How the Newest Version of LinkedIn Recruiter Has Changed the LinkedIn Recruiting Team

March 23, 2016

Over the past year, my colleagues on the LinkedIn recruiting team and I worked with our product team to develop the latest iteration of LinkedIn Recruiter, aka the next generation of Recruiter. For the last few months, we’ve been using the next generation of Recruiter internally, and will soon launch it to our customers as a free upgrade to LinkedIn Recruiter.

So far, it’s been a game changer.

The new experience is doing exactly what we intended it to do – take a lot of the “busy” work out of recruiting, like building complex Boolean searches. Instead, the next generation of Recruiter has given us more relevant search results, faster, so our team can focus more time reaching out to those candidates and less time finding them.

How the next generation of Recruiter was made: For recruiters, by recruiters.

To best address the needs of recruiters, the LinkedIn product team went straight to the source. They involved our internal recruiting team and customers from the outset and asked what recruiters would need from an updated LinkedIn Recruiter experience.

We had two suggestions:

  • Make searching easier, so it requires less industry-specific knowledge to find strong candidates in any field.
  • Highlight the candidates most likely to respond to our InMails, so recruiters can source more efficiently.

After a year of collaborative iteration, the next generation of Recruiter was born. And, just a few months into using the product, our team is already reaping the benefits.

Searching is easier, so our recruiters don’t have to be an expert in every industry or function they recruit in.

One of the first benefits we saw using the next generation of Recruiter is that it has made searching easier, even for recruiters who aren’t experts in the industry or function they recruit for.

The product does this in two ways. First off, say we have a great person on a team - let’s call her Susan - and we need to hire someone else for that team. It would make the sourcing process much simpler if we could just find someone with similar skills and experience.

The next generation of Recruiter makes that easy. Our recruiters now just type Susan’s name into Recruiter, and it will automatically create a search using the job title, skills, companies and industries listed on Susan’s profile.

In other words, it finds you more people like Susan, based on her skills and experience. Our recruiters can also combine multiple member names, and the next generation of Recruiter will then run a search which results in the combined attributes of those profiles.

Sometimes, though, our recruiters don’t have an ideal candidate in mind. In that case, they can provide a job title and the guided search bar helps them write their search string using talent data on LinkedIn (aka the Economic Graph).

For example, let’s say one of our recruiters enters “product manager” into the guided search bar. The next generation of Recruiter will automatically provide them with a list of product managers’ trending top skills. The list of candidate results automatically updates in real time as they accept the terms LinkedIn Recruiter recommends, so our recruiters can instantly gauge their talent pool, without having to be an expert in that field.

Shining a spotlight on the warmest candidates, so our recruiters know who to reach out to first.

The second benefit we have seen is that the next generation of Recruiter gives us more relevant results, that are easier to prioritize. It accomplishes that through a new feature called “spotlights,” that reveals candidates who may be more likely to engage with us.

Spotlights allow us to see people who have some connection to our company, and therefore are more likely to respond to an InMail. We have spotlights for prospects who have engaged with our employer brand, prospects who are connected to people who work at LinkedIn, prospects who have previously applied for jobs at LinkedIn and more.

These are the types of candidates we instruct our recruiters to reach out to first, as our data says they are far more likely to be interested in a job at LinkedIn, compared to someone who has no connection to our company. The results from doing this have been impressive.

Specifically, even before we had the next generation of Recruiter, we began prioritizing InMailing people with some connection to our company first with customized messages. For example, our InMail response rate jumped from 30 percent to 85 percent for sales prospects, which made hiring at LinkedIn far more efficient. Since we’ve adopted the next generation of Recruiter, we’ve continued to see those strong numbers.

An emphasis on employer branding and data.

The next generation of Recruiter has undeniably made some parts of our recruiters’ jobs easier. Searching is simplified, and the prospects most likely to respond to an InMail are now highlighted in spotlights. Prioritizing our InMail outreach to these candidates has more than doubled LinkedIn recruiting’s InMail response rate and streamlined our hiring efforts.

As a recruiting leader, the next generation of Recruiter has underscored the importance of having a strong employer brand. Spotlights emphasize the power of having prospects interact with our content and connect with our employees. So our internal challenge has shifted to engaging more prospective candidates with our employer brand and connecting with LinkedIn.

  • linkedin recruiting team

And because the next generation of Recruiter has made searching easier, it has freed up our recruiters to become more data-driven. For example, we encourage them to use Recruiter’s smart suggestions to advise hiring managers on the best places to look for talent and most relevant role requirements to hone in on, in order to expand the talent pool.

What this all means for you.

Frankly, the biggest change recruiting teams will see with the next generation of Recruiter is that finding great talent on LinkedIn will be easier. This will allow recruiters to effectively search for prospects, even if they aren’t an expert in the industry or function they’re recruiting for.

Big picture, I see the next generation of Recruiter as part of a larger trend in the talent acquisition world of shedding the “order-taker” label of old recruiters and today's recruiters becoming strategic partners with their hiring managers. The product takes much of the administrative work out of the hiring process and frees up time for recruiters to become more strategic.

The next generation of Recruiter is rolling out to customers over the next couple months, so you can start using it yourself. I can’t wait. I’m excited to hear what you think about the product, and would love to hear your feedback.

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