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‘Premium LinkedIn a more cost-efficient way of recruiting’

Advisers can save on the cost of a recruitment consultant to fill a vacancy by utilising the features on business social media site LinkedIn, according to Phillip Bray.

The head of marketing at adviser network, Sense, said recruitment agencies can be hit and miss, expensive and operate ungenerous refund policies if the candidate does not work out.

He said: “Yes, I know LinkedIn isn’t the most popular social media platform among advisers, but when it comes to recruitment and building your team, it is one of the most powerful tools available to you.”

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Mr Bray advocated purchasing a premium LinkedIn subscription which provides access to a number of features, including unlimited searches, more search filters and InMails – messages sent directly to another unconnected LinkedIn member.

He added that the more comprehensive search functionality within the upgraded package allowed users to construct a list of potential candidates based on a host of factors, including geographical location and current role.

And he said the next step required users to review their company profile page to ensure it exuded professionalism and credibility, adding: “There’s no doubt that potential candidates you approach will look at your profile.

“It therefore has to start the process of selling you and your business to them; if it doesn’t, the likelihood of a response, which could lead to you finding the ideal candidate for the position, is reduced.”

An approach made by a business owner elicits a far more sympathetic response compared to what might be reserved for a recruitment consultant, Mr Bray said, adding that LinkedIn’s InMail feature could be beneficial in this regard, but the key was to keep the message short.

In addition, he said users should open with an apology for the unsolicited message and provide a brief outline of themselves, the business they work for and their role within that organisation.

Then the message should conclude with an invitation for the receiver to respond to the message if the position is of interest to them. If they do, users can follow up with a phone call or exploratory meeting.

He added: “Your first few approaches may not unearth your ideal candidate; if this is the case, refine and repeat each step, until you have built a shortlist of interested candidates.

“‘But I hate being approached on LinkedIn’ I hear you say, ‘why is this any different?’ Simply because it’s a direct approach from you, a potential employer. The root cause of most people’s dislike of LinkedIn seems to be the recruitment consultants who spend their day roaming around, sending poorly targeted emails to disinterested advisers.

“I would recommend supplementing this approach by using other social media channels – linking your posts to a page on your website giving details of the vacancy you wish to fill.”

Anthony Villis, managing partner at London-based First Wealth, said: “I think it is a question of whether the individual can afford the time to do these things. There is certainly a lack of people with the qualifications to work in the advisory sector.”