Best practices for hiring and recruiting on LinkedIn

Looking for the perfect candidate? LinkedIn Talent Solutions offers powerful tools and services for leveraging real-time data and machine learning to make your match.

Sharon Florentine Jan 16th 2019

If you’re trying to fill available roles at your organization, you want to advertise your vacancy where the job-seekers are — for many companies, that means LinkedIn. With a network of approximately 590 million job seekers worldwide, LinkedIn is a great option, says Monica Lewis, group product manager, head of jobs, SMB and diversity at LinkedIn.

LinkedIn offers a number of options for companies seeking to find candidates through its platform. Here is a look at LinkedIn’ recruiting offerings, along with some best practices for making the most of them.

What is LinkedIn Talent Solutions?

LinkedIn’s recruiting and hiring unit, LinkedIn Talent Solutions (LTS), helps companies source, hire and develop talent through a combination of real-time data, AI and machine learning. There are four products in the LTS suite that enable recruiting and hiring professionals to identify, engage and hire talent:

LinkedIn Talent Insights

LinkedIn Talent Insights is a self-service data and analytics tool that helps recruiters, hiring managers and other talent professionals to leverage data when planning and execute recruiting strategies. Talent Insights allows users to define specific talent populations and determine how best to compete for them against key competitors. It also enables users to view rapidly changing market conditions in real time based on LinkedIn’s data set. And because Talent Insights is designed for use by talent acquisition professionals, there’s no need for a data scientist to develop and deliver actionable interpretations of the data, according to LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Recruiter

LinkedIn Recruiter is advanced sourcing software that allows talent professionals at larger organizations to go beyond the basics and filter results by candidates’ willingness to relocate, years of experience, geographic location and more. Other filters, like “Open to new opportunities” can identify active as well as passive candidates, which improves response rates through LinkedIn’s InMail by 50 percent, according to LinkedIn. LinkedIn Recruiter also can integrate with an organization’s existing applicant tracking system.

LinkedIn Jobs

LinkedIn Jobs is for companies of any size looking to post and target open roles. The product uses AI to recommend relevant candidates that could be a good fit for an available role, and it leverages analytics to make recommendations in real time as you’re crafting your job description. LinkedIn Jobs also allows companies to target open roles using LinkedIn Ads to reach relevant candidates.

LinkedIn Pages

Finally, LinkedIn Pages allows organizations of any size to showcase their unique culture and employee experience by posting employee-created content, videos and photos. Candidates can visit and organization’s page to see what your organization has to offer, as well as get personalized job recommendations and connect with employees like them, according to LinkedIn. Real-time page analytics can identify who’s engaging with your organization’s page and which content is making the greatest impact.

How to make the most of LinkedIn Talent Solutions

To get the most out of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, there are some best practices to follow. These tips will ensure you’re targeting the right applicants, widening the pool of available talent and taking full advantage of recent algorithmic and AI advancements LinkedIn offers.

Look beyond active candidates

“One of the things that makes LinkedIn unique is that we understand that users aren’t just actively looking for jobs, they’re sharing interests, engaging with content and making networking connections,” Lewis says. “Companies are able to use the social networking aspect to have a fuller view of candidates’ interests, their passion, their skills. Because they want to round out their teams and have people who are compatible with each other when you’re spending eight hours a day together.”

To ensure your recruiting efforts reach the right candidates, LinkedIn’s Lewis recommends broadening your search pool to include passive candidates who might be a good fit. This principle can help guide your use of LinkedIn Recruiter and LinkedIn Jobs, both of which help your organization reach relevant candidates.

Know what you’re looking for

For larger enterprises using LinkedIn Recruiter, the process starts with a conversation between the LinkedIn contact, the recruiter, the hiring manager and anyone else at the organization with input into hiring to identify the key skills, requirements and experience needed for the job, Lewis says.

“From there, we can hone that to understand what candidate pools are available — and how long it might take to fill a role,” Lewis says. “We researched what the most-recruited jobs were and saw that the three most recruited jobs on LinkedIn are DevOps Engineer, Enterprise Account Executive and Front-End Engineer, so if companies are looking for any of those, it can take longer.”

LinkedIn’s Talent Insights feature can be helpful here, Lewis adds, as it pulls together data to help customers understand how difficult it is to hire for certain roles based on supply and demand, geography and skill set. “That data helps the customer understand if they need to look in other talent pools, broaden their search, offer things like remote work or different benefits and perks,” she says.

Leverage technology to the fullest

Lewis advises enterprises to make full use of LinkedIn’s technologies — LinkedIn Talent Insights, for example — to save time and focus on determining which applicants to engage with further.

“We look at this as, What can we take off recruiters’ plates so they can spend more time talking with, engaging with actual candidates?” Lewis says. “So the technology helps them get greater insight into qualifications to avoid the time-consuming things and spend more time to do things that can really help give candidates a great experience and ‘close’ that candidate.”

Emphasize what candidates want to know

Lewis advises not wasting the limited space you have in a job posting on information that’s not going to hook candidates. Earlier in 2018, a LinkedIn study asked around 700 job seekers and LinkedIn users what grabbed their attention in companies’ job postings and what would entice them to apply, she says.

“It really comes down to three things candidates want to know: What will they do? How much will they make? And will they match the qualifications?” Lewis says. “That means focusing your post on what tasks they’ll do, where the role is based, do they have direct reports. The more specific you can be in those areas the better. They want to know about the company, the culture and the mission, yes, but what we also found is they look for those things on a company’s LinkedIn page. On the job page, they want to look at the specifics of the job.”

Use concise, clear language

To draw candidates’ interest, it may be tempting to add flair to your posting, but Lewis recommends avoiding jargon like ‘Code Ninja’ or ‘Rockstar developer.’ “Again, job seekers are looking for clarity — they aren’t describing themselves that way, and so they’re not going to be engaged by that kind of language,” she says.

Know when to post

LinkedIn’s data shows that Mondays are when most people are looking for new roles; more than 60 percent of job views for the week come on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Lewis says. “If posting on those days works for employers, they can see a slight uptick in responses, but we do make sure that we’re getting those jobs in front of the right people, so you’re not doomed if you post on Friday,” she says.

Lewis adds that January is also a high activity month, as people try to make a new career start in the new year.

Remember mobile device users

Most users today are accessing LinkedIn on their mobile devices, Lewis says, so remember to keep that in mind when you’re working on your job descriptions. “You need to make sure everything’s as concise and punchy as possible — it’s harder to take in on that smaller device screen,” she says.

Get staff engaged

Recruiting and hiring, even with the advantage technology can provide, is a team sport, Lewis says. The more companies can encourage their current workforce to engage on LinkedIn and signal to others that the company is a great place to work, the better, Lewis says. Doing so can also help stir interest from potential candidates in your employees’ networks.

Consider career paths

Of course you should be listing the skills, requirements and knowledge needed to thrive in an open role at your company, but remember that it’s a two-way street, says Lewis. “You also need to include what’s in it for the candidate — how can they develop, grow and thrive with your company, too,” she says.