There are three things I know for sure. I’m so confident in the following I would wager a lifetime supply of wine and cheese. First, a significant number of businesses are currently or are planning to hire staff this year. Second, most are struggling to attract candidates. Third, many of those businesses and owners do not use LinkedIn well, if at all.
With over 12 million Australian and 810 million global members, LinkedIn is the most powerful platform on the planet for professionals and companies.
Not leveraging the opportunities to influence and position your employer brand is foolish. With LinkedIn’s ongoing growth, new features and brilliant content tools to create impact, jumping on with gusto is a no-brainer.
Challenging the rhetoric
I challenge the populist rhetoric of ‘The Great Resignation’ in 2022 that claims 41% of workers are apparently set to resign. If that was the case, it would be reflected in the volume of job applications to fill vacancies.
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Further, given the level of illogical hiring biases and rampant ageism, I guarantee that scores of brilliant candidates don’t even bother applying for positions for fear of rejection. It means the pot of unfilled vacancies deepens and business opportunities go unmet.
It’s not about you
Even if you don’t give a flying fox about using LinkedIn for sales, networking and marketing, potential staff and candidates sure do.
Significant employer branding and talent marketing opportunities are lost by not understanding and utilising the value of the platform. Like all forms of marketing, it’s about being highly visible where your ideal audience congregates.
It’s widely reported that circa 80% of employees and consumers trust organisations whose leadership have an active and engaging social media presence.
Business advisory firm Brunswick reports that 60% of candidates research a CEO’s social media and 83% prefer to work with organisations whose C-Suite leaders use social media, factoring it as an important element for satisfaction and retention.
The above is compelling proof of why businesses must take advantage of LinkedIn for talent and hiring gaps. But there are so many more reasons that new and small businesses must not ignore.
What candidates are seeking
In LinkedIn’s latest report, Talent Market Drivers Since the Start of COVID, the top five priorities of candidates when considering a new company to join were:
- Work-life balance;
- Compensation and benefits;
- Colleagues and culture;
- Effective management;
- Challenging work; and
- Flexible work arrangements.
LinkedIn chief economist Karin Kimbrough shared in the report:
“Companies need to recognise that the power dynamic has changed — workers are going to demand more from them on multiple fronts. Candidates are being much more selective about where they work, and workers are more vocal about what they want.”
These are critical topics to include in both personal profile content and company page updates.
How job candidates research
So how do candidates formulate perceptions of an organisation and from which touchpoints? Make no mistake, experienced candidates are researching organisations and their leaders more so than ever.
And in sectors that may face reputational issues or for new companies, the research flame will be on full blast. What will they find?
The insights from LinkedIn’s Inside the Mind of Today’s Candidate research are compelling, with evidence showing candidates spend one-to-two months gathering information before applying. This really gives an opportunity to build credibility and trust, doesn’t it?
The sources of this information is telling. While websites ranked at 53%, LinkedIn and search engines combined equal 73%.
A Google search on a name or business usually ranks a LinkedIn URL within the top three or four searches.
All roads will lead to your LinkedIn footprint.
The other important element is that people check the tone and style of content and comments on LinkedIn. This cannot be found on websites and affects confidence and trust. More so than ever, candidates are seeking out organisations that demonstrate social responsibility and humanity.
There are so many brilliant and valuable opportunities on LinkedIn to attract and engage staff in the short and long term.
As I said at the beginning and I make no apologies for the bluntness: if you’re currently or planning to hire staff in 2022 and not leveraging LinkedIn, you’re a bloody idiot!