The following transcript was taken from InSights, a staffing and recruiting podcast from Haley Marketing Group dedicated to providing quick-hitting takeaways on Social Recruiting, Content Marketing and Employer Branding. To listen to the episode, click play on the player above or visit the episode page
[InSights] LinkedIn: Turning Connections into Relationships
Brad Bialy: Matt, let’s talk LinkedIn. It’s no secret to recruiters and staffing specialists that LinkedIn has amazing value when it comes to sourcing potential candidates on social media. But, how can we build relationships on LinkedIn, and how can we lay the foundation on a personal level to attract those passive job seekers?
Matt Lozar: My example isn’t directly passive job seekers, but the point holds. At the conference I was attending last week in Chicago I met some new people, made some new contacts to find some maybe potential people we could work with here at Haley Marketing Group. I rarely asked for a business card. I said, “I’ll connect with you on LinkedIn.” They’re like, “Great.”
Brad Bialy: Yeah, and one thing I’ve actually seen Brad Smith, who’s our director of SEO and social media, do at conferences is take a picture of somebody’s name tag. Then, as soon as they walk away or when we have a couple minutes he’ll on LinkedIn and connect with them. But, instead of asking for that business card, it’s just taking out the iPhone and taking a picture of the name tag, name` badge, and then going on LinkedIn that way.
Matt Lozar: We could convert that to the job seeker. Maybe it’s at a job fair or somebody that walks into your office, or any way you come across a new active or passive candidate, is just connect with them on LinkedIn. Or, ask them to connect with you on LinkedIn. Kind of put that onus on them to really take the initiative. To send you a connection request, maybe with a message to jog your memory.
Brad Bialy: Yeah, it’s certainly the new business card. I know I am constantly updating my LinkedIn profile. After I go out and speak at another conference I’m adding that into my bio, I’m adding in different details, things that we’re improving at Haley Marketing Group that I have my hands involved with. It’s just a constant running business card of who you are, and really to take it a step further, it’s your online resume. It’s a great way to showcase who you are, so when you’re building these relationships on LinkedIn you constantly want to look for new people to connect with.
Brad Bialy: I know for me specifically I’m constantly connecting with staffing specialists, recruiters in the industry. But, if you want to grow your connections on LinkedIn, what I would encourage you to do is search for a role that you’re actively trying to source. If it’s a project manager, on LinkedIn you can go into the top navigation and you can search for project manager. From there you can filter that by a city. Buffalo, New York. That will show you everybody on LinkedIn who has project manager and Buffalo, New York, in their profile.
Brad Bialy: Go through and connect with 20 to 30 of those individuals every other day, and now you’re building a database of people that are passively looking for work. Everybody’s always passively looking, right, grass is always greener mentality. But, you’re building your database, and then they can reach out to you as you start to share content.
Matt Lozar: I think another way we could really look at is going into LinkedIn groups. We profess LinkedIn groups really big here at Haley Marketing or even on the podcast here with InSights, but those are people engaged in a topic. Let’s run with Brad’s example of project managers in Buffalo. Let’s just look at for a project managers group in general on LinkedIn, and join into that group. The content shared in that group can be traditional blog posts or maybe just people looking for advice, and usually there’s a second tab for jobs, where you could post your jobs. Jump into those groups, engage with the followers and the members of those groups, and use your knowledge to become a thought leader with other people in that group, and then once you find some really bright and insightful members of that group, connect with them.
Brad Bialy: Absolutely. The last thing you want to do when joining a group is going in and consistently spamming job after job after job, or blog after blog after blog. You want to become a part of the community. It’s something that I preach in my personal branding delivery. You have to become a part of the group. If you think about being at a networking event and being offline, if somebody walked into that networking event and all they did was scream, “Hey, I have a new job available.” There’s no shot that you would go over and actually talk to them. But instead, you join the conversation, you ask about who they are, you get to know them, and then from there you build that relationship. It’s the exact same online.
Matt Lozar: Building off that personal relationship to find even more candidates, or it could be clients too, but we’re focusing on candidates here. Search hashtags on LinkedIn, they’ve started to grow, and that engagement point Brad really pushes goes to that next level. I was at a conference last week, the hashtag was TAtech RM. Search for that hashtag to find other attendees at the conference, or maybe search anything, it could be nursing, it could be healthcare, it could be information technology. LinkedIn has done a really good job if you start typing in a hashtag, to start auto-filling it like a Google search would. It gives you some suggestions on other hashtags people are using, and to really dig into the content on LinkedIn to find people talking about the topics you’re interested in. Then, use your recruiter and networking skills to make that personal connection and run with it.
Brad Bialy: I think ultimately it comes down to being human on LinkedIn. If you want to start a relationship and start relationship marketing on LinkedIn, you need to be human. You need to be an individual that’s actively adding value to the community, listening in groups, joining the conversation, reaching out individually and connecting to people. Not just messaging saying, “Hey Brad, looks like you’re a project manager, any interest in a new job?” But actually seeing what’s in it for that individual. What are they passionate about, who are they? Learning who they are at their core.
Brad Bialy: I know on InSights we’ve talked about Marketing Rebellion, the new book my Mark Schaefer, but he preaches that the most human company wins. That’s really the core of Marketing Rebellion. I stand by that message, especially as we talk about this segment here. Instead of thinking about all the ways that you could essentially automate LinkedIn, if you want to build a relationship on the network, you need to use the network as it’s created. Put the human back in the social media, put the social back in social media, and actively connect with people and engage with them.