How to Recruit Using LinkedIn

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LinkedIn as a Recruitment Tool

LinkedIn is clearly becoming the goto tool for recruiting as it is both versatile and powerful when used under the right conditions. Recruiters can use LinkedIn both as a traditional job search site and as a social media and networking site to find candidates, build networks, and establish relationships. LinkedIn’s social media qualities makes it a potent personnel hunting resource for recruiters that lets them both search for the right candidates and attract them through more passive means.

Searching For Candidates on LinkedIn

Searching for candidates on LinkedIn is done through one of a few ways. First, you can use the standard search by clicking on the “Advanced” button on the homepage. From here, you can search by keyword, title, location, etc. You will note that search results come with the option to connect, get introduced, send an in-mail or save the profile. By sending an in-mail, you can directly reach out to a candidate (similar to emailing). Unfortunately, most people on LinkedIn are limited by the number of in-mails they can send each month. One great (but often unused) way around the in-mail limit is to click on “Group Members” in the filter. By only searching group members, you can send in-mails to as many candidates as your heart desires!

LinkedIn users can also post job listings on the site, and then use the recommendation engine to listings to contact candidates with the right skills and qualifications. When posting a job, LinkedIn will recommend candidates based on key word matches. You can purchase access to in-mail these candidates for a fee.

Recruiters can also purchase a suite of tools called Talent Advantage or purchase access to LinkedIn Recruiter to help their efforts. Such tools can help provide recruiters with candidate recommendations, increased in-mails, more advanced search terms, and the ability to store templates for easy communication.

Recruitment Uses Particular to LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s social media qualities can also serve as a potent recruitment tool. Recruiters who have taken the time to build networks of trusted professionals can use those networks to help them find suitable candidates for open positions at their businesses. The more people listed on these networks and the better connected those people are, the easier that recruiting becomes for recruiters using this function of LinkedIn’s social networks.

Recruiters can use their social networks in one of two ways to help their recruiting efforts. One way is to directly search among the people in their networks for candidates with the right skills and qualifications. Since recruiters’ networks are likely filled with familiar people from the same or similar fields and industries, searching through these networks are likely to produce better results than looking up complete strangers. The other way is just as simple but much more powerful – recruiters can vastly extend their reach by asking their contacts to help them find a suitable candidate.

Each person in a recruiter’s network has his or her own network of trusted professionals. Asking the people in a recruiter’s network to help find a suitable candidate gives the recruiter indirect access to the people in all of those networks. In effect, doing so gives the recruiter many of the benefits of using middle men without paying for middle men. They can get referrals to skilled and qualified professionals without being cluttered with unsuitable candidates, and they can approach these professionals through their mutual acquaintances. Such an approach is likely to start the recruiter and the candidate on a better footing than the cold professionalism of more traditional job search sites because both of them are more likely to trust the person that brought them together.


In short, LinkedIn is a powerful recruitment tool when placed in the hands of people who are willing to seize its unique opportunities, but it should not be the only such tool in their arsenal.