Why using a personal LinkedIn account for recruitment seriously is dangerous

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There is a trend within companies to use the personal LinkedIn profile of one of their HR employees in their e-recruitment efforts to find potential candidates.

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In this scenario, the employee will either use a shotgun approach, pushing out vacancies to their network, or they will be tasked with trying to find a specific skill set.

In this case, they’ll either look for those skill sets within their networks or try and find a second level contact through their own network to pitch the position to.

Problematic approach:

There are several disadvantages to this approach.

Firstly, their reach is restricted to people they can add to their own network. This limits their effectiveness to people who will accept their request to join their network.

Secondly, the employee is only able to communicate to the first level of engagement within their network.

Thirdly there is a real risk the employee will start alienating people within their network with constant spamming around potential jobs within their organisation and lastly, data security and sustainability is a big issue. If the employee moves to another company, then their personal network of contacts goes with them.

The approach therefore only targets users who the employee can establish a connection with, as opposed to looking at the entire base of 225 million users on LinkedIn, 2.5 million of which are in South Africa.

Using an employee’s network to fill a vacancy is a knee jerk reaction and does not have the strategic approach of building a talent pipeline to get the right people lined up for the right positions.

A better way with the right tools:

The strategic way to recruit employees is to have a career discussion with potential candidates as opposed to a discussion around filling a specific vacancy. Companies need to look to create a talent pipeline with the right kinds of candidates who want to join the company because they believe it will advance their careers. This strategic recruitment process raises the overall calibre of the people moving into the organisation and gives the company options when filling vacancies as opposed to making decisions under pressure to get a position filled.

LinkedIn has several tools to facilitate the creation of a talent pipeline in LinkedIn and many companies are unaware of the power of these tools to access people across the LinkedIn database.

First off, when a company signs up with LinkedIn to use their recruiting solutions, they get access to all the member profiles on the LinkedIn database. This means that information can become available to them in a matter of seconds as opposed to the time taken to build up a network of contacts through a personal profile.

Furthermore, LinkedIn allows companies to create their own talent pipeline and share this with their hiring managers so that the various departments within the company can begin to create a pipeline of potential candidates with the necessary experience.

This is called sourcing strategically where specific skill sets are sought and added to a talent pipeline which the company then engages with as vacancies begin to open up within the organisation.

Again, this pipeline is not dependant on the network of an employee, allowing companies to get to the right candidates into their talent pipeline and not only candidates which their employees have connected with.

LinkedIn also enables automatic sourcing of relevant skills by creating job adverts for key skills in high demand that are only displayed to relevant candidates, based on their profile information. Members can respond in different ways such as applying for the job directly, or following the company, which is often the start to of a longer term engagement between member and employer.

Lastly, LinkedIn’s Work with Us product allows companies to display relevant job postings on the profiles on their employees. These have some of the highest click through rates, and companies are able to use their employees networks to market to specific skills sets.

So to conclude, LinkedIn has several powerful recruitment tools to assist companies in the recruiting process and these are far more beneficial and productive than trying to use an HR employee’s personal network to find potential candidates to fill vacancies within the company.

Investing in LinkedIn’s professional services will save time, reduce recruitment costs long term and improve the calibre of candidates you’re able to reach in building a competitive business.

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