Once upon a time in LinkedIn Land………

Posted on March 1, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

…….there was a Recruitment Consultant who went to see a client to discuss a new vacancy. This Recruiter understood the benefits of talking ‘outside of the brief’ to gain a comprehensive understanding of the organisation and its values as well as the character and decision making habits of the client.

During this conversation the Recruiter asked the client “Apart from the need to fill this vacancy, what else is keeping you awake at night?”

The client admitted that they had a serious challenge in sourcing a very specific and unique packaging material. They didn’t want to have a sole supplier but knew that no other company in the world were manufacturing this product. This led to a need to source ‘capability’ i.e. a company that was not currently making this product but would have the capability of doing so.

This however, was proving to be a very difficult challenge!

During the conversation the client described the unique materials involved – technical terms that the Recruiter could not be expected to understand but he made detailed notes of everything the client said.

On the way back to the office the recruiter couldn’t stop thinking about this sourcing problem the client had described and he came up with an idea. As soon as he got back to his PC he logged onto LinkedIn – not to source candidates for the role but to go into the Answers section where he posted the following question;

“I am a recruiter specialising in the procurement field and I have a client who is looking to find a manufacturer who has the capability to manufacture X (he went on to quote the technical terms the client had stated and explained the requirement in precise detail). Can anybody offer any advice as to who might be able to manufacture such a product?”

He also posted the same question in a few relevant groups as a discussion.

Within 3 days he had over 40 replies with many suggestions of companies who might be able to help. Many of these answers required further clarification and the recruiter entered into a dialogue with all 40 respondents (connecting with them all along the way).

The net result was that he found the names of 3 very suitable potential suppliers, looked them up on LinkedIn and forwarded the profiles of their key contacts to his client with the following note;

I hope you don’t mind but I thought my LinkedIn network might be able to provide some assistance with your sourcing problem. Here are 3 contacts you might wish to speak with – please let me know if I can be of any more help.

The client subsequently contacted all 3 and eventually appointed one as a supplier.

I will let you make your own conclusions to this story but I would ask you to think about the following questions;

  • What effect did this episode have on the nature of the relationship between the Recruiter and his client?
  • What image did the Recruiter project to the LinkedIn community that saw his question?
  • What other benefits did the Recruiter get from this?
  • Is this really a story about recruitment or is it as applicable to your business?
  • Recruiters – Are you sure LinkedIn is mainly a sourcing tool?
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5 Responses to “Once upon a time in LinkedIn Land………”

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The moral to this tale, is always be asking “What more can I do for you?”
Any and all networks can be exploited in this way. Linkedin, however, enables you to build and speed through a network many times faster than ever before.
I used to specialise in recruiting in the burgeoning Injection Moulded Plastics sector in the 1990’s. As a result of asking the same questions, I found myself as agent for the sale of a couple of companies. 2% of a sale price is very nice on top of recruitment fees.

That is a great story. You are truly an “Innovator” – similar story –>
I had a client that was looking for a company to “factor” their accounts receivables… I did an extensive search on LinkedIn, found a few companies, made some calls and narrowed it down to two potentials and referred them to my client, who selected one and was able to create an arrangement to help an immediate financial need, related to company growth.

Felt great and expanded my experience. Gotta love the ability to search out answers to fulfill a client need.

Great Post!

What a great story! I love people with the mind set “how can I help?” As a recruiter I often call upon my connectivity to assist in the business endeavours of others. One of the residual benefits I have seen is the ability to help my fellow small business owners get visibility and make valuable connections.

Thanks Patti,
I think recruiters are often in the very privileged position of being able to assist with connections and introductions within their communities – too often they forget to do this because of short term pressures and targets or just a lack of ability to see the bigger picture.


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