4 aspects of LinkedIn profiles and what they tell hiring managers

LinkedIn is a powerful force in the IT industry hiring. The enterprise social networking platform grants you an unprecedented look into IT professionals’ work history, as well as provides you with a great forum for reaching out to potential job candidates. In fact, LinkedIn is so valuable to human resources departments, some organizations are forgoing resume requests all together.

“LinkedIn is now a critical piece of the onboarding puzzle.”

The Guardian recently reported that Ernst & Young will no longer ask potential employees for their CV. As the source asserted, LinkedIn is a perfect replacement for resumes, as members’ profiles provide you with a lot of information that is usually found on CVs: work experience, education, references and even a little background on job candidates’ interests. In some ways, The Guardian argued that LinkedIn profiles are better, and that is accurate given that applicants typically don’t list “skill endorsements” on their resumes.

Simply put, LinkedIn is now a critical piece of the onboarding puzzle, and you should always look up job candidates on this social networking platform if you want to get a true understanding of who those individuals are and what their skills are. In tech hiring, LinkedIn is especially useful, given that finding great IT professionals is a challenge.

However, what exactly should you be looking for on LinkedIn pages and what do certain aspects of LinkedIn tell you as a hiring manager? Let’s take a glance at five components of the typical profile to get a better understanding of what applicants are actually saying.

1. Connections and endorsements
On the job candidates’ side of LinkedIn, connections help identify potential opportunities in the tech industry, as well as ensure that members can always stay informed of what their colleagues are up to in this space. But to you, connections and endorsements are gateways into applicants’ personalities, ambitions and skills.

Are they connected with executives, working professionals or college roommates? This says a lot about someone’s work habits and life. Take USA Today contributor Steven Petrow’s story for example, as he wrote that by exploring his connections, he found that he actually fired someone trying to connect with him and therefore did not accept the request. As a side note, if applicants lack connections, more questions are raised.

Additionally, where do endorsements come from? If they’re reputable, then the candidate is in good shape.

Internships helps steer IT pros down the right career path.
People working on computers

Internships helps steer IT pros down the right career path.

2. Internships
Whether a potential new hire is straight out of a university or has been in the industry for a few years, you should always check out their LinkedIn profiles to see if they have completed internships. For one, those activities indicate a job candidate’s willingness to hit the ground running and learn new skills actively in a sometimes high-intensity setting. Internships separate the go-getters from the passive types, in other words, and in tech hiring, you always want someone who is eager.

From a different perspective, internships assist IT pros in finding their true passion. CIO magazine explained that these “test runs” will either reinforce the choice to select a career path or help steer individuals away from roles that don’t fit their personalities. The source reported that 77 percent of graduates shifted their career focuses after working at a company before finishing school. Therefore, by looking for internship history on LinkedIn profiles, you will gain a better understanding of who that candidate is and perhaps realign your offers, positioning them as a dream opportunity.

3. Past work experience
Great hires are often the result of perfect culture fits. So, why not use LinkedIn to determine how job candidates will mesh with your organization’s corporate culture?

Similar to internship information, by looking at past work experiences, you have great insight into personality and work ethic. But, more importantly, those previous employments enable you to investigate. Research the companies where applicants have worked before and try to determine what it is like to work for that business. For example, Amazon is a tough environment to say the least, so you’d know that that individual has the perseverance and dedication to succeed.

Additionally, with knowledge of where job candidates have worked, you can reach out directly to superiors at that organization without needing the applicant to provide information.

“Non-traditional educational experiences are great indicators of eagerness.”

4. Non-traditional education
College educations start to matter less as IT professionals advance their careers, but non-traditional educational experiences are great indicators of an individual’s’ eagerness to expand their skillsets.

TechCrunch reported that learning outside of universities has become quite common for female software developers, and as such, you could find the best candidates by analyzing what extracurricular courses they have taken. After all, a skill is a skill, regardless of how it was developed. The source specifically pointed to General Assembly, which is the “largest dev bootcamp” in the country. That could prove a more useful indicator of success than a degree from a decade ago.

You recognize the importance of LinkedIn, but by taking the analysis of profiles on that website more seriously, you can learn a lot about candidates that they haven’t explicitly stated.

4 aspects of LinkedIn profiles and what they tell hiring managers
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