While social media has profoundly changed just about every industry, few platforms have been as disruptive as LinkedIn has been to human resources. LinkedIn is an essential part of every HR professional’s toolkit. But how, specifically, should you use the platform to stay relevant and competitive? Here are five key things to focus on.
1. Build your personal brand - LinkedIn is among the best personal branding tools because it leverages relationships and provides a number of ways for you to tell your story, including:
- Your profile, where you detail your experience, education, and skills. Just be sure to craft your profile in a way that positions you well for the work you want to do instead of just recapping what you’ve done in the past.
- Adding media to your profile, like presentations, articles and videos, where you can show your audience what you do instead of just telling them about it
- Status updates, which allow you to share examples of your work and document your interests, one sound bite at time.
- Pulse, LinkedIn’s publishing platform, which allows users to share article-length content relative to their work.
- Recommendations and endorsements from others. What your connections say about you provides highly credible evidence of your capabilities.
Collectively, these efforts add up to much greater awareness of your abilities — and, when used effectively, make it much more likely you’ll be remembered by candidates, referral sources, and co-workers.
2. Promote your company’s culture - LinkedIn isn’t only a great way to build your personal brand. It also allows you to promote your company’s culture and give prospective employees a glimpse behind the scenes. Start by using your personal profile to shine the spotlight on your organization via status updates. Then work with your LinkedIn Company Page administrators to ensure that you’re telling a story that will resonate not just with customers, but with job candidates as well.
3. Use Groups to expand your network - LinkedIn’s strength is its ability to help users enhance and build upon real-world relationships. Many HR professionals, however, need to also make connections beyond those they already know. That’s where LinkedIn Groups come in. With Groups for just about every interest, industry, and geographic area, there’s almost no limit to who you can meet — from active job candidates and passive candidates to referral sources and industry peers. In addition, one added benefit is that you can send messages to another Group member directly, even if he or she isn’t a connection. Just joining a Group isn’t enough, however. Be sure to choose Groups that are active and make real contributions to the conversation.
4. Use LinkedIn for research - LinkedIn’s membership gives you access to a database of more than 300 million professionals worldwide. In addition, part of the genius of LinkedIn is that exposes the interconnections in your network, showing you who is connected to whom. Use advanced search to discover who plays what role at a given company — and who may be able to act as an intermediary if you’d like an introduction. You can also learn quite a bit from your Groups, where members are generous in sharing what they know.
5. Investigate paid LinkedIn solutions. Many HR professionals, especially those at small companies, can likely get by with a basic LinkedIn account. Others, however, may benefit from the more robust premium membership, which provides deeper search results and the ability to send messages to other users even when you’re not directly connected. LinkedIn also offers a variety of enterprise-level solutions, including paid job postings and Talent Solutions, LinkedIn’s suite of recruiter tools. To decide what’s a good fit for you and your organization, take a closer look at your options or ask LinkedIn for a free trial.