Wake up and smell the talent Part 2: Build social capital on LinkedIn

profile strengthIn Part 1, you learned about the importance of social capital. Let’s learn how to obtain social capital.

LinkedIn is an HR tool. It was built as an HR tool. It’s an HR dream come true. It is quite mind-boggling that more HR departments are not taking advantage of LinkedIn. But, before you do anything, create a professional profile. Check out this post on how to go from a LinkedIn Beginner to a LinkedIn All-Star (really, that’s what LinkedIn calls you). Without a strong profile, you lack credibility so start here.

Another early task is to make sure your company has a page on LinkedIn. If not, create one and make it appealing for candidates to visit. Post on it regularly with updates about your company – jobs, events, etc.

After creating a profile and a company page, post your jobs on the LinkedIn job board. You’re most likely paying to advertise your job anyway whether it be on association websites or magazines. Reallocate your advertising budget and post jobs here. The company offers all kinds of packages for businesses to post their jobs.

Okay, so you really are broke. Many LinkedIn Groups offer a job or promotion section where you can post jobs for free as a post, rather than a formal posting. It’s free! Grab it and run with it! Your executives will think you’re a genius!

You’re job is not done just because you posted a job. The days of waiting for masses of applications to review are over! If you’re not recruiting passive candidates, you’re missing a huge opportunity in the market. Make use of LinkedIn’s messaging system and InMail to reach out to candidates who might be a great fit for your organization. Go scope out profiles by doing keyword searches and find professionals to reach out to especially if you’re working on a hard-to-fill position.

Okay, so now you’ve recruited the best talent. How do you keep them? Oh, just count the ways! LinkedIn Groups allows professionals to continue learning from their peers in the industry. There is a group for every industry and job type. If you’re feeling advanced, you can create your own group! If not, start discussions in existing groups and let the learning begin for you and your team.

Additionally, LinkedIn has now bought SlideShare and Lynda.com which are two great educational tools that will help your employees develop their skills and stay engaged with their work.

Instead of being afraid of social media, allow it to work for you. Start lunch and learns or learning hours where employees can sign on to LinkedIn and discuss certain topics. Give employees the opportunity to implement new strategies, processes or solutions that they learn about from others on LinkedIn. Hand out social awards to employees who contribute high value results through social media. Get LinkedIn or get pushed out of the race for great talent.

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