Is Social Media Your Answer to Finding Talent?

social_hiringIf LinkedIn statistics have any relevance, social media may be one of your best avenues for finding talent. Currently, more than 94% of recruiters actively use LinkedIn to vet candidates for their available jobs. All those recruiters must be on to something.

Compared to Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn receives up to five and a half more job views. It seems that when it comes to social media, job candidates and recruiters have found a meeting spot at LinkedIn.

Do it the Right Way

There’s a right and wrong way to go about using LinkedIn as a recruitment center. Both recruiters and candidates need to be aware of the unwritten rules.

As Tony Restell, CEO of puts it, “For candidates, social media can certainly “backfire” if there’s anything on your social profiles that causes the recruiter to question your professionalism or that doesn’t tally with what you’ve stated on your resume. Nowadays, you should assume that your social profiles will be looked at every bit as much as your actual resume and cover letter, so you should invest in cleaning them up and perfecting them accordingly.”

As the following article notes, here are five things you are doing wrong when approaching candidates on LinkedIn:

  1. You Come On Too Strong

Your first contact with a candidate should be subtle and non-assuming. Don’t rush to judgment and assume you’re the answer to all their prayers. An introductory “hello” followed by a “your skill set is impressive” is enough to break the ice. From there, they’ll be able to view your company’s profile. If you hear back from them, you can assume they’re at least slightly interested, and may like to hear from you again.

  1. You Aren’t Forthright About Your Offer

Don’t try to be a man of mystery when approaching a candidate on LinkedIn. Thoroughly explain what your company does, and what part you think your target candidate might be perfect for. Be honest about what you’re offering. Don’t try to spice up the description with false hopes or put a spin on it that will lead to disappointment.

  1. You Have Nothing to Offer

Don’t offer something you don’t have in an effort to appear more important or busier than you are. Your deception will be more transparent than you realize, and you’ll lose any chance of future credibility with that person. If you’re approached by a quality candidate but you have no openings, just say the truth. Keep their information on file and if something comes up, you can reach out and ask if they’re still interested.

  1. You’re Not Giving Back

LinkedIn is very much about give and take and networking. Don’t be selfish with your resources. If you’ve established a relationship with someone on LinkedIn, and they ask you for a reference, even if it’s a competitor, don’t be a Scrooge. Be professional and give the reference if you feel you honestly can say something helpful. If you want to gain from others, you have to give back.

  1. You’re Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Everyone knows you’re busy, but you can’t be too busy to make sure you’re chasing the right lead. Before you reach out to a candidate, thoroughly review your target’s background and credentials. Make sure their niche is actually within the confines of what the job description requires. If you don’t, you could lead a candidate down a garden path, only to find that you’ve wasted both your time.

Finally, LinkedIn has become a premier social media network for professionals.

Help to keep it that way by projecting professionalism yourself.

About the Author: Kate Supino writes about best business practices in marketing, recruitment and finances.