How to find top IT talent on LinkedIn

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Use Boolean Strings and Search Methods

"If you're not using Boolean search methods, you are going to be inundated with people. Using those strings, we are able to narrow the search to people we know are qualified. Now the challenge isn't knowing if they are the right fit for the job, it's getting them interested in the job," says Nathanson.

Boolean searches can be conducted by any LinkedIn member. Members using the Recruiter feature can as well because both searches share the same the same query processor.

Here are some of the common Boolean terms to aid your search:

AND—Recruiters can search for profiles that include two terms by separating those terms with the uppercase word AND. However, you don't have to use AND. If you enter two terms, the search engine will assume there is an AND between them. For example:

Software AND engineer "Software engineer" "Customer service" AND hospitality "Instructional design" Human resources

OR—Recruiters and hiring managers can broaden their search to find member profiles that include one or more terms by separating those terms with the upper-case word OR. OR is most often used to search for alternate spellings or for terms that mean the same thing. For example:

Helpdesk OR "Help Desk" OR "Technical Support" "Vice President" OR VP OR "V.P." OR SVP OR EVP J2EE OR "Java Enterprise Edition" OR JEE OR JEE5 "Account executive" OR "account exec" OR "account manager" OR "sales executive" OR "sales manager" OR "sales representative"

NOT—Recruiters can conduct searches that exclude a particular term by typing that term with an uppercase NOT immediately before it. Their search results will exclude any profile containing that term. For example:

NOT director (Google OR Salesforce) NOT LinkedIn Director NOT executive NOT vp NOT Recruiter NOT Talent

Please note that NOT is the least used and least understood modifier, but it shouldn't be underestimated. A huge part of what recruiters ARE looking for is what they're NOT looking for. NOT helps recruiters pare down their search results by excluding LinkedIn members they know aren't eligible or wouldn't necessarily be interested in the role.

Quotes—Recruiters searching for an exact phrase or terms that include punctuation, enclose the phrase in quotation marks. They can use these in addition to other modifiers. For example:

"Product manager" "Account representative" "Executive assistant" ".net" AND "C++"

Parenthesis - Recruiters can conduct complex searches by combining terms and modifiers. The following example will find both software engineers and software architects:

Software AND (engineer OR architect) Trainer NOT (fitness OR physical) (HR OR "human resources") AND "customer service

LinkedIn penFlickr: The Seafarer

LinkedIn Talent Solutions Options

LinkedIn also offers services to hiring managers and recruiters over and above LinkedIn Premium.

Job Slots—Nathanson likens this option to a parking spot for your job postings. As opposed to job boards where you post a job and after time it expires. "It's essentially your real estate for your jobs for the year," says Nathanson. You can post a new job each day or just keep refreshing the same one.

Recruiter Seat—Using this service, Nathanson says, you can contact any person in LinkedIn's network of 200 million professionals without that person being a part of your network.

Work with Us Ads—Allows employers to buy ad space on their employee's profiles. "The number one activity on LinkedIn is looking at profiles. So in that moment of natural curiosity we are able to market our openings to the people viewing," says Nathanson.

Career Page—There is a free and paid version available. The free option is like a basic company page. Using the paid version however, you can post jobs, videos, employee testimonials, as well as, messaging and branding.

LinkedIn will not release pricing info regarding the services discussed here. It is in the process of revamping its pricing structure and available services, according to Roulades. Other sites have reported the cost for Recruiter runs about $7,000 a year to start and, according to an unnamed LinkedIn rep, that corporate packages can cost as much as $80,000 a year.

When comparing that to the cost of an IT recruiter, who can make upwards of 15-30 percent of the hiring position's annual salary, this may be out of the reach of many small businesses but when you're talking about C-level executives with six figure salaries those numbers could sound like a bargain.

This story, "How to find top IT talent on LinkedIn" was originally published by CIO.

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