The Lazy Recruiter’s Guide To LinkedIn

Jennifer McClure Candidate Pool, HR Technology, Jennifer McClure, Recruiting, Working With Recruiters

Recently, Harry Joiner of MarketingHeadhunter.com created a bit of a dust up in the recruiting world with his take on forwarding an Introduction Request from another recruiter to one of his superstar candidates. (Read Harry’s post about the situation here, and check the latest results of Recruiting Animal’s poll on whether or not he did the right thing here.) The last point in Harry’s post sums up his take nicely:

Moral of the story: If you are a recruiter and you want to solicit one of the rock stars in my LinkedIn network, then you will need to do what I did: Cold call them.

Anyone who has a LinkedIn profile has likely experienced some version of the situation that HarryLazy20bear speaks of because – unfortunately – there are a lot of lazy recruiters out there who believe that LinkedIn is an easy answer to all of their recruiting challenges. Many of those lazy recruiters take the following approach to using LinkedIn:

  1. Since time is of the essence, they do a quick and dirty LinkedIn Advanced Search using keywords straight off the generic job description. When a huge results list is returned, they congratulate themselves on their mad sourcing skillz and wonder why anyone would consider actually paying a researcher or sourcer to develop such a “targeted” recruiting list.
  2. They don’t waste time reading the “Contact Settings” or “Interested In” sections on member profiles to see how (or if) they are interested in being contacted. In the lazy recruiter’s world, it’s all about numbers, and these recruiters need to ping as many people as possible in order to ensure even a few responses.
  3. They send lots of InMails and don’t bother personalizing them beyond the first name (if that). A personalized email would require taking the time to read each recipient’s profile and that slows down their search efforts.
  4. Once their allotted InMails are burned for the month – they keep going. With millions of people in their extended “network”, it’s no problem to reach out to potential prospects using Introduction Requests sent through multiple (unknown) contacts. It’s so much easier getting their network to do the work for them!
  5. They spend a lot of time amassing and advertising huge numbers of contacts via every means humanly possible. They’re listed as TopLinked, a LION, have their email address listed as their name, and they’re a member of every LinkedIn Group known to man. This strategy allows them to put their huge “networks” to good use by sending job openings out to ALL of their contacts via the quick and easy “Send Job Notification” option.
  6. They don’t bother with completing their own LinkedIn Profile well. They’re only using LinkedIn to get out of it what they need. (Plus they don’t want potential candidates to know that they’ve actually not been a recruiter for very long.)

Are you an unlazy recruiter? (Not a word, but work with me.) If so, then you already know that there are plenty of ways to use LinkedIn effectively in identifying “A” players and building candidate relationships. Some good examples are included in this article by Lou Adler outlining 10 Great Tips for Using LinkedIn to Find the Best Passive Candidates on the Planet, and Lou’s approach strongly reinforces Harry’s main point. The word “call” (or a derivative) appears in the short article 20 times! There’s just no easier way. (Tim Tolan’s already said that here at FOT.) To connect with and recruit top talent (active, passive or not looking), you have to pick up the phone and begin having conversations.

Need some help and encouragement with making those calls? Check out this recent ERE article – Dialing Into Success:  Using the Phone to Win, and this great video by Scott Loveat RecruitingBlogs.com. LinkedIn is a great database and networking facilitation tool, but it’ won’t take a recruiter who hasn’t got game to the next level. The recruiting All Stars who have reached the highest levels of their game have developed the confidence and ability to pick up the phone and engage potential candidates or referral sources in effective conversations.

Word to the wise: Never take the lazy approach of sending an Introduction Request or InMail to reach a potential candidate through Harry Joiner – or any other All-Star Recruiter (including the pros at Fistful of Talent). We ain’t gonna do your work for you!

“Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it.” – Unknown

Jennifer McClure is a Vice President at Centennial, Inc.,a Cincinnati-based recruitment and coaching firm, where she’s charged with strategic recruiting efforts, executive coaching and business development for the firm. Send her an uncustomized LinkedIn invite at your own peril…