A hiring manager's guide to using LinkedIn to attract top IT staff

lucywebrecruit
Marketing Communications Executive
webrecruit
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Amongst the downturn, the IT job market has become saturated with candidates in search for their next opportunity. Yet, despite this, there are constant skills shortages within the IT sector. And as a recruiter or hiring manager, you must stay one step ahead of the program when it comes to sourcing IT talent.

Social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, have greatly changed the process of selecting and hiring employees. To date, LinkedIn boasts an audience of 161 million professionals across the world – nine million of which are UK based. Of these 9 million, 4.7 million work in the technology industry and 1.8 million within an IT function.

The potential for LinkedIn and other social networking sites to play a major role in your IT recruitment strategy increases as millions of potential employees join these sites each year. But as the popularity of these platforms continues to grow, IT hiring managers and recruiters need to ensure they are fully engaged in order to find the best candidates.

Here are some essential tips for IT hiring managers looking to use LinkedIn to identify IT talent.

Define a social strategy: Before you begin, you need to decide what you want to achieve by using LinkedIn as part of your IT recruitment strategy. Are you looking to build an IT talent pool? Perhaps you’re trying to fill a single role? Whatever your objective, ensure to set realistic goals and create a plan to achieve them.

Develop a keyword-rich company profile: Research by webrecruit found one of the most common ways IT candidates search for opportunities is through the use of industry-specific keywords. Prospective employees, who are looking for roles, search LinkedIn by keywords too, and as such, a keyword-rich company page is paramount.

Engage with your audience: In order to build a valued presence on LinkedIn, it’s advised you spend two hours a week engaging with your audience and exposing your brand. Consider the type of candidate you’re trying to attract. Provide the thought provoking content IT professionals seek, such as news and blogs to keep them coming back to your page whilst building a credible online community.

Communicate your EVP: As companies compete for IT talent, particular attention must be paid to your employee value proposition. Identifying your USPs and clearly differentiating your company as the place to work is crucial if an organisation wants to stand out from the crowd. Creatively communicate your EVP through your LinkedIn page demonstrating to candidates what it is like to work in your company.

Find niche skills: IT recruiters deal with very niche employers, often searching for candidates’ with narrow sets of skills for specific roles, from Ruby Developers and iOS Programmers to Project Managers and Infrastructure Specialists. When in search of a specialist skill, LinkedIn’s keyword function has made it possible to view potential candidate’s work experience and skills, all within a few clicks. In fact, Microsoft had great success looking for people with niche skills to fill roles on short notice.

Utilise LinkedIn’s ‘Answers’: Particularly when searching for senior IT talent, building a presence in LinkedIn’s ‘Answers’ is probably one of the most effective ways to expand potential connections. Aim to respond to two questions a week related to your field of expertise and position yourself as a thought leader to significantly raise your company profile within the LinkedIn IT community.

Leverage LinkedIn’s Transparency: From an IT recruitment standpoint, one of the main benefits of using LinkedIn to recruit is the ability to build engaged and transparent networks – targeting the passive, as well as the active candidate. This means that people who are not necessarily looking for work but are in demand are picked up – something traditional recruitment lacks.

Share your jobs: Once you have begun to build a valued company presence and engaged following of IT talent, you can share job advertisements via your careers page. Leveraging LinkedIn’s transparency further, ask employers to share job openings within their networks and let top IT candidates know you’re hiring people like them.

Attracting star performers has never been more important. Particularly in this candidate-rich market, the war for talent has increasingly become dependent on an organisation’s ability to develop long-term relationships with current and potential job seekers.

By following these tips, LinkedIn could be your answer to respond to these respective challenges and build relationships with professionals who at some point could become your perfect employee. 

Do you have any additional tips for hiring manager’s looking to use LinkedIn to hire their next IT talent? If so, please share them below.

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