Monday, November 4, 2013

Meeting Peter to Hire Paul - Leveraging LinkedIn

Over seven million Canadians are using LinkedIn. Are you one of them?

Recent statistics state that Canada is the fifth largest user of the site that boasts over 200 million members worldwide.

Why would you want to create a LinkedIn profile? Well… Canada, recruiters from many diverse sectors are logging into the site to find talent. According to sources, 50% of Fortune 100 companies hire through LinkedIn.

How does LinkedIn work? It has been described as the “professional person’s answer to Six Degrees of Separation” ( This is a perfect analogy, because it is about leveraging your own connections to make new ones.

Recently, while I was waiting to depart Calgary for Las Vegas, the aircraft I was booked on experienced mechanical difficulties, which grounded it for the night. As the airline located an alternate aircraft, we all waited in the holding room. Fortunately for me (I like to think in terms of Serendipity) I sat beside a woman heading to Las Vegas to attend a LinkedIn convention. Kelli Nsofor, a Recruiting Specialist for Compucom Canada Co., (a national IT services and solutions company), was attending the conference to learn more about how she can better apply and employ all of the amazing features of LinkedIn.

In our short time waiting for the aircraft replacement (yes….they had an alternate aircraft available in TEN minutes!) I asked if she might be able to provide some pointers that I could pass along to my readers and she graciously said yes. Thank you Kelli!

What role does a Recruiter play in our social media world?

The role of recruiter has certainly changed due to social media.  It used to be that you looked for candidates by posting jobs in the paper or on the job boards and the only way you networked with candidates was networking events in person.  It was much more “word of mouth”.  Now recruiters tweet about jobs, post on all social media, and network through virtual groups.  Companies have profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn, employees tweet about the goings on etc.  Recruiters have become more company/brand ambassadors than ever before.  We are usually the first contact candidates have with the company usually through some form of social media.

What roles does LinkedIn play with recruiters?:

Over the last 2-3 years, the movement has been for recruiters to become more and more dependent on LinkedIn as a hiring tool.  Before LinkedIn, we would search the internet and job boards looking for candidates while we posted the roles on the various job boards and in the papers looking for candidates.  This was time consuming and could be quite costly.  We would push hard on referrals with everyone we met and hope that through one of these means, we found the right person. Now most of my time is spent sourcing in LinkedIn, especially for more technical roles, and working my network there.  The ability with LinkedIn Recruiter to work as an applicant tracking system is helpful.  It allows for storing candidates in categories making it easier to find them in the future decreasing the time it takes to find and reach out to these individuals.

How important is our LinkedIn profile?:

Your LinkedIn profile is very important.  Without it how do we find potential candidates?  If you don’t have yourself posted on any job boards or located on the internet somewhere, or attend any networking events, how do recruiters find you? 

LinkedIn is a great tool that connects you with previous and present co-workers as well as friends and family in a more professional way than Facebook.  It allows for recruiters to reach you and for you to connect with both interest and professional groups.  You can also follow companies and professional organizations that you are interested in.  You can learn more about the organizations and what they do, as well as career opportunities and future endeavours.   At any time you might be called upon as a subject matter expert, to connect with someone in your field or for a career opportunity.  You can customize what you want.

Kelli’s Top 5 Tips for professionals looking to update/improve their profile

  • Ensure your Profile is 100% Complete and up-to-date.
  • Have a “professional” photo on your profile, not a picture of the fish you caught last summer.  Save those pictures for Facebook
  • Practice adding value to your profile.  One of the best ways of adding value to your network is through LinkedIn Updates. If you share relevant and helpful insights, articles, blog posts, presentations, links to videos, or other content, not only are you helping your network by spreading excellent quality information that might help them, but you’re also going to drive traffic to your LinkedIn profile.
  • No typos, spelling or grammatical errors.  Please proof read your profile carefully.  It is difficult to be looked at as an “attention to detail kind of person” when you have spelling errors on your profile.  It’s the first impression someone is going to have of you – let’s make it a good one.
  • Get involved in Groups and Discussions - This is essential if you want to keep a high profile. This means you will need to ask questions, answer questions, link up news articles and other relevant information (see point 2 above) and you could even moderate a group. By providing value, you will be noticed by others in your industry.

Thank you Kelli for providing such valuable information. Remember….you never know who you might be sitting beside waiting for a plane. If you will excuse me……I need to go and dust off my LinkedIn profile……….



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