How to Throw a LinkedIn Profile Makeover Party (and Boost Your Employer Brand in the Process)

December 13, 2016

When you’ve got a great employer brand, every aspect of talent acquisition from sourcing and outreach to engagement and retention gets easier. The data backs it up: our Global Recruiting Trends 2017 found that 80% of talent and HR managers around the world believe a great brand makes it easier to recruit top talent.

One of the surest ways to boost your employer brand is through your employees. More specifically, through your employees’ LinkedIn Profiles. Unlike corporate websites and online forums that often tell only one side of your employer brand story, your employees represent all the dimensions of your culture. That’s probably why 1 in 4 candidates visit your employees’ LinkedIn Profiles after discovering your open job.

To motivate your employees to get their Profiles in top shape, consider my personal favorite tactic: throw a party! Gather a handful of employees together (by team or company-wide, depending on size) for genuine merriment, some education on the value of a strong LinkedIn presence, and useful tips for improving their LinkedIn Profiles.  

A good ole-fashioned, low-budget, work-appropriate Profile Party just may be the key to motivate your employees to take their Profiles (and your employer brand) to the next level.

1. Nail the logistics to ensure great attendance.

For this to work, the logistics need to be on point. Here’s a quick checklist to get your party in order:

  • Send out a calendar invite to your guest list to ensure everyone knows where to be, when, and why.
  • Get an executive sponsor, like the CEO or other business leader, to send out a note to your guest list encouraging attendance.
  • Throw the party during lunch. You’re guaranteed to have a better turnout and more engaged attendees than if you host your party during common meeting times.
  • Provide free food. This will make your guests happier and more likely to attend.
  • Create an atmosphere that promotes a good time (read: decorate! A few balloons go a long way.)
  • Ask all attendees to bring their laptops. We do have a business purpose for this party, after all.

2. Rally your employees around a reason to care about employer brand.

After your guests arrive, grab their lunches and find their seats, kick off the party by illustrating an employee’s role in employer brand. Considering the following icebreaker.

Ask each partygoer to raise their hand if:

  • They are proud of their professional story: where they’ve been and what they’ve built.
  • They believe your organization’s work, mission, and culture is important.
  • They believe work is better when working with great people.

The employees who raised their hands in agreeance with at least one statement are those who care about employer brand, whether they knew it or not. Next, explain that they are here today to make sure their LinkedIn Profile reflects this pride and these beliefs. As employees, they are the living, breathing manifestation of the organization and its values. This means future employees will look to them (namely, their Profiles) to understand what your organization is all about and why your work matters.

3. Give employees the resources they need to succeed.

If you really want employees to spend time improving their Profiles, it’s important to give them resources to succeed. For simplicity sake (and because you only have about 30 minutes of their attention) -- focus on these three key areas within the Profile.

  • Profile Photo. Profiles with photos are 14x more likely to be viewed than Profiles without a photo. The reason is simple: people connect to faces. Photos bring a human element into the digital network experience.

    Do you have an employee or friend who owns a nice camera? Consider inviting them to take free headshots of everyone at the party. Use these tips to help ensure each photo works well on LinkedIn.
  • Profile Summaries. The Summary is the first place where your employees can begin to add some personality and creativity into the Profile. It’s where people can share their professional story, motivations, and career aspirations. It’s where you can help your Profile stand out.

    Use the resources in this blog post to share why Summaries matter and provide some inspiration for getting started on the writing process.
  • Recommendations. This facet of a LinkedIn Profile may be overlooked, but it is one of the most powerful. Recommendations allow others to share why they love working with you and what your strengths are. It’s so simple to ask close colleagues, managers, and direct reports for a recommendation, especially if your employee offers to provide one in return. Check out this post to learn more.

4. Encourage progress by quantifying Profile strength.

You may have some employees who are convinced their Profiles are top notch. Here’s a rubric to put that perspective to the test.

Hand out the following ‘grading rubric’ and ask your employees to give themselves points for the following on their Profile:

  • Profile photo = 1 point
  • Descriptive headline = 1 point
  • Summary (at least 3 sentences long) = 2 points
  • Attached rich media (an image, a link etc) either below the Summary or under a specific role = 5 points
  • Each published post = 5 points
  • Each job title + company + descriptive text within the Experience section = 1 point
  • Education listed = 1 point
  • Volunteer Experience & Causes listed = 3 points
  • Each Recommendation displayed = 5 points
  • Each Accomplishment listed = 3 points
  • Following your current organization = 15 points

Next, have them add up their score! No need to share publicly if it makes some employees self-conscious, but you can considering giving a prize to the 5 employees with the highest score.

  • Employees who scored higher than 40 have awesome Profiles! They should be proud of their LinkedIn presence. They’re your best brand ambassadors.
  • Employees who scored between 20 - 40 have average LinkedIn Profiles. They’re on the map, but just a bit more effort could catapult their Profiles into the stellar category.
  • Those who scored lower than 20 have ample opportunity to improve! The good news is it’s fast and easy to strengthen the Profile by just devoting a few minutes out of their day.

5. Form a culture to keep the momentum going

By now, your guests have been fed, played games, felt rewarded, and are newly inspired to take their Profile to the next level.

Wrap up your party by reminding them that this work is just beginning. A LinkedIn Profile is a dynamic, always-changing representation of who they are as a professional and as an employee. When they learn something new on the job, they should consider publishing a LinkedIn post to share their insights with others. As they accomplish new work projects, they should add them to their Profiles. After they work with new team members, they should ask for a Recommendation (and give one in return).

In doing so, you’re establishing a culture of brand ambassadors that will boost the reach and impact of your employer brand on future candidates and new hires.

Keep the conversation going with periodic check-ins, employee recognitions, and of course, more parties.

Learn all about the basics of building a stellar employer brand with our new ebook, Employer Branding Essentials.

* Photo by Jo Chou

To receive blog posts like this one straight in your inbox, subscribe to the blog newsletter.