The C-level professionals guide to getting headhunted on LinkedIn

Author: Daivik Malhotra, Senior Researcher – Middle East, Hays Executive Search

You have probably heard it time and time again, “LinkedIn is the most important social platform for professional networking and career progression”. Associates and friends may have found their current jobs through LinkedIn, but while you have got a LinkedIn profile, you are yet to experience any benefits for your career. You are probably left thinking, is it really of any value to me?

In short, the answer to this question is yes. And if you are asking yourself this question, you are not using your profile to its full potential. As specialist C-level head hunters, Hays Executive Search division sources some of the world’s top business leaders through LinkedIn and as research by JobVite has shown, 77% of hiring managers use the platform for their recruitment.

So, as a C-Suite professional, what can you do to increase your chances of being headhunted through LinkedIn? Below are 5 tips to address this:

1) Signal to recruiters that you are open to new job opportunities

The first step is to highlight that you are interested in hearing about new job openings (whether that be actively or passively looking). LinkedIn added this functionality in 2016 but it is not always used, as professionals assume that they cannot display this confidentially. This is not the case, you can signal privately that you are open to opportunities and it is easy to setup via the edit mode of your profile. See LinkedIn help for a further details.

2) Check LinkedIn on a daily basis

From my own experiences, I have found that senior professionals often miss out on relevant job opportunities since they do not pick up on enquiries from head hunters until it is too late, and the role has already been filled. Typically, search firms are working to very tight deadlines, hence it is important that if you are open to learning about new opportunities, you check your LinkedIn InMails regularly. Being active on LinkedIn also increases your chances of being found by recruiters and hiring managers in the first place, as mentioned in this Viewpoint blog.

3) Mention size, scale and responsibilities

More often than not, employers want leaders with proven like-for-like experience. They want professionals who have been there, done it before and will be able to hit the ground running. Within your profile you should therefore make reference to the relative scale of each of your roles; for example, that you have managed a 100m USD turnover business, or that you have led a team with over 1000 employees, etc. Also make sure you include a brief summary of key responsibilities for each of your past positions and the names of companies you have worked for – this adds clout to the information you are providing and according to this article, it increases your chances of receiving an InMail about a job by 27%.

4) List all job titles

If you have been at one company for a number of years and have held more than one position, make sure to mention each role along with the dates you had the position for and the key skills you developed or utilised. This is useful for head hunters, not just to reinforce the experience you have and to understand if you are a good fit for a role, but also because of the keyword searches they run to identify relevant candidates. By listing your past roles and associated skills, you can better guarantee that your profile will appear in their search and therefore be exposed to more opportunities.

5) Show evidence of achievements

In addition to your current role and most recent experience, vital evidence that recruiters look for is a strong track record of success at a senior level. Therefore, it is crucial that within the experiences section and each role you have held, you include tangible evidence of your achievements and contribution to business success. How much did you grow the company by? Did you implement something that saved the business money? What was the scale of the project? What was the financial return? The more you quantify your accomplishments, the greater the chances of a search firm reaching out to you with that golden opportunity.

In summary, LinkedIn is a fundamental means for hiring managers to source talent - with the right tailoring, your profile could be your gateway to the next big opportunity.

Thank you for reading. For more useful advice and insights about the world of work, visit our dedicated blog page here or click on one of the links below.