With more than 500 million members in over 200 countries and territories, LinkedIn is no doubt one of the world’s largest social and professional networking sites, making it a great talent attraction channel to add to your recruitment marketing machine.
So where do you start with your employer brand on LinkedIn? Whether you’re working with little or no budget, or are looking to make a bigger investment this year, here are 7 LinkedIn features and tips you’ll want to know to help you stand out from your talent competitors and build your employer brand to attract, reach and hire the top candidates your company needs.
1. Encourage Employee To Update Their Profiles
An employee’s LinkedIn profile is a great opportunity to promote your company’s employer brand. Just like online shopping, today’s job seekers will research your company online before they even consider applying. And one of these places they’ll likely look is LinkedIn.
So encourage your employees to update their LinkedIn profiles. Hold lunch n’ learn sessions or office hours and provide virtual trainings and resources to make it as easy as possible for employees to help amplify your employer brand on LinkedIn.
For example, at GE Digital, many employees were struggling with how to tell the company and culture story externally, so I helped develop employer brand messaging that they can use and add to their Professional Summary and Experience sections to share more about the company’s mission, work and teams. This also helps ensure employees are representing and speaking about your company in a consistent manner.
Another best practice I’ve seen many companies do is encouraging employees to add links to the company’s careers site, employer brand content, such as recruiting videos, to their LinkedIn profiles. This is not only a great way to drive traffic to your careers site and employer brand content, but to also invite candidates to learn more about your company culture, people and jobs.
encourage your employees to add links to your careers site and employer brand content, such as employee stories and videos, to their linkedin profile.
2. Share Employer Brand Content Regularly
Many followers of your LinkedIn company page are job seekers and candidates interested in working for your company. So help them learn more about what it’s like working at your company by regularly posting employer brand content on your company page that showcases your company culture, people and employee experience.
A strong employer brand is good for your business too. According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), companies with a strong employer brand saw a 20% increase in their revenue, whereas those with a weaker brand only grew by 8%.
The thing is, people are much more likely going to buy from or do business with someone they trust. The annual Edelman Trust Barometer study found that people today trust an individual or peer like themselves much more than a company’s CEO, senior executives or corporate channels.
And so by sharing authentic stories about the real people behind your company and products, you’re giving both potential candidates and customers a real “insider” look and perspective into your company, and this adds transparency and humanizes your brand, ultimately helping your company build a more relatable, memorable and trustworthy brand to grow your business.
Sharing employer brand content on your company’s LinkedIn page is a win-win for both Marketing and Talent Acquisition. So partner with your Marketing team and collaborate on your content strategy that best serves all your audiences on LinkedIn.
Dell is a great example of a brand that shares an excellent mix of both marketing and employer brand content on their LinkedIn company page. And this strategy is clearly working for Dell. In 2015, they reached 1 million followers on LinkedIn. Their most successful organic post in Q2 last year also turned out to be an employer brand post, garnering nearly 190,000 impressions and a 1.63% click-through rate. Talk about free marketing for both the Talent Acquisition and Marketing teams!
3. Post Targeted Status Updates
Like Facebook’s organic post targeting feature, you’re now able to target your posts based on your audience’s demographics, such as their industry, geography, seniority and company size. This ensures that you’re sharing the most relevant content with your followers and won’t risk overwhelming them with multiple posts a day – some of which may only be relevant to a certain segment of your audience.
For example, if you’re promoting an upcoming open house or hiring event in your San Francisco office, it might not make sense to be sharing this post with your audiences in Asia since they can’t physically be there and attend the event in-person. In this case, it may make more sense to target your followers in California who are much more likely going to engage with your post and actually be able to attend the in-person event.
4. Help Employees Build Their Personal Brand
Your employees are your best brand advocates. Research has shown that brand messages shared by employees get 561% more reach and 8 times more engagement than from a company’s brand channels.
So offer social media trainings to help your employees build their personal brand and educate them on how they can contribute to your employer branding efforts on LinkedIn. This can include everything from posting content about what it’s like working at your company to sharing your employer brand content and contributing to discussions in LinkedIn groups relevant to your industry.
80% of job candidates’ decisions to apply to a company are influenced by sources like peer-to-peer and word-of-mouth recommendations. Having your employees visible and amplifying your employer brand is the best way to get your company on the radar of qualified candidates who are active on LinkedIn and are a part of your employees’ professional networks.
5. Add Careers Pages
If LinkedIn is one of the main channels where your target candidates are spending their time, then you may want to consider investing in a LinkedIn Career Page. This gives you a specific, central “hub” to promote your employer brand and jobs on LinkedIn, beyond your company page.
There are a variety of widgets you can use to showcase your company’s mission and values, culture and people, and show what life is really like working at your company. For example, you can add videos, photos, employee testimonials, feature leader profiles and highlight LinkedIn articles that employees have published.
example view of a linkedin careers page in admin/edit view.
Depending on your company size and LinkedIn solutions package, you may have the option to create multiple career pages. This gives you the ability to create a general, non-targeted page for all candidates, as well as specific pages that feature content targeting your key teams and hiring locations.
For example, at GE Digital, they’ve identified that their key hiring teams for the year are software engineering, product management, sales, user experience and data science, and so we’ve helped them build a targeted page with custom content that is most relevant for each audience.
ge digital's targeted software engineering careers page.
What’s great with these targeted pages is that they automatically respond and display the most relevant careers page based on the LinkedIn member’s profile visiting your LinkedIn Careers Page.
So for example, if an individual is a product manager and she goes to your company’s Careers Page, she will automatically be directed to the Product Management targeted page. With targeted pages, candidates can view the employer brand content that is most relevant to them right away, without having to click and navigate multiple places to get to the information they want.
6. Try Sponsored Updates
If you’re looking to increase your overall brand awareness and following on LinkedIn, or are trying to reach a specific group of candidates for certain job openings or to promote an upcoming hiring event, you can improve your reach with a sponsored update.
Just like Facebook’s boosted posts or ads, sponsored updates will show up in your target audience’s feed, helping to increase the chance of your content getting seen. With sponsored updates, you have the ability to set your own budget with different cost per click or cost per impression options to choose from.
examples of sponsored update posts from lyft and dropbox. (image credit: linkedin)
7. Use Work With Us Ads
With Work With Us ads, you’ll have an opportunity to promote specific jobs, Career Pages or other places on LinkedIn when an individual or an employee’s connection views their profile.
Like sponsored posts, you’ll also have the ability to customize the ads to reach your target audiences, directing them to the page or to take the desired action you want them to take, such as applying for a job opening.
By using Work With Us ads, you’ll also be able to prevent your competitors from placing their ads on your employees’ profiles, so your company can stay on top of mind with potential candidates in your employees’ networks.
For example, here’s a Work With Us ad I see when I view the profile of a connection who works at Facebook.
Looking for more tips on how to build your employer brand on social? Check out my last post where I shared 7 Facebook hacks for employer branding.
In my next post, I’ll be sharing my top tips and tricks on how you can use Twitter to promote your employer brand. Stay tuned!