It was recently announced that LinkedIn grew big in 2012. With over 200 million users and revenues up 68% in Q4, this is a professional network that is showing no signs of slowing. More business people than ever are using it (or at least have uploaded a profile) to find job openings, network, and learn about verticals and industries. Simply put, LinkedIn is where the candidates are. So is your staffing firm using LinkedIn efficiently to mine candidates? Here are a couple questions you should be asking of your staffing company.

Is My LinkedIn Pool Growing?

Candidates by Source

If there are more and more people on LinkedIn, it stands to reason that this network should be a growing source of your candidate pool. In the image above, the blue line/area is LinkedIn. For this client of ours, the growth is certainly evident over the past twelve months. If your staffing company is not seeing this sort of growth, you should immediately know that you’re not leveraging LinkedIn as well as you could be. Time to put some more time and energy on those Groups.

Is LinkedIn Giving Me Good Candidates?

A wider pool of candidates is a fine thing, but it won’t be worth much if you can’t place them. Each staffing firm is different and each firm has different areas of expertise. LinkedIn might be a great source to find office workers, but it might be less useful for, say, whale and dolphin enthusiasts in Japan.

Make sure the candidates that you’re finding on LinkedIn are actually getting placed, and getting place at a rate that is on par with candidates from other sources. This is important because if a certain source is less efficient than another source, your team is wasting time and energy working harder than they need to. See the image below:

Best Candidate Source

For this client, LinkedIn is providing candidates that are being placed at nearly the same pace as Monster.com. However, the conversion rate (black dot) is lower than any other source. This means it takes more candidates from LinkedIn to make a placement, which means more time and more work. If this is the case, then either your staffing firm is mining LinkedIn poorly, or you should simply be focusing on other candidate sources. Either way, this is a good opportunity to coach your reps to work smarter, not harder.

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