Recruitment Strategies: Leveraging LinkedIn Recruiter To Land Unicorns

3 min read
Nov 12, 2014

LIAh, the elusive unicorn. That drop dead awesome job candidate you'd do anything to land. Often times these individuals aren't active job candidates at all. Instead, they're comfortably plodding away elsewhere while you would kill to have them. It can be tough to get in front of them and entice them with a new opportunity. 

But, with the right tool and message, there's hope. This is where LinkedIn's Recruiter Lite tool comes into play. The cheaper version of Recruiter Corporate, Recruiter Lite costs $99.95/mth when you commit to an annual payment (versus $724.95 for the Recruiter Corporate Plan). You can check out the whole host of features here, but the a short list includes:

  • 25 InMails per month, which are outbound messages to prospects
  • Full network visiblity, which means you can see any prospects that are a third degree relation to you
  • Pipeline management to track prospects as you begin recruiting

The overall interface is incredibly easy to use. Put a job title you're interested in in the search box, and a whole list of candidates will come up. You can review their profile snapshot to quickly see if you want to check out their full profile. Super handy when you have hundreds of profiles to review. 


And, if you're interested in candidates from particular companies, locations, or industries (or not interested in them), you can filter them in or out too.


Once you find your candidate crush, you can send them whatever type of message you'd like. Unlike non-paid LinkedIn outreach, there's no character limit to your message. And, you can actually include URL's and email addresses. Perfect for sending them a link to your company About Us page or giving them your work email address.


If you want to know how to craft the perfect message that'll pique your unicorn's interest, make sure it:

  • Compliments them: Do they have a beautiful portfolio? Is their list of accomplishments exceptional. Let them know you noticed. We all have an ego and it's nice to have it patted on the back from time to time. 
  • Hints at why your workplace is awesome: Everyone wants to work at a great place. If you can tout your company's culture and why you were attracted to work there, it'll catch their eye. 
  • Invites them for an informal chat: No harm ever comes from networking. Tell them you'd love to learn more about them, their work, and their interests. It's a low stress way to start a conversation. 
  • Does NOT pitch a job: This is a passive candidate so don't be pushy. Really stress that this is a chance to chat and meet each other conversationally. If you like each other, then you can talk jobs. 
  • Selects a trendy, convenient place to meet up: Figure out their work location, find the nicest restaurant in the area, and invite them for lunch. It's probably a place they want to go anyway, increasing the chances of them saying "yes." 

Here's an actual letter we used to recruit a UX/UI Graphic Designer:


There is one admitted downside to this process: time. Culling through potential candidates, reaching out to them, and taking the time to meet for lunch all take time. But, you'll often find the best candidates were never looking in the first place. So, you can take your chances with a standard job post. Or, you can be a little savvier and do some proactive reach outs. And you're the savvy type...right?



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