February 14, 2011

Linkedin Updates: The New Recruiter Magazine?

recruiter tipsWe all know that Linkedin is a great sourcing tool for recruiters. However, with the new Linkedin Updates feature, you can now think of Linkedin as customized recruiter magazine.

Custom Business News

It is imperative for recruiters to know everything that is going on in their area of recruitment. For example, if you recruit around the NYC metro for accountants, you had better know everything happening in the accounting world in New York City. Over time, recruiter should strive to become experts in their field – and this is done through a prolonged following of industry, profession, or geographic news and thought leadership. However, the problem for recruiters is getting the information pertinent to their area. For example, The New York Times doesn’t cover every happening in the world of accounting. Also, “Accountant Magazine” (sorry if that’s a real publication) probably would not always relate to New York City. Recruiters are left having to soak up information from a variety of sources.

Linkedin now may help recruiters become more knowledgeable in their field. Linkedin released a product in beta a while ago called “Signal.” Not everyone had access to it and you may not have gotten the chance to try it out. However, you should now be able to access the new service by searching “updates.” Linkedin had previously focused on showing you updates from your connections – now recruiters have the opportunity to target exact industries and locations for their updates, instead of their first level connections.

Linkedin UpdatesUsing Updates to Find Information

You can access the new updates feature through the big search box on the upper right hand corner of Linkedin (where you can normally select from People, Groups, Jobs, etc.) You use the select box to search “Updates.”

The graphic on top shows a search for updates in New York City only from connections in the Computer Software area. You can imagine that if you recruit for software developers in New York, this search gives you access to a wealth of business information. Recruiters can use this to find out meetings in their area, major players in their field, thought leadership, who’s hiring, etc…

You can see that this is more of a business information and recruitment marketing tool than a direct sourcing tool. Recruiters who are “client-facing” (either running a 360 desk or performing the sales function) should be especially interested in using Linkedin Updates.

You can sort the updates by industry, location, company, topic, and even school. You can also enter direct keyword searches, but keyword searches are difficult in real-time update streams – you will find keyword searches to be choked with other recruiter job postings and updates.

The Recruiter Magazine

Recruiting with Linkedin Updates is currently more about business development and market research than for sourcing candidates. Linkedin does not seem to provide a method for seeing updates from people with specific job titles. As soon as they implement this feature, (for example) you will be able to see updates from all of the accountants in New York City, or the updates with keyword “job” from executive managers at software companies.

Great recruiting is all about engaging strongly in your area of recruitment practice and becoming an expert in your field. Local and/or industry specific knowledge is incredibly important to the progression of any recruiting career. The new customizable Linkedin Updates feature provides a nice way for recruiters to learn more about their area of interest while staying on-site. Is Linkedin the new recruiter magazine? Not quite yet, but it’s a start.

Marie is a writer for Recruiter.com covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.