3 Little-Known Tips for Sourcing Contractors (and Business Leads) With LinkedIn Recruiter

September 7, 2017

Recruiting contractors is all about speed and timing. Staffing agencies are often competing to submit the best candidates first, which means you need to be the first to know when great talent is available.

The good news is that there are over 6 million professionals identified as contractors on LinkedIn and LinkedIn Recruiter can surface those who are available now and are highly responsive. For example, 40% of contractors who signal on LinkedIn that they’re open to new opportunities respond within 24 hours and 20% respond within a few hours.

The below LinkedIn Recruiter features are a powerful addition to your recruitment strategy and 80% of recruiters who have tried this contractor sourcing functionality are satisfied.

Here are the 3 things you can do now to boost your contractor sourcing business:

Find highly responsive contractors who are available now

In LinkedIn Recruiter, you’ll notice a new search filter called ‘employment type.’ Choose your search criteria and also select ‘contractor.’ This will give you a list of all of the potential candidates that are likely contractors or interested in contract work.

To start, we recommend selecting the ‘open to new opportunities’ spotlight. These are people who have raised their hands and said they're ready for their next opportunity, and explicitly signaled that they are interested in contract work.

Be the first to know when a great contractor becomes available

Speed is incredibly important when sourcing contractors, so you need to know when a contractor is ready to make a move. To get on top of that, you can set up an alert in LinkedIn Recruiter and get a notification immediately when a contractor in your target market signals that they’re open.

This is a big competitive advantage because 50% of contractors using this feature signaled they were open to new opportunities before they updated their resume. Moreover, 60% of them did not post their resumes to job boards, at least not within a month of signaling they were available.* This means that using LinkedIn Recruiter, you can get an early signal when a contractor is available, and you can also find contractors that you won’t find elsewhere.

To set up these alerts, go back to your Recruiter search, and ensure you’ve selected the ‘open to new opportunities’ spotlight. First save this search, and we’d recommend labeling it ‘open contractors’ for quick reference. Make sure you opt to send alerts to your homepage and email. By doing this, you’ll ensure that whenever any of the candidates who are interested in contract work become open to a new opportunity, you’ll get an alert. The more you can automate these early signals, you’ll dramatically increase your odds of placing the best candidates as they become available.  

Get market intelligence to generate business development leads

We’ve talked about the candidate side, let’s talk about using this functionality to generate business development leads.

If you see one contractor at a company, there are likely more -- and the chances are this company is looking for somebody to help them source this contractor talent.

To discover which companies hire contractors, go back to the search and ensure you’ve selected all contractors, not just the ones that are open to new opportunities. Then select ‘current company’ to look at contractors that are in their contract roles now. 

Next you’ll want to click on ‘search insights.’ This gives you a list of the main companies that hire these types of contractors. If you see companies that you aren’t working with currently, you can prioritize them for your business development efforts.

You can go deeper by selecting each company to get a list of contractors who currently work there. By getting in touch with these contractors, you can start to penetrate the account and get in touch with their hiring managers who have buying power.

In a few simple steps, you’ve now seen how you can use LinkedIn Recruiter in new ways to grow your contract recruitment business and stay ahead of the competition.

*Source: LinkedIn Open Contractor Study, July 2017

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