Are recruiters barking mad or just plain stupid when it comes to LinkedIn?

Barking mad

Over the last week, I have had cause to ask myself what planet many recruitment consultants are on! And I have levied this point right at a good few of them - "Are you barking mad or just plain stupid? Why are you not using a primary tool that was 'created' for YOU as a recruiter!"

Now for the uninitiated of you, I am of course referring to LinkedIn. So when I put this question to recruiters I get a range of responses:

  1. "**** off!! "
  2. "...obviously you don't mean me, I am an experienced consultant"
  3. " Yeah, I am on it but I don't use it "
  4. " It's full of recruiters, so what's the point!"
  5. " I don't understand how to use it"
  6. " I haven't had any candidates come to me, so I don't bother"
  7. " What is LinkedIn?"
What would your response be if I asked you? Do one of these sound familiar?

Greg Savage, the CEO of Aquent, a global recruitment company, unfortunately has had the same experience as me, from the other side of the world (taken from his blog):

"It turns out that in Sydney and Melbourne about 80% of recruiters have a LinkedIn Account (I have to say I am wondering what the other 20% are waiting for). However when asked whether their LinkedIn accounts were worked ‘actively’ with status updates, participation in groups and all the other available applications, only 20% kept hands
raised. In Brisbane, 70% have LinkedIn accounts but again, only 20% of those are ‘worked actively”.

This was exactly the same response when I have talked at two UK REC events over the last few weeks - only the 20% in Australia is probably more like 5-10% here in the UK, which is just plain mad!!

So why is it that recruiters - of all people - just don't get LinkedIn?

To be honest, I just don't know! As far as I am concerned, LinkedIn, while not designed for recruiters, is an absolute no brainer tool that EVERY single recruiter should be using, both for candidate sourcing and clients sourcing.

  • You can actively search every single candidate on LinkedIn (with the right search of course!)
  • You get find out the recruiting strategy for your target clients
  • You can identify exactly who you need to contact in an organisation
  • You can do extensive research on clients
  • It is a FREE resource of candidates
  • It is easy to use
  • You can become part of groups and network with people from your sector / industry
  • There is a great resource of information in Q&A
  • Free posting tool (updates) for latest jobs or information
  • Google ranks it highly in search results, allowing you to be found in keyword searches

...........shall I go on?

So if you are now reading this, and feeling a little stupid, that you are not using LinkedIn properly here are ten things you MUST do now:

  1. Make sure you have a 100% complete profile. Don't be bashful, fill it in....all of it! Don't worry LinkedIn will tell you (on the right of the page) how much of your profile is completed.
  2. Personalise your LinkedIn profile - for example mine is
  3. Include a photo. People believe content more when it’s accompanied by the author’s photo.
  4. Don't be shy on sharing your links. Make sure links to your website, blog, Twitter or other online profiles. Show them your digital footprint.
  5. Make sure professional headline tells people exactly what you do and resonates with your target audience. Mine tells you exactly what I do: I consult with companies on recruitment strategy, recruitment process, online recruitment, social recruiting. What does yours say?
  6. Be very clear in the summary what you do, and make sure you have relevant keywords for your sector/industry/brand speckled through the text. Don't write war and peace in here and make sure you make it easy to read with bullet points. And in the summary, list all the keyword phrases that are applicable to what you do.
  7. Join groups. Find ones from your sector, and allied sectors and join them.
  8. Then start to interact with those groups by answering questions and posting interesting information in them.
  9. Don't post jobs in the groups - you will just p*** everyone off straight away. There is a time for that and that is only once you have established a profile and credibility with your peers.
  10. Do it now!! Don't wait for tomorrow - log in and get on with it. STOP procrastinating!

These are just some of the basics that you should be doing on LinkedIn to ensure you are getting the most out of the platform.

If you are a beginner and am wondering how to even get started then you download my beginners guide pdf here Download LinkedIn for beginners

The one big takeaway from this post I want you to remember is this:

One of the first things many clients and candidates do when they first come into contact with YOU, will be to check out YOUR LinkedIn profile. So with that thought, have a look at yours now - is that what you would want your clients or candidates to see about you?

This was originally posted on my own blog.

Views: 128

Comment by Hassan Rizwan on December 3, 2009 at 4:22am
Absolutely Correct. I would consider those folks lost or out of picture if they aren't active on linkedin. I understood the power of this tool from the day we got our first business partner. Since then, word of mouth has spread so quickly that we keep getting clients in our pocket. Wake up all you sleepy recruiters.
Comment by Andy Headworth on December 3, 2009 at 5:36am
Thanks Hassan. I think 'sleepy recruiters' is a little too polite though :) LOL!
Comment by Sarah Salukas on December 3, 2009 at 10:56am
Love this!
Comment by Sarah Salukas on December 3, 2009 at 10:58am
Except for the don't post your jobs in the groups part. Since LinkedIn overhauled the groups, there is now a jobs tab in any group that wishes to have job postings. Why not use it right way? I do, and I have had "candidates come to me"
Comment by Andy Headworth on December 3, 2009 at 11:02am
Thanks Sarah, that is a fair point. I was referring to the numpties that 'try' and post them within the groups, described as something else!
Comment by Dan Richards on December 3, 2009 at 11:15am
You are absolutely right Andy but please don't tell everyone!
Comment by Andy Headworth on December 3, 2009 at 11:30am
Don't worry Dan, most recruiters (in the UK) still don't get social media - LinkedIn, Blogs or Twitter - so we are OK for the moment with our 'little secret'!! LOL
Comment by Alaina Rivas on March 9, 2010 at 12:06pm
Andy, great post and so true!

My jaw drops everytime I talk to a recruiter who

A) does not have a profile on Linked In
B) Has a profile on Linked In but doesn't ever log in
C) Doesn't "get" it therefore does not see the value

To me and I think most of us on here- Linked In is about as common as going on CareerBuilder or Monster or logging into our Facebook accounts.

Point in case: If you are a recruiter- IT'S YOUR JOB TO KNOW THIS STUFF!

Thanks for letting me rant on this subject matter :)
Comment by Andy Headworth on March 10, 2010 at 9:25am
Hooray!! So nice to hear you say that!

>>>>>Take Not all you recruiters who DARE to doubt the power of the awesome LinkedIn


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