5 Serious Recruiter Screw-ups on LinkedIn

Most recruiters are on Linkedin. You are, right? What I want to highlight is that being “on it” isn’t the same as being “on it”. Weird comment huh? Well let me explain – putting your info onto Linkedin and thinking that the world will come to you and that you will find every candidate and client contact you ever dreamed about ain’t being “on it”. Any recruiter who puts their details out there on Linkedin has to appreciate the following mistakes of many recruiters out there. Perhaps you are guilty of one or two….

Screw-up #1 –

Forgetting that there are those out there who may well be looking for you who don’t know who you are. That means, Linkedin is about being found as well as finding people. How many times in the past week do you think that someone has gone looking for someone to help them with your skill set and experience and found someone else because you did not appear in their search results? Do a quick search. Imagine you are a potential customer of your’s. Where do you come up in the search results? First? Second? Not on the first page? Step one is to make your profile findable. Take a look at the right hand side of Linkedin – how many people have found your profile recently? Unfortunately if there is no data there then no has viewed…

How do you get to come higher up the results? (That is assuming you are in the network of the person searching in the first place but we’ll leave that for a moment). There is an algorithm that Linkedin uses that incorporates the following:

Profile completeness – 100% completeness is imperative for recruiters.

Relationship with the searcher – (1st, 2nd,3rd then groups). Are you networking with the right profiles to create closer “relationship” based searches?

Relationship with Linkedin – Have you got a premium account? Yes? Rise the ranking then!

Keywords – Is your profile content rich with the right keywords? Many a recruiter does not provide enough information to allow enough occurrences of their chosen keywords. There are also apparent weightings for where it appears (like title). Run some searches and look at the impact keywords have. Use the “ctrl F” to find all occurrences. Google Chrome will count them for you too!

Footnote: I have yet to find someone who can tell me the full algorithm though my research (lots of searches and comparing results and analysing the order people appear in) tells me that there is more than just the above though these have a massive impact.

Screw-up #2 –

Not being networked enough. What I mean by this is: too few connections can prevent you from finding who you are looking for and can prevent you from being found by those who may be seeking you! The argument of “I want a small targeted network” has some weight though not much (with me). The hardest people to find on Linkedin are the ones who have only connected to their colleagues. Sometimes only half a dozen connections. Everone can find the Toplinked and LION power networkers in their niches. Just compare these two networks. Which has more coverage? Give both these people a requirement to search. Who will come up with more choice?? Enough said.

Screw-up #3 –

Making it difficult to be contacted. Only your first degree connections can see your Linkedin registered email address. If you add it to your contact details (in edit my profile) it will appear at the bottom of your profile. One of the golden rules of web design is to have all the important info on screen so viewers don’t have to scroll down. Think for a moment, how do you wish to be contacted? Any recruiter should want to encourage telephone contact shouldn’t they? You and a competitor could have the same job and a candidate finds you both on Linkedin. One gets an email and the other gets a phone call. Who has the edge in terms of representing this candidate? Leave your phone number off at your peril! Still wish to use email? Put it at the top of your profile.

Screw-up #4 –

Being a passive member of groups. Groups are there to create discussion. Get involved! Answer questions, add your opinion to discussions you can add value to. Start your own discussion. Be there to do more than just post your latest job! Join the communities that you recruit into and start to be noticed for being different. Remember to be different requires being different. Stand out as a knowledge worker rather than being another recruiter seeking today’s jobseekers (clearly reach out to them too!!).

Screw-up #5 –

Getting recommendations from your colleagues you sit next to. Who do you think your potential customers would want to see recommendations from? Their peer group not your peer group! One recruiter saying another is good (at the same firm sometimes!) is like an estate agent telling you their colleague is “really good” and “highly professional” and “trustworthy”. Most people on Linkedin will click through to then read the profile of the person who has written the recommendation. Low and behold, the act has been reciprocated (remember the power of this for influence? Hard to refuse isn’t it?). To really show how good you are get someone who has experienced your service to recommend you. Not your Dad, or your buddies.

In summary – take a fresh look at your profile from your customers perspective. Are you the sort of person you would think could help you? Do you inspire a feeling of confidence? Do you appear to be a well networked, highly commended professional, or not? There is so much more than some recruiters realise to “being on” Linkedin. Happy networking!

Other articles you might like:

The 7 Deadly Sins of Recruiters

The Death of the External Recruiter??

Recruitment Suicide – A Dummy’s Guide


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14 Responses

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  1. Anything which is free is used by millions of people and thus chances of potential CV’s and persons gets reduced ultimately it solely lies on seeker who needs to give proper commands while searching and also persons who is actively seeking new assignment needs to update and keep his cv and profile full of useful commands and terms.

    makrand 10 February 2010 at 3:41 am Permalink
  2. good

    ann 10 February 2010 at 10:58 am Permalink
  3. good thoughts

    ann 10 February 2010 at 10:58 am Permalink
  4. Neat article – too many just don’t seem to get the basics.

    Number 5 is a classic. Completely counter-productive and often devalues your profile. Strong recommendations from quality people will help with building new connections and relationships both from a delivery and new business perspective.

    Which brings me to Number 2. Valid point, however, to supplement, be aware, that the QUALITY of your network may also reflect on you and will determine the succcess of your searches. Therefore, just be sure to network with a purpose beyond just increasing a number.

    Happy networking!

    Consultinggrad 12 February 2010 at 12:08 am Permalink
  5. Great advice. I’m going to take another look at my profile. To be honest it was never really something I thought much about until I found myself self-employed and rather more grateful for my reputation!

    Jason 13 February 2010 at 8:42 pm Permalink
  6. Glad to have spurred some action. A LI profile will never win someone over outright though it could do the opposite…

    RecruitmentDad 14 February 2010 at 8:17 pm Permalink
  7. Thanks for the feedback. There are so many out there doing number 5 as they see it as a quick way to achieve 3 recommendations to hit to 100% profile completeness. Number 2? yes a quality network is important, though it is a fine balance between reach and reaching the right people.

    RecruitmentDad 14 February 2010 at 8:19 pm Permalink
  8. Thanks Ann, much appreciated.

    RecruitmentDad 14 February 2010 at 8:19 pm Permalink
  9. Very true. Though the seeker who types to boolean command must have enough people in their network to stand a chance of finding those that they seek (and vice versa!)

    RecruitmentDad 14 February 2010 at 8:20 pm Permalink
  10. Excellent advice, and when you think about it…. why was this not obvious to us all?

    I guess this is another way of saying what you will get out will be commensurate to the effort you put in!

    Richard Simmons 15 February 2010 at 1:40 pm Permalink
  11. Sound advice, I shall be reviewing my own actions too now!

    Michael Moonesinghe 19 February 2010 at 12:24 pm Permalink
  12. Great advice, point 5 is so true

    Doug 20 February 2010 at 12:41 am Permalink
  13. recruiters are bloodsuckers. This article is to help them, not the candidate. Avoid recruiters if you can. It is a haven for those who have no talent, and will help you in only so far as it helps them.

    joeblow 15 August 2011 at 11:45 pm Permalink
  14. Good article. Especially point 5.

    Tony Timmins 28 February 2012 at 4:59 pm Permalink

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