You can’t assess a whole person from a LinkedIn profile alone. You only see what people want you to see. LinkedIn is a great tool to identify potential talent. In fact, LinkedIn is so powerful, leadership candidates now hire consultants to create content for their LinkedIn profiles.
As the first step for considering candidates, LinkedIn is useful. You can sort out the candidates who might be a match from those who simply would not qualify. Just like a resume, LinkedIn profiles are promotional marketing pieces used by candidates to stand out, focusing on career highlights.
Profiles are not a list of accomplishments, results, failures and lessons learned. You can’t assess a whole person from a LinkedIn profile alone. You only see what people want you to see. While there may be truth to what is written, it needs to be investigated and verified when you meet in person, through reference checks, .and background verification.
Going the next step in your recruiting process is typically a phone interview. This step gives you some indication of capacity, energy, and how the candidate communicates and thinks. Yet, phone interviews are still only a partial assessment.
Checking references is also an important part of the decision making process. References are often excellent for validating information from other sources.
An in-person interview ( or Video Interviews, now in the face of COVID) allows you the ability to assess mannerisms. It allows you to learn how the candidate communicates, how they think, solve problems and work within a team. During an interview you will be able to assess energy level, judgment and some leadership capabilities. It is still important to try and meet in person as, not only to formally interview and evaluate them, but to also assess fit and chemistry with the team. You want to have a feel for who they are as a person. You need to meet candidates more than once and in different circumstances to be able to assess them fully.
Items to investigate in the interview:
- Timelines: Did the candidate perform well at their previous position?
- What challenges did the business overcome?
- What specific contributions did the candidate make?
- Investigate the details of what the person actually did with whom and what resulted?
- How does this person specifically motivate and lead?
- What accomplishments are they most proud of?
Strong recruiters also develop relationships with great leadership performers, much like following top athletes on professional sports teams. We follow strong performing companies and their key players. Furthermore, recruiters spend most of their time vetting and calibrating talent. This is part of the value a seasoned recruiter brings to you and your company.