Did you know every time that you do a search for people on LinkedIn, there are many more people that could be suitable for your search, but you just won’t find them. Ever. There are probably some really awesome candidates in there as well!
These are the Linkedin Ghosts - candidates you think are there but can never see! [This excellent phrase originates from Glen Cathey from a presentation he did recently (link at bottom of post)]
So, why can’t you find these LinkedIn ghosts?
Answer: you are not looking for them properly!
To find them you need to put your overalls on and strap on your Proton Pack and go searching for them. You need to become a Linkedin Ghostbuster!!
What I am of course referring to is the social media ectoplasm - user generated content! This is completely out of your control and makes your life as a recruiter/resourcer/researcher that much harder! The secret powers of your own Proton Pack are synonyms and the word “OR”.(Sorry if you were expecting some new tool, platform or software!)
As Glen says - for every search you do on LinkedIn you immediately create ghosts. These ghosts are all the candidates you have immediately excluded from your search because you haven’t taken the effort to use the right keywords to find them.
For example, searching for a Sales Representative (what the job title says) in London, LinkedIn gives me 2940 results. But what about all the people that do a similar job but call themselves something different >> time for a few synonyms!
“sales representative” OR “Sales executive” OR “sales rep” OR “business development manager” OR “business development executive” OR “account executive” OR “sales account manager” gives me 51,404 search results.
That’s a lot of “ghosts” that have been “found” just by some simple lateral thinking. (Obviously you would add other filters into this, but you get the idea)
And if you think it just applies to job titles, you would be mistaken. Glen gives the example of company names also being described differently by their own employees!
Now do you see what I mean about user generated content - it really can be messy, just like ectoplasm!
So before you embark on searching on LinkedIn, first take the time to understand all the different words, descriptions and titles that you could use to find your target people. Synonyms. Then build your search strings accordingly AND save them! Either save the search in LinkedIn or save the string to file on your desktop for next time.
So what are you waiting for, go strap on your Proton pack and find yourself some ghosts!
Glen Cathey’s recent keynote he delivered at a LinkedIn conference.He also talked about stealing cars and picking apples! Worth watching.
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I work with companies to help them improve their recruitment strategies, recruitment processes, candidate attraction, employer branding and recruitment content marketing strategy.
I am currently writing my second book, Social Media Recruitment, which will be published early in 2015.