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How to Open the Conversation with Talent on LinkedIn

We’re going to let you in on a secret many hiring managers won’t share: 70% of candidates are passive job seekers. That means that the vast majority of candidates you hire did not follow the standard application process of the traditional candidate. Instead, a recruiter reached out and engaged with them on a social networking site like LinkedIn, developed a relationship, and “sold” the candidate on the job. How do these conversations start? This blog will help you learn how to open the conversation with passive job candidates on LinkedIn.

How to Talk to Passive LinkedIn Talent

The first step toward engaging with a passive candidate on LinkedIn is to specify and search for your target audience. Why use LinkedIn? It is the world’s largest professional social networking site, with millions of users. The entire platform is built for business professionals, and it is optimized for reaching these candidates. You can conduct a very specific search on the platform, review a candidate’s skills and employment history, and email them straight from the website. Even with a basic LinkedIn account, which is free, you can search resumes and review candidate profiles.

So, how do you reach out to these candidates? First, distill the job description into several salient keywords. Filter your search by people and location or target people currently working in a specific company. Review the candidates that match your search and download the profiles who stand out. Once you’ve identified the top talent, you’re ready to reach out to these passive candidates.

First, don’t be nervous about this process. LinkedIn’s Talent Trends Report says 90% of candidates would like to hear about a new opportunity. However, there are some general rules you should follow when reaching out. Here are some tips:


1. Sell an opportunity instead of communicating a job opening.

Instead of saying you have a Head Chef position open, talk about how the restaurant is a Michelin Star fine dining establishment looking for the best and brightest talent. Or how the hotel chain you’re recruiting for was awarded the Best Places to Work designation. Is this a six-figure job with advancement potential? Are the hours flexible? Do you get a free meal with every shift? What about a sign-on bonus? The point is—sell the benefits, not just the job.


2. Explain why you’re reaching out to that particular passive candidate.

Describe why their profile seemed like a fit for what you’re looking for. Not only will you flatter the candidate but also, you’ll explain what caught your eye and made them seem like such a good fit.


3. Be genuine but also transparent.

Make sure the potential candidate understands your position in the company or if you’re an outside recruiter. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with a clean, crisp professional profile. If you can’t release the name of the company you’re representing until you talk with the candidate, be sure to at least describe the opportunity.


4. Never cold email someone.

Instead, reach out in a way that seems like you’re networking with them. Ask them if they aren’t interested in talking about the opportunity; perhaps they have a friend who might be a better fit?


Keep in mind, passive candidate networking takes time. Be patient and genuine, but work on reaching out to passive candidates every day to fill your funnel. Or, you can contact Gecko Hospitality and let us do the hard work for you. Contact us today and put us to work!


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