The keys to using LinkedIn to drive graduate recruitment

Myriam Robin /

Forget careers fairs and weighty handbooks: the students of today are best reached online.

Many of them are actively looking for you. In a recent study of American college students, 35% planned to use LinkedIn as their primary source for their job hunt. The figure is up from 5% in 2010.

Which Australian companies are taking advantage of this? In Australia, three engineering and two energy companies were in the top-10 most followed by students, according to a recent study by LinkedIn.

The professional social network used job search data, page views and member profiles to see who attracted the most attention from the workforce of tomorrow. It was restricted to companies with between 1,000 and 10,000 employees.

Company profiles on LinkedIn are restricted to three tabs – a home tab (the first thing people see), a ‘careers’ tab (recruitment material) and an ‘insights’ section (which tells a user what contacts, or contacts of contacts, they know who work at the company).  Companies can add pictures and customised features onto their tabs, and the companies most successfully using LinkedIn appear to have put some thought into how their profile works.

How do they do it?

Origin, which was the most followed, has an interesting and regularly-updated LinkedIn presence. Of its 4500 employees, 2737 of them are on LinkedIn. Its careers tab has clearly-formatted and colourfully illustrated general information about the company. Some of its employees have posted short summaries of what they enjoy about working at Origin, not unlike those references often found in recruitment materials. However, they have added weight by linking back to the profiles of the individuals, making them seem more genuine. New employees are rapidly added to the page with their job titles – a few every couple of days.

Oil and gas explorer Santos (third on the list) has a similar profile layout to Origin, but also lists its vacant positions on its careers page.  Of its 1,700 employees, 1,631 are on LinkedIn.

Google came first globally. Its profile is a rich multimedia experience, featuring videos, a list of what’s great about working at Google, as well as its current vacancies.

All companies rely on good staff. But in a tight labour market, with unemployment remaining low, companies often struggle to recruit people with the right skills and experience. By appealing to current students and recent graduates, companies can ensure they get first pick of those with the skills and qualifications they want. And as students are on LinkedIn, it makes sense for companies to be there too.

More tips for using LinkedIn to more effectively drive recruitment

  • Post your entry-level jobs and internships. It’s free to do so until June 2013.
  • Turn your new hires into recruiting ambassadors. Help them set up strong LinkedIn profiles that reflect your brand. Encourage them to share job openings in their college alumni groups on LinkedIn.
  • Launch a LinkedIn group for new graduates and interns. Use it to share career advice, insights on your company culture, and new opportunities.
  • Synchronise your online and offline efforts. Use LinkedIn Events to drive attendance; and include links to your group and LinkedIn career page in your email signature.

Source: LinkedIn

Who recent graduates and students follow online:


In Australia



Origin Energy






Santos Ltd















Fairfax Media

Ernst & Young







Source: LinkedIn. Ranked by number of graduate followers.

This article first appeared on LeadingCompany.

Myriam Robin

Myriam Robin is a reporter for SmartCompany and its sister site LeadingCompany. She has degrees in economics, international studies and journalism. She likes writing about businesses taking risks and doing new things.