In March 2014 LinkedIn announced that it has just passed the 15 million members mark in the UK – an increase of 5 million on how it was positioned in Britain two years ago.


Coupled with this landmark news, it was previously announced in January 2014 that 80% of LinkedIn users are passive candidates, but they are three times more likely to apply for roles at companies they follow. This insight was supplied by official LinkedIn partner and recruitment-specific digital marketing agency Enhance Media in a LinkedIn masterclass at their 2014 annual UK ‘Year Ahead’ recruitment conference.

An Enhance Media 2013 NORAS survey of over 90,000 UK-based candidates also revealed that over 30% of the candidates surveyed use LinkedIn. Of those who do, 95% have used it for recruitment-related purposes, three-quarters have completed their profile and 18% have applied for jobs via LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is becoming an increasingly powerful medium for direct sourcing. A LinkedIn passive talent infographic from 2012 divides ‘passive’ talent into three different categories, indicating that passive candidates may not be as passive as you’d think.  Aside from the 21% of candidates who are actively seeking work, 15% are “Tiptoers” who are considering a change of role and reaching out to close associates, and a substantial 44% are “Explorers”. They’re not looking for a job but are willing to discuss a new opportunity with recruiters. Both Tiptoers and Explorers are passive candidates who are motivated enough to follow their dream employers on LinkedIn. They’re not actively looking for a new position, but they’re incentivised to keep an eye out for any intriguing opportunities that may arise.

Passive candidates have differing needs and desires to active ones; they need to be persuaded and incentivised to apply for a role. Candidates who follow a company on LinkedIn but are not employed there may not be actively seeking new employment but they have already demonstrated an active interest in the brand, and this offers leverage to the employer.

Converting passive candidates on LinkedIn into active ones

Passive candidates following companies on LinkedIn can be converted into a greater volume of relevant, completed job applications if the LinkedIn profile sends persuasive messages at a visible frequency. The key is to highlight the opportunities available, and that is most easily achieved with a full, dynamic and engaging career profile. Employers can use a variety of tactics ranging from narrating the brand story and showcasing jobs to giving current employees a voice and sending targeted messages to the audience. For larger companies, a Silver or Gold membership unlocks targeting functionality which lets visiting candidates see different landing pages on the Careers tab according to their key business area. In this way, technology candidates can see a custom targeted IT page, while finance candidates will see a page with posts, messaging and jobs specific to their own field of expertise.

Increasing a company’s brand reach on LinkedIn

Each year, LinkedIn produces a list of the most InDemand employers. Larger companies should aim to achieve a foothold on this list – it increases visibility for featured employers and will attract more candidates to follow the company. Once they follow, they’re three times more likely to apply for a job.

The LinkedIn profile should be as richly populated as possible, not only with engaging features like employee testimonials, but also with as much information given as possible in the Products and Services tab in order to help search engines associate your company with those particular recruitment services. Paid service also supports the efficacy of people and pages.

Author Profile:

Enhance Media is a UK based digital marketing agency specialising in online recruitment.