Ask a Recruiter: How Does an Executive Recruiter Use LinkedIn?

Ask a Recruiter, For Candidates



In almost every industry, business people use LinkedIn to research companies, connect with others in the network, and probably most importantly, to hire or be hired. As executive recruiters, LinkedIn is one of Bristol’s most valued resources. Steven Kessler, Bristol Vice President and Executive Recruiter for Restaurant and Casino Gaming, recently shared how he uses LinkedIn.

How Recruiters Use LinkedIn:

  • Finding Candidates: When we get a new assignment, we search profiles targeting specific keywords, depending on what our clients are looking for. Candidates on LinkedIn can change their status to: “Open to New Opportunities,” which lets us know when they are looking for a new position and that they will likely be more responsive to messages from recruiters.
  • Keeping in Touch: Clients and candidates move around. Sometimes we’ll only have work emails or phone numbers on file in our own database. When a contact leaves his/her company, we can keep track of or stay in touch with that person.
  • Industry News: LinkedIn is a good source for keeping up with all the news in our industries. By following specific companies, we can also see what updates and plans those businesses have in the works. For example, plans for moving the company or expanding may indicate new openings.
  • Marketing New Assignments: We may message hiring managers or job posters directly about positions they have listed.
  • Being Top of Mind: By publishing articles, posting updates, or sharing other content, we show up in the feeds of potential clients and candidates.
  • LinkedIn Recruiter: Bristol subscribes to this premium LinkedIn tool that allows us to set up projects for each assignment that we have, save keyword searches, and candidate profiles specific to that assignment. LinkedIn Recruiter essentially acts as a second database for us.

Steven recounts how LinkedIn recently proved helpful in finding new hire: “An in-house recruiter at Panda Restaurant Group posted a Director of Purchasing job on the company’s LinkedIn page. I sent her a message asking if Bristol might be able to assist and she quickly responded saying she would like to chat over the phone. We spoke and she told me that they had tried a few other recruiting firms and they just couldn’t seem to find a local candidate with the skill set to fill that position, so she gave us a shot at it. It only took us two weeks to find the candidate that they ultimately hired.”

Making a good impression on LinkedIn: For candidates, here are a few helpful hints to help assure your LinkedIn profile performs:

  • Think “keywords.” Before all else, LinkedIn is search-oriented. Your title, summary and job experience content should all target the keywords someone may use to find you. For example, instead of “Chief Marketing Officer” you may want to describe yourself as “Chief Marketing Officer for Global Financial Services Organization.” Utilize your selected keywords throughout your profile.
  • Make sure your profile is 100% complete including a detailed description of your expertise and experience, past jobs (but not too old), published articles, recommendations, projects, awards or achievements, certifications, etc.
  • Your headshot should be recent and professionally photographed.

For clients or candidates, maximizing the potential of LinkedIn yields better results.

Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; Hotels and Resorts; Travel, Tourism, and Attractions; Facilities and Concessions; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Restaurant; Hospital and Healthcare; and Nonprofit industries.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a candidate.

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