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Your Target Talent Is No Longer All On LinkedIn

target talent is no longer all on linkedin

The world of HR and recruitment seems based on many flawed assumptions , such as the perfect candidates actually exists; candidates don’t use social media, job boards are dead and (a big one for me) all the candidates you need to recruit are on LinkedIn. They are all of course poppycock, but all still talked about every day as if they are true! While I could happily cover them all off, I want to deal with the last one in this post - LinkedIn might be a great place to recruit candidates from, but that doesn’t mean that all the talent in your sector has a LinkedIn profile.

It is at about this time of year that my good friend, Martin Lee, starts sending me sarcastic Facebook messages and tweets. They are always along the same lines…….. “not another trip, Andy? How many is that now this year?”  Well to be fair, it must look like that to anyone that follows me on social media, as I share a few pictures on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram of each of my foreign travels. The truth is they are usually all work trips - either working with clients, running workshops or keynote speaking at HR or recruitment conferences.

This week I am off to Oslo in Norway, to spend a couple of days with HR Norge and their members at their annual conference. (And just to make Martin happy, it will be Saudi Arabia in April and Canada in May). One of the sessions I am doing in Oslo is a workshop on how to use recruitment content marketing from the perspective of HR/recruitment. One discussion point is around taking the time to find actually find out where the talent a company needs is, and not making assumptions on their whereabouts.

One of the biggest issues I have to deal with when working with organisation is around the talent they are trying to find for their company. STILL the no.1 challenge is to get HR and recruitment (in both in-house teams and - amazingly - recruitment agencies), to see past the industry supertanker that is LinkedIn. When will people realise that NOT ALL CANDIDATES ARE ON LINKEDIN, and if they are then companies could well be making their employees harder for you to find them, like JP Morgan, who have told their employees to downsize their LinkedIn profiles.

Obviously to find the talent you are seeking is you first have to know what you are looking for.

You must do your homework, or you will never find the people you actually want to find. Here are just some of the factors you need to work on for each role:

  • Job title synonyms - all of them
  • Companies where they could work - all of them
  • What they do in their roles - including keywords and industry phrases
  • What they use - the systems, tools, technology and methodologies
  • Education - specific courses and universities
  • Required skills - languages, country experience etc

Then it is a question of searching and looking in the many different places people could be online. Did you know that the average person is on 4-5 different social networks?

average number of social networks

Now all you have to do is find out which ones so that you can engage with them there. Here are some ones to start with:

social networks

Some of them make it easier to find people on, and simply using the search on the different networks will help you do that. If not then here are some useful tools that will help you:

  1. Facebook graph search: This is one of my favourite recruitment tools (and yes it is a recruitment tool!) because of the sheer volume of people and information on it. To make it easy use this awesome tool built by Balazs and Shane. It is really easy to use and will help you to find people with skills that are not searchable elsewhere, like languages and countries.
  2. Followerwonk: this has been my favourite tool for searching Twitter for years now. It is a great way to search Twitter Bios for skills, titles and keywords.
  3. Google x-ray search: without doubt this is the best tool for searching across all the social networks (apart from Facebook that is!). Here are some of the strings that you should use to search the different social networks (obviously changing the search phrases). Simply cut and paste these into Google :
    • Google Plus (every range of person is on G+) - site:plus.google.com “lives in london” “works at Facebook”
    • Twitter Lists (Curated lists of many job titles in bios) - site:twitter.com inurl:lists “UX designers”
    • Behance (freelance and contract designers) - site:behance.net inurl:resume “motion graphics” london designer
  4. GitHub for developers: if you are searching for developers, then this post on Social Talent is just simple fantastic and has everything you need to know about finding developers on GitHub.
  5. Username tip: you will be surprised that many users have the same username on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Google them first, find the username and then search the other sites.
  6. Alternatively you could invest in one of the People Aggregators like Talent Bin by Monster, Dice OpenWeb or Entelo to search 100’s of the social sites for you. They work fantastically well in certain sectors and are worth the investment (similar to LinkedIn Recruiter licence fee structure)

When you have found the networks that your target talent audience is on then it is time to put more focus on those networks and really start to drill down and start to develop your talent pools/pipelines in whichever method you use.

The next step is communication and engagement with all the talent you have identified, but that is for another day and another blog post.

If you want to discuss / need help for any of the above further, just let me know. And remember if you like this post, don’t forget to subscribe to Sirona Says blog to ensure you don’t miss  the weekly posts.

  • Simon McSorley

    Nice one Andy, i’m constantly amazed at the volume of free content you can find out there, if you’re prepared to look for it. Amazing that the large corporate PSL driven agencies haven’t evolved their thinking. Thanks again, great post and if you ever make it Australia let me know.

    • Thanks Simon. This is a problem bigger than many people realise - it is as if they are all wearing LinkedIn blinkers!
      I will get down to Australia at some stage soon I hope - just awaiting a good opportunity to do so.

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  • Lynne Wilkins

    Great post Andy, very useful reminder not to be lazy. Think like your target candidate, know them inside out, where do they congregate and what do they talk about etc. Thanks for this