Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Stacey Marone – essay writer and journalist. Her opinions are her own.
Building your personal and professional networks is essential in advancing growth. For individual employees, this can be a big step in advancing their career. For businesses, networks are important for leveraging their brand and recruiting top talent.
As plenty of employers turn to the job boards to attract interested applicants, the recruitment process is increasingly becoming digitized. One of the fastest growing online recruitment methods is LinkedIn. Users can upload their resumes and credentials, share inspiring posts, and even post some of their own insights. LinkedIn allows people to interact with each other, acting as form of social media platform aside from a job hunting site. Because of this unique feature, it’s even been dubbed the “Facebook” of recruitment.
According to Statista, LinkedIn has about 450 million users as of 2016 worldwide. The site caters to a wide range of users from all over the globe, from various industries, making LinkedIn an efficient means of tapping into a large amount of talent.
What’s the catch? LinkedIn has a few pitfalls.
The highly efficient recruitment site may seem like it is perfect; but like any social media platform, it still presents a certain risk when it comes to engagement. For employers, this potential risk involves the success rates of reaching out to talent online. Beamery’s Ben Slater notes that since LinkedIn relies on InMail success, there’s at least a 75% chance of it falling on deaf ears.
So is there a better alternative to LinkedIn? Check out these options for better recruitment references:
Google+ offers a seriously untapped potential for engagement. It’s similar to LinkedIn in its social media approach. Users can update their profiles, post statuses, and, most importantly, sync their contacts.
‘Plus’ offers more diverse opportunities for recruiters, since it’s connected to other Google apps, like Gmail and Hangouts. Since both applications have become essential in our day-to-day work interactions, this platform can be a handy tool in keeping your contacts in check.
Google+’s Circles feature lets you add contacts in your email to a personal group. This makes it easier to manage a wide range of contacts, and even help organize the talent you’ll want to keep in touch with.
The best way to maximize this feature is by syncing your Gmail contacts with your Circles and working from there.
LinkedIn may be a great social platform, but Opportunity can get you more leads, and find you better candidates. The recruitment site works on a specific algorithm that analyzes your own profile and uploads to match you with the best people.
The great thing about it is that Opportunity isn’t just limited to recruitment managers who are looking for top talent. It also offers various opportunities for other people, including jobseekers and sales reps who want to increase their leads. The site’s main selling point is really its accurate algorithm.
Want to find the perfect match when it comes to expanding your network? Try out Opportunity
As its name suggests, BranchOut is all about the network. And why not, since it’s the partner app of the world’s biggest social network to date – Facebook. Using just the right mix of social media and professional recruitment, BranchOut seeks to expand your networks and connect you with top talent online.
Claiming to have as many as 800 million online profiles, BranchOut lets you add potential candidates as ‘friends’ while maintaining an air of professionality.
Since the problem with adding both employees and employers on personal social media platforms has always been about the breach of personal life, maintaining a healthy distance that focuses more on professional credentials can actually improve your perception of a candidate.
Plaxo looks like your average contacts-organizer. It syncs your connections through different platforms, making it easier to view. At the same time, since Plaxo is cloud-based, it automatically updates your personal circles on your behalf.
Unlike a manual address book, you won’t have to worry about typing in new contacts all the time. But aside from these basic address book functions, Plaxo can also sync itself with your calendar, acting as a form of internal reminder system in case you’re running late with deadlines.
So how does it become an effective recruitment tool like LinkedIn? Realizing Plaxo’s potential as a platform to search for talent is similar to Google+. Expanding your network may mean working with the network you already have, or segregating contacts for a better look at how your recruitment process is going with the people you’ve sent out emails to.
Sometimes the best way to find the talent you’re looking for is to zero in on the specific industry you’re hiring in. For instance, Doostang specifically offers young professionals a platform to network in the fields of technology, finance, media and entertainment.
Conceptualized by Stanford University in 2005, Doostang has since been an effective method of searching for recruiters and talent alike. However, it must be noted that Doostang isn’t meant to be a networking tool in the way most social media interfaces are treated today.
Unlike LinkedIn, Doostang’s design is solely for recruitment purposes. But the biggest strength in its simpler interface is that it really does focus on looking for talent fit for the job.
JobCase is a veteran of online recruitment, having gone through the transition from being simply ‘another recruitment website’ to a social media platform similar to LinkedIn.
The site employs the best methods of algorithms analyzing your personal data to find a suitable match, and social media networking. In fact, it’s even integrated itself with some of the most popular social media platforms today. This amazingly compact form of online networking makes it both and effective recruitment tool and simply a way of connecting with others.
JobCase’s design is also very user-friendly for users looking for all types of engagement. Aside from its current database, JobCase is also synced with a number of other career recruitment sites like Career Builder. You can also sign up on the site itself, or log in through LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter.
As they say, it’s best to start small. LocalsNetworking opens up social networking to a smaller and more intimate community. While this may sound counterintuitive, it’s actually a good way to find work for people who are into very specialized sectors.
The premise of the site is to connect you to like-minded people whom you can meet on your own schedule. The method works like a referral system, cozy and not too formal, only as if you are meeting up with a friend, or a colleague. But it’s not just about looking for work in a specific sector, either.
Taking off from that idea, LocalsNetworking lives up to its name and aims to build a community of collegial relationships between recruiters and talent alike.
The takeaway? You can reach out beyond LinkedIn.
Although LinkedIn could be said to be the face of online recruitment in recent history, it’s also not the only method out there. Some people might even argue that it’s not necessarily the best, either.
Make use of other essential recruitment tools at your disposal. Some may have the same interface and premise as LinkedIn, which makes use of a very social media-like platform, while others may be focused on building a smaller but more certain and intimate circle of connections. Some still may be a bit old-school and appear to be like typical recruitment sites.
Explore your options and find top talent online!