I am not a recruiter. In fact, I really dislike recruiting. It was always my least favorite part of Human Resources. I was glad to become an HR exec because I could have recruiters on my staff so I wouldn’t have to do the recruiting myself. So you might think it is kind of funny that I now work with people looking for jobs. Ironic I think.
Even though I am not a professional recruiter I do have a unique perspective from an HR point of view.
When a company seeks to add someone to their team, they spread a net to find candidates. They might advertise, they look for referrals from their employees and friends, and these days they look around social networks to find people who might meet their requirements, whether those folks are looking for work right now or not.
Even though I was not directly recruiting, when I was an HR Director I decided that I would help my company find candidates through social networking. The same way we found candidates is exactly the same way you can find job leads. Let’s look at how I used social networking to find candidates.
First, I expanded my network of connections. When I decided to use social networking to find candidates or steer candidates to my company, I had about 100 contacts in Linkedin.com. I decided that in order to use Linkedin for recruiting, I needed to have more contacts so I could place myself in the places where potential candidates might be.
I set goals for myself to find more contacts who could make referrals or open doors to new candidates. In 2 years I had over 500 contacts – people I knew personally or people who shared my interests. I now have over 900 contacts in LInkedin.com! I think with a little focus I could have at least 1200 contacts. Imagine how many candidates I could find!
Groups are key to expanding your network and meeting more people. I joined groups that represented my company’s interests. This allowed me to meet more people and expand my contacts. Becoming active in groups allowed me to post jobs that group members see and can respond to.
As a group member, I can search among my groups to find people I am connected to on the first or second level that meet criteria I set. I can look at their profiles and make contact if I want to. I can send them messages through Linkedin.com. I can ask them for referrals to people who might be qualified for open positions. The more contacts I have, the more people I can search because I am searching among my first level contacts (those I know) as well as the second level contacts (those people my contacts know) and third level contacts (those my contacts’ contacts’ know).
The Linkedin.com search tool is very powerful. People who recruit for a living become experts in searching for people qualified for open positions. This means that people with a profile are passive candidates for open positions and become a part of the big job search going on every day on social networks.
You can see that with this kind of networking, contacts multiply the opportunities that employers have to search for talented people who meet their criteria who are just out there occupying space with a profile on Linkedin.com.
Employers and recruiters are using Linkedin.com every day to find people. You can follow these same steps to expand your own network in your job search to accomplish these things:
- Put yourself in the line of sight of people searching for candidates just like you.
- Find jobs advertised in groups
- Find contacts who might be able to refer you to open positions or to people you could talk to about work.
This is how people find jobs these days.