“Hi. This is Scott from XYZ Solutions and we found your profile on LinkedIn. We’re looking to hire 5 new sales reps in the next month or so and wonder if you are open to other opportunities.”
This was the first of many such calls, all from different recruiters when I was working at Cisco. At that time my network size was a manageable 300; I knew almost everyone in my network well. And there were no recruiters in my first degree. LinkedIn was much smaller then, I’d estimate their network at about 10 million (it’s 330 million today).
The draw for them was very simply that I worked at Cisco. The logic was simple: these recruiters were sourcing candidates from the big brands for their own contracts; they were relying on Cisco’s better judgment to help them determine who a good candidate might be.
Things on LinkedIn aren’t so simple now. First, of course, is that most people don’t work at big brands so poaching from them isn’t as easy as it once was. Mostly, though, LinkedIn has gotten ridiculously crowded, and many people – on both sides of the interview table – haven’t adapted to the new reality.
Recruiters and candidates are not finding each other on LinkedIn anywhere near quickly enough.
If you would like to start receiving random phone calls from recruiters in your field, you’ll need to deliberately help recruiters find your profile:
Add As Many Recruiters in Your Network as Possible
First, understand that 93% of recruiters are using LinkedIn to source. That means they are actively searching to fill roles available now.
Those search results show up in order of connection (while no one knows for sure the secret algorithm used by LinkedIn, we know keyword density, keyword placement, number of recommendations, picture and degree of connection all play some role). Not connected to recruiters? Chances are: you won’t show up in their search!
Having more recruiters in your network means dramatically increasing your chances of appearing on one of their search results pages.
Note: Before you start inviting recruiters, make sure your profile is in good shape. Head on over to ProfileGrade.com to test your profile, then follow the steps toward improvement.
Set Yourself Up as a Recruiter Ally
When you send a connection request to a recruiter, you are also helping them with their jobs. How?
When a recruiter gets assigned a role to fill, they will look at their database of A or B candidates. If that database is old, exhausted or just not in alignment with the current assignment, they will source for more. So when you send a connection request to a recruiter, you have not only given them another fresh name to add to their A list (yours), you have given them access to your first level contacts.
This database is their primary asset for doing their job – and you have just become an ally.
Recruiters love allies.
Find Recruiters in Your Field
I got an email from a blog reader who told me that he has IT recruiters, Medical recruiters and Science recruiters in his network, but none in PR, Communications and Marketing.
How would he even begin to find the right recruiters to add? Here’s how.
- Open up the advanced people search feature on LinkedIn
- Filter by location (this is a key variable; make sure it’s where you want to work, not just where you live)
- Filter by industry and current company (if you are targeting)
- Add keywords such as “Recruiter” or “Talent Acquisition ” or “Sourcing”
- Optionally, add role specific keywords like “PR” or “Communications”
Tip: be sure to save your searches so you can come back to them later.
How to Add Recruiters
Once you have your list of recruiters from the previous step, connecting is easy. (Yes, LinkedIn says, “You should only connect with people you know.” But their features tell us that they actually want us to connect with as many people as possible. It only helps their share price!)
Here’s how I might reach out to the recruiters I find:
I noticed you are a recruiter in my industry. I’m open to new opportunities and thought it might be mutually beneficial if we connected.
Simple, right? No spamming and no selling… so no risk for the recruiter.
I’m curious how these techniques work for you. Please let me know if you tried it, and what happened, in the comments below.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Simply Hired!
About the Author: Joshua Waldman, author of “Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies”, is the founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing services and career advice for the modern job seeker.