Are you using professional social networks to your full advantage?

by Stephanie Zillman22 Mar 2012

More than 2 million Australians use the professional networking site LinkedIn, yet many companies are not using this database of potential talent to their full advantage.

Just as Hoover became synonymous with the vacuum cleaner, and Kleenex with the tissue, HR experts are beginning to view LinkedIn as a ‘must-use’ ingredient in any head-hunting campaign.

“LinkedIn is a powerful tool that, coupled with the right recruitment marketing solution, can save companies thousands on expensive head-hunting campaigns,” Tudor Marsden-Huggins from Employment Office said. “Most businesses default to listing jobs on job seeker websites, but LinkedIn opens up a talent pool of professionals in the market who may not be looking for jobs but are open to a discussion.”

Indeed insiders have said the lion’s share of LinkedIn’s profit comes from recruiters who purchase access to user details as a means of recruitment and headhunting. Considering that professional recruiters have long since recognised and utilised the social network as a means for head-hunting, HR is starting to clue-in to the same process.

Head-hunters typically charge between 30% and 35% of a role’s annual salary, and for a top executive position, this figure can run into many tens of thousands of dollars. HR can seek the assistance of CEOs and MDs to tap into the specialist knowledge of the industry and target top candidates on LinkedIn, and save significant sums in the process.

LinkedIn has changed the game for head-hunters, and they are being forced to adapt to a new environment where DIY head-hunting is not only an option but the future for companies.

“LinkedIn is one of the best innovations since the rolodex, but just like a rolodex, it is only as good as the relationships with the contacts i

n it and the skill of the person driving those relationships,” Marsden-Huggins said.

Tips for using LinkedIn for DIY headhunting:

  1. Searching for candidates should always start with the LinkedIn Advanced People Search – Cast the net widely and experiment using territory, industry, company names and keywords.
  2. Contact your potential candidates – If you aren’t connected directly, you may choose to ask for a ‘warm introduction’ from a mutual connection.
  3. Try increasing indirect connections to target candidates – Connect with people in the same industry or geographic location to help provide new introductions to top candidates.
  4. Join LinkedIn Groups and get involved in online networking.


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  • by Rob Wise - Wise Recruitment 23/03/2012 10:00:59 AM

    Firstly the 30-35% of Salary charge of a Recruitment Agency noted in this article is a huge overstatement of the fact. The average Recruitment company charge is around the 15% and getting harder to make as candidates are clinging to their desks with a tighter grip in these days of uncertainty.
    And while Linkedin is gaining in usefulness there is a costly internal HR time and opportunity cost required to research and then make contact with and then follow up with people using who have posted their profile on the site, made significantly harder by LinkedIn's efforts to monetize every contact possible.
    If nothing else the broadening candidate acquisition options today will see a greater relevance for a recruitment expertise that frankly internal HR recruitment employees just won't have the time to dedicate to the process.
    For those that see external Recruitment agencies as simply and only a cost are counting the pennies and risking the dollars.
    Rob Wise
    Wise Recruitment

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