Deep dive into Linkedin Recruiter – 8 tips to make you question your usual sourcing ways

Key takeaways from this blog:

  • How to overcome obstacles in finding new candidates on Linkedin
  • Where to look for keywords when you don’t understand the profile you’ve been given
  • How to use Linkedin Recruiter filters to your best advantage

It’s your first day of job as an IT recruiter and, for some reason, everyone keeps mentioning Ruby and you don’t understand what a girl from a Spanish telenovela has to do with programming. So you nod your head and you scribble in your notebook pretending you have the slightest idea about the difference between a programming language and a framework. After some time you get introduced to Linkedin Recruiter and you start your first search for a Java developer, or God forbid, an Android developer. 

You’ve skimmed through the filters, you’re happy you’ve finally understood what Boolean search is, and you’re on top of the world. Well, at least for a while…until you get your first 50 rejection inmails. So, what happens then? How do you keep going despite the obstacles?

Here are 8 sourcing tips that I hope can help you in becoming the world-class sourcing ninja you know you can be!  

  1. So you’ve learned your way with Java or .NET profiles, but suddenly you get a request to source for a profile you have never heard of. Where to start when you don’t even know what the main keywords would be? Find the CV of your colleagues who already work in these technologies. Usually, these CVs that you send to your clients are more detailed, so you can see what kind of tools and frameworks you could use in your Boolean search.
  2. OK, so now you know your keywords but you still don’t understand the profile. You want to know which companies are focused on these technologies so that you can start your search focused on the right people. Just type the name of the main technologies/tools or the name of the position in ‘keywords’, add location, and click ‘search’. Right under the general search filter, you will see ‘See search breakdown’. This allows you to see the most frequent companies your candidates come from, as well as their education profile and location. By clicking on the bar that represents people from a certain company, Linkedin will show you only people who fit these criteria, so you can immediately start contacting them.
  3. And when feeling like you’re at the end of your rope, you can always go to these companies’ Linkedin public profiles, and click on their employees. This takes a lot of time, but if the company is focused on certain technologies, there is a great chance that candidates who don’t have anything written in their profile, are still good candidates for you. Taking a risk can often pay off, so I encourage you to write to these candidates, especially since these are the profiles that don’t appear in recruiter’s searches, so they rarely, if ever, receive messages.
  4. You have been sourcing for a while and you keep seeing that one profile that has a note ’DO NOT CONTACT’ and you keep screaming to yourself, I know, I know… So how to get to new candidates that you or your team haven’t already contacted? There are more ways to do so:

    • Go to advanced search, under ’Recruiting and candidate activity tab’, check the box ’Hide previously viewed’. This will keep the profiles you have already seen through in your search.
    • Under the ’Recruiting activity’ tab, you can opt for people without messages/notes et cetera. This will help you exclude the profiles that your team has already contacted in the past, and up your chances of finding new people.
    • Under ’Candidate details’ you can tick the box ’Recently joined Linkedin’. In this way, you will see all the candidates who have made their profiles in the last couple of days, weeks, or months (you choose the time). These profiles will make your day! They are new to Linkedin, which means they have little or no messages from other recruiters, and more often than not, they are interested in changing their company.
  5. You still can’t find new candidates? Turn to your colleagues. Go to their public Linkedin profiles and look at their endorsements. Try looking into the profiles of people who have endorsed them. Usually, these are the people who studied with them or worked with them in their previous companies, so they should be good candidates.
  6. Off to more specific problems! You want to exclude certain companies from your Linkedin search, but you are not sure how to use the Boolean operator ‘NOT’? Just type the name of the company in the section ’Companies’ and hold your cursor on the name of the company, until you see this sign: ‘Ø’, and then click on it. This way, the candidates from the companies you chose won’t be appearing in your search results.
  7. Your superiors are looking for KPIs? They want to know how many candidates you have contacted, how many replies you received, and what your response rate is? All of this data you already have on your profile. You need to click at the top of the Linkedin recruiter homepage on ‘Reports’, then choose ‘Inmail’ and click on the dates you want to calculate your KPIs for. Under ‘Inmail insights’ you can see the average response rate. Moreover, in the same section, on the graph, if you put your cursor on particular dates you can see how many messages you have sent on that day. Be aware that the line of the graph shows the response rate, not the total number of sent Inmails.
  8. We are still on Inmail reports, so bear with me a little longer. Ever wondered how different profiles respond to your messages, and whether you should up your game and send more messages for a certain kind of programmer? If you scroll to the section ‘Inmail details’ and then choose ‘templates’, you can see the average response rate for different templates you have sent. Since different templates are usually used for different profiles, this can hold information on what kind of technical profiles are more difficult to attract and gain responses for. Nevertheless, this report can be useful even when you simply want to check the impact of different writing styles on your Inmails.

My last piece of advice has nothing and everything to do with Linkedin. Stay patient, and optimistic, and know you have done your best to attract the right candidates. A lot of success in sourcing comes from the things you don’t necessarily control, so focus on the things you can control. It’s not the easiest job, but, as you have hopefully seen from these tips, it can be quite creative and make you challenge yourself in various ways. So, keep on sourcing, my dear colleagues!

Author: Anja Zelenbaba, HR generalist at RT-RK

About the company: Headquartered in Novi Sad and with offices in Belgrade and Banja Luka, RT-RK employs more than 600 experts from the field of information technologies, making it one of the biggest companies for software solutions in southeast Europe. Cirrus Logic, TTTech, Sharp, Onkyo Corporation, Sound United (Denon and Marantz), Google, True, Docomo, Jio, Bouygues, CANAL+, MEDIATEK are just some of the names from the list of our satisfied partners and clients.


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