An Inside Look: How to Get Hired by LinkedIn

By Emily Ceskavich

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Upon reading a LinkedIn 2014 Talent Trends report that identifies a company’s workplace reputation (56%) and being known for great products or services (20%) as the top considerations for employed professionals when picking a new employer, it may come as no surprise that fans of a company’s products can grow into the best hires and brand ambassadors. To recruit these enthusiastic individuals, more and more companies have begun searching for ways to connect with prospective candidates in their daily lives.

Would Google’s employment brand within the tech industry be as compelling if their candidates didn’t experience the brilliance of the company’s products firsthand?

I was wondering that about the influence of LinkedIn’s employment brand in the hiring industry when I met Natasha Collopy, a Talent Adviser and recent hire, on LinkedIn’s Global Talent Team in Sydney, Australia. We sat down recently to talk about her experience as a candidate throughout the hiring process as well as to gain insight into how LinkedIn—a network so powerful in the hiring industry that new professions have emerged from its popularity, such as specialized profile writers and networking advisers—effectively recruits talent to join their team.

 

How did you learn about the opportunity? Did you apply or did LinkedIn actively recruit you?

I became increasingly engaged with LinkedIn after attending events like Talent Connect Sydney and various training and feedback sessions. They approached me via LinkedIn a while back for a role but it wasn’t quite the right time nor fit for me. I kept in touch with them for a few months before the right role came up and at the right time for me to consider a move.

 

Did your use of LinkedIn as a professional networking site and recruitment tool influence your decision to pursue them as an employer?

It did – I’m a huge LinkedIn geek! Our innovative solutions have disrupted the world of talent acquisition in particular, and personally, they have inspired me as an HR and recruitment professional to think differently and think bigger about recruitment and personal branding. I’ve always sought out employers whose solutions or products I can trust and believe in and I can definitely say that I have that trust and belief in our solutions at LinkedIn.

 

LinkedIn's employment brand places a strong emphasis on transforming careers and connecting professionals globally. How did you see these company values reflected during your recruitment?

The company values were a real constant for me throughout the recruitment process.

From my first connection with LinkedIn to my induction, they sought to uncover how I want to transform myself personally and professionally. One of my stand-out moments was a conversation with the head of the team, which became more of a coaching conversation that really teased out what "career transformation" meant for me, and shared how working at LinkedIn would help me achieve my transformative goals and more.

Our CEO Jeff said late last year that;

“to find a rock star, you need to understand what it is they want to do so that you can determine if they’re a good fit” [1] 

We spent significant time discussing my desired career transformation in my recruitment to LinkedIn to confirm there was alignment. I’m glad we agreed there is!

 

What is a feature on LinkedIn that you think job seekers may not know about or leverage enough in their job search?

Their own profile! The LinkedIn profile is so much more than an online resume; it’s your online professional brand that, if done credibly, sets you up for success and opens doors to opportunities.

Having a complete and up-to-date LinkedIn profile is a great way to get noticed by recruiters and your broader network for the right opportunities for you. It can help you be seen as a thought leader in your space when truly optimized. Your profile puts you in front of a global audience so don’t sell yourself short, however it is important to be yourself and sound authentic. Also don’t just stop at creating a good profile, make sure it is active by sharing interesting news/content through status updates, following influencers and participating in relevant LinkedIn groups.

One piece of insight I learnt right after I joined LinkedIn is that having a profile photo boosts your chances of being viewed or discovered on LinkedIn by 11 times!  There are lots of resources online to help you develop an awesome profile and I would encourage all job seekers to leverage these.

 

Which elements of LinkedIn’s employer branding struck you the most as a candidate?

For me, the main element was the focus on transformation of self, LinkedIn and the world! I also personally connected with the messages of innovation and creative thinking in the branding – I really felt that I would be encouraged to dream big and innovate in my role and beyond. After eight weeks here, I can already attest to that as true!

Humour is also a differentiating element.  In a hyper-growth company, having fun while working hard to get things done makes so much sense. 

 

Do you have advice for HR and talent acquisition professionals wanting to land a job at LinkedIn?

Engage with us! Everyone at LinkedIn is so passionate about what they do, which is something that struck me from my first engagement with the company. We all love talking to talent, not necessarily limited to those in HR or Talent Acquisition, who want to transform the world.

We don’t just recruit LinkedIn product evangelists here, but it helps to show you have a working knowledge of our platform and tools, as this will definitely help you appreciate what we do and what we stand for.  For example, you can share news and insights with your LinkedIn network, publish long-form content that showcases your expertise, join and participate in relevant discussion groups, etc.

 

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As Natasha’s story shows, it is increasingly important for candidates to identify the companies they’d like to work for and then work toward building relationships with those organizations early on, even if the timing isn’t quite right for a move at the time. Be proactive and let employers see your passion shine through.

Does LinkedIn hold a place on your dream employer “wish list”? How do you use LinkedIn to transform your career? 

 

References

[1] LinkedIn Talent Blog – 23rd October 2014  http://talent.linkedin.com/blog/index.php/2014/10/linkedins-ceo-jeff-weiner-shares-the-4-as-that-make-a-great-recruiter

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