LinkedIn is one of the best ways to find candidates to fill job openings at your small business. LinkedIn is a huge social network for professionals that is getting bigger every day. Expanded Ramblings reports that there are more than 350 million LinkedIn users and two new users join LinkedIn every second. With so many candidates to choose from, it can be hard to identify strong candidates among the multitude. Here are a few tips on how you can find the best candidates on LinkedIn:

 

Research Candidates

You can search for potential candidates on LinkedIn by using keywords, but you should also review recommendations and endorsements to get a good idea if a particular person is right for your needs. Be sure to look past the video resume and shiny think-pieces on a user’s blog and check out his or her history and any recommendations.

Similarly, check a potential candidate’s references, too. LinkedIn makes it easy to talk with previous employers and colleagues to get a sense of an employee’s performance and attitude. Too often, a quick phone interview is enough to get you excited about a candidate, but do your research to make sure that’s what he or she is like in reality.

Utilize LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups are a great way to learn about what is happening in your industry and see people discussing their field passionately and professionally. Groups are a great way to see possible candidates in action as well as a great way to meet others who can recommend talent to you. Don’t join a group just to spam recruitment opportunities, though. Depending on the group, this is frowned upon and may get you banned from the group.

Contribute to the conversations and participate even when you aren’t looking for a new recruit. This shows that you are knowledgeable and professional. And, instead of joining every group, LinkedIn’s official help blog notes that you can only be a member of 50 groups, so be sure that you are actively participating and not just joining to lurk.

Promote Your Small Business

LinkedIn gives you an unrivaled opportunity to promote your brand and services as well as attract new talent to your organization. But you have to take advantage of it. For example, LifeLock encourages its employees to create and maintain profiles instead of just having one focal profile for the entire company. Your corporate profile page shares the values and tone of your company with potential employees, and your employees’ pages tell their personal stories at your workplace. This means that all pages need to be kept up to date.

Remember, LinkedIn isn’t just about connecting with people you know directly. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others in your industry. Taking full advantage of LinkedIn for recruitment takes time and effort, but you never know by which door the perfect employee might enter your organization, so it pays to stay up to date.