Many government agencies are using the professional networking platform LinkedIn to recruit for jobs. If you search the site, 15,000 of the current 500,000 jobs posted on LinkedIn are government-related.
Government recruitment is a big deal. Why? Because after World War II ended, there was a major surge in the number of babies born in the U.S. — a trend that continued for about a decade and a half and became known as the baby boom. These babies grew up, entered the workforce and got jobs. Many of them got government jobs. Government employees tend to be older than other areas of the labor force because they’re working longer.
For some time, we’ve been warned that government workers are going to begin retiring in large numbers. The first wave of these retirements happened a few years back and it will continue for years to come. America is on the verge of a major loss of institutional knowledge when these government employees leave. The retirement of older workers means that we need to fill these jobs, which makes the government recruiter’s role extremely important.
Private industry has turned to social media for job recruitment for some time, and government entities have slowly gotten on board.
How can you make government jobs stand out on LinkedIn? First, don’t neglect your personal profile as a recruiter, hiring manager or HR professional. Fair or not, potential candidates will associate you with the jobs you post, so it’s important to have your resume updated and use a good profile photo. Don’t create a dummy account to post jobs.
Try LinkedIn Groups to find job candidates — groups exist for just about everything. See if you can join groups that relate to the type of position you are recruiting for, look at the conversation happening and mention your job opening as appropriate.
Consider using LinkedIn as a personal publishing platform, similar to a blog. This long-form dialog can yield abundant views and shares that you might not encounter on an official government blog. Regularly publishing professional updates on LinkedIn will also show other people that you’re an industry leader. If an industry leader recommends a great job, who wouldn’t want to apply?
How does it work for job seekers? Likely they’ll download the LinkedIn Job Search app on their smartphone and search by keyword. So you want to make sure you have many descriptive keywords in the job title and description. The job seekers will probably search for a job title, then create an alert for it. Job seekers also can use a fee-based premium service where they can see more insights on hiring trends and view how they compare to other applicants.
Social media recruitment should be another tool for relaying the message about government jobs. But make sure it isn’t the only place you’re posting these jobs, and remember that the same legal issues apply to social media job postings as apply to traditional recruitment.