LinkedIn makes everything pretty easy from a recruiting perspective — you might even ask why you need to bother looking for alternatives for recruiting.
It’s essentially developed into a huge, professional public database, supposedly stuffed full of talented candidates that are waiting for you to contact them.
The problem is that sending messages to candidates on LinkedIn is hit and miss.
Why is LinkedIn failing you?
The LinkedIn sales team wants sourcing teams to aspire to a 38% InMail success rate. This is the gold standard, anything more than this and you’re killing it.
But, think about this: if you had a 62% failure rate in any other area of your business how impressed would your boss be?
It doesn’t end here, remember that InMail ‘success’ often only requires a message ‘open’. A smaller fraction of recipients will read your message, and an even smaller percentage will actually reply. These results are not particularly satisfying after you’ve spent hours tracking down good candidates!
Instead of relying on InMails alone, why not try five other alternatives to LinkedIn for recruiting to get yourself in front of top candidates?
Alternative 1: Send them an email
This one is obvious. It’s so obvious that we’re hoping you don’t just stop reading this article right now (the tricks we’ve listed later on are more creative)! Try emailing your prospective candidates.
In fact, if you already have a candidate’s contact information, email is a really easy way to contact a candidate directly (and chances are, candidates check their email a lot more frequently than their LinkedIn message notifications).
The problem is that it’s not always easy to get a candidate’s email address, (particularly their personal one).
There are a ton of sourcing extensions out there that can help you get hold of email addresses, or you can use a tool like EmailBreaker to crack the code on company email formulas.
You can also try searching for “email * * companyname.com”, to find the correct email format. To test this and make sure you’re not wasting your time, run the email address through a mail testing server – here’s one that is known to work well.
It might take a little longer, but if you make a great hire, it will be worth it!
If you’re sourcing actively, we’d feel guilty if we didn’t recommend Beamery. We might be biased, but it’s one of the most powerful sourcing tools on the market.
Alternative 2: Try phone sourcing
“See those little black boxes? They’re called telephones” – Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street
Use LinkedIn to track candidates down, find out where they work and which department they’re in. You can even use it to navigate to their company page to get a contact number.
Then call them. It might be old-school, but that has its advantages. Since cold calling candidates is no longer the most popular way to source, you likely won’t have a ton of competition from other recruiters with this method, and you might just impress the right candidate with your efforts!
However, phone sourcers walk a fine line between becoming a nuisance and getting results, so if you’re new to the field we recommend Maureen Sharib’s blogs and courses. You’ll learn her best tips for phone sourcing including how to negotiate with gatekeepers. Don’t be scared of spontaneous conversation with candidates, try picking up the phone.
Alternative 3: Get a referral
Employee referrals are widely regarded to be one of the best sources of quality hires, so when you find a great candidate, see if someone in your network can give you an introduction.
LinkedIn’s shared connections feature can be pretty helpful here — it’s an easy way to see who in your network might be willing to introduce you.
Referrals work best when your connection emails or calls a candidate directly to ‘intro’ you, but if this isn’t possible, be sure to mention the fact that you have shared connections in the subject line of your message.
Alternative 4: Google them
Whenever you have a question or query, Google is the obvious first place you turn to — why not use it to solve sourcing questions too? Try Googling the candidate’s name to see if they have a website or blog. If they do, the website will likely have an ‘about’ or ‘contact’page with direct contact details or at least a contact form to fill out.
Getting in touch with a candidate in this fashion has the added benefit of showing them that you’ve taken the time to research them properly.
And it’s definitely worth mentioning how great their blog or website is in your message!
Alternative 5: Facebook sourcing
Facebook has over 2.9 billion monthly active users. That’s a lot of potential candidates.
The beauty of Facebook is that the platform allows you to use a range of effective natural language queries to find user Facebook profiles (you can search and filter by location, company, etc).
One thing to consider when sourcing on Facebook is that many people use Facebook strictly for personal activities, so this tactic has the potential to come across as ‘creepy’.
To counter this, Shannon Pritchett advises that you use your first message to acknowledge that Facebook isn’t the most appropriate platform for a professional, work-related conversation, confess that it’s not the most conventional way to find candidates and suggest continuing the conversation via email.
This level of honesty will give you a great chance of earning a candidate’s trust.
LinkedIn is a great tool to track down top candidates, but it’s not the only effective tool for outreach. There are plenty of alternatives to LinkedIn for sourcing and recruiting. Give some of them a go and see if they give you better results.
At Beamery, we’re here to support sourcing and recruiting teams — to help them make the most of their efforts. Learn more about our sourcing solution which helps some of the world’s biggest companies proactively find the right talent.