How to Throw a LinkedIn Party and Reach 100 Candidates in an Hour

Imagine a scenario where you find 100 excellent candidates in 90 minutes, and, as a bonus, you make your current employees recruiting evangelists.

The one of the best way to achieve this is by throwing a LinkedIn party.

What It Is

The LinkedIn party’s goal is to use the company’s existing employees’ network to locate and reach out to passive candidates, who are not necessarily looking for a job.

In a LinkedIn party, you integrate the employee referral program concept with the employees’ professional networking resources to create an ERP on steroids.

You gather executives and employees in one room, they all bring their laptops, and you present the most challenging positions to fill.

Next, all the people in the room go to their LinkedIn accounts and search for relevant candidates.

It Works

A year ago, Reut Minna, the HR manager from BillGuard, spoke at our recruitment conference about the LinkedIn party in her company. She described how they gathered 20 of her company’s employees in a room, and left that room with 80 names of relevant candidates for product and development positions.

And like Reut told everyone in the conference, not only did she recruit four new employees, but the LinkedIn party also helped engage the employees with recruitment processes and make them aware of open positions in the company.

Two weeks after the conference, two HR ladies from Dapulse wrote that the conference inspired them to throw a LinkedIn party for their company.

In less than an hour they received over 130 names of candidates, relevant for different positions.

These are only two examples that show the benefits and success of a LinkedIn party. There are many more.

Five Reasons Why You Must Have a LinkedIn Party

  1. Your employees and executives have the most relevant professional network for the positions you are offering — people who studied and worked with them before or people they have met in conferences and professional conventions.
  2. Referrals are the most effective source of hire — and in the social media era, the best way to use the network of professional connections is through social media that provides a quick mapping of links and connections between people.
  3. Make your employees part of the recruitment process, and make them your “ambassadors,” so they can promote the employer brand and increase network presence. It is not enough that the marketing and recruitment people talk about how wonderful your company is; people trust their friends, and that is why you need the employees to spread the word
  4. Candidates prefer to be approached by an executive. In a recent survey we did, of 500 participants, we asked “who would you have liked to contact you with a new career opportunity proposal?” Unsurprisingly, most of them answered “the hiring manager.” That means that if you would like to hear back from more people, you should consider engaging your managers in the recruitment process.
  5. It produces more committed employees, which influences the entire organization. A well-produced LinkedIn party creates a buzz and awareness regarding the role executives can have in recruitment and the power they have to help.

10 Tips

After leading dozens of workshops and LinkedIn parties with executives in many different organizations, I can tell you that every LinkedIn party is different, and is effected by the organization’s character, culture, open positions, employees involvement, and management involvement.

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But in spite of the differences, I will present 10 principles that will turn every LinkedIn party to a successful party:

  1. Engage senior management and create a sense of obligation from their side to become part of the process. Appoint a sponsor from  management who will participate in the party, and will share the information about it with the rest of the executives.
  2. Define your goals in advance. For example which positions will you present, who will contact the candidates, what content their profile should include … and what you want to happen next.
  3. Prepare your copy in advance. Do not waste your party time on coming up with copy, or expect the mangers to write their own. Odds are it just will not happen. Prepare copy to send to new candidates, a LinkedIn party managing form, copies of job descriptions for the positions you are offering, copy for your employees’ profile updating, etc.
  4. Choose the right people. Think, “who should be included in this kind of project?” Example criteria: level of proficiency with LinkedIn, the size of their current network, their motivation to participate in the project, whether the new recruits will work closely with them, etc. The size of the group can start at five and go up to 25 or more.
  5. Give enough notice in advance and create anticipation toward the LinkedIn party and promote is as a party.
  6. Do not assume that just because the executives have a LinkedIn account they know how to use it properly. Give a one-hour pre-party workshop. Teach the executives ways to use their profile to promote company branding, how to use LinkedIn’s new interface, and the correct way to approach candidates.
  7. Convince the managers why it is important that they contact the candidates and how it increases the odds that candidates will call back. Contact the candidate yourself only when there is no other option, and bring up the name of the reference provider.
  8. Do not forget the “party” element. The goal is to create a buzz. People should feel honored to be invited, so that next time, everyone would like to be invited. You can do it through pizza, food, balloons, beer, etc.
  9. Do not make the LinkedIn party a one-time event, but the beginning of a continual process, where the managers and employees are consistently involved in the recruitment effort. When you are concluding the party, present your future expectations from the managers. For example: promoting positions, or joint efforts with you and them for challenging positions.
  10. Use the competition element. To spice things up and make it more fun, divide them into two groups and throw a competition of finding the most candidates. You can offer a whimsical prize to the winning team. It lightens the mood and helps engage every member of the team.

The companies that manage to improve their recruitment pipeline significantly do so through successfully engaging their employees, and making their company a “recruiting organization” that is involved in the recruitment process. These companies see it as an organizational mission, and not a recruitment department’s mission only.

A LinkedIn party is a great, effective, quick, and low-cost way to start the project of engaging your employees, while receiving many CVs for your challenging positions.

 

image from bigstock

Yakov Rozen

Yakov Rozen is the CEO of HRD, a company that's changing the way companies in Israel identify, attract, and hire new talent. HRD trained over 5,000 recruiters and managers and has run the biggest recruitment conference in Israel for the past decade. He is a professional and passionate LinkedIn and advanced sourcing trainer and a keynote speaker.