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Keep Your Finger on LinkedIN Signal

February 22, 2011

Whether you are a recruiter or not, chances are you are connected to someone on LinkedIn from a major competitor.   Or maybe you are LinkedIn with someone who works at a company you are interested in joining.  The bottom line here is that you have a target company or group of people, and want to see what’s happening within that social community.  LinkedIn Signal from LinkedIn Labs is one way to do this. LI Labs put out Signal in late September – and I am really starting to harness it for sourcing.

LinkedIn says, “Signal is aimed at making it easy for all professionals to glean the most relevant insights from the never-ending stream of status updates and news.”   It gives you the ability to sort through stream data on LinkedIn by using filters.  So if you want to see what Googlers who are Stanford Alumni are saying, log on to and filter away!

This returned some pretty cool information from people – obviously very smart ones, but more of an example to show you how it works.  I created a stream of all updates from my company’s top 3 competitors.  We are always looking to hire socially savvy folks – it’s very interesting to see what those folks are saying, who is ahead of the curve and how they are interacting with other folks etc…

I find this especially powerful because if you check in on a few “go to” feeds like this on a daily basis you’ll start to get to know your audience, even learn what sports they like, where they shop, what book they are reading, etc… All key information if you are looking to create a relationship with a passive candidate.   Also – you can create a list of unique job titles and information at your competitors and then do some hyper targeting with a LinkedIn Ad using Job Title and Location Segments.

One thing that you will notice is that most of the feed info comes from people’s Twitter accounts.  This is especially interesting because you can’t really sort people by where they work on Twitter – but you can on LinkedIn Signal!   I think more and more people are starting connect their Twitter and LinkedIn feeds both ways, so this tool is going to just get more and more useful.

Taking a step back here – it’s killer that you can now pay attention to people you really are not directly connected to and really come up with strategies to connect with these people to make things happen.  Creating a list of people to target from these feeds and putting this into you CRM (Recruiter’s best friend!) and continually developing relationships with good people will yield great talent for your organization.  You may even learn a thing or two about the industries and businesses you support in the process.

There are some other filters that you’ll see like Industry, Time, Location and you can even search via Trending Topic.

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