How You Can Use LinkedIn to Nurture Candidates

Have you ever found an amazing candidate, who simply wasn’t ready to join your organization yet? Perhaps you sourced a candidate who was looking forward to seeing a project through to completion. Or maybe you found someone a little late in their job search process, and they accepted a new role elsewhere. These scenarios are quite common—especially if you’re after top-tier talent. Skilled professionals are in high demand, and have many choices when it comes to where they want to work. Building a relationship will help your organization stay top-of-mind with these candidates, so they reach out when the time is right, and so they’re receptive if you approach them with a new opportunity. Between email, snail mail, phone, text, and social media, there are plenty of ways to keep in touch with stellar candidates. In this post, we will dig into how you can best utilize LinkedIn features and tools to nurture candidates.

First, you will need to connect with your candidates. It’s a matter of preference whether you send each of them a connection request, or an email inviting them to connect with you on LinkedIn. Either way, do it in a timely manner so the candidate clearly remembers who you are. As with all other candidate communications, you should personalize your message to make a positive impression, and to continue building a relationship.

Now that you’re connected, you have several LinkedIn features and tools available to help you, and your organization, stay top of mind:

  1. Endorse their skills: After connecting, visit the candidate’s profile and endorse them for the skills they exhibited throughout your prior engagements with them. If there are many skills you discussed or witnessed firsthand—say, through a skills fit or presentation interview—endorse 2-3 now, and come back to endorse others at a later time. Many candidates will appreciate this small gesture, and may even reciprocate by endorsing your talent acquisition skills. Periodically re-visit each candidate’s profile to see what’s new, and if there are any other skills you can vouch for.
  2. Send them congratulatory messages: LinkedIn creates notifications for you when your connections are celebrating a birthday or work anniversary, when they’ve been promoted, or when they’ve started a new job. Each of these events is a wonderful time to reach out and say, “Congratulations!” You can also browse your “Connections in the News” emails for mentions of your candidates and send them a message, if relevant.
  3. Engage with content they post: Peruse your LinkedIn feed regularly, and interact with your candidate’s content. This may be a simple like here and there, or it can be a comment or share if you find the content particularly interesting. Depending on the content, you may even choose to reach out via email or phone to catch up with the candidate.
  4. Share your own relevant information: Increase your own visibility in candidate’s LinkedIn feeds by posting updates and publishing articles. Utilize your expertise to share great job search insights and career advice with your network. You may also choose to share company news, and content that showcases your employer brand.

Final thoughts

Staying in touch with great candidates can mean you are the first person they think of when they decide to make a career move. LinkedIn provides many great opportunities to reach out periodically and stay top of mind. While this is certainly something talent acquisition professionals can do to nurture candidates, it is even more powerful when it comes from a hiring manager or interviewer. Those are the people candidates want to get to know, so rope them in to help build strong talent relationships. Just be careful not to overdo it—a handful of messages spread throughout the year is plenty.

Lever customers: Use our ‘Snooze’ feature to remind yourself to follow-up with your candidates from time to time. If you’re unsure of what to say in a message, take a look at LinkedIn to see what’s new with your candidate. You may find just the conversation starter you need!


To learn more about nurturing candidates, download our eBook:

The Definitive, No Frills Guide to Sourcing and Nurturing Candidates