LinkedIn Groups offer recruiters insane value. Here are 10 reasons every recruiter should create one:
10. They offer immense value to your target audience
Groups can be focused and adjusted on-the-fly, responding to your community’s needs in a timely way. You can switch the direction of a Group easily by posting a new discussion about a hot topic, thus gaining your audience’s trust and attention, particularly if you offer valuable insights or information they don’t get elsewhere. As a recruiter in a specialized area, you often have access to information about products and services, companies, or the direction your industry is taking. Offer this knowledge to your candidates: it’s invaluable.
9. Group Discussions: an excellent way to engage your target community in a conversation
Because discussions elicit responses from your target audience, you are engaging them in conversation. As a bonus, discussion posts are searchable (just like LinkedIn Answers) but they are all in one place. That ties your topics together in a common thread and further establishes your authority or expertise in your field. You can even have several different groups, one for each of your niches.
8. You can message everyone in your group, even if they are not your direct connections
Regardless of the size of your network, you are limited to contacting only those people already at first degree. However, with Groups, you can send a message to the entire Group, which can easily grow to be bigger than your first degree network.
7. It’s a great destination you can include in your signature file
You already have a profile link in your email signature file that encourages your message recipients to “connect with you on LinkedIn”, right? (hint, hint). Adding a second link to “connect with other experts in your field” provides your readers with all the value listed here, but also gives them another choice for becoming part of your network.
6. You can prequalify your members by obtaining detailed information about them
Often listed in the member’s own profile is information such as their employer, job title, geographic location, areas of expertise, their websites and sometimes even contact information. This allows you to focus your marketing using tight demographics.
5. If the content is good enough, it can drive viral marketing (word of mouth)
If your group posts or messages are good enough, they get forwarded and passed around. That easily results in recruiting more members for your group, effectively growing your network reach.
4. Groups are an easy way to build your brand in your target niche almost overnight
Even if you already have an established brand, Groups allow you to gain credibility and brand yourself even more. They let people know that you have a depth of knowledge in a particular area that is of professional interest. This is particularly true in tough economic times when people have more questions than answers. By becoming a resource to your target community, you gain their trust. Though you may answer questions that seem unrelated to your practice area, this has the net effect of establishing your expertise in such a way that when your audience has a question that is directly matched with your networking goals, you become the “obvious expert” to whom they turn for an answer.
3. Groups are a group project
While managing your personal profile is something you will not likely entrust to someone else, managing a group should be a team effort. You can assign any number of your team members to help you manage requests to join, post discussions, and read through responses. This is a great way to involve your entire recruiting staff in a joint project where the entire company benefits. Plus, if any of your teammates leave, you can simply revoke their management privileges, while retaining them as a group member (or not). In this way, all your team contributes to building up the group, but no single employee can “take it with them” when (or if) s/he leaves.
2. People are more likely to accept a group invite than a personal networking connection.
Think about this – if you invite a complete stranger to “connect with you,” it is quite personal. Inviting them to join your group is less direct and gets accepted more often. Say you were at a networking function, and invited someone of professional interest to come to your office for a chat. They may be a bit suspicious or hesitant, but they would be much more open to the idea of attending an event or function your company was hosting. Inviting them to join your group is less overt than inviting them to become your personal connection, yet has the same net effect on your network.
1. Best of all… LinkedIn Groups are free to create!
They cost nothing to start, and little effort to maintain, particularly if you engage your team and thus distribute the workload, yet the ROI is huge.
How are you using LinkedIn groups?