, in my view you want people to look at your profile, on the “Home” page you can see who has looked at your profile, most of these are vague i.e “An MBA student from Melbourne Business School” .  If you are searching for possible contacts if you change your privacy settings (Account & Settings > Profile views> Show my name and headline) they can see you have looked at their profile and are more likely to have a look at your profile.  If they are impressed they might make contact.
  • Join groups – If you join relevant groups, you can send messages to other group members for free.  You can also carry out targeted searches of people with similar interests of backgrounds.
  • Consider upgrading your account – Especially if you are actively looking for a job, it costs US$ 25 a month, but means you can contact other Linkedin members directly if they are out of your network (using an Inmail)
  • Use other sites –  Linkedin is great if you are based in the US, UK or Australia.  If you want to build a network in Europe, it would be worth looking at other websites like Xing. Setting up a profile is easy, just copy and paste the information from your Linkedin profile.  Other sites like Ecademy might also be useful, experiment.
  • Give advice as well as ask for it – Make sure you respond to people asking for your advice.  Also, browse the “Answers” section and provide comments and suggestions to people asking questions.  This will help promote your profile.
  • Use tools like Twitter – More recruiters are using Twitter to promote opportunities they have, set up #tag searches so you can identify these opportunities.  I’ve started tweeting any new jobs MBS students from @MBSCareers

Please add any comments to this blog, especially if you have a success story to share or any other suggestions.  I better practice what I preach, here’s a link to my Linkedin profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/edcook24 if I’m not connected to you already and you’d like to connect, please send me an invitation mentioning you’ve read this blog.