Whether they’ve heard your company’s name before or have stumbled across a job ad on a job-seeking platform, chances are that a candidate’s next step is to check out your organisation’s LinkedIn page.
In fact, 79 per cent of job seekers use social media in their job search — a figure that jumps up to 86 per cent for younger job seekers who are in the first 10 years of their career.
It’s easy to see why! As a professional networking site, LinkedIn offers:
- A company overview of your products or services.
- Visibility to important company updates.
- An opportunity for candidates to check who else is working for your company.
So, when you’re looking to hire a new employee, it’s important to be proactive and make sure your company’s profile showcases not only why clients would want to work with you, but also why employees would want to work for you.
From top to bottom, here’s how to build your company’s LinkedIn strategy to attract candidates.
But first, we create
If you’ve never created a company LinkedIn profile, this section is for you! (If you have, keep scrolling to the next headline.)
Log into your LinkedIn profile and hit the ‘Work’ tab in the top right corner.
In the drop-down, select the ‘Create a Company Page’ tab.
From there, you should see a page titled ‘Let’s Set up your Company Page.’ Enter your company name, and feel free to edit the URL section if you’d like a completely unique URL.
Then, press the ‘Create page’ button to finalise the page.
Let’s get visual
Despite what your mum tells you, people do judge a book by its cover.
For your LinkedIn profile, this means your company’s cover photo.
Your company profile photo should be pretty straight forward – your logo. But the cover photo is where you can inject a bit more life into an otherwise text-heavy page.
Use images and short phrases that conveys your brand’s story.
Who do you help?
What’s your company’s purpose statement?
What are your values?
These are all great places to start.
Once you’ve decided on a concept and the images you’d like to use, ensure that you’re using a high quality image to make a strong first impression.
The ideal LinkedIn profile picture size is 400 x 400 pixels; whereas the ideal LinkedIn cover photo size is 1584 x 396 pixels.
The easiest (and free) way to do this is by using a website like Canva to resize your image to the correct dimensions and add text, should you choose to.
By building your brand’s story in a visual way, you’re able to show clients and potential candidates what your company does with a bit of personality.
The ‘key’ to success
Consider how a potential candidate might search for a role at your company.
These words or phrases are known as ‘keywords,’ which can be found embedded in the text and images of your company’s posts or through hashtags.
LinkedIn’s algorithm links these keywords together so when a candidate is searching for these keywords or hashtags, all the posts using these words pop up.
A great place to start looking for your own keywords is Google KeySearch. Start with your industry niche and products/services before working your way over to job titles for current and upcoming roles.
While LinkedIn is not a search engine, using a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tool, such as KeySearch, is a great way to understand how people are searching for your industry’s keywords in a larger sense — which is a great way to attract candidates.
You will be using these for your “About” section and job ads.
The 5 W’s
When a candidate is checking out your LinkedIn page, one of their first stops will be the “About” section.
While this section should be geared toward your customers as opposed to candidates, it will help candidates gain insight into what your company does and where it’s going.
So, get back to storytelling basics by answering the 5 W’s:
Who are the people that work for your company?
What products/services do you offer? What’s your company’s mission?
When was your company established?
Where are you located?
Why should your customer go with you over your competition?
There is also a section where you can input your company’s website, industry, company size, headquarters, your product or service specialties, and whether your company is privately or publicly owned.
Be sure to tell your company story whilst using your industry niche and product/services keywords here to make your company more easily searchable.
And always finish with a call to action — a simple “For more information, visit our website: [URL]” will help your candidate’s journey once they’ve finished checking out your LinkedIn page.
Get consistent with it
Although LinkedIn is a social media platform, most people don’t check it apart from during business hours.
It’s mostly a B2B audience.
In a general sense, ideal posting times are between 10 - 11 am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays. While Mondays and Fridays won’t receive as much engagement, it’s still important to share some form of post to keep LinkedIn’s algorithm happy.
What posts should you share
Much like your company’s “About” section, the majority of the posts your company shares on LinkedIn should be geared toward your customer.
You should be posting content that establishes you as a thought leader in your industry.
In other words, your posts should be carefully curated and highly engaging. This could be thought-provoking blog posts, articles and videos, which are highly favoured by LinkedIn’s algorithm.
Ideally, find content that targets and resolves pain points in your industry to ensure your customers will find your LinkedIn page valuable.
This, in turn, will enable your candidate to gain valuable insights into what problems your company helps resolve and common industry issues, should they not be familiar with the particular industry your company works within.
You should also share innovative HR policies on your company’s LinkedIn page, or any noteworthy celebrations or updates. By giving candidates these little glimpses into your company, candidates can see what they can expect as a member of your company.
Your employees are your #1 brand ambassadors
We all know the importance of testimonials for your product or service.
In fact, 88 per cent of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts, according to BrightLocal.
This also applies to your internal hiring.
As part of your onboarding process, encourage your new hires to show that they’re working at your company and supply them with an abridged version of your “About” section to put under the “Experience” section of their LinkedIn profiles.
Make it clear that your company encourages its employees to engage with your social media channels. Mike Smith, the CEO of ANZ sent a company-wide email to his employees about the value of LinkedIn and asked his employees to get involved with commenting and sharing the company’s posts.
For existing employees, encourage them to review your business on LinkedIn or Glassdoor. By asking your employees to review your business publicly or anonymously, you’re giving potential candidates an honest look into your company culture.
Finally, giving your employees social media training, which includes sharing company updates with their networks, will help promote your brand presence across LinkedIn. Employees should never have to share anything they don’t want to, but do encourage them to share any company updates on their personal networks.
Clinching the deal – The job ad
One of the final (and top) ways to attract candidates is to put out a job ad.
If you’re a first-time job poster on LinkedIn, they have a comprehensive post on how to post a job ad, here. Otherwise, continue on:
We will assume at this stage that you already have signed off the recruiting budget, a job description from the direct manager and an Employee Value Proposition (EVP).
In other words, you already know how much you can advertise the role for, you know what their key responsibilities are and you know what makes your company better than the rest.
So, here are our top 3 tips that are guaranteed to catch your top candidate’s eye:
1. Use employer review sites to your advantage.
With employer review sites like Indeed forums, it’s easy to find what potential candidates might not like about their current role. Simply search for the position you’re researching in quotation marks to ensure an exact match. (i.e. “Java Developer”)
Scroll through the forum to look for what people do and don’t like about the job, and use those to hook your candidates in to your role.
For instance, one of the top pain points for Java Developers is a lack of work-life balance. If your company allows remote work or flexible hours, flaunt it!
2. Don’t reinvent the wheel
Going back to our section on the ‘Key’ to success, make sure you’re using the most common terms to refer to a position and its responsibilities in a job ad.
These keywords and phrases are going to be how a candidate is searching for a role — both in the LinkedIn search and when they do their preliminary skimming through the ad.
For instance, a Java Developer would most likely search “Java Developer” in the LinkedIn search before skimming through relevant job ads for key skills he or she may have, such as Maven, Angular JS, SQL and Spring boot.
For more broad roles, where they may be multiple job titles for the same role, it’s essential to do a little “keyword stuffing,” where you use the variations of the job title to help make it more findable to the relevant candidates.
For example, an administrative assistant may also be called an admin assistant, secretary or a receptionist. Mix them up to catch candidates looking across any of these similar job titles.
3. Keep it scannable and about THEM
Keep your job ad candidate-focused. People want to read about themselves and how you can solve their problems right upfront. And, of course, they want it to be short and sweet.
You know what they’re looking for in a new role thanks to your research on their pain points. And you know what they’re looking for in terms of skill set thanks to your research on keywords.
Use these learnings to your advantage.
Title: Use the generic job title as the title. So, for the above example, we would title the job ad as “Java Developer.”
Include the salary, key benefits and location at the top.
i.e. Up to $110K package (including super) + great benefits. Sydney CBD.
Introduce the role: This is where you can hook your candidate with the pain points we researched above.
i.e. Tired of working long shifts with an overwhelming workload? Come join a team where you can succeed, with the ability to work remotely and with hours in lieu.
Sell the role: Only include requirements that are absolutely essential to this job. Try to limit this to 3-5 things. Then provide information on work hours, pay, and your EVP. Bullet points are preferred to keep your job ad nice and scannable.
What they need to succeed: Highlight the metrics that the new hire will need to hit at the end of one year. This allows the candidate to see what projects and accomplishments they’ll be a part of in their new role. Keep this to 3-4 bullet points.
Tell your company story: This is where you can give some basic information about the company, before linking out to the company’s “About” section on LinkedIn or on your website. Again, bullet points are your friend here.
According to LinkedIn, company information was the coldest part of their heat map when they were tracking how long users were spending on their job ads. It’s not that it doesn’t matter — it’s just that they can learn more about it once they learn about the role.
Call to action: Once you’ve hooked your candidate, send them your way! Add an email at the end of your ad so they know where to direct their CVs and cover letters.
While building a LinkedIn strategy to attract candidates takes time, and a little trial and error, it’s also essential to establishing your employer branding.
For more tips on how to build your employer branding, check out our blog post on why you may be struggling to attract top talent and how to fix it with an EVP.