Using LinkedIn To Attract Prospects and Validate Candidates

Using LinkedIn To Attract Prospects and Validate Candidates

We asked Red Boswell, SVP of franchising and business development at Expense Reduction Analysts, how he uses social media to attract prospects and validate candidates. Here's what he had to say.

To some, social media is a whippin', one big annoyance. But to me it's a blast. Jump onto Facebook for 30 seconds and you'll see amazing transparency, humor, personal branding, bold ignorance, inspiration, heartache, plus a whole lot of cute kitten and ugly kid photos.

At Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) we invest most of our time and efforts in the social media space with LinkedIn, the leading social network specifically focused on the business community. Over the past 18 months it's become considerably easier to locate, connect with, and validate the suitability of candidates on LinkedIn.

We vet our franchise candidates thoroughly. ERA franchisees don't just represent our brand; they are our brand. Regardless of a franchisee's chosen focus (client acquirer or expense category specialist), LinkedIn allows my team to gain a much deeper understanding of a candidate. Within hours of receiving a candidate's inquiry we email, text, call, and send them a LinkedIn connection request.

For the candidate, viewing my profile also helps build my credibility and earn respect in their eyes. It also allows the candidate to see me as a real person.

Our franchise development department has chosen not to create a separate page from our client-focused pages on any social media site. Prospective franchisees will see only client-focused messaging. Instead, aside from tracking pixels and dabbling with some right-side banners, our LinkedIn recruiting efforts have primarily been on targeting ideal candidates (geographically and experientially) with personal direct messages or through InMails.

My team and I always share on our individual LinkedIn and Twitter feeds any articles, blog posts, or white papers that ERA's franchisees, marketing department, or public relations team write. I've enjoyed learning, making friends, and sharing daily on social media (and its predecessor, online message boards) since 1998. While social media will never be our only resource for high-quality candidates, it does continue to gain mindshare in our recruiting efforts.

Be real, create a plan, and execute it consistently.

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