Putting the “Puzzle Pieces” together using #LinkedIn

Today’s post is a little different than some of my more recent ones.  I will not be commenting on professional athletes and their unique antics and I will also not be talking about leadership, per se.  What I will be talking about is how I use one of my favorite tools, LinkedIn.  Stay with me here and I think you will find this to be of interest and even a little helpful.

LinkedIn is a social network that is specifically geared toward the business world.  I had the occasion this week to see someone post on Facebook that they had been receiving invitations from LI for years, but had never accepted one.  They went further to say they just did not understand why they would want to be on LinkedIn.  I had to laugh, then sigh.  This person is a long-time friend who also has a business on the side.  She has no clue, at least not yet, that her network on LinkedIn could be of great value to that business.  I commented to her that LI is the single most useful social network, period.  Time will tell if she takes my suggestion to heart.

I will spend a few minutes today talking about how I use LI for prospecting for candidates.  Most of you realize that I run a boutique Executive Search firm that focuses on finding mid to senior level candidates in the Design, Construction, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Life Science and Economic Development markets.  We work with clients across the USA and have branched out to several other countries over the past two years.  I have an upcoming trip to India that I hope will allow us to grow that presence even more.

Let me pose a scenario and tell you how I would use LinkedIn in this case.  Let’s say I am looking for a Financial Controller with experience in the retail market.  I will add some screen shots to help you understand what I do.

Note:  I use these screenshots only as examples.  Those shown are only there for example and they are not personally involved in any project I am pursuing at this time.

I would first use the search function and start with these keywords:  controller, retail.  Here is what I would see (note:  I do have a paid subscription, but most of this will still be attainable with a free account):

You will note that the first pass of this search has over 123,000 hits.  Let’s narrow the field to the Greater Nashville area:

By narrowing this I have the search down to 345 people.  One more factor; I’ll only look at candidates with Vanderbilt University in their profile as a school they attended:

Now you will see that the field is down to 11  people.  If you use LinkedIn you will understand what the “1st or 2nd” mean after their name.  That has do do with whether they are directly connected to me or if there is someone else between us on the network.

With a free account you could reach out to any of the 1st order connections.  With my paid account I can reach any of them with an InMail, a tool that is extremely handy for my work.  Three searches that have narrowed my interest from over 123 thousand people to 11, and very easily done.

Let’s look at one more quick tool for today.

Let’s say we want to see who else is like one of the people I might be interested in.  Jeff Williams is in my network and if you look at the upper right hand corner of his profile you see that LinkedIn offers others who are similar to Jeff.  You can click on any one of these and see their profile as well

I clicked on Frank Turner, the first profile and here he is:

This can be quite handy when trying to find people with similar backgrounds or interests.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool.

It can help you find almost anything.

What are you looking for?  I suspect you might be able to find it here with a little work.

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