6 Tips for Sourcing Contractors and Uncovering Business Leads with LinkedIn Recruiter

June 12, 2018

Whether you’re under pressure to fill an open req or trying to stay in touch with clients as they move from company to company, sourcing and placing contractors can be time-consuming and intensive work for any staffing professional. But with the right approach and tools, it can become much, much easier.

From building a pipeline of great contract candidates to being the first to know when candidates and clients make moves, the right strategies can help you use LinkedIn Recruiter to save time and energy while staying on top of the action. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few simple tips from LinkedIn’s The Staffing Guide to Contractors that you can start using today to find, nurture, and place contract candidates more efficiently. Here they are:

1. Filter by Employment Type to build a pipeline of contract candidates

With over 12 million potential candidates on LinkedIn who are likely contractors or interested in contract work, you don’t have to waste any time reaching out and speaking to candidates, only to learn that they aren't interested in contract work. With the Employment Type filter, LinkedIn Recruiter lets you easily zero in on the right people for your contract opportunities:

By simply using the filter to limit your searches to professionals who are pursuing contract work—then combining it with other important search criteria, like specific titles, locations, and skills—you can begin to create a hotlist of great candidates. If you often find yourself faced with a tight sourcing deadline, keeping a list like this will come in handy whenever you’re in a time crunch.

2. Filter your search results by candidates who are open to opportunities

When you’re actively reaching out to contract candidates, you can save a lot of time by targeting ones who are interested in new opportunities. LinkedIn allows open candidates to signal that they’re looking for opportunities, and you can easily filter your searches to show only those contractors who are currently looking for jobs.

3. Use saved search alerts to be the first to reach out to a candidate

When it comes to sourcing, it’s always nice if you can get to a candidate before anyone else does. With LinkedIn Recruiter, you only have to complete a specific search once—you can then elect to receive alerts anytime a candidate either changes their profile to fit your criteria or becomes open to opportunities:

You can save as many searches as you want and set up to 50 search alerts to run simultaneously. You’ll see these alerts right on your homepage, so you can be the first to reach out.

4. Keep track of your contractors with project folders and reminders

Once you’ve placed a contractor in a role, you want to keep that relationship warm (and organized) so that you can connect with them about additional placements down the road. Using the project folders feature in Recruiter, you can easily organize candidates’ LinkedIn profiles into folders that are arranged however you like.

For example, you can set your folders up based on industry, role, account, or even the week that their current assignment is ending:

Once your folders are set up, you can also add Reminders within recruiter to help you remember to reach out to specific contractors (or entire folders) when their current assignment ends.

5. Use Search Insights to find companies that are hiring contractors

Building a great pipeline of candidates is one half of the puzzle, but you’ll also need to continually keep your eye on which companies (and hiring managers) might be hiring contractors. With Recruiter’s Search Insights feature, you can find unique insights about which companies are hiring contractors.

Once you’ve done a search for a contractor talent pool in Recruiter, simply click the “Search Insights” button above your search results.

Recruiter can then show you the companies that are hiring that talent and help you track down and reach out to the right hiring managers at each company—all without leaving your desk.

6. Use Update Me alerts to capitalize on clients’ career changes

You want to know as soon as possible when one of your clients—like a hiring manager at a company that hires contractors—is making a move to another business. That way, you can send them a congratulations message to maintain a strong relationship (while hopefully landing their new company as a client) and ask who’s replacing them, so you can retain their previous place of employment, too.

Recruiter’s Update Me alerts make this win-win scenario easier than ever to achieve:

Simply set an alert by clicking the star in the “Recruiting Tools” section once (see the pane to the right of the user’s profile above) to notify you any time that hiring manager makes an update to their LinkedIn profile. You’ll get a notification on your homepage the moment it happens.

Final thoughts

Sourcing and placing contractors has its own unique challenges, but luckily, many of Recruiter’s features are specifically designed to help you with the heavy lifting. Try incorporating some of these tips into your workflow—you’ll likely save both time and energy that you can redirect to keeping your clients and candidates happier than ever.

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