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A Practical Guide to Making Your Recruiting Efforts More Visible on LinkedIn

A man is sitting on a couch with a tablet displaying linkedin.

​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:

  • Smith & Brown Consumer Retail Marketing Specialists, formerly Smith Consumer Marketing
  • Springfield Landscaping Supply, serving our commercial clients for more than 60 years
  • Matrix IT Consulting, specialists in website design and social media promotion

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:

  • About Us, with a 2,000-character limit. As you type in the input box, a small ticker at the top will indicate how many characters remain available. As usual on LinkedIn, bulleted lists, bolding, italics, headings and other word processing niceties are not available, so use creativity and blank lines to create impact.
  • Specialties, great places for keywords relevant to the company and to positions that are in continuing demand. Up to 20 specialties are allowed. Simply type in the specialty (a product or service name, for example), hit return, click to add another specialty, and see the check mark indicating that the previous specialty has been added. Choose these with care. After including the terms that describe the organization's purpose most clearly, focus on those terms most relevant to your recruiting requirements, such as "cybersecurity," "social media marketing" or whatever are your most in-demand positions.
  • Location, another excellent spot to include one of the primary search criteria used by job seekers. LinkedIn apparently does not limit the number of locations that a company page can store, so include them all to attract job seekers interested in any of them. The fields available are street address, city, state, country, ZIP code and building name.

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:

  • Publish and link to jobs to gain visibility. These postings are free, but only visible to someone visiting your company page. Summarize with the job title, location of the job and key skills required, and then link to the full description (using those important keywords). Be sure to also include contact information.
  • Share good information as updates. On a regular schedule, preferably daily, post news about your company. Share product announcements and press releases, links to positive company news on other sites, articles by staff members, posts from the company blog, and so on. The goal is to convey a clear and inviting picture of the company culture.
  • Sponsor some updates. If you have a hot job or great news that you want to share on people's news feeds, you may want to buy Sponsored Content.

Post Jobs

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:

  • Use standard job titles rather than fun or distinctive ones like ninja and guru. While unique job titles may help with employer branding and enhance the overall "cool" factor of an employer, they are often invisible to job seekers. Terms are useless as keywords if no one in the target audience uses them for searching.

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.

  • Include the job location because location tends to be the most important criterion for job seekers, even if the employer is willing to pay relocation costs. Use the term that most commonly describes the area, such as East Bay or Greater Boston, and include the city and/or neighborhood name as well in the description so that the job appears in search results and maps for all versions of the location.
  • Create a complete job description using the greatest number of relevant keywords. Spell out the degrees or certifications required and also add the common abbreviations. For example, if the company wants to hire someone experienced with Amazon Web Services, be sure to include that term as well as the common abbreviation AWS so that the job will be included in search results for job seekers searching on either term.

Susan P. Joyce is the editor and publisher of the employment portal, 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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