Conducting research using social networks has become a popular way to uncover passive leads for recruiting efforts. One issue that you run into when conducting this kind of search, however, is that you don’t always know if the contact you have found is actively seeking new opportunities. Sure, sites like LinkedIn have different connection settings you can choose to indicate whether or not you’re interested in new career opportunities, but there are some other ways of getting an idea of whether or not your potential candidate might be interested in what you’ve got available.
Something you can do to check interest before you actually check interest is to take a look at the recent connection patterns of your contact. Sometimes a person’s networking activities will give an indication that they are interested in checking out other opportunities. There are a couple of ways you can see this activity on LinkedIn:
- Take a look at your contact’s New Connections. If the people they have recently linked up with are recruiters or operate in some capacity within the staffing function, this may be because they are checking out some new opportunities. Also, if you notice lots of connections with individuals at competitor companies, particularly those with titles just slightly more senior to your contact’s present title, this might also indicate some interest in a job change.
- Look at who’s been viewing your profile. There is a section on LinkedIn’s home page where you can view a list of the names of people who have recently viewed your profile. This will at least give you a warm reason to reach back out to someone (“Hey Mr. Candidate, I noticed today that you showed some interest in my LinkedIn profile. Is there some way that I can assist you, perhaps you are looking into some new career options, etc.?”)
Some other indications that could be derived by a person’s networking patterns could be a desire to gain a new customer by connecting with employees of a potential client or planned attendance at an industry gathering by connecting with others who have indicated their intent to attend. Regardless, just monitoring some of the activities of the people in your network can give you an idea of where their interest is. This may help you in your research efforts in determining if someone is quietly seeking new opportunities. Hope this helps!
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