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 profiles.
As the first stage of considering candidates, LinkedIn is useful for sorting out the candidates who might be a match from those who simply would not work. 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.
Going the next step, a phone interview gives you some indication of capacity, energy, and how the candidate communicates and thinks. Yet, phone interviews are 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 allows for the ability to assess chemistry. 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, judgement and some leadership capabilities. This is why it is important to meet people in person and formally interview and evaluate them. 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.
- 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?