Change

Changes To LinkedIn Will Affect How You Recruit And Source

By | LinkedIn, Social Media | One Comment

LinkedIn are making big changes that will affect just about every aspect of using the site.

LinkedIn says that they want the interface to be consistent between desktop and mobile. From what I can piece together, this means the interface is getting stripped back and we will lose a lot of useful features.

I do not have the new interface yet, so here is everything I have been able to find out about the changes, brought together in one post…

Profiles

All profile pictures will become circular. That might mean you have to change it, especially if you have a border on your current pic.

The Summary section will be elevated to the box at the top of your profile. This means that only the first couple of lines will be immediately visible without clicking a see more… link. It is worth thinking about writing a new elevator pitch that fits in around 200 characters.

Rich content is set to disappear. This means that if you share presentations, videos or photos on your profile under your summary or job roles, those will disappear. This is a great shame as that was a great way to make your profile stickier. It’s also quite a surprise, as LinkedIn owns SlideShare. Who knows, maybe there is some other SlideShare integration coming later down the line.

You will no longer be able to edit the way your company name is displayed. This was a very useful feature for those in large companies, allowing them to be specific about which part of the business they were in. This could prove a problem for those working in RPO teams, as you will no longer be able to list your client’s name in this field.

You will no longer be able to choose the order in which your experience is displayed. The role you started most recently will automatically appear at the top of the list. This could be a problem for people with multiple current roles, such as myself.

Recommendations now have their own section. What I have heard about recommendations make the feature sound very buggy so we don’t really know how recommendations will work going forward.

Company / Career Pages

Changes to company pages have been out for a while so we know a little more about how they will look and function. Some larger businesses already have the new look company pages – take a look at LinkedIn’s own page to see what changes you can expect.

Features like Company Photos and Employee Insights (LinkedIn posts from employees) will make company culture more visible and open by default.

It looks like we will see vast improvements to the analytics available for company pages too. I do not know if you will need to be corporate customer to access them – I certainly expect so.

One thing that I will miss is being able to see the breakdown of 1st, 2nd & 3 degree connections you have at any given company. While you can see how many 1st degree connections you have within a business, there will no longer be an easy way to see your 2nd degree connections. This was always a useful way to look for prospective new connections.

Messaging

LinkedIn has already made significant steps to transform your LinkedIn inbox into something that more closely resembles an Instant Messenger (IM) platform. You should expect this to continue.

The new chat interface will be available no matter where you are on the site, making it much quicker and easier to start chatting with someone. It will even make smart suggestions of people for you to contact. For example, if you’re on a company page, it will show you who you are connected to at that company.

Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn makes it possible that we will one day see integration with Skype. We can already IM our connections, imagine being able to call them directly within LinkedIn… Brilliant!

LinkedIn messages on mobile will even integrate with automation services like Siri (on your iPhone), so you can instruct your phone to message someone via LinkedIn.

Like Facebook, we should soon expect to see the addition of chatbots to LinkedIn messaging as well. These could help us with simple tasks like finding a good time to meet with one of our connections.

LinkedIn Salary

This is a new feature, launched last week in the US, Canada and the UK. LinkedIn is essentially attempting to complete a giant salary survey. You can visit linkedin.com/salary to search for your job title in your location and compare your salary/package with others in the same area.

The feature doesn’t seem all that intelligent right now as everything seems to be based purely on job title, but it is certainly an ambitious feature with the potential to get smarter.

As a recruitment platform, LinkedIn has always been lacking in this sort of information. There isn’t a job board out there that wouldn’t ask its users for the kind of salary they were expecting. Hopefully this is a move in the right direction from LinkedIn. Now we only need them to ask people where they want to work…

Search

The changes to search are worrying. Anyone using non-standard wording on their profiles could be excluded from our search results. I think it will lead to a lot of recruiters finding the same profiles. Some in-demand, and already jaded, users of LinkedIn could find themselves on the receiving end of even more InMails spam.

I don’t think it would be going too far to say that LinkedIn no longer supports Boolean search. For a breakdown of search changes and issues for all the different levels of LinkedIn user, read on. ..

Search – Basic (free)

Advanced search is gone. There will no longer be an option to choose the detailed Advanced Search panel rather than using the large search box at the top of the page on LinkedIn.com.

Once you run your search you will get filters to narrow down the results. These filters will be made up of Relationship (1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connections), Location, Current Company, Past Company (limited to the top 5), Industries, Profile language, Non profit interests and School.The filters will no longer break down the number of profiles for each option. So you won’t know how many there are until you use the filter.

Post code searching will no longer be possible. You will still be able to search by location but this will seriously limit your results if you do not anticipate all the relevant location names. Anyone choosing to display a small village or a borough of a large city as their location could be missed.

All your search terms will be treated as general keywords. If you search for a job title like Project Manager you will no longer be able to specify whether that appears in the title field, let alone whether it is related to a current job title. People that did one role as a project manager, 20 years ago, will come up in your results.

If someone outside of your network comes up in our search results, you will not be able to see any information about them at all. This will make it impossible to cross reference their headline with Google and work out who they are. This will be a hit for people with smaller networks. Do feel free to send me an invitation to connect if you’re in recruitment and want to widen your network.

Saved searches will go for basic users. I am still receiving search alerts for my saved searches, so I am guessing that this change will take effect once you have the new interface. Either that or it’s an oversight from the LinkedIn design team.

There will be 20 search results page rather than the current 10.

Search – Premium Accounts (Paid)

Those on a Job Seeker or Business levels of paid Premium accounts will be using this new LinkedIn.com interface so I can only assume that some of the benefits will get stripped out. If you are paying for these options, have a solid network, and do not use the InMails, it would be worth thinking about whether or not this is really good value for money.

Search – LinkedIn Recruiter & Sales Navigator (Paid)

Sales Navigator and Recruiter users have a different interface for LinkedIn. These packages will keep their version of Advanced Search. Although, following the fairly recent changes to this interface, searching does not behave in a very predictable or intuitive way. It is not always clear how or where to enter Boolean or if it is working in the way you would expect.

Some users on the Recruiter Lite licence are seeing messages from LinkedIn that state “There are several search tools within recruiter Lite to help you quickly find the right talent for your role without having to rely on more advanced search functionality such as Boolean search. To access Boolean and other advanced search features, please upgrade to Recruiter.” Thanks to Irina Shamaeva for sharing this.

This means we are relying on LinkedIn to interpret our keywords. Notions of Maximum Inclusion are now in the hands of an unknown algorithm.

Can we use Boolean without paying for Recruiter?

Well, as always, we can still X-ray search LinkedIn.

LinkedIn have tried to stop us looking at too many profiles via search engine links, but I am yet to find a profile that way that I was unable to view.

If you’re not confident writing X-ray search strings, we have some Custom Search Engine (CSE) tools that you will like. Find them in our Free tools section here on the Sourcing Hat website. We have tools for finding UK profiles and profiles across Europe. We can also make more tools – if you ask us nicely.

CSEs are a great way to get around some of Google’s search length limitations (currently at 32 terms). So, even if you are a confident X-ray searcher, it is worth learning about CSEs.

In Summary

Phew! What a lot of changes. I don’t think I have ever seen such dramatic changes to the site all at once since I started using it nearly 9 years ago.

It feels to me like LinkedIn is finally admitting that it’s primary function (or at least it’s main income stream) is as a recruitment tool. They’re asking people about their salaries, giving people the opportunity to let recruiters know if they are open to opportunities, and they are finally going to give us better ATS integration (with ADP, Avature, Jazz, Kenexa, Lever, Lumesse, SmartRecruiters and Workable for now).

A big thank you needs to go out to Mark Williams (aka Mr LinkedIn), Irina Shamaeva and the folks at Social Talent for their fantastic coverage of these changes. It’s worth your time to follow all those links for more in depth analysis.

What impact do you think these changes will have on your team?

Featured image credit.

Keep it Somple - elPadawan (Flickr)

3 Searches That Keep It Simple

By | Hat Tricks, Instagram, LinkedIn, Search Engines, Social Media, Twitter | No Comments

I work with a lot of recruiters that find Boolean logic and search engine operators difficult to get their heads around. You can still get a lot out of your search tools though, even if you’re totally bamboozled by Boolean.

I’ve been thinking about the searches I run most often and find the most useful – it turns out none of them are complicated, mile-long Boolean behemoths, they’re all pretty simple.

The Lion

Whether or not you would find this useful probably depends on how you use LinkedIn and who you connect to on this network.

I have a Linkedin saved search set up to alert me when interesting recruiters become LIONs. I have several reasons for wanting to connect to these people;

  • LIONs and recruiters tend to have larger networks, helping me to grow mine.
  • Recruiters are the kind of people I want to do business with.
  • I’m not going to get in hot water with LinkedIn for inviting too many people I don’t know if I invite LIONs.

You might want to set up an alert for LinkedIn LIONs that match keywords related to your industry. LIONs that mention FMCG on their profiles, for example.

LinkedIn saved search - LIONs

This will probably lead you to other recruiters, or salespeople, who work in the same field. Don’t be afraid to connect with them, and do customise your invite. You might want to hide your LinkedIn connections list first though.

The #Hashtag Stalker

#sosuasia took place last week in SingaporeThis one is all about events. Social Media and industry events are a match made in heaven.

On the day of a big industry event, I will run a search for its #hashtag on Twitter.

Don’t forget – you can use other social networks to help you find industry movers and shakers to connect with.

  • Search for an event tag on Instagram (pictured) to see who’s sharing pictures
  • Check out the venue on Swarm to see who is checking in.

This won’t find you all the attendees, of course. What it will find you is a lot of the nodes in the network. The people sharing on social media are usually the people who really get networking. They like to connect, share, help out, and they know tons of people. These are the people to make friends with.

The Cross Reference

This is about using the names you already have to find more names. Simply head over to Google and run a search like this

Goole search - name cross reference
You might have originally found that person on LinkedIn or a job board, been referred to them, they might have been a suggestion from the hiring manager. However you found that name, you should try to find out where they crop up on the web. You might see them

  • Profiled on their company website, there could be other similar people with a profile too.
  • Quoted on an industry news site – there might be more people mentioned in other articles.
  • Using a niche industry forum or a social network you’re not familiar with yet.
  • Many other possibilities…

This might not lead to more names every single time, but it’s worth running every name you find through a simple Google search like this and seeing where it leads.

If you find that LinkedIn is cropping up all over your search results, you might consider adapting this search, using a little Boolean/X-Ray combo like this

Goole search - LinkedIn cross reference
What simple searches are you using to get great results?

Image Credit

searching

Do you really need capital letters to make Boolean search work?

By | LinkedIn, Search Engines | No Comments

When were you last nagged about using capital letters? Probably when you were in Primary school.

That won’t be the case if you have recently been in a training session with me! I am always nagging recruiters to write OR in capital letters in their searches.

The truth is, you don’t always need to write AND, OR and NOT in all capital letters. In fact, you don’t even have to type the words most of the time. It gets a bit complicated when I try to explain all the rules and exceptions to the rules.

The concepts of AND, OR and NOT are used to query every database whether it’s Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, a job board CV database, or your ATS. How you actually type your query may need to be different though.

My tips for getting your search to work anywhere:

AND

What you should do: Don’t bother typing it, just leave a space between your keywords.
Note: A few job boards require you to type it in, but it doesn’t take long to click a help button on the search page and find out. Reed.co.uk will even type the ANDs in for you if you forget them.

OR

What you should do: Type OR in capital letters.
Note: Some job boards will accept both lower and upper case  ORs. Tools like Google and LinkedIn need you to type OR in capital letters, although they are getting a little better at guessing what we mean and helping us out if we make a mistake. Capital ORs will always work though.
The exception: When I say always… the Twitter search tool Followerwonk requires you to use the pipe symbol (|) in place of OR. Google will also understand that too. e.g. uk|england|london

NOT

What you should do: Use the minus sign (-). Type it right up against the term you don’t want to see in your search results. e.g. -jobs or -site:linkedin.com
Note: LinkedIn tells us that NOT (typed in capital letters) works more reliably than the minus sign. I have not seen this to be the case, both seem to work intermittently for me.

My best advice is to know what you are expecting to see in your search results. That way, if your results don’t look right, you can attempt to diagnose your search string. This is good advice even if you are confident with the language used by a search tool, as they do sometimes change the way they work without telling us.