How to Use LinkedIn Search to Find the Best Job Candidates

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When looking for candidates to fill available opportunities in a company LinkedIn can be a goldmine. There is no any other place you can find over 330 million of professionals displaying in one pool their skills, expertise, education, job experience, and recommendations. You should keep in mind that recruiting new employees isn’t restricted to looking for recent graduates who are entering the market or unemployed professionals. The Alder Group conducted a survey in 2011 that indicated about fifteen percent of employed professions are active job candidates pursuing new opportunities while another sixteen percent are ready to listen to any new offers. In general, this means about eighty-three percent of the employed professions are ready to listen to you if you have an interesting new opportunity for them.

Knowing that eighty-three percent of employed professions are willing and ready to embrace a new opportunity if it comes by, how can you find them? More so, when do you go looking for them, how can you do a deep search and narrow down to approach the suitable candidates for the available opportunity.

At this point allow us to use an example to explain this process and how it works. Assume that you own a biotech firm, for instance, you want a director of your firm to create quality, implement as well as supervise quality systems within your firm. The following might probably be the requirements that the best candidate should meet:

  1. A minimum of eight years of experience in a busy quality assurance for animal or human drug company
  2. Enough knowledge and understanding of cGMP requirements for dosages and prior experience in supplier qualification
  3. Additional experience in GLPs and/or GPDs
  4. A team player and excellent communicator with the ability to proactively handle compliance related issues, internally and externally with contractors and partners.

With the above requirements outlined well, you can go to LinkedIn advanced search and look for someone who has the above qualifications. Here is how to do this: On the right-hand side of your LinkedIn dashboard there is a menu or a toolbar, make sure it is set to people search. Double click on the advanced link, it is next to magnifying glass to the right of the search box. For this specific search, we will use the following credentials to modify the parameters:

  1. We will enter “Director of quality” in the Title field if you are looking for someone who held that post in the past or currently holds that position. You can use the drop-down menu to select whether you want past or current.
  2. The next step is to change the industry from all industry to the specific industry you are targeting, in this case, we will change to Biotechnology.
  3. Change on the senior level tab to Director. This option can only be accessed by LinkedIn premium members, so it is highly recommendable to upgrade your account if you want it to be effective for recruiting purposes.
  4. Leave all the other options as they are (default settings).

If you go through all of the preliminary results given by LinkedIn, you will find that there are a lot of directors based in the biotech field. To be logical, it is worth to put it straight that not all of these people are looking for a job, but there are a few of them who would listen to a new opportunity if the offer could be interesting.

Before you start contacting out candidates from your primary search, ensure that you do a narrow search to get more qualified candidates. For instance, the minimum qualifications for this were eight years’ experience in a quality assurance and cGMP requirements substantial knowledge for multiple dosage forms. So if you went ahead to add “cGMP” in the search field as the keyword, you will definitely be left with a smaller pool of more qualified candidates.

The next step would be to start checking the profiles of the prospect candidates to see if they are actively looking for work, something that could be found in the profile headline. You can also go further and check on the bottom of their profile where it is written “contact me for”, Career Opportunities is one of the options that this feature gives you. You can edit the reasons on your profile settings for people to reach out to you. Just select Edit Profile which is under profile tab on the LinkedIn menu, then scroll downwards until you get the “contact name for”, select Edit and choose your preferences.

When your search returns a few members who are interested in the available Career Opportunity, you still have a few options as follows:

  1. The first thing is to send them an email so that you can introduce yourself. Do not give them any information about a new position or give them a hint at this point because you might scare them away even if they had interest with career opportunities. Tell them something like you came across their profile on LinkedIn and something caught your attention. You can’t miss something unique about them like the school they attended, an award they won or interesting certifications. You can complement them positively on any of these things. From this point, you can create a relationship and see if they have a common interest as you interact.
  2. Find community groups that they have joined and join them also. You can reach them by sending a message. Start by indicating you belong to the same group and you are writing to inquire whether they are interested in a new opportunity in your firm. Joining groups that relate to your industry is something I can recommend and participate frequently so that members can become familiar with you. If a person sees your name in the group they are more likely to respond to your messages, even if they have not interacted with you in the past. This is an inexpensive and effective approach that small firms can use to recruit employees.
  3. If you can connect to them through another person find someone who has a first-degree connection with them and ask them to introduce you. You can ask the first-degree connection fellow what they know of that person so that you can determine if they will fit in your company.

4. In case there is the LinkedIn OpenLink Network, send regular messages to eliminate the need of having to use Inmail. Usually, people who are a member of this network are open to people who are reaching them to give new job opportunities. As I mentioned earlier, you joined LinkedIn to be easily found by potential employers, so make sure to take advantage of all the tools available to increase your visibility.

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