The Power of LinkedIn
Social media is an intrinsic part of modern life. Whether it’s sharing a picture of tonight’s dinner on Instagram, or Snap Chatting a night out. Although many companies now utilise the likes of Facebook to promote brand awareness and advertise services provided, LinkedIn has long been considered the professional social media platform of choice for networking amongst all industries. In this blog, Zitko Recruitment Consultant Paul Gooding takes a look at the role LinkedIn plays within candidate engagement and recruitment.
So, is there a good way of using LinkedIn? And more importantly, is there a bad way of using LinkedIn?
From a recruitment point of view, I believe so. LinkedIn can be a powerful tool when used correctly! I should know, I found my current job through LinkedIn. More accurately my boss found me. But with everything, most people have different ideas and approaches on how to deal with situations. Rather than dwelling on some of the negatives. I wanted to share with you what I think was an excellent example in finding a new job via LinkedIn.
Eugene is 36 years old, from Leeds, West Yorkshire. He is married with one son. He has been in the security industry for 17 years from an apprentice to working as an operations manager.
A mutual acquaintance suggested he give me a call after he had found himself in a bit of an unfortunate situation. After accepting a new, exciting role, handing in his resignation, serving his notice at his previous company, he was told the week before he was due to start that his new job was no longer available. He found himself without a job the week before he was due to start. I’m sure you’d agree, that’s a devastating situation to be in.
Eugene and I spoke at length about his previous experience, his main priorities moving forward and what he had done so far. We got on well and built up a good rapport, Eugene was what we commonly refer to as a good egg!
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any live vacancies suitable for him in his area. So as any recruiter would, I took Eugene to market. I spoke to all my clients and let them know about his situation. I spoke to prospective clients and let them know about his situation and of course I reached out to LinkedIn and spoke about his situation. We kept in regular contact but at the time I was unable to put him in front of the right company.
What was noticeable during our work together, was Eugene’s own approach on LinkedIn.
He didn’t moan about his situation or complain about the state of the industry and why no one was looking to hire him. No sneaky comments or negative remarks.
He was nice. He gave advice and support to other people in a similar position from a professional stand point.
He commented on other people’s articles about his experiences and he added resolutions to other peoples’ problems when he could.
He added content and support, but the thing that we really noticed was that he did so in a very positive way. I’m sure there were times when he got dis-heartened with his job search, as to be expected. Having to find a new job out the blue isn’t a position that many people would relish.
However, our story does have a happy ending. I’d love to say that in each case, with every candidate I speak to, I can find the perfect match. But I can’t. Recruitment doesn’t work like that. The happy ending in this role comes directly off the back of the work Eugene did on LinkedIn. His activity didn’t go un-noticed by others. He was contacted directly by his now, new employer, who he has been working with for a couple of months and couldn’t be happier. A happy ending!
I caught up with Eugene after he had settled into his new role to ask if he could offer some advice to others on his experience.
How active were you on LinkedIn prior to your job search?
Very, at least once a day with regular posts which concerned our ongoing relationships with customers, project progress or case studies.
You obviously had to deal with the worst possible news any candidate could get (when the job offer you had was pulled). How did you feel when you got the email explaining your new role was no longer available?
Initially I was shocked and surprised especially them not taking the time to discuss their decision verbally but to email instead. I didn’t take it personally, I remained positive and eventually I was relieved. If a large company can be so indecisive before commencement of employment, then who knows what they would be like during employment. It was certainly their loss and not mine.
Did you have a plan on how to use LinkedIn to find a new role?
At first no, as I hadn’t used LinkedIn previously for this. However, I was aware of positions available by numerous connections within my profile. Although I try to remain positive at all times, I became aware that there was a lack of management roles in my area and within this industry. That was my initial issue. I set out hashtag searching which brought a lot results up within the industry but none in my area.
How did you find the experience and the LinkedIn community during your job search?
Generally, very good and very helpful. It was great and re-assuring that people were willing to share my posts and even enquiring for me. Some of these people may have been people I’d not met before but was still willing to help. Equally I had a lot of timewasters, some arranging informal meetings and not turning up or people who I’d met for interviews but hadn’t bothered to get back to me.
From your experience what are the key things to do when looking for a new role via social media?
Connect with the right people within your industry, e.g. specialist recruitment, manufacturers, distributors, potential companies etc. All these people have common ground with each other and you hope that your posts will reach the right people. Remain positive, if things don’t work out then they aren’t meant to be. You must be confident in your ability and know that the right job will land.
What do you think are the main benefits of using LinkedIn?
A wide audience with predominately specialist people. It’s a platform for an individual to be known or to be recognised providing it’s used correctly.
Why do you think LinkedIn worked so well for you?
As the point above really, I put myself out there and was recognised by numerous companies. I was lucky enough to have several positions offered to me.
Any further advice to anyone in a similar position?
Stay positive, patient and be confident in what you want and don’t just make do. Otherwise you won’t be happy, and you will be constantly searching for the right position.
Now, I know that Eugene’s example isn’t going to fit into everyone’s situation. Location, Job title, salary, key priorities, they all differ, and timing is normally the key factor! But taking the main point away from this article and Eugene’s story is the way that you approach situations. Stay Positive and stay professional.
Well Done Eugene, all of us at Zitko wish you all the best for the future!
Written by: Paul Gooding, Recruitment Consultant, Zitko Consulting