Building the Consultative Recruiter – A LinkedIn Guide

Building the Consultative Recruiter – A LinkedIn Guide

Fionnán O’Farrell joined the Barden team in June 2021 as an intern with Barden’s Financial Services recruitment practice.

He recently attended a webinar, hosted by the National Recruitment Federation, which covered the topic of ‘Building the Consultative Recruiter – A LinkedIn Guide’.

The Panel…

The panel included Donal O’Donoghue (NRF President & Managing Director, Sanderson), Mark Valentine (Enterprise Sales, LinkedIn), Keith Belton (UKI Account Director, LinkedIn), Meghann Barber (Senior Account Executive, LinkedIn), Siobhan O’Shea (Director, CPL), and Siobhan Kinsella (Director, Noel Group).

A Changing Landscape

As someone who has just taken their first steps into the recruitment world, I found the webinar exceptionally informative and engaging. It was fascinating how all six speakers agreed how the internet and social media will continue to influence and shape the future of the recruitment industry.

Mark Valentine (Enterprise Sales, LinkedIn), reinforced this and explained how recruiters have to accept that in todays saturated market, there is;

  • Universal Access – Recruiters have access to the same candidates.
  • Ubiquitous Opportunity – Anyone in the market can search for jobs and connect with people.
  • Increased Intensity – Expectations and competition are increasing.

Mark also shared the results of a survey where recruiters predicted what skills would be most important in the industry over the next 5 years. These included:

  • Engaging passive candidates (85% agree).
  • Analysing talent data to drive decisions (84% agree).
  • Advising business leaders and hiring managers (82% agree).

There is no doubt that the recruitment landscape is changing and it’s up to recruitment professionals to adapt, and to use the data and information that is available, to leverage from these changes.

The Importance of Data Analytics

The torch was then passed to Keith Belton (UKI Account Director, LinkedIn) who spoke about how important data analytics are to recruitment professionals.

The stat that Mark Valentine showed earlier was highlighted again, 84% of recruiters agree and understand that analysing talent data to drive decisions is, and will be, a huge part of their business.

Keith spoke of how all this data is essential to establishing a competitive advantage. However, as he put it, having this data is only part of the puzzle, the main piece, is the ability to turn this data into an actionable insight. Keith shared an overview of LinkedIn’s talent insights product which enables recruitment professionals to gain key insights including:

  • Market mapping and lead generation.
  • Client/Candidate consulting.
  • Placing talent effectively.
  • Creating engaging marketing plans.

Building Your Consultancy Brand

Mark Valentine (Enterprise Sales, LinkedIn), spoke once again but this time covering the topic of ‘Building Your Consultancy Brand.’ This for me was the most informative and interesting aspect of the webinar.

To start he shared why people engage with LinkedIn content. These include:

  • It’s educational or informative (62% agree).
  • It’s relevant to me (61% agree).
  • To stay on top of the latest trends (48% agree).
  • It’s inspiring (40% agree).
  • It helps with skill development (38% agree).

As a consultancy engaging with LinkedIn content is important, however even more so it is important for your consultancy to have a voice, and one that is authentic to your company and brand.

It was also highlighted how important it is for each of the team to develop their own personal brands on LinkedIn by sourcing and posting good quality content, that is of interest to their target audience.

Some Key Takeaways

The webinar then moved to a panel discussion, and there were some very interesting points made. Here are some of my key takeaways from the panel discussion:

The panel included), Keith Belton (UKI Account Director, LinkedIn),

  • Siobhan Kinsella (Director, Noel Group) spoke of how Irelands greatest assets are its talent, people and level of education, and that consultative selling is more than just to the client.
  • Siobhan O’Shea (Director, CPL) spoke of how clients are now coming and expecting real info and data about what’s going on in the labour market, and that recruiters need to adapt to this and ensure all employees are up to date by consuming real, reliable info via reputable news outlets. Effectively, it was said that its not enough as a recruiter to just know the basics, recruiters need to understand key trends.
  • Meghann Barber (Senior Account Executive, LinkedIn) spoke of how it’s important if one sees relevant news that isn’t being shared on LinkedIn, there’s an opportunity to create engagement by consuming, understanding, and finally posting it.
  • Mark Valentine (Enterprise Sales, LinkedIn) discussed what resonates on LinkedIn, and said how he’s noticed lately personal posts create a lot of engagement. He went on to share a very useful tip; NEVER put negative content on LinkedIn – verbalise it, don’t type it.
  • Donal O’Donoghue (NRF President & Managing Director, Sanderson) discussed how removing barriers and involving junior recruiting consultants in relevant conversation is important. He said “by stripping out the layers, people will get involved in these conversations”.

As the Webinar came to a close, each speaker left us with one important point to take away:

  • Siobhan O’Shea (Director, CPL) said “seek to add value”. She spoke of how adding value in. your relationships is vital in the recruiting world.
  • Donal O’Donoghue (NRF President & Managing Director, Sanderson) said “know what’s going on in the world”. He advised consuming content such as newspapers and podcasts and attending conferences such as the webinar.
  • Siobhan Kinsella (Director, Noel Group) said “differentiate between a transaction and a relationship”. She emphasised the importance of relationships over transactions in recruitment.
  • Meghann Barber (Senior Account Executive, LinkedIn) advised people to “write down what you’re doing right”, and in turn, share these posts on LinkedIn to show off the positives.
  • Keith Belton (UKI Account Director, LinkedIn) said “be curious” and “always ask why”. He asked us to think about what we can bring to the table with a particular insight or data point.

To conclude, as someone who is totally new to the recruitment world, I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend and learn from this informative webinar. I wasn’t aware of a lot of the data that was presented and I feel I now understand the recruitment profession a lot more than previously. I particularly enjoyed the advice on how to build your consultancy brand, as well as the panel discussion at the end.



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