Five Things You Are Doing Wrong When Approaching Candidates on LinkedIn

By Aleyx Perks

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LinkedIn is widely used within the recruitment industry and has become a powerful business tool for finding the best talent and nurturing a large network of both candidates and clients.

As recruiters, you already know how useful LinkedIn is and how much you utilise it to approach talent, but how often do you consider the end user before you hit send? Many of us are careless in the way we approach candidates on LinkedIn and as a result are putting them off. Follow our top tips to help you attract top talent.

1 - Research the candidate

If you cannot take the time out to properly research the candidate then why should they bother taking the time to engage with you? With easy access to Google, you can run a quick background check on these candidates to check they are the right fit for your position.

Past employment – have they worked for a similar employer? If you are looking for an SEO specialist for a marketing agency, an in-house marketer with some SEO skills is not going to fit the bill. 

Skill-set – Do the majority of their listed skills match what you are looking for? No? Move on then.

Location – Are they based in the right location for the position? Too many recruiters just assume candidates will relocate for their job position or that a two hour commute each way is acceptable. Think about your reaction if someone approached you for a job in Swindon when you live in Brighton.

Granted there are always exceptions but as a rule, don’t approach if they do not tick all the above boxes, you are only going to annoy them with an unsuitable position and alienate them from future engagement.

2 - Tailor your job description to match the candidate

As a recruiter, you expect a candidate to tailor their application to match the advertised job description and get very frustrated when they don’t. The same frustration is felt by the candidate when recruiters approach them for a job role with a generic job description.

Always tailor the job description to match their skill set, it highlights you have researched them and believe they are the right fit for the role.

There is a talent shortage in many industries, with many recruiters fighting for the top talent for their vacancies; you really need to sell your role to candidates. It’s no longer enough to simply blast out a generic job description. Do this, and the talent will run off to your nearest competitor.

3 - Tell the candidate the company you are recruiting for

Be open with your candidate

Understandably, sometimes a client does not want you to reveal their company during the initial recruitment process. However, whenever possible be open with the candidate and let them know who you are recruiting for.

Refusing to tell the candidate the company you are recruiting for can often put them off altogether and you risk losing a perfectly good candidate.

From the candidate’s perspective, knowing the company which the position is advertised for is very important when considering a new role. Would you want to discuss a recruitment role for an agency you didn’t know?

Think about it.

4 - Explain what the company does

As well as wanting to know the company you are recruiting for, the candidate is going to want to know what the company does and what makes it such a great place to work.  You have to sell the company as much as you have to sell the job.

5 - Don’t approach someone unless you have a vacancy in mind

Candidates are not going to waste time speaking to you unless they can see real opportunity for themselves. If you don’t have a specific vacancy at that time, explain to them why they should engage with you – let them know you have some fantastic connections in their industry.

This may seem like obvious stuff but we have heard many stories about recruiters approaching candidates in a manner that does not fit the above. We are all busy but just stop, think and take a bit of time to tailor your approach to each candidate, you will thank us later. 

About the Author

Aleyx Perks is the Head of Digital at JobFruit, a company which provides specialist job boards for recruitment companies. For more insights, follow us on @JobFruit


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