"If you don't know how recruiters search for candidates, you're likely missing out on great career advancement opportunities -- regardless of whether or not you're looking for a job," said Leela Srinivasan, group marketing manager at LinkedIn.
LinkedIn's 2013 Global Recruiting Trends Report surveyed more than 3,300 talent acquisition leaders from across the globe. According to its findings, recruiters are becoming more social, mobile and data-driven.
[ There are good reasons to be a savvy about social media. Read Social Business Skills In High Demand. ]
"In the past, recruiters posted jobs on job boards and prayed that relevant candidates would apply. But the majority of the workforce was oblivious to those job opportunities," Srinivasan said. "Recruiters are increasingly using professional networks, like LinkedIn, to find and hire the right person for a job -- regardless of whether they're an active or passive candidate."
Here's a look at four hiring trends, plus tips for how you can use LinkedIn to take advantage of them.
1. Recruiters Are Relying More On Professional Social Networks
Internet job boards still top the list (38%) as the go-to resource for finding talent, according to the report. But reliance on professional social networks (37%) grew in importance, increasing 11 percentage points since 2012. Srinivasan said this is because historically, recruiters have had access to very little data on external candidates.
"Professional networks like LinkedIn provide recruiters with an immense amount of professional data like work experience, skills, certifications, achievements, connections and education," she said. "Recruiters use that data to find the right person for the job and engage them in more meaningful ways beyond, 'Hey, interested in a job?' which ultimately increases the likelihood of a response and hire."
Thirty-nine percent of talent leaders list social and professional networks as their No. 1 long-lasting recruiting trend. To ensure they're able to find you, Brianne Shally, content strategist at LinkedIn, said it's essential for job hunters to invest more time and effort in social profiles.
"Go where recruiters are and put your best foot forward," she said. "Since they're using platforms such as LinkedIn more, make it easier for them to find you."
Shally recommends making sure all your LinkedIn profile sections are complete and updated so recruiters have the latest information on you. Other ways to keep your profile fresh and interesting: Share articles with your network from the status update feature on your profile and join and contribute to LinkedIn groups.
2. Using Data For Hiring Decisions Is More Important
Talent leaders who named data analytics as a long-lasting trend increased 8 percentage points since 2012, according to LinkedIn's report. And many still consider data an untapped resource: On a global basis, only 23% believe their organizations use data well to make hiring decisions.
"Recruiters use data analytics to find the right person for a job with the perfect set of skills, expertise, talents and passion," Shally said. To stay ahead of this trend, Shally said job hunters should add more specific details to their profiles.
Start by reading job descriptions and company LinkedIn pages that appeal to you. You should then make a list of keywords found in those pages. Update your profile sections using these keywords to increase the odds that your profile appears in search results for those phrases.
3. Employers Will Increase Reputation Management Efforts
Companies know they need to do more to build up their brand, improve employee retention and make better use of social networking and social media -- because their competitors are doing those things.
Eighty-three percent of respondents said they believe the employer's brand has a significant impact on their ability to hire great talent. As a result, Shally said, businesses are starting to become more aware of how they're perceived in the marketplace.
"Employers know you care if they are considered great places to work," she said. "And they know you can easily find out, so they're helping shape those conversations by being more proactive and transparent."
Because employers are sharing more, Shally said job hunters should investigate a company's culture early in the hiring process. One way to do this: Visit the company's LinkedIn page to get a better feel for whether that business is a good fit for you. And don't be shy about joining in conversations or engaging with them: "You'll both save time and make better decisions," Shally said.
4. Companies Want To Promote You
The top three strategies a world-class talent acquisition organization uses are proactive sourcing, pipelining talent proactively and structured hiring processes/supportive culture, those surveyed said.
Companies acknowledge the benefits of hiring and promoting from within, the report said: Ninety-two percent are investing more or the same in internal hiring. Respondents list the top benefits as retaining top talent, developing talent and improving employee productivity.
Workers can take advantage of this trend, Shally said, by making sure they are aware of open positions by checking LinkedIn and a company's careers page.
"Take advantage of the fact that you already know how the company works and already have an internal network," she said. "Look at the skills in the jobs that interest you and find ways to develop them in your current job."