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"Similar Profiles" tool for LinkedIn goes on General Release

LinkedIn-Logo-Transparent-200px“Similar Profiles”, the potentially brilliant semantic search tool that was released to Premium Recruiter account holders (the $6k+ a year subscribers) in June of last year has also been (quietly) released to all users as of this month.

When conducting a LinkedIn search, each result will now show a hyperlink titled “Similar”, which will produce LinkedIn accounts with similar profiles to the person you’ve clicked on that are within 2 degrees of you or in shared groups.LinkedIn-Similar-Profiles

As a recruiter, how can this be utilized best?

This is a LinkedIn Search tool that helps you find people you may not have found when searching for desired keywords, and can steer you towards a profile of someone who could be of great company fit, especially if you’re looking for a replacement for an employee leaving the business. Researching similar profiles on LinkedIn may be the best place to start. This is a great tool to quickly identify a potential shortlist using semantic search that doesn’t require you to generate your own list of synonyms to find candidates.

How does it work?

This isn’t the same as the “Viewers Of This Profile Also Viewed” (VOTPAV) section within each person’s profile, and it produces vastly different results. Here’s how to really put it to work:

  • Conduct a search on LinkedIn to bring up the profile of the employee just leaving or already vacated the organization and who you’re replacing. Doing it this way rather than just visiting his or her profile will bring up the “Similar” hyperlink which we’re looking for.
  • In your search results, click on “Similar” underneath your target profile.
  • LinkedIn will draw on your first, second and shared group connections to bring you a list of similar profiles with keywords similar to your starting profile.
  • Deselect your client’s company from the search fields along the left hand side to remove profiles of current employees to build an external shortlist.
  • Find more potential candidates by searching for similar profiles to other current employees with the same job title as the vacated position.
  • To see more people outside of your network that are related to your chosen profile, then add a keyword in the search box to the left of the screen, bringing in more potential candidates to your results. You cannot, however (unfortunately), see 3rd degree or out-of-network profile names like you would with 1st, 2nd and shared-group connections, nor can you connect with them from the results page.

Enhance LinkedIn’s ability to show you Similar Profiles

This is a Beta product, and it can only produce full-profile results based on both the keywords in a LinkedIn profile and connections who are within 2 degrees of you or with whom you share a group. To enhance your probability of finding the best candidate from these results, you should have a quality network of people who are related to your field of recruiting, and be a member of groups on LinkedIn that contain your potential candidates. This tool will not bring about any results if you don’t have a well-connected LinkedIn account.

LinkedIn Invitations - Accept all!A best practice tip for recruiters is to befriend everyone. Accept all LinkedIn connection requests that you get each day, because for everyone you accept into your network you expand your range of accounts you get to view in full (fewer “Private” profiles and many more surnames). A large connection base on LinkedIn is the foundation for successful LinkedIn searches. You see more of the humongous database that is LinkedIn, and you can directly reach out to more people about your job vacancy. If you recruit for a specific sector, like Accountancy and Finance for example, then make it your mission to connect with as many accountants and finance personnel that you can. Join groups for accountants, discuss topical issues about accountancy matters with other accountants and increase your connection base organically. Tip: Check out the video recording of our “Cool Tools for Recruiting” webinar that we did earlier this month where we show you how to bulk add industry relevant contacts to build your network using some great Browser Plug-Ins.

Social-Talent-Blue-Belt-in-Internet-Recruitment-Logo-TrainingSince this is a Beta product, it is not perfect. If you’re looking to hire a specific type of person with hard skills your client simply won’t budge on, then you’ll need to perform more specific searches rather than filtering through similar profiles whose results may vary in your sought after skills. If you don’t know how to perform specific searches on LinkedIn using targeted fields (using synonyms to cover all kinds of individual job titles, but removing unwanted keywords from your results), then you should learn how to search LinkedIn properly. We’re running our Blue Belt in Internet Recruitment course which covers precisely this (and more) in London on February 15th, Dublin on February 21st, Toronto on February 23rd and Richmond British Columbia on March 15th. Click here for more information. Not in one of those locations? We’re also running it online over three weeks, commencing February 20th.

Give it a go for yourself and see if you can pull together a potential shortlist with more ease than before. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

PS, if you’re not familiar with Boolean Search, try our People Search which allows you to search LinkedIn for any keywords, showing you full names and profiles in all of the search results. It’s free and really simple to use.

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