6 tips on how recruiters can get the most out of LinkedIn

January 26th, 2023 - Jacco Valkenburg

LinkedIn is a potential gold mine for recruiters. Even if you just have a free account, you can still find suitable candidates. Making sure your own profile is in order, as well as searching smartly and approaching candidates proactively, is something you need to master.

A common fallacy among recruiters is that they advertise more when they have few applicants. More advertising will get you more candidates.

They think.

“If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got”

In one of my previous blogs, (about thinking errors among starting recruiters), I wrote that it is better to focus on high-quality candidates than on the quantity of them. Recruitment via LinkedIn is a proven successful quality source. I will give a masterclass on this subject and share a few tips with you here.

The LinkedIn profile of a recruiter

First, take a critical look at your own profile. After all, candidates will immediately look at this when you approach them. The first thing they will see is your photo, your name and the headline. In the latter, many people have their current position and company name listed. But, if you are a recruiter at or for a relatively unknown organization that won’t be useful, as people will not be impressed enough to respond immediately.

Instead, if you are looking for specialists, present yourself in your headline as a (speciality) recruiter, for example a .NET recruiter or Recruiter in Healthcare.

Such a specialism helps you to connect with the candidate. I myself regularly choose to put a specific vacancy in my headline when I am looking for IT specialists for instance.

The LinkedIn network of the recruiter

Having a robust network is a must! The larger your network, the more interesting you are for LinkedIn, which in turn shows your posts with a greater frequency to your network. Add one or two super connectors with more than 10,000 1st-degree connections to your network, even if you don’t know them. Your network of second- and third-degree connections will then grow explosively, resulting in your messages being read much more often.

It’s not just about quantity, of course: I don’t need a large network outside my core business. But I do accept any request from a recruiter or HR professional in the Netherlands. So feel free to add me!

Tips for searching on LinkedIn

I can talk for hours on this topic. I will limit myself to 3 tips here.

  • Make use of Boolean Search strings. With terms like AND and OR you can limit or expand a search.  Job boards and other social media, usually allow you to use Boolean too, so mastering it is important.
  • View the profile of someone who already has the position you are looking for at the organization of your interest. Then you may find slightly different search terms than the ones you would use yourself.
  • Always search multilingual. Many people have drawn up their profiles in English and their mother tongue. It would be a shame to you miss potentially good candidates because of this.

Approaching candidates via LinkedIn

After finding 100 to 200 candidates via LinkedIn, I read the profiles. Then, I make an initial selection of approximately 100 candidates that I absolutely want to speak to. Finally, I send them a personal message. And a few more messages with more and more information each time. This is more effective than including the full job description in the first message to a large group of people (who are not actively looking for a job). Think of such a first message as the start of a conversation; don’t go straight into a sales pitch or fall into the pitfall of sharing everything.

This approach — from profiling to properly shortlisting potential candidates — gets me an above-average response rate on LinkedIn.

Do you want to know everything about recruitment via LinkedIn?

I already said it in the intro: LinkedIn is a gold mine for recruiters, providing they use the network in the right way. The pro-active approach that I described above is time-consuming, but also saves you time on the other: you will be able to get hold of the right candidate faster.

In my Masterclass Recruitment via LinkedIn I share many more tips for making the most of this business social network. Reach out to me if you want to discover more.


For more information feel free to contact Jacco Valkenburg, by telephone +31 6 2825 7098 or by e-mail jacco@recruit2.com

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