Tips for Finding Top IT Talent on LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the popular social network, recently announced that it had more than 200 million members. As the professional network continues to grow, more recruiters and employers are using the social network to tap IT talent--both those actively looking as well as those who aren't.

Tue, February 26, 2013

CIO — Before LinkedIn, Ed Nathanson describes the IT hiring landscape as a "Job Board Purgatory" where sites like Monster and HotJobs were the biggest games in town. Nathanson knows a thing or two about hiring tech professionals. He has been in the IT talent acquisition field for 20 years and last year he doubled the size of his company by adding more than 200 employees.

The problem with job boards, says Nathanson: "They were only engaging an audience that was actively looking for a job." The only option for companies then would be to post a job and wait.LinkedIn for Employers

What was missing was a way to target and identify passive candidates--those who aren't necessarily looking for a new job, but might be interested in an ideal opportunity for career advancement. That's where, he says, LinkedIn has changed things for him.

Related Story: 4 New LinkedIn Features for Job Seekers

Now, using LinkedIn, Nathanson says he is able to identify the huge demographic of talented candidates who aren't necessarily looking. When he feels that he has found a good candidate in terms of skills, experience and culture fit, he engages them in a conversation.

So how can you use to LinkedIn to find your next hire? We've put together some tips to help get you started in the right direction.

Make a Good Impression

LinkedIn, when all is said and done, is a social network. If you are going to use it to recruit, you should have a dynamic, regularly updated presence. This includes a company page and a high level of engagement with the LinkedIn community. For example, a software company that created a mobile app for runners to log and analyze runs could create a "running" group on LinkedIn where participants discussed all aspects of running.

LinkedIn recently revamped its company pages to offer a new level of engagement. The new company pages offer a more updatable page with cover art and a way to share content. There are tabs for products and services, as well, where you can list in detail what your company provides or sells. For a fee you can also post jobs.

The key takeaway here is you have to make a solid impression on people who may be interested in working for your company. Use your company page to show off your culture and highlight what's good about working there.

Identify Skills and Expertise Keywords

Come up with a list of keywords that encompass the role you are trying to fill. One good way to do this is to search through profiles of people who are already in this position and see what keywords show up with regularity. These can then be incorporated into your search for the right candidate.

Likewise, prospective employees will likely use search to find relevant companies in their area, making it wise to consider keywords when building out your company page.

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