How Linked-in profiles help in hiring!

I recently started blogging on Linked-in Pulse because I recently started looking at prospective candidates’ Linked-in profiles. I have read and have always known Linked-in to be a great tool in finding the right talent but it’s only recently when I felt the need for using it. For the record, I am the joint managing director of Sanghi Brothers — a car company based in Indore, India. And only recently I had blogged on Linked-In pulse about some hiring challenges I have faced in the past. You can check it out here:

Let me tell you I am one of those who don’t necessarily associate candidates’ credibility based on their online presence. I prefer the tried and tested formula of screening through resumes, shortlisting, interviewing and so on. Yet, when I found the CVs to be insufficient and sometimes even misguiding, I realized I need to equip myself with at least one more tool. But don’t’ get me wrong, I still haven’t abandoned the good old CV completely while shortlisting candidates.
Here are a few things that I have learnt and would like to share with recruiters who consider Linked-in profiles along with the usual resumes while hiring:
1. Careful with recommendations: While it’s hard to determine whether the recommendations of a candidate are mostly by friends and family or by only professional connections. Yet, if a candidates’ profile has a lot of recommendations, it does mean that he has great networking skills and hence is recommended to extensively.
2. Updates are real indicators: There are all kinds of people on Linked-in. I have even seen people using it like Facebook uploading family or vacation pictures. At least in my opinion, they cannot be credible. That’s what I think: it’s possible that Facebook is blocked in his company and Linked-in is not, so since he cannot upload vacation pics from the office on Facebook, he may be doing it on Linked-in. I see it as a profile of a procrastinator. I look for signs such as the blogs he/she has shared on Linked-in, the kind of updates he shares like quotes, thoughts etc. These little things also help me form some good questions to ask during the interview stage.
3. What they did in a job: There are profiles that only list experience, there are others that list what was their role in that job. I like the latter kind. If a candidate can explain his job role, it’s more likely he was sincere and knew what he was doing.
4. Communication: Linked-in I felt actually indicates how a person communicates. And seriously this has worked for me to judge communication skills. Even while sharing, say someone else’ blog post, how has the candidate presented it, has he included his own opinion, how correct is his language — these questions helps me determine a great many things.
5. Completeness: If a candidate has gone on to the extent of completing his full profile, to me it’s a sign of sincerity coupled with aggression. Many people also think it’s desperate but I feel on Linked-in, it’s actually necessary.
That’s all I got as of now. As I get more results from using Linked-in profiles, I shall share with you soon.