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Seven Ways to Use LinkedIn to Mine for Talent
by Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D.


If you're still using recruiters to find potential job candidates, it's time to join the 21st century and get on the social media train! Namely: LinkedIn. LinkedIn just keeps getting better and better--and continues to attract more professionals looking for employment and lucrative or beneficial contacts in the business world.
LinkedIn has earned a reputation as THE site for hardcore job seekers. As of September 2010, there were over 20 million monthly visitors to the site, and nearly 33 million US members. The site is a veritable goldmine for entrepreneurs and small business owners as well as those looking for prospective employees.
Here are seven ways businesspeople can use LinkedIn to identify potential job candidates:

  1. Put yourself out there.

    Create a profile at with all the fields filled out, including a professional headshot. This conveys credibility, professionalism, and commitment to job candidates.

  2. Grow your network.

    Invite current and past colleagues, classmates, and professional associates. Each person in your network provides access to their networks, allowing your circle of connections to expand exponentially.

  3. Find your fits.

    Use the Advanced Search feature to search on keywords, titles, industry, and company, as well as specific skill sets to locate profiles that may be ideal candidates. If so moved, invite the best ones to apply.

  4. Be a joiner.

    Join LinkedIn groups that will include your ideal candidates, and post your position within these groups. You can join up to 50 industry-specific groups or create one to meet your needs.

  5. Keep it fresh.

    Update your status at least once a week by posting items such as the types of candidates you are seeking, a reminder of the application deadline, how to apply, and so forth. This keeps you and your job "in the news" as your update appears in members' update feeds.

  6. Take the leap.

    Visit LinkedIn Answers, search keywords related to your industry or position, and review quality responses. Invite individuals who post consistently, offer real value, or are true subject-matter experts to apply for the position.

  7. Keep it going.

    Using LinkedIn to identify job candidates should be an ongoing process; rather than beginning to foster relationships only when you have an opening, you'll have networks in place already, with viable candidates whenever you need them.

The easiest way to keep your LinkedIn presence fresh and dynamic is to dedicate one time slot per week -- say, the first hour of your workday on Monday -- to revising, responding, posting, and connecting. Online job networks work wonders for those who get engaged with them and engage others continuously.


The Author

Sherrie A. Madia

The Online Job Search Survival Guide

Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D. is a social network strategy expert and consultant to organizations. She is Director of Communications at the Wharton School, External Affairs, University of Pennsylvania, and serves on the Advisory Board of EyeCatcher Digital, an electronic media strategy and marketing firm. Her critically acclaimed books include The Online Job Search Survival Guide and her newest, The Social Media Survival Guide.

You can learn more about her at

Many more articles in Social Media in The CEO Refresher Archives
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Copyright 2010 by Sherrie A. Madia. All rights reserved.

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