Job seekers, recruiter Bruce Hurwitz has advice on how to use LinkedIn: Focus on keywords and make your availability clear! He explains,
“I use LinkedIn to find candidates. I do a search in the geographic area of my client, filtering by industry, and I send a message through LinkedIn to everyone in my network who appears in the search results. Before I contact candidates, I don’t actually read any profiles. Who has the time and what do I care if they are qualified or not? If they are qualified and interested, they’ll follow-up with me. If they are qualified and not interested, or if they are unqualified, they may know someone and forward my message on to them. I probably close 90% of my searches in this way.”
When Hurwitz’s first LinkedIn account reached 30,000 connections, he started a second one that is now up to 9,000 connections. He accepts all connection requests if the profile has a professional photo and heading and the industry is not sketchy. He has successfully conducted searches in a very diverse array of industries for many different types of jobs, from administrative assistants to neuroscientists to fundraisers to executive directors.
Hurwitz advises job seekers to put “Open to new opportunities” in their profiles. I asked him to describe some LinkedIn recruiting success stories. He provided these examples:
LinkedIn Success Story: Executive Assistant
Using LinkedIn, Hurwitz searched for an executive assistant for a real estate development company in Brooklyn, NY. He contacted everyone in “Greater New York City” who was either in administration, real estate or had “executive assistant” or “administrative assistant” in their profile. He found one candidate and contacted him. The man said he was not interested in the job but said his wife was. This was on a Monday. On Tuesday, she sent her resume to Hurwitz. He interviewed her on Wednesday. On Friday, she met with Hurwitz’s client and she landed the job. She started work on the following Monday.
LinkedIn Success Story: Call Center Director
For a publishing company. Hurwitz did a LinkedIn search on “call center.” In 10 minutes, he identified a candidate. He submitted the candidate to the client for consideration and the candidate became a finalist for the job. Could social media be any more fast and effective?
LinkedIn Success Story: National Sales Director
Surprisingly, LinkedIn does not have an industry category for “sales,” so Hurwitz sent a message to everyone in his network who listed “marketing” and “advertising.” In six hours, he started to receive resumes. Out of the five candidates he submitted to the client for consideration, three were interviewed and two were finalists. A win for the candidates and for the employer.
“The key is to make certain that you use keywords that fit your career goal. If, for example, you are an accountant in real estate, don’t put “real estate” as your industry, use “accountant” or “financial services” or something that indicates WHAT you do not WHERE you do it. That way, you might get lucky and be able to make an industry change if that’s your objective.”
Bruce Hurwitz is the founder of HSS Staffing, a boutique executive recruiting and career counseling services firm. Founded in 2009 with the mission of promoting the hiring of veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and Merchant Marine, HSS serves everyone regardless of veteran status. HSS works with small non-profits to multinational corporations, as well as individuals from college graduates to seasoned executives.