8 ways to use your network to attract great job candidates

I recently hired two new employees to my team. My colleagues in recruitment and fellow managers were surprised by how many great candidates applied for the position. We had a higher number than usual in part because I actively sought out candidates using my personal and professional networks.

Many managers rely solely on their recruitment team and forget how much they can personally do to find great candidates. You have a network, use it!

In addition to the job listings your recruitment team posts, here are some ways you can spread the word:

1. Email your colleagues – Send an email to your team and others throughout the organization who frequently work with this open position. Ask them to think about candidates who might be interested in this opportunity. Include a brief summary of the position. Encourage them to view the posting on your company web site and to let you know if anyone they refer applies for the position so you can keep an eye out for the application.

2. Email your network – Send an email to your network. These could be former colleagues, people you met at a conference or seminar, freelancers, vendors, etc. Ask them to think about people who might be interested in this opportunity and encourage them to apply. Include a brief summary of the position, including how many years of experience the person must have. You can do this as soon as you know you are hiring, don’t wait for it to be posted to start spreading the word. I received a handful of great recommendations this way. And of course, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to talk with your most connected friends.

3. LinkedIn Update – On the homepage of linkedin.com you have the option to post brief updates, similar to a Facebook update. Post that you are hiring for a xxx position and what type of candidate you are looking for (# years experience, healthcare experience a plus, etc.). Post this during work hours and repeat about once a week while you are still hoping to attract new candidates.

4. LinkedIn Profile – Whether you know it or not, people visit your LinkedIn profile each day. This is a great place to share the news that you are hiring. At the very top of your LinkedIn personal profile summary, include a paragraph that you are hiring for a position with some detail on what the position is an how to get more information. You could point them to your company web site or send you an email for more information. Remember to pull this down when you are no longer accepting applications. And remember to check your settings to make sure your LinkedIn messages are sent to your email address so you don’t miss any inquiries. I picked up this tip from my friend and IT recruiter Paul DeBettignies, the MN Headhunter. He shared it at a Social Media Breakfast session on using LinkedIn effectively.

5. LinkedIn Groups – If you belong to professional groups on LinkedIn, take a look to see if they allow job postings on the boards. Most will allow it if the job is relevant to the topic of the board. Post about the position and how to learn more.

6. Twitter – If you use twitter and keep your profile work-friendly, definitely tweet that you are hiring! Since you only have 140 characters to state the position and CTA, here’s a short draft you could start with:

We’re seeking a marketing specialist to join our team at @companyx. More info at yourcompany.org/careers or DM me for info #happo #jobs  

The hashtags #happo and #jobs are typically used in for sharing/seeking/searching job info (#happo = help a PR pro out).

7. Use your social team – If your recruitment team doesn’t regularly use social to promote jobs, ask someone from your company’s social media team to retweet your tweet to give it a bigger audience. You can also ask your tweeting colleagues (offline) to retweet it for you.

8. Facebook – Facebook can be a great way to spread the word about your opening to your network. Consider posting about the type of experience you are looking for to join your team and ask people to spread the word if they know anyone who might be interested. Make sure to include a CTA of the web site or to send you a private message.

What else would you add to this list?


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