How to Use LinkedIn for Recruiting without Spending a Fortune
Medical sales recruiters know that LinkedIn is no passing recruiting fad. The professional networking site promises to be a valuable resource for recruiters, which is why 90% of job posters on MedReps have profiles on the site. But having a profile doesn’t indicate whether or not LinkedIn is an effective part of their sourcing strategy. In fact, it seems that many believe, without the budget for a paid LinkedIn account, the site is of little to no use. As a result, they don’t spend time building a network on the site. But this is a mistake.
Recruiters don’t have to spend a fortune when using LinkedIn for recruiting. We’ll explain the basics of using your free LinkedIn account to support your other sourcing methods.
Build Your Medical Sales Network
Free LinkedIn accounts limit your ability to contact people outside of your network, so the medical sales recruiter with a large network will get much better results on the site than a recruiter with a smaller network. For this reason, medical sales recruiters should continuously add new connections to build out their networks.
First, make sure all of your existing contacts are connected to you on LinkedIn. When you initially created your LinkedIn profile, you probably had LinkedIn import your contacts and send them a request. Make sure you’re adding new contacts on an ongoing basis by adding a “Connect with me on LinkedIn” link to the footer of your email and including a customized profile URL on your business card.
Encourage people you meet in person and talk to by phone to connect with you on LinkedIn. By doing this, you not only have an easy way of keeping track of your contact, but you also gain access to your contact’s connections. Your 1st level contact may be willing to provide an introduction to one of their connections, should you have an interest.
Another way to grow your connections is to actively participate in LinkedIn Groups that are relevant to medical sales. But don’t use the Group as just a place to blast job openings, rather aim to thoughtfully participate in discussions and offer your expertise where appropriate. A member is far more likely to accept an invitation from a respected Group member over a silent member they’ve never heard of, or worse, the Group spammer.
Finally, make sure your account settings allow for maximum visibility so that medical sales job seekers can easily find and connect with you – through LinkedIn’s people search and outside search engines, too.
Market Yourself and Your Medical Sales Jobs
Recruiters can use status updates to help establish themselves as thought leaders while recruiting through LinkedIn. By posting relevant articles that your connections will want to share with their networks, you will come to be viewed as a trusted source of career and industry information.
Status updates can also serve as a way to broadcast a specific medical sales job opening or a link to a list of job openings posted on a website, such as MedReps.com. In the update, politely ask your connections to share the update with their networks. Whether or not the medical sales professionals in your network are looking for a new position, it’s likely that one of the medical sales professionals in their networks could be interested. This is a great way to add visibility to a specific posting, but don’t spam your connections with multiple daily job postings.
Searching and Tracking Medical Sales Professionals
If a medical sales recruiter has effectively grown their 1st level network, their 2nd and 3rd tier connections (along with shared Group members), this should create a considerable extended network. LinkedIn’s “Advanced People Search” allows the recruiter to conduct a detailed search of the LinkedIn database (giving in-network results priority) to find potential medical sales candidates.
When recruiting on LinkedIn it’s easy to search by past and current companies, job titles, school, and of course, location. The keyword search uses the Boolean search method of using “or” “and” and “not” to retrieve information from the database, but the search filters may be more useful in allowing you to drill down the results to a smaller group. The saved search feature allows you to save the search criteria and receive weekly or monthly email alerts with the results.
Of course there are limitations to searching with a free account. In addition to having access to fewer search filters, search results are limited to the 100 most relevant profiles for a given set of criteria. Free members are also limited to setting up a maximum of 3 alerts.
But for a Price…
LinkedIn does offer an array of paid membership options that allow increasingly more search results and alerts. Greater access to 2nd and 3rd degree connections and the ability to send InMail to any LinkedIn member are also offered at various levels to paid members. There are unique memberships available for job seeking, sales prospecting, general business use, and of course, recruiting. Prices range from $19.95 per month to several thousand dollars a year.
LinkedIn can provide a complete breakdown of the different types of LinkedIn accounts, but for many recruiters, the pricing, at least at the Recruiter Professional and Recruiter Corporate levels, does not make them viable options. Other services such as employment branding, traditional job posting, and even pay-per-click ads may also be cost prohibitive. Whether or not a paid LinkedIn membership is worth the investment is something recruiters will have to determine for themselves, based on their objectives as well as their resources.
Hopefully this LinkedIn recruiting guide has shown that even without a paid membership, LinkedIn can be a very useful recruiting tool. In fact, a well-established LinkedIn network can even be useful outside of LinkedIn.
Because the site is so widely used, several innovative job boards, MedReps.com included, have integrated aspects of LinkedIn functionality on their own websites. For example, on MedReps, a medical sales job seeker can login with their LinkedIn credentials and see who in their network works at the companies posting jobs on MedReps. Likewise, medical sales recruiters searching the MedReps resume database can login with LinkedIn to see which of their connections could give them a reference on a given candidate. Some company career sites also allow candidates to apply using their LinkedIn profile, making the apply process as easy as clicking a button.
However, many recruiters still prefer to see a good old-fashioned resume, so the viability of this trend remains to be seen.
LinkedIn is a great way for medical sales recruiters to not only build their networks, but also build their personal brands. Whether they work for an agency or a hiring company, every recruiter should establish a presence on LinkedIn and actively work to grow their network. With a little know-how, even a free LinkedIn membership can be a powerful supplement to the sourcing toolbox.