Last updated: 25 May 2021
LinkedIn currently has over 750 million users and this number keeps growing. LinkedIn has become one of the most used and popular platforms for recruitment and recruiter profiles.
But Managing Director of Greenbridge Recruitment Services Adrian Carty believes that LinkedIn is “not necessarily the best for all markets. Trades and labour recruiters can find Facebook their best channel and fashion recruiters can find Instagram very useful,” he said. Nevertheless, “LinkedIn is the best online platform in our market as recruiters, nearly all have LinkedIn profiles which they tend to use daily,” he added.
A LinkedIn profile can be open for the public to see, unless it’s made private and only viewable by the person’s connections. When I say public I’m referring to your boss, colleagues, your future boss, candidates, clients, people you admire; they can all see your profile. How you present yourself on LinkedIn plays a big role in ensuring you stand out against other recruiters.
LinkedIn can be a competitive market for a recruiter to stand out on, especially when 77% of recruiters use the world’s largest professional network of LinkedIn. By having a strong and compelling LinkedIn profile, you can improve your likelihood of building quality connections with candidates, clients and industry professionals.
Branding is key
You know your brands and you have your favourites, whether it’s McDonald’s, Apple, Nike or Boost (the juice bar and/or the chocolate; take your pick). As humans and consumers, we base our opinions of these brands on their reputation, how they make us feel, what they offer and our personal experience. Personal branding works in a similar fashion.
Prior to making a purchase consumers are increasingly checking user reviews and comparing prices. Candidates can potentially do the same with recruiters.
Firstly, your personal brand as a recruiter should be focused on who you are and what you bring to the table. Think creatively and remember that candidates could be looking at your profile at any moment – LinkedIn ‘stalking’ is a thing! Set yourself apart from other recruiters and build your personal brand to a level that is memorable.
The main source
Chris Almond, Co-Founder of Sourcr, a reviews and recommendations platform, commented that there are more than 7,000 agencies in Australia with around 35,000 recruiters. Meanwhile, the American Staffing Association states that there are about 20,000 staffing and recruiting companies in the United States. “There’s a lot of competition these days and you’ve got to be able to stand out from that,” says Chris. Sourcr helps recruiters with their online branding. “We do that through the power of reviews,” he added.
Chris pointed to specialisations becoming more niche within recruitment agencies and consultants. He spoke about how personal branding can sometimes come down to a science, but there is an art involved. There’s “a lot more fragmentation in terms of which areas recruiters work in. So, if you can display positive candidate and client reviews on particular placement areas, and showcase yourself in that particular niche, then [personal branding] can be data-driven,” he said.
We are now consumers in a data-driven society, where “over the last ten years we’ve seen people take a data-driven approach to decision making,” said Chris. One example is when a consumer makes an expensive purchase, where, more often than not, they will check online reviews. According to marketing platform BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Candidates will begin to take a similar approach when dealing with a recruiter’s LinkedIn profile.
Sourcr’s data below shows that clients are more than twice as likely to pick a recruitment agency based on their reputation (22%) than on price (9%).
In addition, nearly three in four candidates say a recruitment agency’s negative reviews will have an associated impact on their likelihood to apply for an open position.
“Before anyone says ‘yes I’m willing to work with this recruiter and get them to help me find a role’, they’re probably going to search on LinkedIn and check something about them, or they’re going to type their name into Google to see what comes up,” Chris explained.
When it comes to clients, Chris pointed out how “creating a stronger brand and creating trust will make it a lot easier for recruiters to turn prospects into actual clients,” he said.
Chris’ tips for recruiters to build a strong LinkedIn recruiter profile align around three important elements. These include:
- A completed profile
- A professional headshot
- Testimonials and references
Perhaps you’ve come across candidate profiles where all you can see is their work history and education, but no detail on who they are or what they did in those roles. This is more commonly known as their profile summary or ‘About’ section. This would make it difficult to gauge the suitability of a candidate for the role they are applying for. Flip this on its head and appreciate the challenge some candidates would have in trusting you with their CV if your own profile is incomplete.
What you include in your profile can be written according to the specific industry you recruit for and your unique personality. Recruiters should consider a descriptive headline with optimisation of keywords, their ‘About’ or summary section and work experience.
You can have your standard ‘hi there, this is what I do, please contact me,’ approach, which is standard. But just like the examples below of recruiters who have nailed their LinkedIn profiles, you can choose to stand out.
The complete LinkedIn profile
First, let’s dive into what you need to include within each element of a completed profile.
Your LinkedIn headline is one of the first things people see when clicking on your profile (other than your picture). Your headline not only stretches across the top of your profile page, but it also introduces you on newsfeed posts, with the ‘People You May Know’ section and LinkedIn job applications. This piece of information is an introduction to who you are. Simply having your job title and company name isn’t enough.
Treat your LinkedIn profile headline as the headline of an ad and how it should entice viewers to open your profile. If you only include your job title, your profile will be added to the never-ending queue of other profiles who hold the same title as you – don’t forget the 35,000+ recruiter figure!
Instead, use actionable and solutions-oriented words that show candidates what you do and the results you provide. For example:
Not only has recruitment consultant Joe Ryan explained what he does and how he does it, but he’s paid close attention to optimising keywords that would be commonly searched. These words include ‘fast-growing tech companies’, ‘sales team’ and ‘we are hiring’. According to the LinkedIn Learning Center, “if you want your LinkedIn account to be a way that people discover you, place an emphasis on keywords.” The rocket emoji adds a bit of fun to the headline as well.
Hashtags are also another way you can optimise your headline and stand out from the norm. You can be as creative as you like but remember you only have 120 characters. Consider including something personal that gives your candidates more insight into who you are as a person. This could include ‘Mountain Bike Rider’, ‘Mental Health Advocate’ or ‘Tech Blogger’.
Here’s another example of an optimised headline that isn’t your typical standard ‘job title at [insert company].’
Not only that, but fintech recruiter James Harman uses Sourcr as a platform to help him rank through online branding. With a 4.7-star rating on Sourcr including excellent candidate reviews, James is an example of a recruiter who demonstrates his experience through his LinkedIn profile.
James has been a Sourcr user for almost a year and has used their review platform from when it first launched. He believes the biggest point of difference is “the automation between my ATS, which is JobAdder, as it allows me to import my placement information very easily.”
James added that it’s too early to comment if his online branding has improved through Sourcr, but “it’s great having reviews so that potential candidates and clients can see other people’s comments.”
Your summary or the ‘About’ section is the place to let candidates know who you are, what you do and how you can help. It’s the place where you can go into detail about your strengths, achievements, responsibilities, passions and interests.
This is your moment to tell your story, so make it interesting and engaging.
Another Sourcr user Lorena Monte has been using the platform for a few months and found that the reviews platform enabled her to meet and work with new clients. “By using my current client and candidate reviews I was able to win new business on the Sourcr platform. I was able to target niche roles in the area where my candidate pool is the strongest, and in return was able to place a candidate within a week of being briefed by the client that Sourcr connected me to,” she said.
“I’m able to show potential clients what I can do with legitimate reviews behind me,” she added.
Lorena’s ‘About’ section on her LinkedIn profile reveals her humour, yet highlights her interests and specialities within the tech and software sector.
I also run one of the most successful meetups in Sydney – Women in tech and run THE SYDNEY’S WOMEN IN TECH Linkedin Group – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12156157/
I am currently working with a range of Fintech startups, Investment Banks and Media/Publishing agencies who are looking for a mixture of these skills. If you are interested in having a confidential chat about your potential and where you would like to work then give me a call 0280474020 or email me your resume firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are currently in need of these skills in your team then give me a call 04XXXXXXXX.
Adding media to your ‘About’ section is also worth considering. For example, Google’s Technical Recruiter, Toby Yau has included videos on his LinkedIn profile. The videos include what it’s like working at Google and the difference between DevOps and SRE, perfect for his target audience.
Candidates can click on the videos and gain some insight on:
- Is this company right for me?
- Does it align with my work background and skills?
His ‘About’ summary not only lists available positions but speaks directly to his audience as shown below.
If you’ve read this far then let’s connect and chat!
Follow me (I don’t know where I’m going) for #TechJokeThursday
I also have an incredible obsession for my Shiba Inu (Hanzō) – featured on here from time to time.
I’m a huge diversity & inclusion advocate, helping break down the barriers & seeking those to join our journey!
Talent Acquisition, Technical Recruiter, Head-Hunter, Recruitment Specialist/Consultant.. call me what you want!
Toby believes in showing uniqueness through his profile. “I try to be genuine and myself which I think is important whilst prospecting for candidates,” he said. Each recruiter is different in accordance with the style, tone, language and professionalism they use within their LinkedIn profile. Toby believes that you need to step out of the box: “Imagine a platform with no life or creativity to be you!”
Think of this section as a more interactive and accessible version of your resume. Your ‘Work Experience’ section is the time to highlight skills that align with your personal brand. It’s also beneficial to fill this section with at least three past positions.
Within your listed experience, recruiters should consider adding not only their role and responsibilities while in that role, but their achievements, KPIs and overall success. The visibly significant difference between your paper resume and your LinkedIn experience section is the inclusion of content such as articles, images, videos, professional portfolio and more.
Josh Vial from Vendito Consulting Group imagines just that with a solid experience section highlighting his role, responsibilities, achieved skills and includes media attachments.
Of course, you may have a LinkedIn profile where you don’t give explicit details on your current role and responsibilities, but you could insert the various positions within a company. For example, recruiter Dilan Wijeyasiri; another user of Sourcr with an impressive 5-star rating, has listed his various positions while working in his current company Halcyon Knights.
Under ‘Senior Consultant’, the added multimedia takes you to a landing page of a Q&A giving a little insight for candidates and clients on Dilan’s background and growth as a recruitment specialist. If you need some inspiration, have a read of his interview and try creating your own.
Profile and header image
You can be as tech-savvy as you like, but without a decent headshot on your LinkedIn profile, you won’t be reflecting and representing your online brand and personal image in the best possible way.
You should never judge a book by its cover and I believe this to be true, but when it comes to the world of recruitment, without an inviting and ‘actual’ book cover, it doesn’t entice people (candidates) to open that book and read it.
Once you do select a profile picture, you should first check with your company if it’s a suitable picture. Chris believes that recruiters need to be mindful of their profile image as it should be “something that looks clean, crisp and is reflective of the service that you’ll hopefully provide,” he said.
Not only does your profile picture help others recognise who you are, but it opens that gateway to making new connections with clients and candidates. Having a profile photo results in up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests. Have you ever come across a profile with no profile or header image? Enough said.
All visual elements including your header should encompass your online branding and what you want to convey to your viewers. Consider customising your header image and showcasing your company’s achievements like Kate Taylor from TaylorCare Recruitment.
Highlight your personality and exciting company culture like Toby from Google, (yes, that is his Japanese Shiba Inu. Did the movie ‘Hacki: A Dog’s Tale’ come to mind?) Depending on the company culture, branding, and expected professionalism, not every recruiter can pull this off.
Emphasise where you’re located with a cool scenic header image like Joe Ryan has, in this case, Sydney. His customised header with the words ‘Shaping Futures,’ grabs candidates attention and doesn’t visually clash with his profile picture.
Jason believes that your LinkedIn profile picture should be professional and clean-cut so that people can recognise you. “It’s like a license plate,” he said. Of course, imagery is important but Jason places more emphasis on the substance and content that BLACKROC publishes.
Jason’s followers have even requested that he put subtitles on the videos he publishes. The content and engagement Jason has with his followers “helps build your status which is helpful in what BLACKROC does,” he added.
A little tip from Jason on your profile pic. Firstly, “you don’t need a DSLR. An iPhone or mobile will do just fine,” and “just try to find the right lighting – it’s not hard,” he explained. Camera aside, Jason advises that you make sure to wipe the lens (finger smudges anyone?), and just snap a bunch. Final point: “don’t overthink it!”
Chris from Sourcr also mentioned Lorena Mote’s profile, and how her background image “is designed in a way that promotes [her brand for women in tech]. She’s really focusing on speaking to her target market, and it’s very clear what that target market is for anyone that’s hitting her profile.”
How about this one?
Who’s Kim you ask? Kimberly Haught is the Global Talent Acquisition Manager at software and service provider CSG, and even has her own YouTube channel where she posts recruitment vlogs. A quick side note: Kimberly even customised her LinkedIn profile URL to ‘bettercallkim.’ This makes it easier for users to find Kimberly, and sets her apart from other recruiters on LinkedIn.
Your background header image should reflect who you are, what you do, your brand, and most importantly show that you care about your online and professional image. When I first started using LinkedIn, I chose the default image of the blue and white background with the dots and lines. Look familiar?
When you’re starting out on LinkedIn, this option can be considered the more standard and safer option. But hardly screams ‘brand’.
Let’s be real, there are thousands of LinkedIn profiles of recruiters out there that are fantastic! If you have any recruiters you think embody the perfect LinkedIn profile let us know on our social channel.
If you’re unable to acquire or have someone take a professional headshot, be aware of how you take your profile picture, and ensure you have good, natural lighting and wearing professional work attire. Whether you smile or grin, be yourself and let your candidates and clients know that you are approachable, welcoming and the best recruiter for the job.
Skills, endorsements and recommendations
With reviews, testimonials and recommendations from candidates, clients and colleagues, recruiters have their ‘skills endorsed’ and ‘recommendations’ section to highlight their proven abilities and success.
A recruiter’s list of skills shows candidates and potential clients what they’re qualified to do, and what they consider to be their biggest strengths. While they say the more the better, this can be up for debate. Don’t go adding every skill imaginable just to look fancy and highly qualified. Be strategic. There is no point adding ‘Teamwork’ to your list of skills if only one person endorses you for this!
If you do have the skills – add them! Keep in mind that LinkedIn can also make your expertise and featured skills available to viewers via Google search.
When a connection does endorse your skills, it contributes to the overall strength of your LinkedIn profile. Endorsements also increase the likelihood that you’ll be discovered for opportunities related to the skills you possess.
Make sure you pick the ‘right’ skills though. This means that they need to align with your work in the recruitment industry, but also highlight your management, communication and business skills.
It was hard to choose, but here’ are examples of recruiters who have paid close attention to their skill set.
Greg’s extensive recruitment background is in a league on its own, and as you can see here, his industry knowledge is extensive and well detailed. He also points out his interpersonal skills such as public speaking, coaching and blogging on The Savage Truth.
Kimberly has an average of 99+ connections who have endorsed each of her skills. Her skills range from Human Resources to Talent Management and Networking.
When it comes to testimonials on a LinkedIn profile, Chris has commented that they “are a way to create a social presence, which makes that decision making life easier for anyone that you’re looking to work with. No one ever wants to be the first to engage with the service, so [recruiters] can display their work for people and it makes that decision a lot easier for any potential prospects.” He added that Sourcr users who try to collect testimonials from clients can find their work cut out for them.
Firstly, “it’s not part of their end-to-end sales process; therefore if it’s not tracked by the agency or if it’s not a KPI or metric, recruiters are less likely to request testimonials from the people they’ve worked with,” he said. Next comes the honest truth. “Testimonials are often left by friends and they’re not necessarily vetted so there may be a dilution of trust in the actual testimonies recruiters collect, simply because it’s not actually associated to a specific piece of work. Anyone can leave a testimonial for anyone essentially.”
Sourcr users have a step above the rest of the competition when it comes to their ratings and reviews. Sourcr profile accounts can connect to their LinkedIn and publicly share their ratings, placements, reviews and testimonials from candidates and clients. These reviews and star ratings are only available for the candidates they have placed and clients they have worked with. Chris explained to us how this process works.
“First you have your Sourcr profile, which showcases all the ratings and placement history, which also links up to your LinkedIn profile. So, it can drive traffic to your LinkedIn page, and then in terms of promoting those reviews elsewhere, we have an integration with Google. This means if you searched a recruiters name on Google, as they collect reviews, the ratings actually show in the search results which is a really great way to impress a business from an SEO perspective,” he explained.
“Secondly we have one-click integrations with LinkedIn. For example, a recruiter shares the reviews and testimonials that they have received through Sourcr, as opposed to LinkedIn, and that really drives a lot of engagement from their followers,” he added.
Articles and activity
Engagement, social sharing, groups, content, anything and everything that builds connections to your LinkedIn community will help your branding and reputation as a recruiter.
Keep active on your LinkedIn feed by commenting, liking, sharing and posting your own articles and video content. Video is not only engaging but will represent 80% of all Internet traffic by 2021. Video is the new norm in today’s fast-paced society, and it shows candidates and clients a little glimpse into who you are as a person.
A perfect example of a recruiter who utilises his content and is active on his feed is Josh from Vendito. “People message me saying: you’re flooding my feed. I love the videos. If you have any jobs in XY&Z then please let me know,” he said. Josh has over 5,000 followers and has received comments along the lines of ‘I’ve been a long-time follower. I see you recruit a lot of roles in X industry, do you have any opportunities?’
“I get a lot of client business from my videos, which has been the catalyst for why I’ve put so much energy and effort into our video branding because a video could generate $20,000!” he added.
Here’s an example of one of Vendito’s videos. The topic of discussion is ‘Religion and Productivity in the Workplace.”
We also have Kate from TaylorCare whose regular posts on her LinkedIn profile have ‘“really boosted my brand over the years, online and offline,” she said. Kate specialises in social work and healthcare recruitment and is a mental health advocate.
Kate is particular about who she connects with via LinkedIn and only sticks to the industry she recruits for. “It always amazes me how clients comment when I call them on things that they’ve seen me post on LinkedIn. It definitely makes breaking the ice easier with prospective new clients. They also feel special that the owner of the business has called them too,” she added.
In regards to her candidate engagement and connection through her LinkedIn profile, Kate commented that she has recently gained more candidates. “They don’t normally respond to recruiters on LinkedIn, but as they have been seeing my posts and connecting with me as a person, they wanted to contact me. This to me is exactly why I’m so real and authentic on my social media platforms,” Kate explained. She posts a mix of personal, business and charity. “I post something every day,” she said.
As the Director of her brand, Kate believes that personal branding is “essential for recruitment business owners, as we are the face of our brands.” Kate has found she receives most of her engagement through her personal or charity related posts. “It’s great to share more business-related posts on your LinkedIn business page versus your personal profile,” she added.
Another recruiter to mention is Will McPhee from SMAART Recruitment. Will initially never wanted to be vocal on LinkedIn but was persuaded by his Directors to be more of an expert in the field of recruitment. This was achieved through engagement within the community and the industries they serve. “Social channels like LinkedIn are the fastest and easiest way to do that,” he said.
Most of Will’s content is based around questions and observations on particular situations. Will said that “this has been a great tool, especially when other recruiters and people from the industry give me their opinion.
“Having only worked for one company you can get used to hearing the same opinions or thoughts, so hearing what and how other people think has really helped me grow and perhaps look at situations differently,” he added.
As a Sourcr user for over 18 months, Will has found the platform to be another business development tool and has helped him “connect with businesses, and offer different and new opportunities I may have not been able to offer my candidates in the past,” he explained.
Sourcr has improved his candidate engagement by allowing him to focus on what really matters. “It’s taking care of the business side and that gives me more time to focus on my candidates,” said Will. “Over the past year or so, it’s helped me connect more with my candidates and clients directly, and what I think it has done for them is paint a picture of who I am and not just a recruiter from SMAART Recruitment,” he added.
Adrian from Greenbridge spoke on candidate reach and how it has increased “exponentially, where in the early days, this was through the volume of connections. Over the last number of years, it’s been through publishing content.”
He shared where his highest engagement tends to come from. This includes:
- A post around industry trends or job-relevant discussions that are relevant to recruiters and candidates searching for jobs.
- More alternative content that might look at a common discussion point from a different perspective.
Adrian emphasised the importance of sharing content in order to build awareness of your profile. “It builds your brand in real time and drives traffic to what otherwise would be a static profile. It’s important that your content will engage your market (even if they disagree with your opinion) rather than have the opposite effect, which is also possible,” he explained.
When it comes to Adrian’s recommendations on his LinkedIn profile, he advises recruiters to “simply do a good job and both clients and candidates will usually give recommendations.”
His process with receiving recommendations starts with a simple conversation. “I normally ask the person over the phone or in person if they have been happy with our service and if they would be comfortable writing a recommendation.”
How do you engage with your LinkedIn community? Is video your forte or are thought-provoking and insightful articles more your strength? Do you like and comment only, or share your own posts?
Whichever way you choose to engage with your community, it’s good to also regularly post links to interesting articles, share your thoughts on what’s happening in your industry, and even talk about the work you do. This will show anyone who views your LinkedIn profile that you’re knowledgeable about current trends in your industry.
The final tips
At the end of the day, what do recruiters want to be saying to candidates? Or more importantly, what are candidates looking for when seeking out a recruiter?
Chris points out that validation is an important thing, and candidates are “looking for someone who has a proven track record, and who is personable and approachable,” he said.
But, “above all it’s someone who’s actually going to put the client or candidate’s interests first,” he added. By doing this, a recruiter needs to have industry knowledge as this demonstrates to candidates that the recruiter is able to understand exactly what they need.
Furthermore, Chris emphasises on the importance of a strong network in the industry and a good reputation, as they “are all things that create a strong value proposition for a recruiter. That will make a candidate sit there and go ‘well hey, if I want a job in Sales in Sydney, this is the best recruiter to go to,’ and that’s ultimately the best question to ask – who is an advocate for that particular role and who is going to be the best in terms of finding and getting the best job for me,” he said.
For recruiters wanting to improve their LinkedIn profile, Chris has the following four tips:
1. Sign up to LinkedIn
“First you need to create a profile on LinkedIn and make sure it’s actually completely filled out with relevant information. If [the recruiter] sits back and looks at the perspective of who their target market is and who they want to be visiting their LinkedIn profile, then the content that they input in their profile needs to reflect that.”
2. Focus on visual branding
“Branding is a lot about the imagery, so ensuring you have good images in a background that’s relevant to you or your agency is really important.”
3. Maintain an active feed
“Ensure that you’re actually using your profile, and you’re out engaging with the communities that you want to work with. To become a thought leader and stand out against other recruiters in the market, you need to create that brand trust, and that’s only ever done by engagement or social proofing.”
4. Consider creating a profile on Sourcr
“Having a Sourcr profile is great because if you can collect reviews from clients and candidates and showcase some of your placement history, you can then use that in conjunction with a LinkedIn profile – it’s really going to allow you to stand out significantly. At the moment there’s no real way for recruiters to collect and promote reviews effectively, and this is a real opportunity for them to do that in the market.”
If you’re thinking of trying Sourcr, the process is pretty straight forward. Recruiters can only request reviews and testimonials from candidates they have actually placed. This not only proves recruiters credibility but it “allows Sourcr to validate the relationship even existed,” said Chris.
Sourcr users also don’t have the accessibility or ability to edit their reviews. Don’t be scared by that, instead focus on how “it’s all about validating the reviews and ensuring they are legitimate. When candidates are searching for recruiters and are looking at the reviews that the recruiter has received, they can sit there with trust knowing that it’s actually a legitimate review,” Chris added.
Adrian also shared five of his tips for recruiters:
- Decide what the purpose of your profile is. Is your CV online simply to alert others to your experience, or are you using it to build awareness to particular groups or people?
- If you are trying to appeal to certain segments of the market, tailor your profile so your messaging is likely to catch their attention.
- Less is more, most of the time. Get your message across but don’t overcomplicate the language used.
- Set time aside to write content and don’t give up if it takes time to build engagement. Consistency is really important.
- Be brave. It’s not easy putting your opinion up in a public forum.
Making the link
As you’ve seen, this article wasn’t focused on finding the Top 10 LinkedIn Recruiter Profiles, instead, it looked at recruiters LinkedIn profiles, where from a data perspective display strong personal branding. Profiles that were highly praised by our LinkedIn community were also included.
So, we’ve gone from top to bottom and the key takeaways are as follows…
Customise your URL, optimise your headline with keywords and make it unique, take a great photo of yourself (lighting is key), represent your branding with a header image (be creative), fill out your profile and add media attachments.
Stay connected in the community and network, network and network. Meet other recruiters and learn from each other. Share, comment, post, write and record content as often as you can. Stay in the know and be open to all individuals you come across.
Let candidates know you’re the best choice for them, and your connections could grow not only in numbers but in quality. Consider using a reviews platform like Sourcr and have credible reviews that you can use to showcase to other clients and candidates.
It can be tricky creating a LinkedIn profile that ticks all the boxes, but it is possible. Have we missed anything? Let us know via social!