By: Alex Ubaydov
August 1, 2023
Read between the lines so you can qualify candidates based on their LinkedIn
LinkedIn has become an invaluable tool for both professionals and recruiters. A well-constructed LinkedIn profile can provide insights into a candidate's qualifications, professional history, and even their character. As a recruiter or hiring manager, knowing how to effectively review a candidate's LinkedIn profile can offer you a deeper understanding of their potential fit for your organization. Let’s explore key aspects to consider when evaluating a candidate's LinkedIn profile.
1. Matching Experience and Education
One of the initial tasks in evaluating a LinkedIn profile is to cross-reference the candidate's experience and education with what is mentioned on their resume. Discrepancies between the two could raise questions about the accuracy of their application. Look for consistency in job titles, dates of employment, and descriptions of roles and responsibilities. A candidate's LinkedIn profile should ideally mirror the information provided in their application materials.
2. Activity and Engagement
Beyond the static information on a LinkedIn profile, assessing a candidate's activity and engagement on the platform can offer insights into their professional interests, industry knowledge, and communication skills. Pay attention to what they post, share, and comment on. Look for meaningful contributions, relevant industry insights, and interactions that reflect their ability to engage thoughtfully with their network.
3. Professional Conduct
An essential aspect of reviewing a candidate's LinkedIn profile is evaluating their professional conduct. Check if the candidate has engaged in bashing ex-employers or colleagues, posted offensive content, or exhibited unprofessional behavior. These actions can reflect negatively on their character and may raise concerns about their suitability for the role and company culture.
4. Skills and Endorsements
A candidate's list of skills on their LinkedIn profile can provide an overview of their self-assessed strengths. Take note of the skills they emphasize and whether these align with the requirements of the role. Additionally, consider the endorsements they have received from colleagues, supervisors, or peers. A profile with genuine endorsements can serve as a testament to the candidate's expertise and contributions.
*Warning Sign: It’s a red flag for us when we see a candidate has 500+ connections but 0 endorsements on any of their skills. It’s either a fake profile or the candidate’s connections don’t want to stand behind that person.
5. Recommendations and Giving Recommendations
A strong LinkedIn profile often includes recommendations from colleagues, supervisors, or clients. These recommendations offer an external perspective on the candidate's abilities and work ethic. Conversely, the act of giving recommendations to others can demonstrate the candidate's willingness to support and engage with their professional network. The absence of recommendations may warrant further exploration.
6. Company Following
While it's common for professionals to follow a range of companies for industry insights and updates, an excessive number of company follows could raise a red flag. If a candidate is following hundreds of companies, it might indicate that they are actively seeking new opportunities or frequently changing jobs. However, it's important to consider the context, as some industries require professionals to stay updated on a wide range of companies for market awareness.
7. Alignment with the Desired Role
Finally, assess whether the candidate's LinkedIn profile aligns with the role they're applying for. Look for keywords, skills, and experience that directly relate to the job description. A well-crafted LinkedIn profile should showcase how the candidate's background and expertise make them a strong fit for the position.
Evaluating a candidate's LinkedIn profile is a valuable tool in the recruitment process, providing a multi-dimensional view of their qualifications, character, and professional conduct. By examining the alignment between their profile and application materials, assessing their activity and engagement, and gauging their professional behavior, recruiters and hiring managers can make more informed decisions about a candidate's potential fit within the organization. Mastering the art of LinkedIn profile review is a skill that can greatly enhance the hiring process and contribute to the success of your talent acquisition efforts.