Recruiting on LinkedIn should be easy. After all, it is the place where many people create online profiles to share their career history, skills and experience.

So why are other users unresponsive? Why do your connection requests get ignored? Why is it proving more challenging than expected?

I call it LinkedIn fatigue. LinkedIn is busy. People are busy. People are tired of receiving unexplained messages and cagey invites to connect. They want clarity, speed and manners.

You will stand out and improve your LinkedIn social recruiting results by avoiding these seven common mistakes

1. Hiding behind anonymity

The most clicked on section of LinkedIn is ‘Who’s viewed my profile’ so why miss an opportunity to make a valuable new connection by hiding away from view?

Truth, does it really matter if somebody knows that you’ve stopped by?

On LinkedIn head top right, hover over your picture, select review next to privacy & settings, select ‘What others see when you’ve viewed their profile’, and set it to ‘Your name and headline’.

2. Your profile is incomplete

People will check you out before they reply or apply.

Give them something to see that will encourage a positive response. A cheery profile picture, a statement headline, information about your company in the summary, and inject colour with files and videos. It’s free!

What could your marketers give you to use? Add it in.

3. Blank invites to connect

When I’m training, the number one complaint I hear about is being on the receiving end of unexplained invites to connect. When it takes just a moment to add a personal touch, it really is staggering how few do.

Why bother?

  • When people receive your invite all they’re thinking is, “What’s in it for me?” so tell them.
  • People are cautious. LinkedIn is full of spammers so they have good reason to be. Reassure them.
  • Manners. You want to make a winning impression and open up a conversation about your job, right?

On the desktop version of LinkedIn, always invite the person to connect from their profile page. Now the option for Group connection has been removed, use ‘We’ve done business together’ and add that explanation.

On the mobile version of LinkedIn, also connect from their profile but ignore the big connection button! Instead, on the iPhone app, look for a symbol that looks like “add a file” top right or, on Android, look for a symbol of 3 dots that reveals More, and use that to add your personal message.

4. Sharing job posts as updates

LinkedIn organic posts have very low visibility because LinkedIn resets everyone’s news feed to top every single day. So if you are connecting hoping that people will see your job posts, they most probably won’t.

When the news feed is set to top users only see popular posts but a post has little chance of becoming popular when nobody is seeing it in the first place.

Spitting jobs from your ATS to your news feed is now pointless; turn it off. If you want to share job posts, use a big bold image and upload it directly to grab attention.

5. Sharing Company page updates and not checking back

If you are going to share great insights into your company on your LinkedIn Company page, please ensure that you go back to see what people are saying.

If you’d like to see how detrimental it could be to your brand, let alone employer brand, have a look at Ford Motor Company’s LinkedIn page. There are many comments and complaints, and all are ignored.

If you’d like to see how easy it is to get right, have a look at GEICO’s company page.

6. Write spamming LinkedIn blogs

There are a host of reasons that I would urge you to use caution before publishing blogs on LinkedIn; you need to know who owns your content, the impact duplicate posting will have on your SEO, and that you’re limiting your readership.

But, if you do decide to publish on LinkedIn please add value. Attract job seekers through thought leadership and helpful advice, or risk being muted.

7. Assuming LinkedIn is the right platform for your roles

Perhaps I should have said this first. You may simply be getting a low response because you’re on the wrong social channel. LinkedIn only has 313 million users; fewer than half are regularly active.

Could your recruitment be easier among the 1.3 billion Facebook users, or 279 million Tweeters, or even the 540 million Google+ users, or any of the multitude of niche platforms? It’s important to know which platform is right for your recruitment.

If though LinkedIn is definitely the place for your social recruiting, ensure you maximise your chance of success and improve responsiveness by avoiding these.


This article was written by social media recruitment guru, Katrina Collier. If you enjoyed her piece, make sure to join Katrina Collier in her popular workshops “Social Media and Recruitment“.

Katrina Collier has been an independent voice on social recruiting since 2009, showing companies how to add social media to their recruitment mix. Using over a decade of recruitment and 8 years of social recruiting expertise, she advises clients how to use a wide range of social networking sites so that they find the right people for their roles.

When not training or consulting, Katrina regularly speaks at industry events, including at TMA’s Social Recruiting conference in New York, and she can be heard interviewed on HR Trends Coffee Break with Game Changers by SAP Radio.

Katrina has been named as a thought leader by Facebook recruiting solution Work4, invited to contribute to Identified’s Social Recruiting Predictions for 2014, and named in the top 10 Recruitment Gurus to follow on Twitter by Firefish for UK Recruiter. She also writes avidly about social recruiting for her own blog, Work4, Computer Weekly, TIRA, and Social Hire.