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Job candidates tap into many resources when researching which employers they want to work for. But there's no question that checking LinkedIn is usually at the top of the list. LinkedIn has more than 500 million members, and recruiters agree across multiple surveys that it is the single best source for company branding and positioning of job opportunities to attract applicants. Yet it seems that the value of using the site is often misunderstood, and its tools are poorly utilized.
Savvy talent acquisition professionals know that the key to building a solid online reputation with candidates is the ability to be found in searches. And to be findable, keywords—especially the right keywords—are essential. Equally important is creating a company web page that tells a story. In fact, building a robust careers page is no longer optional.
A great place to start, especially for companies with limited resources, is to create a company page on LinkedIn. This helps establish credibility for even the smallest employers—the company can now be found in a LinkedIn search. Think of the LinkedIn company page as LinkedIn marketing for customers and clients, as well as for prospective employees.
Anyone with a LinkedIn profile and a verified company e-mail address can set up a company page, and that person is designated a "company administrator." A page may have multiple administrators and, because people leave and change roles inside of organizations, having more than one administrator is an excellent idea.
It's important to note that LinkedIn allows anyone who works for the company (as designated by the "current job" in their profile) to set up the company page. The administrator controls the company page and can appoint other administrators. If a company page has not been set up, management should designate someone to do so. LinkedIn provides this documentation for setting up and managing the company page.
Make the Most of Keywords on the Company Page
The company page is a high-level description of what the company does, the products or services it sells, the culture it has created, and the types of candidates it seeks. All of this information provides important keywords, enabling the company page to be more easily found. More visibility for your company page is, of course, available from LinkedIn for an extra charge.
The Company Name is an extremely important set of keywords. LinkedIn provides 100 characters in the company name field, so if the name is shorter than 100 characters, fill the remaining space with important related keywords, like:
Only the first 50 characters will be displayed on the company page, but all of the characters will be included in the search results.
If the company is known by several versions of a name, like HP, Hewlett Packard and Hewlett Packard Enterprises, use as many versions of it as you can in the company name field so it is found regardless of the search terms used.
The Overview is critical virtual territory, comprising several sections including:
Add Showcase Pages to highlight parts of the organization, specific products or services, and even locations. These are also free and will become more powerful when linked to from the company website, employee profiles and job postings. As these pages gain followers, they will also gain greater weight in internal LinkedIn searches.
Share Company Updates
On the company page, select the Updates tab and start sharing information about and linking to your company. Include images, when appropriate, to make the look of your company page more colorful and, hopefully, more appealing.
Updates may also be shared on showcase pages by completing the Share form at the top of the page.
Here are examples of ways you can share your updates:
Linkedin offers many options for posting jobs. They may be posted as personal updates by employees or as updates to the company page at no cost. Posting jobs in LinkedIn Groups is also free—just click on the word "Jobs" beside the word "Conversations" near the top of each Group home page. These jobs are visible only to those who visit your company page or who are members of the Group. They have no visibility in LinkedIn or Google search results.
Jobs may be posted directly on the LinkedIn Jobs page or through your company page based on your daily spending budget. The budget is used on a cost per click (CPC) basis so, if no one clicks, you are not charged. But for very competitive skills, the cost may be several dollars per click. When you set a daily budget, know that the final cost may end up being 130 percent of your budget. The paid CPC postings are much more visible and are included in both LinkedIn and Google search results.
Important Keywords for Job Postings
Just like recruiters search on certain specific terms, such as job title, location, education and important skills, job seekers also seek out these terms. Searches on job title, location and important skills are usually the keywords job seekers use:
To discover the terms favored by job seekers, check the "Jobseeker Interest" graph in Indeed's JobTrends. It shows the job seeker search activity on various terms from 2014 through mid-2017. Type your terms into the boxes at the top of the page, and the graphs will show you activity. The top graph (Job Postings) shows the frequency each term is used in job postings, and the second graph (Jobseeker Interest) shows the frequency of job seeker searches on those terms.
If you need to make it clear that the job is for applicants who see themselves as a "ninja," add that term to your posting or create a "slash job" by combining the terms in the job title like this: Administrative Assistant/Admin Ninja. Or include the term "ninja" in another part of the description.
Susan P. Joyce is the editor and publisher of the employment portal Job-Hunt.org, which her company, NETability Inc. has owned since 1998. She has a background in HR and compensation consulting, as well as many years in web development and information technology. She is a former Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
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