Last year, LinkedIn updated their terms of service to allow for high school age students and younger professionals to create a LinkedIn account. In the US, you can create a LinkedIn account when you are 14 years of age.
This change in terms of service makes LinkedIn more attractive for companies who are recruiting and hiring young professionals in markets like retails, hospitality and restaurant industries. LinkedIn still has better search and targeting functionality than Facebook’s Graph Search although Facebook’s search is improving.
Improved LinkedIn Search & Big Data
LinkedIn’s chief college evangelist recently shared one of the reasonings behind this change is the ability to provide more data and predictive search options. Imagine as a high school student you attend a summer program in data engineering at Stanford. At age 27, this is probably not something you would share on LinkedIn, but younger users will include the information and eventually, LinkedIn will be able to point to certain classes, high school programs and activities that produce top talent for the long term. Imagine the possibilities. You can begin building your candidate pipelines with prospects based on real data, not just a gut feeling or assumptions. Exciting!
LinkedIn has also been growing their university and college career programs focusing on adding Millennials to their growing network which now has over 300 million users on the platform. One of the features I enjoy is the college and university pages because it offers a different targeted search functionality.
LinkedIn Recruiter Alumni Hack
Start by visiting any university or college alumni page. The screenshot below is from Harvard University. The page is pretty straight forward and on the surface doesn’t look to offer many search features. Right click on the “Students & Alumni” Section. Trust me.
In the Students & Alumni section, the search parameters are plain and simple. Search by keyword and years attended. Hit enter and magically below, candidate profiles will appear. You can see from a simple search for data scientists who attended Harvard from 1900-2014, I have netted some impressive results. Now all I have to do is research, select the candidates who meet my job specifications and send them an InMail message to connect with them.
I like this particular functionality for a lot of reasons especially since it offers me different view of targeted candidates than the traditional search LinkedIn offers and I can see the specific breakdown of where the alumni are located. This is key if I am recruiting and targeting a certain area of the country or outside of the US.