Lost and found on Linkedin…….Linkedin accuracy

I am not sure that a day goes by without a blog or article talking about the power of Linkedin and the impact it is having on the recruitment market. Without question, Linkedin is a powerful recruitment tool and one that continues to be used increasingly by both In-house recruiters and consultants alike as a method of sourcing candidates. For candidates it can be a great way to be found for relevant roles without the effort of applications. For both parties it is a great way to engage. However its effectiveness and its power is reliant on the information on individual profiles being both accurate and up to date. For everyone this is perhaps an area for greater consideration and ensuring greater Linkedin accuracy. Interestingly, in a survey conducted by research firm, the ICM Group, they found that 46% of respondents admitted that their Linkedin profiles are out of date. The question is, what impact does it have if you don’t keep your profile up to date? What has really interested me lately is the changing attitude towards Linkedin we seeing by both clients and consultants. I recently had an interesting experience with a client of mine regarding a senior candidate I had put forward for a Director level role. Having submitted this candidate as part of my shortlist I was quite surprised when the client called me a couple of days later, not to discuss the candidates strong CV but instead being rather negative about the candidate’s Linkedin profile and the inconsistencies that appeared when compared to their CV. So going back to my original question, it is worth thinking about the consequence of not keeping your profile up to date. Given the comments I have made above, at best you will unfortunately get approached about assignments that are irrelevant to you and at worse, potentially put off a prospective employer who to some degree makes an assumption about you based on your profile. I think we all appreciate that a Linkedin profile is not about having the contents of your CV online and that certain information isn’t for public viewing. However, it is about having profile which provides an overview of your background and experience. The point here is that whether you are in the market for a new role or not, there really is benefit in making sure that your profile is both up to date and accurate. I appreciate that you may be using Linkedin just as a way to get back in touch or indeed to keep in touch with your network, however whichever way you look at it, if you have a profile, it is very likely to have some influence over your next job move. People need to remember that it reflects you as an individual, not just to people you know but also to those you don’t…….

Do candidates feel they have a better chance in securing a particular role if they are supported by a recruitment consultant?

I had a very interesting experience last week that I wanted to share because it really brought home to me the advantage candidates may have when being represented by a recruitment consultant. I had been briefed by a client on a contingency basis for a senior role which the client would also be advertising on its own website. As I started to pull together my long list I spoke to a candidate who a matter of hours before had actually seen the direct advertisement and had submitted an application.

Whilst I understood and expected the reaction I received, it was the strength of feeling that perhaps surprised me.  The candidate was genuinely gutted that his application was not through me. (Not as gutted as I was of course, this guy was a great shout for the role!). He went on to explain how he believed he would be disadvantaged by not being represented by me. He explained that when I had put him forward for a previous role, I had shared with him a large amount of information that he has never had when going direct. The fact that I knew the Line Manager and had done for many years meant I could give insight into her character and style. An in depth briefing on the role, it's challenges, the make up and capability of the existing team. Also a real insight into the culture and the people within the business and more than just the values on their website. Also the knowledge and experience of recruiting for them allowed me to give clarity and detail around the selection process.

What I totally appreciate is that a lot of clients will ensure that their candidates are very prepared for any selection event or interview. Many have information packs and the like to ensure the candidate has the job description, knows the process that they will go through etc. But as my candidate pointed out, when you have a recruitment consultant who truly knows the client they are able to give you that insight, that extra edge that might just make the difference. Now clearly better preparation isn’t going to turn an average candidate into a Superstar but in this very competitive market it just might swing the balance in their favour. I decided to share my knowledge with this candidate anyway, firstly it felt like the right thing to do, secondly I knew he would tell the client which would sit very positively with them and also if he was successful he would then be a client.  In his mind he would have be genuinely disadvantaged without my support and it really drove home the difference we can make to the recruitment process from the candidates perspective.

I did of course ponder whether the candidate had thought about whether he may actually stand a better chance of getting the role because he didn’t have a sizeable fee attached to his head….. but that is a different debate altogether………..and one for another day!

I am really interested to hear other's thoughts, which ever side of the table you sit……..