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Finding Your Ideal Job Candidates in Minutes These smart tips from a LinkedIn expert will help you find the right job candidates the same day you start your hunt.

By Ted Prodromou

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Jaap Arriens | NurPhoto | Getty Images

The following excerpt is from Ted Prodromou's book Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound

Let's say you own a biotech firm, and you're looking for a director of quality to create, implement, and oversee quality systems in your company. First, go to the basic LinkedIn search to see if you can find some candidates. Make sure you're set to people search, and modify the search parameters as follows:

  1. In the Title field, enter "Director of Quality" if you are looking for someone who currently holds that position or held it in the past.
  2. Change Industries from its default setting of All Industries to just Biotechnology.
  3. Leave all other options at their default settings.

If you want to narrow your search geographically, you can change Locations to your area or within 50, 100 or 150 miles of your location.

Of course, you can modify your search parameters further to narrow or widen your search, but first take a look at your preliminary results. With just one search, you may find hundreds of directors of quality in the biotech field. Not all of them are looking for a job, but I bet at least a few would be open to a new opportunity if it sounded interesting.

Before you start reaching out to some of these people, try narrowing your search a bit to see if you can pin down the more-qualified candidates. For instance, you can try adding a search term, such as a certification acronym to your search criteria in the Keywords field and Director of Quality in the Title field.

Then start looking at the profiles of the prospects on this narrower list to see if they're actively looking for work. That information may be displayed in their profile headlines. If you have a subscription to Talent Solutions, you can search for people who've turned on the option in their profile that lets recruiters know they're interested in new positions.

If your search returns some LinkedIn members who are interested in career opportunities or who look like a great fit for your job opening, you have a few options:

  • Send them InMail to introduce yourself. Don't start out by asking them if they're looking for a new position or you may scare them away -- even if their profiles say they're interested in new opportunities. Tell them you came across their profile and saw something that caught your attention. Find something unique, like an award they won, interesting certifications, schools they attended, etc. You can ask them about it or congratulate them. Try to establish a relationship, so you can get to know them and see if they're a good fit for your organization.
  • Join Groups they belong to so you can send messages directly. At the beginning of the messages, state that you belong to the same Group and you thought they might be interested in an opportunity at your company. If you're responsible for recruiting, join Groups related to your industry and participate frequently so people get to know your name -- they're more likely to respond to your messages even if they've never corresponded with you in the past. This is a very effective and inexpensive way for small businesses to recruit new employees.
  • If they are second-degree connections of yours, find out who in your network is a first-degree connection between you and ask for an introduction. You can also ask your first-degree connection what they think of them to help determine if they'd be a good fit for your company.

Tips to Help Your Recruiting Efforts

Here are some recruiting tips culled from various LinkedIn Talent Blog posts:

  • If you're looking for talent on LinkedIn, make sure your own profile is in order. Check to see that your profile is at All-Star level, including your three recommendations. When you reach out to candidates, they're going to check out your profile to get to know you and your company, so make sure you give a great first impression.
  • Make sure the employees in your company complete their profiles, including their recommendations. When a candidate researches your organization, you want to present a professional image from top to bottom. It makes a great impression on candidates when they see a lot of recommendations on your employees' profiles. Encourage your teams to get as many glowing recommendations as possible so your candidates see that your company hires only top-notch people. Make sure they get a variety from past and current positions, not just from current co-workers, which can look suspicious.
  • Create a company page on LinkedIn and fill it out completely. Active candi­dates will visit your company page to get to know your company and its cul­ture. You can set up a company page for free or invest in a premium account to add more features.
  • Join Groups related to your business and industry. Be an active participant and have your company's employees do the same. When someone sees a lot of people from one company engaged in intelligent group discussions on LinkedIn, they'll get a good impression of your company and the quality of your employees.
  • Search posts, Groups, and profiles to find the best candidates. Use the search features to help narrow down your search and save your best search templates in Saved Searches if you have a subscription to Talent Solutions or Sales Navigator. If you are recruiting new employees on a regular basis, invest in a subscription; being able to save your searches will save you a lot of time and effort.

Of course, you can manually search LinkedIn and still find great candidates, but it's very tedious and time-consuming. The LinkedIn Recruiter subscription will automate most of your recruiting tasks, saving you precious time, and can filter out the very best candidates based on their work experience and education.

Ted Prodromou

Author and internet business consultant

Ted Prodromou is the author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business (Entrepreneur Press®, 2019) as well as a speaker, author and online advertising consultant, generating leads for his clients using Google AdWords, Facebook ads, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms. He also teaches online and in-person classes on LinkedIn, Twitter, and online advertising. In his past life, Ted worked for high tech companies IBM, DEC and Cellular One before starting his own consulting firm in 1999. You can learn more about Ted at tedprodromou.com.

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