Cool LinkedIn Recruiter Alumni Search Hack

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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.

How New #HRTech Enables Visually Impaired Recruiters & Job Seekers

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TalentCircles, whose mission is to transform recruiting by offering a comprehensive interactive talent engagement platform for desktops, smartphones and tablets, has completed yet another major accomplishment: its ADA (Americans with Disabilities) implementation for visually impaired candidates and recruiters.

The National Federation of the Blind estimates that there are about 6,211,700 visually impaired people aged between 16 and 75 in the United States. TalentCircles is one of the first HR recruiting and hiring technologies that is fully ADA compliant and provides companies a way to engage, recruit and hire this highly skilled and qualified community of job seekers.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that companies provide qualified individuals with disabilities equal access to their programs and services,” said Dominique Hermsdorff, SVP of Engineering at TalentCircles. “As far as talent acquisition is concerned, the first step to meet these requirements is to ensure that visually impaired candidates can access your career site and join your talent community just as easily as anyone else. Companies should never comply with ADA requirements partially. It’s pretty much an all or nothing situation. We designed a solution that is fully compliant with published ADA guidelines and tested it extensively with visually impaired candidates and recruiters in the field. And so far, people really like it.”

Hiring people with disabilities or special needs is not only a matter of compassion or compliance with requirements: It is believing in the ability for our society to be inclusive and leverage the wealth of experience that stems from diversity and expand the quality of the human capital of your organization. “People with disabilities, or as I would prefer to say, otherwise-abled people, can be a tremendous asset for companies: work is more than a means to achieve financial independence. It also provides a sense of accomplishment that fosters deep dedication,” says TalentCircles CEO Marylene Delbourg-Delphis.

The TalentCircles philosophy is that companies must be able to engage with candidates at any touch point and candidates must be able to engage with companies from anywhere and at any time. “Technology has made it easier than ever to be caring and inclusive. TalentCircles is proud to offer a powerful solution to the visually impaired, be they candidates or recruiters, and ultimately offer to all our users the optimized navigation environment and the wealth of functionalities that ensures a high quality experience to everybody.”

About TalentCircles: Silicon Valley-based TalentCircles transforms recruiting. Its comprehensive interactive talent engagement platform for desktops, smartphones and tablets enables organizations to create powerful talent pools. The goal is to improve the efficiency of recruiters, offer candidates positive exposure to your business, and reduce your hiring costs and time. The larger your talent pool… the better it is for you when you have the right array of features like semantic job matching, screening questionnaires, video interviewing to evaluate candidates for both aptitude and attitude or perform realistic job previews. TalentCircles is the ideal solution to proactively manage the needs of organizations of any size.

For additional information, contact Susan Magrino: [email protected] or call 888-280-0808.

Learn How to Recruit Using AngelList

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Like with early stage investing, AngelList holds explosive possibilities for the extremely messy and noisy process of matchmaking companies with their people.

Founders spend way too much time pitching their company to investors. AngelList makes it completely simple. It pares back most of the BS but preserves much of the core informational and social processes that make people come together (e.g., credentials, social proof, track record).

The paring back of extraneous information is key – everything is up front, simple, and clear.

Compare how a startup looks on AngelList versus their CEO’s cluttered LinkedIn profile. The difference is obvious.

Many of the best startups are using the amazingly clean and clear offering from AngelList to hire as well. Beyond being simple and appealing, AngelList attracts knowledgeable engineers who are specifically interested in real startups not generic “I want a job that pays more” opportunities.

Plus, it’s free.

So here’s how to do it. Just follow these steps to recruit successfully using AngelList:

  • Be a notable startup founder or angel investor with an account on AngelList. Most companies have at least 1-2 such people involved somewhere in the food chain.
  • Post your gig and watch the candidate applications come in.
  • Now here is the hard part… you need to adopt an extremely fast and lightweight screening process. Don’t focus on a heavy evaluation of the candidate, but do a quick match on skills, career stage, and interest instead.
  • Then hire for a trial. “Come work here, we’ll pay you.”

If your potential candidate has a job they love/need/want already, then they won’t say yes. And that’s fine! They would also be super hard to fire if they quit to work with you and it didn’t work out.

But that won’t be everyone, or even most people. These are all active candidates coming your way, not passive.

So if there is a match, you know it’s game on.

Amol Sarva is the co-founder of HireNurture, a startup focused on turning passive candidates active. Amol has co-founded several startups including Virgin Mobile, Peek, Halo and Knotable, built a building in New York called East of East, and studied cognitive science for his Ph.D. 

Why LinkedIn InMail Spam Is Like Not Showering Before Your First Date

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linkedin-logoAs you may know, LinkedIn Recruiter recently announced changes to their service requiring that recruiters maintain a 14% response rate on their InMail messages or have their accounts suspended for 14 days. You can read about the changes by clicking here.

How to Increase LinkedIn Recruiter InMail Response Rate

One of the most effective ways to increase your LinkedIn Inmail response rate in any type of email messaging, InMails included is by customizing your message for your intended audience. In this case, our messages are intended for an audience of one and allows us a great opportunity to really engage and reach our ideal candidate.

Doing so, however, takes a lot of time and effort. As a recruiter you spend time researching the requirements of the job requisition you have been charged to fill, talking with the hiring manager and searching for the candidate. We’ve spent considerable time and effort. Not customizing your candidate message is a lot like someone not showering before they go on their first date. Impressions are important. They took the time to set up their online profile and even spent the last 3 days texting that special someone. Not following through seems like you just like going through the motions and wasting time. I guess you just aren’t ready to fill that position or land that new client, really.

Wasting time is one of those things I can’t afford to do. I’m self-employed and for me lost productivity is lost revenue which is why I am a fan of creating hacks that create a little work on the front end but pay me in time saving spades on the flip side of things.

One of those is an InMail template. Heck, really any type of email or custom messaging. With a simple copy paste and a few small tweaks and customizations I can quickly and easily reach a candidate doing everything I can to increase the likelihood that they will respond back to me. That simple tweak took less than 5 minutes. That’s about the same time it might take you to shower quickly before that first date. Guys, come on you know what I mean.

InMail templates are a great way to focus your time and effort. It’s the same reason I created phone script templates for my recruiting and hiring manager team and talking points for my managers when we roll out a process change that they will be speaking about during their weekly team meetings.

Two LinkedIn InMail Templates to Drive Response Rates

Customizing your message not only allows for increased response rates, but it also maximizes your time too. No one wants a candidate to pick up the phone or email us back if they aren’t the right fit for the role you are recruiting for. By providing them with information including the location, job title and the company name (if available) you are allowing the candidate to self-select is for or out of the position. Recently a recruiter called me about an HR Analyst role but left me no information in the voicemail about the location or position. When I called him back, I just flat out asked about the industry and based on the location he was describing, I made a guess at what company this position was at. I was right, and the company was not one that I wanted to be a part of. In my experience, the organization had a horrible work ethic, culture and reputation. I’ll take my chances elsewhere looking for project work and consulting opportunities. My take here is to provide as much information to allow people to opt out of the opportunity while also focusing on getting a response from them and qualifying your short list of candidates.


Be honest when describing the company culture. I’m always upfront if the opportunity is challenging. I’m do my best to compensate them for the environment and/or experience opportunity. Every person is at a different place in their personal lives and careers. Remember that providing good information that is truthful and direct is best. The goal is to increase our response rate to 100%. I want every single message I sent to my very targeted list to respond quickly and easily.

Below is the second email template option I wanted to share. As you can see I’m clear and direct in my subject line. If they are looking to work in an HR capacity at a startup in Minneapolis, they will surely open the InMail.


Any type of candidate messaging whether it’s on the LinkedIn Recruiter platform, good old fashioned email or candidate mining on a job board, the key is to create quality interactions that are worth responding too. No candidate wants to feel like second best which is why higher quality and less messaging is key.

Make the most of your time by utilizing templates I shared above. Save them to your drafts folder in email for easy copy and pasting or the notes app on your iPhone making sure you are never without your template wherever you go.

This is part two in our LinkedIn Recruiter InMail series. Click here to read part one