How do we use LinkedIn?

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF EXECUTIVE SEARCH IN 1990: I’m hired to search for a VP of Marketing. First: Determine title and company targets, purchase lists from relevant conferences and associations, and identify main numbers for target companies. Second: Start calling the names on the lists through their main corporate numbers and leave messages. Call main numbers of target companies, ask for the VP of Marketing (having no idea who it is) and hope you get through to someone; leave a message.

Number of people contacted that day: 10 to 20
Number of people contacted for the search: 100
Level of reach: narrow and limited
Response rate to voice mails: 5%
Level of recruiter pain: high (dialing for candidates is not fun work)

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF EXECUTIVE SEARCH IN 2015: I’m hired to do the same search. First: Determine title and company targets. Second: Search my database and Linkedin using all the search parameters available; build list of potential candidates and determine their work email or personal email addresses; email position description and summary of position/requirements.

Number of people emailed in one day: 50+
Number of people contacted for the search: 200-500
Additional people reached because of email ‘forwarding’: 20%
Level of reach: broad and deep
Response rate to emails: 30%
Level of recruiter pain: moderate (effective research takes significant work and time)

LINKED IN IS NOW PERVASIVE, A WONDERFUL THING FOR ALL: I can now cast a very large net to spread the word, reaching a larger pool of candidates who are qualified for the position. The result is a client who has even better candidates to interview than they ever had before. But it has also driven candidate requirements to be even more specific than ever.

Linkedin has become every recruiter’s database. We no longer compete on the size of our database or our ability to identify candidates. Telling a compelling story quickly via email is the key to response rate. The greater the number of people we contact, the better the candidate slate we present to our client.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO THE CANDIDATE: If you are not on Linkedin I won’t contact you! Make it easy for me to find you. Take my point of view, considering every searchable category on Linkedin as well as free word search (defining industry at multiple levels is a good example of this.) Make it easy for me to understand who you are. Develop a comprehensive Linkedin profile that is clear and straightforward and tells me even more than a traditional resume. Not having a photo makes me suspect. Make it easy for me to contact you. Show your email address at a minimum.

IN SUMMARY: Linkedin has only changed how we find you. The rest of the process has remained the same. It’s that process and the quality of executing it that distinguishes a recruiter – both from a candidate and client perspective.

October, 2015 by Sara Coffou