Successful LinkedIn Hiring - avoid those deadly mistakes!

The great reshuffle, burnout, and inflation are three words shaping the current labor market. Moreover, the historic low national unemployment rate –3.6% in March – and high demand for recruiters (almost 7x more recruiter jobs posted in June 2021 compared to June 2020) are just two of the facts that mean one thing - it’s a hard time for filling roles.

Indeed, according to the Bullhorn study, candidate acquisition is now the top priority, and candidate sourcing is the leading obstacle for recruitment professionals.

The growing need for effective hiring strategies is on par with the demand for new employees. Now I could repeat some well-known catchphrases like - build your employer brand, target the right audience, and prioritize diversity - but I'm not going into generalities today. Today I'd like to talk about improving your recruitment efforts on one specific platform - LinkedIn.

Why are we talking about LinkedIn? Let's delve into some stats.
  • Over 12 million LinkedIn members are signaling their availability to work - which indicates many opportunities for employers.
  • LinkedIn has members in 200 countries and regions worldwide, making it the perfect place for diverse hiring.
  • LinkedIn ensures high retention rates. Employees hired through this site are 40% less likely to leave within half a year.
  • The industry with the most number of LinkedIn users in 2021 was Information Technology (20.4 million users). This industry includes occupations that, according to LinkedIn statistics, are in greatest demand: Software engineer, JavaScript developer, Salesperson, Registered nurse, and Java Software Engineer. In other words, on LinkedIn, you can find employees in the industry that is currently the most depleted.
These statistics are impressive, so it's no surprise that LinkedIn is becoming a global career marketplace, and employers are using it more frequently and willingly. However, some of them do not achieve the envisioned results. The fault is not with the platform - we can blame deadly employers' sins.

So, employers want to benefit from LinkedIn and try to master candidate outreach, crafting job posts, and a smooth application process. However, they aren’t aware of how candidates perceive their efforts. Consequently, employers make many mistakes that discourage candidates from applying for a job position.

We decided to close this gap. At Passport Photo Online, our research team polled 1,000+ US working professionals to find out the most successful (and the least efficient) LinkedIn recruiting practices. Now, we would like to share with you our findings!

In this article, you’ll learn:
  • what are the best practices for candidate communication?
  • how to write attractive job descriptions?
  • and above all - how to apply this knowledge to successful LinkedIn hiring?
Curious? So let's dive in and read more about it.

How to master Candidate Outreach?

There are 830 million LinkedIn members, but it doesn’t mean that they all enjoy receiving job offers from employers. Instagram has even more active users, but getting job opportunities there would be awkward, right? The same goes for LinkedIn. Some working professionals use this platform to network, not for job-searching, so messages from recruiters may be annoying.

What is the truth?

I have good news for all LinkedIn recruiters - as much as 79% of US working professionals feel positive or very positive about employers contacting them on LinkedIn about a job opening.

At the same time - just sending a message does not immediately mean success. More than half of respondents reported they have reasons to ignore job offers from LinkedIn head-hunters. The top 5 reasons are the following:
  • Cliché template. A full of 58% of respondents reject the message that is too generic (such as starting with words: “I’ve got the most amazing job I know you’ll love”).
  • Mismatching. The job opportunity that doesn’t fit the candidate’s experience level, skills, or career trajectory is discouraging for 57% of candidates.
  • A poor LinkedIn presence of the company. For 55% of job seekers, the red flag is insufficient information about the organization, its products or services, culture, or reviews.
  • Buzzwords. Indeed, catchphrases are not catchy. If a corporate jargon is overused, 52% of respondents will disregard the message.
  • Poor language. Grammatical mistakes in the outreach message case 51% of US employees to ignore recruiter.
Of course, the golden rule for failed outreach is to follow up. Don’t overshoot it - nearly 40% of candidates claim two is a maximum acceptable number of follow-ups.

So, how do master candidates' outreach? In a nutshell:
  • it's worth contacting job seekers on LinkedIn;
  • in your message, avoid five glaring mistakes, such as overuse of buzzwords and mismatching candidates' work profiles;
  • don’t be afraid to follow up, but keep the number under two.

Effective LinkedIn Job Description - what makes it attractive, and what makes it a deterrent?

Effective outreach is only the mission's first phase: recruiting on LinkedIn. It's time to move on to phase two - the job description. Now, let's shed light on what job details it must contain and how much money and inclusivity mean.

It isn't surprising that job seekers expect to find a job title, location, and job summary. However, right behind these features, the most desired information is the type of employment - 58% of candidates want to know if the company operates remotely, in a hybrid environment, or on-site. The exact number of people want to know about benefits. The next big deals are company expectations - 54% of US professionals look for key duties, and 53% for essential skills and required experience. Job perks, work model, and responsibilities mean much more than workplace culture - only 28% of respondents claim that job descriptions should include organizational values.

Since we're talking about necessary information - what about the salary range? Many companies dismiss this detail in their job postings, afraid to reveal that data publicly or discourage potential employees. But - our research shows that the lack of this information also deters candidates. A full of 95% of US employees said "Yes" when we asked if employers should include a salary range in the job postings. That's not all - as much as 69% of respondents said they are very likely or likely to skip LinkedIn job ads that lack it.

The same number of survey participants claimed that they are likely or very likely to skip job ads on LinkedIn that employ gender-coded or ageist language. Indeed, a good job description is the inclusive one.

Did you know that words like “energetic,” “digital native,” or “recent college graduate” can discourage older candidates from applying? It doesn’t have to be on purpose, but those expressions underline the importance of a young age. In the same vein, words like “support,” “share,” and “responsible” are perceived as feminine, while “strong,” “analysis,” and “competitive” - as masculine gender-coded. It’s better to avoid all those expressions since we know that 62% of Americans feel negative or very negative about ageist or sexist language in LinkedIn job ads. Fortunately, many AI tools, such as free Gender Decoder, can detect discriminatory language - it’s a solution worth trying!

In short, when you craft your job description:
  • make sure it provides essential information, such as job title and summary, but also key responsibilities, work environment, and job perks;
  • consider meeting candidates’ expectations by including a salary range;
  • scan your job offer and replace biased phrases with inclusive ones.

Final thoughts

Every minute, six people are hired on LinkedIn. Thanks to our research, I hope that you’ll be able to raise this score and stuff your team with new talents. So - craft your message, write an attractive job description, and don’t forget to follow up! You can also check the full study on LinkedIn recruiting for more insights. Success guarantee - otherwise, feel free to reach out to me to chat about it!

About Author: Karolina Zając, a writer at Passport Photo Online. With a background in cognitive science and communication, she is fascinated by how language influences our perception of reality. It’s more likely to find her in the forest than at the dance club.
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