Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Hiring Manager's Guide to Working WIth Recruiters

If you have dealt with recruiters or if you yourself is a recruiter, then you are well aware that recruiting is a team effort. It works the best when the parties that make up the team move quickly and effectively through the tedious process to get the job done. No doubt that this is much easier said than done, but why don't we take a look at the three primary members of this brilliant team:
Any of these three parties fails to perform as expected, then this "decorated" process turns to suffering - and can break down completely under certain circumstances. This can lead to all types of problems and frustrations that relate to the successful acquisition of a new employee.

On top of that, you risk wasting time and money — as well as creating bad blood with respect to the candidate — if the hiring process is mishandled. Fortunately, most recruiters I come in contact with understand the necessity of driving the process forward and making things happen as quickly and as smoothly as possible. On the other hand, most candidates are simply looking to explore a given opportunity. But because candidates exist outside of the company, they do not fall under the expectations of organizational processes or expectations. Oh boy. This leaves us with the hiring managers, who can be a real problem if you are looking to be a more successful recruiter. If you the recruiter want to be more effective, you will need the full and ongoing cooperation of your hiring managers. Those individuals, in conjunction with the interviewing team they appoint, will be the people who will most influence your ability to be successful in building great organizations.

Hiring Managers: Here’s How to Get the Most Out of Your Recruiting Partners
According to Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” This is the essence of teamwork, and that is just what recruiting has become — an exercise in teamwork, with people working together to hire the best employees and build the best companies. With this in mind, and in order to be assured that we are operating in a smooth and effective manner, ask the following:
  • Let me know when you have a position open as soon as it has been approved. The sooner you let me know that a position has been approved, the sooner I can meet with you, the sooner I can clearly understand what you are looking for in the candidates you want to hire, and the sooner I can begin my work in sourcing these candidates. Good candidates are not easy to find, so the more running room I have to develop an intelligent sourcing plan, the better off we’ll be.
  • If I call or email you, please respond. I understand you are busy. So am I. What I’m probably most busy with is trying to do all that is required to fill your position. I know that running your organization is a top priority, but hiring is a major part of running a business, and I need you to be responsive to me when I reach out. That’s how a good and productive team works.
  • Please respond to resumes quickly. Most candidates have a very short shelf life and little patience for organizations that do not respond quickly. Talent is tight and good people can go to a number of other employers in a flash. If I get a resume in front of you, please respond as quickly as possible so I can move the process on to the next step. I am not just concerned about whether your answer is “yes” or “no.” What makes my life very difficult is no response at all, and being stuck between a hiring manager who is not reactive and a candidate who is calling me looking for an answer to a simple question: “Does the manager want to see me or not?” Please do not put me in that position, because it makes all of us look foolish.
  • Please see that your interviewing team is ready. The candidate interviewing experience is critical to the ongoing success of the organization. Remember that prospective employees of today can become the customers or partners of tomorrow. They can refer others to your jobs. Be sure your interviewing team is ready to do a world-class job in all candidate-facing activities. This means they should have reviewed and understood the position for which they are interviewing and read the candidate’s resume before the candidate arrives. The team should be prepared to discuss the candidate with you after the interview is completed.
  • Inform me as to what you see as the next step in the process. Please get back to me with your thoughts, ideas, or questions right after the interview has taken place. Be advised that I can, in most cases, keep the candidate warm for a reasonable time, but I can’t say or do anything without hearing from you. Once again, make us all look good by being responsive and moving quickly as this is in everyone’s best interests.
  • Be sure to only ask questions that relate to the position. We live in a highly litigious society, and as your partner in the hiring process, it is my job to see that we never have a legal problem as a result of inappropriate questions being asked. Please remember that all questions asked should pertain only to the candidate’s experience as it relates to their ability to perform the duties of the position for which they are interviewing.
  • Remember to sell the company. Whether or not the candidate joins our organization is far more in your hands than in mine. But if you want to have the candidate join our company, you will have to sell it to the candidate. If the candidate is interviewing elsewhere, that is exactly what the competition will be doing. Be sure to let the candidate know why they should be seeing us as their next place of employment, and what some of the advantages are at our company. Remember, we always want the choice about whether to move forward or not to be our choice, not the candidate’s.
  • Please help me to close the candidate if I make that request. Landing a candidate is not always an easy thing to accomplish. As the marketplace tightens and top talent becomes harder to find, candidates will very often have multiple offers. I will do whatever I can to pre-close the candidate, get them prepped for an offer, and everything else necessary to make things happen. However, at times I will need a bit of help to make things happen and close the deal. If I call you to set up a meeting or phone call to lay out a capture strategy (see my article entitled How to Develop a Capture Strategy), please work with me on this. Together, as a team, we have a far better chance of successfully landing the candidate.
  • Leave the offers to me. Extending offers is a big part of my job, and I know exactly how to do it. Extending an offer is asking for the sale, and it has to be done at the right time, in the right way, and under the right circumstances. Please let me handle it as I see fit. (By the way, if you are the one who determines compensation, let’s talk, because low-balling the candidate is a catastrophe of major proportions!).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Recruiting’s Dirty Little Secrets — What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Two of the hottest topics in corporate recruiting today are the candidate experience and need for transparency. And although many corporations are making a sincere effort to improve that candidate experience, they often pay only lip service to becoming more open, honest, and transparent. No corporate leader that I know directly lies to applicants.

However, if you consider omitting information that could directly help the applicant successfully understand the process or land a job to be a lie, then there are quite a few areas where corporations are omitting the complete truth.
from Dr. John Sullivan

Dubbed "dirty little secrets" due to insiders being well aware of them, while most applicants and business reporters haven't a clue. Let's sift through several areas where corporate recruiting could seek improvement.

  • The corporate black hole — because of recruiter overload, the volume of applicants, and technology problems, a resume submitted to a corporate career site may actually have a zero probability of being reviewed. In the industry, it can be referred to as “the black hole.”
  • Looking for an excuse to drop you — there are books written about the need to focus on the positive aspects of individuals, but the entire screening process is often focused on finding a single error or lack of “fit” to quickly eliminate any applicant. If you are categorized as a job-jumper, you are unemployed, you have bad credit or Klout scores, you live in a distant zip code, or they find weird things on Facebook about you, you will be immediately rejected without knowing why. As a result, those who fail to make a single mistake during the process, rather than those who are the best, are the ones that are most likely to get hired.
  • The rejection letter is designed to avoid complaints, not accuracy – if you actually get a rejection letter or e-mail, you should be aware that canned phrases like “we decided to move in another direction” or “there were other more qualified candidates” are pretested or lawyer-approved phrases that are designed to quiet you and keep you from making a follow-up inquiry. In many cases, the person sending the letter won’t even know the actual reason for your rejection.
  • The interview process will likely be disjointed – applicants invited in for interviews routinely complain about disorganized interviewing, death by interview (having to go through 10 or more interviews), continually getting the same repeat questions from different interviewers, and having to return multiple times on different days. If the process seems poorly managed and disjointed, it is probably because it usually is. The overall corporate interview process is more often more whimsical than scientific and integrated.
  • Some jobs are not really available to outsiders — although legal requirements may require an organization to post all open jobs, in some cases, the hiring manager has already predetermined that they will hire internally. There is no way for an external applicant to know when a job is “wired,” so applying can only lead to frustration and you will never know that you did nothing wrong.
  • Some companies are blocked — if you work at a company covered by an informal “non-poaching” arrangement where two firms agree not to hire from each other, your chances of getting hired are near zero. Even though these agreements are illegal, they are secret, so your application will never be considered and you will never know why.
  • Recruiters won’t know if you are a customer – you might think that being a loyal customer might help your application, but most corporations have no formal way of identifying an applicant as a customer.
  • We will keep your resume on file (but we will never look at it again) – is certainly true that when they tell you that your rejected application will be “kept on file” it will be. However, it will be kept almost exclusively for legal reasons. The odds of a recruiter scanning through a corporate database of thousands of names in order to revisit a resume that has previously been rejected are miniscule. Unless a recruiter remembers you by name, assume that your resume has been dropped into the “black hole.”
  • You will never know the real odds – although corporations regularly calculate the percentage of all applicants that are hired, you will never find that number on the corporate website. Although the lotto is required to publish your odds of winning, corporations keep it a secret. For some jobs, the odds are well over 1,000 to 1.
  • Technology may eliminate you — and most large organizations, resumes are initially screened electronically. Unfortunately, if the software is not fine-tuned, the recruiter is not well-trained, or if you fail to use the appropriate keywords and phrases, no human will ever see your resume. In one test, only 12% of specially written “perfect resumes” made it through this initial step, although in theory, 100% should have made it.
  • Busy people are forced to take shortcuts — during a down economy, the volume of qualified applicants can force recruiters and hiring managers to take shortcuts. For example, recently a coordinator asked the recruiter which one of a handful of resumes should be invited in for an interview. The response was “I don’t have time to look at them; just flip a coin and pick them.” Hiring managers are also known to make choices based on snap judgments or stereotypes that add a degree of randomness to getting a job.
  • Don’t call us, we’ll call you — if an applicant is rejected at any stage, there is no formal process to help you understand where you need to improve in order to be successful when applying for a job in the future. Unlike in customer service, there is no 1 -800 number to call, and because of weak corporate documentation, recruiting might not actually know (beyond a broad reason) why you are rejected and how you could improve your chances.

When Applicants Hear Nothing, They Talk and You Get Hurt

You’ve written a compelling job ad that hits all the hot points. You’ve distributed it widely. You’ve even managed to get it high up on search results pages. Despite all that, the number of applications is disappointing. So what went wrong??

According to Careerbuilder, this could very well be a technical issue. Bad links, computer or Internet difficulties, and cumbersome applications are the top reasons cited by interested candidates for not responding to a job posting.

“Sometimes it’s those little things you overlook,” says Dr. Sanja Licina, senior director of talent intelligence and consulting at CareerBuilder. When an interested job seeker clicks on an ad, and then has to click through from there to another location, an ATS for example, things can break down, she says.
That experience can leave a sour taste with potential candidates, some of whom will then go on to complain about the experience. CareerBuilder’s ongoing Applicant Experience survey found that 78 percent of candidates said they’d be sure to tell family and friends about a bad experience with a potential employer. Seventeen percent said they’d post about it on a social media site.

While technical glitches may not push most candidates beyond a little grumbling (though it might be very bad mojo for something like that to happen to a technical firm), the “black hole” application process causes 44 percent of those who hear nothing to have a worse opinion of the non-responsive employer.

Licina said many employers explain why they’re not responding, saying “We do get a lot of applications,” and thus it’s “really hard” to respond.

Any number of surveys and articles confirm that large numbers of employers never acknowledge an applicant — not even to say contact has been made. CareerBuilder, whose Applicant Experience audit now has some 5 million surveys involving 5,000 employers, reports that somewhere around half the applicants say they never heard anything after submitting an application.
Even when they do, radio silence often follows. Among the 57 companies vying for top honors in the still-new Candidate Experience awards, a mere 44 percent followed up their acknowledgments with details about the next steps in the process.

Recruiters, too, are faulted by the surveyed job seekers; 15 percent of them have a worse opinion of the employer after hearing from a recruiter. Says CareerBuilder:

When asked to assess the recruiters who contacted them, one-in-five job seekers (21 percent) reported that the recruiter was not enthusiastic about his/her company being an employer of choice. Seventeen percent didn’t believe the recruiter was knowledgeable and 15 percent didn’t think the recruiter was professional.
“How your employment brand is presented to job seekers from the moment a job is posted can have a lasting effect not only on your ability to acquire talent, but your business overall,” Licina says. “First and foremost, it’s important to acknowledge candidates and keep them informed.”

The consequences of a negative candidate experience go beyond the potential loss of quality talent and injury to the employment reputation. The widely held belief is that there is a direct economic impact from treating applicants poorly. A separate CareerBuilder study from a few months ago found nearly a third of respondents saying they are less likely to purchase a product from a company that didn’t respond to their job application.

Now, in conjunction with a university research group, Licina said CareerBuilder is attempting to put a dollar figure on the negative experience. “It’s difficult to attribute (the impact) to the candidate experience,” she explained, which is why the study development will take time. But, she says, with companies beginning to accept that there are economic consequences, determining the actual cost is growing more urgent.

Incidentally, it’s not money that first attracts a job seeker to a job posting. It’s the company’s location, report 45 percent of the candidates in CareerBuilder’s experience surveys. After that it’s industry and company reputation. Salary is sixth.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Hiring Pyramid According to Adler

How many of us are familiar with  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? If you are like me, then you are possibly oblivious to the acknowledgment that Maslow even had needs. Here's a quick refresher for us all:

 Abraham Maslow was a mid-20th century psychologist who studied the behavior of high-performing individuals. In a 1943 paper, he suggested that people make fundamental and predictable decisions based on different behavioral needs. These needs range from primitive; e.g., requiring water or food to being completely fulfilled. He separated these states into five distinct levels and referred to them collectively as a hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, a person couldn’t move to a higher level unless the needs of the lower level were satisfied first.

With that being implemented into our minds; the purpose of this article is to bring to light that both compaines and people have quite the similiar underlying needs. Bottom line; hiring top people is inefficient, ineffective, and problematic.

In the pyramid above, we see see a candidate's motivation for work; which is most likely one of three core needs: ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, or ACHIEVEMENT. The problem is that while companies all want to hire those with the need to achieve, they only consider those who first have an economic need to apply, and second,  those among this group who the screeners believe also fit some idealistic and unspoken personality and first-impression standard.

A person who is unemployed, or holding a job far below the person’s earning ability, seeks a new job primarily for monetary reasons, with the actual work less important. This is the economic need in action. The second motivating need is team-driven. Many people leave companies due to lack of a supportive manager or an inability to develop personal relationships with co-workers. They also accept jobs for these very same reasons. The third job-seeking driver is career growth: the need to achieve, grow, and become better. The Achievers leave when this is missing.
Knowing what underlying need is driving your candidate to look for another job is essential if you want to find and hire the right people for the right reasons. For example, a passive candidate who is not looking might be enticed to explore a situation if it offered significant upside potential and achievement. There is a lot of recruiting involved in this type of hire, with the emphasis largely on short-term impact and long-term career growth. On the other hand, if the candidate is driven by a short-term economic need, the person will likely be less discriminating and take a position primarily for the salary and benefits. The problem is that once these lower order economic needs are filled, dissatisfaction with the work itself will quickly follow.
Gallup’s Q12 research and Google’s Oxygen study on employee engagement and performance supports this viewpoint. Job satisfaction is driven by doing impactful work, a chance to work with strong teams, and a chance to progress and grow. Dissatisfaction is largely due to lack of a supportive manager, doing less-meaningful work, or doing work far below a person’s capability, and lack of collaboration with others. The best people accept jobs based on expectations of the former and leave them because of the reality of the latter. Much of the problems associated with underperformance, dissatisfaction, and retention occur when the hiring decision is made. Surprisingly, few companies consider this directly, resorting to fixing the problem after the fact.
The hiring trap starts by using the traditional skills- and experience-based job description for advertising purposes. These don’t appeal to anyone who is driven primarily by an achievment need. A job that emphasizes skills and experience sends a message to candidates that the company has plenty of people to choose from, and the candidates need us more than we need them. This certainly won’t attract many passive candidates to apply. These types of postings only attract someone with an economic need to apply, or someone in a sub-par job situation. The likelihood of attracting an achiever under these conditions is problematic, especially when the demand for talent is greater than the supply. (Here’s an interesting video I did with LinkedIn on how to address this supply vs. demand situation.)
As far as the hiring trap is concerned, things are about to go from bad to worse. For most companies, the bulk of their hiring starts by selecting a subset of people from a pool of candidates who initially applied for something other than a need to further their career growth. These people are then filtered on their level of skills and experience, hoping to weed out the weakest, with the goal of selecting the most qualified, often through a strenuous technical screen that’s rarely fully job-related. Then the finalists undergo some superficial team and cultural fit assessment. Those who “perform” the best are then deemed worthy.
Consider this same process from the Maslow hierarchy perspective: companies first target those with an economic need for the job who also meet their “team” and “fit” criteria. These are the so-called “soft” skills. These same companies quickly reject people if they appear, act, or seem different than the norm, or those who make weak first impressions. On the flipside, when candidates who fit the instant “team” and cultural fit screen, managers, and recruiters alike go Lady Gaga, and go out their way to sell these candidates on the merits of the job.
What about the true achievers? Under the type of scenario described above, it’s unlikely the company is going to find many great people who also have an economic need to apply, who also make great first impressions, and who are also high-achievers.
Despite the obvious, this is the expectation. People who are driven to change jobs in order to accelerate their career growth, are stopped long before they get to the front door. Since many of the people who aspire for this type of achievement are passive candidates, they won’t follow the standard interview and apply and prepare regimen. Sometimes they’re a little different in personality and style, sometimes appear less interested, maybe too over-confident, or somewhat inflexible. The real issue is they won’t take lateral transfers and until they see the job as a real career move they won’t get too excited. Job descriptions that emphasize skills and experience, prevent and preclude these people from ever applying, and even if they do apply, they’re deemed too light.
So what's to come of this down the line? Just food for thought; go ahead and chew on that for a moment and think.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

20 Reasons Why LinkedIn Will Be the #1 Recruiting Portal of the Future

If you are a corporate recruiter and you're looking for a database or source that includes a large percentage of passive prospects, by a longshot LinkedIn is simply alone at the top. It is superior for many additional reasons, including that its profiles are accurate and consistent, it allows your employees to find quality potential referrals, and it enables a firm to conduct phenomenal talent management research.

  1. It has a high passive to active member ratio – One of the primary differences between a good and a great recruiting source is the ratio of passive over active prospects that populate it. Although both types of prospects are desirable, those who are not actively looking for a job (the so-called passives) are much harder to find and communicate with. If your target is active job seekers, you must realize that in a tight labor market, they don’t require advanced direct sourcing techniques to identify and sell them on applying. With little more than a job posting, they will find you on job boards or your career site. But if you’re seeking the roughly 80% of prospects who are not actively looking for a job, you have fewer sourcing choices because they will not look at job announcements or visit career sites. But fortunately, these employed and not-looking individuals comprise the majority of LinkedIn members. There are other communities dominated by non-lookers (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) but LinkedIn is superior because its content focuses exclusively on professional contacts, sharing, and communication. Without the high percentage of “information clutter” from pictures, small talk, and family matters found on other sites, recruiters on LinkedIn have less information sorting to do. Obviously finding top employed prospects alone is only the first step in sourcing; you will also have to contact, build a relationship, and work hard to convince these non-lookers to even consider a job opportunity. After the connection is made, LinkedIn is not the best relationship-building or communications tool, so supplemental prospect research may be required including creating “Google alerts” on individuals and of course, direct communications and relationship building through e-mail, text, voice, Facebook, or Twitter.
  2. The number of members continues to increase – Because of its professional focus and its many uses outside of recruiting, it has become a standard practice for most professionals to have a profile on LinkedIn. In fact, one of its strengths is that its members can be visible on LinkedIn without being suspected of looking for a job. As LinkedIn has added more professional features (i.e. answers, groups, events, etc.) employees have even more professional reasons for joining, expanding the percentage of members who are currently not active job seekers. Having a profile does, however, provide the added benefit of making a person “visible” to recruiters. So even if you’re not actively looking, having a profile will provide you with an opportunity to be periodically “found”, so that at the very least you will know if you’re still marketable.
  3. Its database quality can be verified – Although LinkedIn has more than 150 million users, volume doesn’t always mean quality, so you always need to verify the quality of the membership of any prospect database. The best way to verify quality is to use your own employees as a benchmark measure. First, make a list of your very best performers in a high-volume key job at your firm. Then check the LinkedIn database to see what percentage of your best employees are found in a search of their database (you can do the same analysis for your worst employees). Then compare the percentage of your top performers found on LinkedIn with the ratio of your top performers found on other sites including large job boards, referral sites, Facebook, and Twitter. Don’t be surprised when you find that the highest percentage of your top performers are found on LinkedIn.
  4. It is referral-friendly – The most effective recruiting source both in volume and quality are employee referrals, so any sourcing option becomes more valuable if your employees will regularly use it find referrals. Because LinkedIn has many features that are not related to job search, your employees probably already frequent LinkedIn to benchmark, to gain mentors, to ask questions and to learn. LinkedIn makes it easy for your employees to identify and connect with others in the same profession that may eventually become an employee referral. Recruiters, who have a broader access to the entire LinkedIn database, can also “suggest” names within LinkedIn that an employee may want to build a relationship with in the hope of eventually making them a referral.
  5. Its profiles are easily comparable and searchable – Because resumes come in dozens of different formats, they are a nightmare to search and compare side-by-side. LinkedIn profiles are consistent, meaning that they all contain the same format in every profile. This consistency makes it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to compare different prospects side by side on the same factors. LinkedIn makes it easy to search their database on a variety of topics including industry, connections, current and previous companies, job title, location, profession, and education. LinkedIn also provides targeted updates and follower statistics which allow you to limit and target the updates that you receive.
  6. Its profiles are accurate – Research has shown that LinkedIn profiles can be more accurate than resumes. Because their profiles are seen by so many colleagues and individuals (many of whom would’ve attended the same schools and worked at the same organization), it’s much harder for an individual to “get by” with a profile that contains inaccurate information. LinkedIn profiles are also more likely to be up-to-date than resumes, in part because LinkedIn will periodically encourage you to keep improving and updating your profile.
  7. LinkedIn can help you identify when someone is about to begin looking – Smart recruiters can learn that certain actions by an individual may “signal” that they are about to enter “job search mode.” The signals might include updating their profile, joining new groups, becoming a LinkedIn answer “top expert” or increasing other networking activities. Contacting a targeted individual who in the past has expressed no interest in a job may get a completely different result when they are considering entering job search mode. And if you get there early, you will likely encounter little recruiting competition.
  8. LinkedIn makes it easy to apply – Allowing individuals to apply instantly for a job without having to update their resume is a powerful advantage. Some firms are beginning to use a LinkedIn profile (at least initially) as a substitute for a resume. One way to do that is to add an “Apply with LinkedIn” button to your job postings.
  9. It has a job-posting capability – LinkedIn makes it easy to post and distribute current job openings to both types of prospects. When you are seeking active candidates, use LinkedIn job postings as a supplement to your normal job-posting channels.
  10. It provides recommendations and facilitates introductions – If you need additional information on a prospect, LinkedIn provides a recommendations feature, which although subjective, it can provide additional insights into the individual and what others have experienced when working with them. LinkedIn also has an “introduction” feature that allows an employee to introduce a recruiter or another colleague to one of their contacts.
  11. It facilitates event recruiting – Professional events can be a great place to recruit and the LinkedIn events tool has a limited capacity to help you learn what current professional events are being attended by your target audience. It can also be used to publicize your own events.
  12. It includes executive search capability — Because many executives have LinkedIn profiles, the LinkedIn database may allow your internal recruiters to replace some external executive searches.
In addition to direct sourcing, there are many other reasons to use LinkedIn.
  1. A powerful talent management research capability — Perhaps the most unique feature of LinkedIn is that it provides you with the ability to conduct talent management research. For example, LinkedIn is the only database that allows you to identify which firms are hiring and which individuals got hired there. Research can also help you measure the turnover at a particular firm, and more importantly which firm those people turning over immediately moved on to. The research capability also allows you to find out whether the number of individuals in a particular job title at a firm are increasing or decreasing and whether employees at a particular firm are being promoted internally. If you’re interested in strategic recruiting, internal movement, and retention patterns, there is really no alternative to LinkedIn.
  2. It offers many professional learning groups – Although many think of LinkedIn as a recruiting tool, it is also evolving into a professional learning and sharing site. There are more than a million professional groups that employees and recruiters can use to learn and share. The site allows you to create your own group or join an existing functionally targeted professional group (e.g. The Recruiter Network). A group may include thousands of members, so in addition to the obvious prospect identification goal, LinkedIn groups can provide frequent opportunities for employees to share ideas and to test new approaches. Because LinkedIn is more professional than social, you are less likely to get bogged down in a lot of outside of work conversations in their groups.
  3. It provides an easy reference snapshot – In addition to recruiting, LinkedIn is a widely used reference source for quickly getting to know an individual. Many professionals use LinkedIn to get a quick snapshot of a stranger who contacted them or an individual whose name they come across while reading. With permission, it is also possible to conduct 360° reference check surveys among the connections of an individual you are considering hiring.
  4. It supports employer brand building – Building a strong employer brand is essential if you want to eventually attract the very best. LinkedIn provides the capability for firms to create their own “company page” and to populate the page with materials that help to build their employment brand. Individual employees can also send updates to their connections with links to relevant articles, news items, and blogs, which taken together may also help to strengthen your employer brand. The company page can also be used to highlight your company’s products and services.
  5. It allows you to poll – LinkedIn provides the capability of polling a large number of individuals on professional issues. Not only will polls provide you with valuable and current information but they will also signal to others that you (the poll sponsor) are a key information source on that topic.
  6. It is integrated with many other services – LinkedIn is integrated with sites like SlideShare, you can also view the presentation work of an individual prospect who you are interested in. LinkedIn allows you to link with blogs of your choice and it is at least partially integrated with many other vendors including Twitter, Taleo, Amazon, and Windows Live Messenger, just to name a few.
  7. It allows InMail for communications – LinkedIn has its own internal e-mail tool for sending messages. However, unless your messages are scripted perfectly, you can’t expect fast responses or a high response rate on your InMails. In addition, if you make the mistake of frequently spamming messages or job postings, your response rate will quickly degrade.
  8. It provides an advertising capability – Although its advertising approach is not as strong as other portals, LinkedIn provides the capability of strategically placing ads covering your products or jobs. 
Additional reasons for using LinkedIn 
Some other miscellaneous reasons associated with using LinkedIn include:
  • LinkedIn is relatively easy to learn and master by recruiters and even hiring managers.
  • Is relatively inexpensive to use, even with its advanced features.
  • If some of your employees are well-connected on LinkedIn, your recruiters may be able to piggyback on their contacts in order to get immediate sourcing results.
  • LinkedIn is continually growing and becoming more global.
  • Their answers tool can allow your employees to showcase their skills and solutions by answering the questions posed exclusively by individuals their network.
  • It can also double as a sales lead building tool.
  • Incidentally, if you’re looking for a job, contacting recruiters directly through LinkedIn isn’t the best approach.
LinkedIn seems to be on the "continual-growing" path, and if it does indeed continue to rise in popularity and garner acclaimed attention; it won't be long before "not-looking" professionals will be using the database for sourcing needs.