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The biggest mistake Recruiters are making on LinkedIn

Today we are hearing that the biggest problem post-COVID for a broad number of recruiters we have the pleasure of speaking and engaging with each day, is that there is a shortage of good and relevant candidates to enable them to service their client’s needs.

When you have a great vacancy but no suitable candidates in your current database, you do what every Recruiter does; you get on LinkedIn and start Inmailing relevant users. Most ignore you, a few might be interested but more will likely come back with something like this:

Hi, Thanks for getting in touch about this role, it looks interesting but that location/salary/level wouldn’t be something I would be interested in. Best of luck with the role though!

Believe it or not, the majority of recruiters will react to this in one way:

“No problem, thanks for getting back to me!”

This is a completely missed opportunity and waste of an Inmail.

What went wrong

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You have a candidate in your industry, they’re engaging with you, and you now know what it takes for them to consider a new job.

Add them to a talent pool.

“No problem, would you like me to add you to my talent pool and I could let you know if anything that fits the bill comes up?”

It seems really simple but you’d be surprised how few do it. By gaining consent to add these candidates to your talent pool you are gaining their permission to contact them in the future and making your life easier with future roles because you have a pool of relevant people to look at before putting in the work externally.

How many people have responded to your messages in the last year? That’s how big your talent pool could have been by now.

The prospective candidate that is not interested to move right now may be in a different position in a year, six months or next month if their circumstances change. Do you not want them to reach you at that time giving you a new opportunity?

Every time you reach out now you have the opportunity to gain a new candidate for the future.

Don’t have a talent pool or use a CRM that doesn’t support them?
Ask your marketing team, if you have one, to set up a mailing list sign up page for your desk. Make sure it’s collecting important information like what their requirements are and their location. This way, when you receive a soft rejection like the one above, you can simply request they add their details to the ‘Talent Pool’ mailing list.

When you next get a role, request the marketing team send an email campaign to the group of subscribers who are most relevant to the role.

The importance of relevance

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Sending an email campaign for a vacancy to the database can seem like a lazy, impersonal way of advertising your role but the key to good engagement is relevancy.

Done well, an email campaign isn’t just an email from the agency to everyone on the database about a random job, it’s an email from the consultant they have already engaged with about a job they are qualified for. That instantly makes your communication to this candidate more interesting to them and even if this job doesn’t appeal, they’re more likely to read and engage with your future messaging.

Talent Pools should be your priority

Every recruiter on LinkedIn

Talent Pools make your life easier. They mean less time spent looking for new candidates and more time nurturing your current candidates and clients, and that results in a better experience for everybody – and more fuel for positive online reviews. If you have LinkedIn Recruiter, you can create your talent pool by simply creating a Project and adding these candidates to it. Make your life easier by creating a project for specific job types and leaving notes against those users with their preferences.

Remember, don’t submit people from your talent pool to clients without re-engaging and getting their buy-in first, even if you only spoke to them recently.


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We spoke with our team and our peers and found consistently that no one has experienced a recruiter doing this. Worse still they validated that when they then needed to find a new role at a later date, they had not kept a list of these recruiters so did not go back to them or even remember them. You are missing out on candidates right now for the lack of diligence across the past year and pre-covid in building a large possible future talent pool. Overlook this basic at your peril. Get your team actioning this now and next year you will have more candidates to select from, see your future success by what you do now!

Resourcing is hard; so do the little things that will make it easier in the long run. Your future self will thank you for turning your rejections into opportunities.

What other simple tips that make a big difference would you give other recruiters?

For more advice on talent pool building, check out Harver’s guide here, or for an alternative source of new candidates, read our Programmatic Advertising Guide.

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