Four Ways to Source Consultants on LinkedIn

Whether you are a sourcer or a recruiter, you have likely spent some time on LinkedIn sourcing candidates.

Here are some tips on how to take advantage of all of LinkedIn’s features to target the contractors and consultants you are looking for.

1. Contractor Search String

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LinkedIn allows you to use Boolean search strings to retrieve targeted results. But don’t forget that part of the power of using Boolean search strings on LinkedIn is that you can use them for more than just skills and titles. We can search for particular words or phrases on profiles that serve as clues that the person is open to contract positions.

Here’s a search string that is helpful for focusing your search on contractors/consultants. Simply start with this string and add in your technical requirements at the end:

(contract OR contractor OR contracted OR contracting OR consult OR consultant OR consulted OR consulting OR “on assignment” OR “off assignment” OR temp OR temporary OR “per diem” OR “hourly rate” OR “corp to corp” OR 1099 OR “on project” OR “bill rate” OR billrate OR “pay rate” OR payrate OR freelance OR freelancer OR freelancing OR “currently looking” OR “looking for work” OR “looking for assignment” OR “seeking assignment” OR “seeking work”) NOT (recruiter OR recruitment OR recruiting) AND skillset

2. LinkedIn Groups

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LinkedIn is home to many groups that job seekers, consultants, and contractors join prior to beginning their job search.  Join a group for the particular technical skillset that you are recruiting for. You can also easily search within groups using search filters (see #4).

3. “Update Me”

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“Update Me” is a feature of LinkedIn Recruiter that alerts you when your highest-potential candidates and contractors make a change in their profile. Profile changes on LinkedIn often signal that a candidate is considering a job change.  Subscribers to the “Update Me” feature can get updates on up to 150 profiles.

You should first designate profiles that you would like to track.  To the right of each photo on LinkedIn profiles you will see a box labeled “ Recruiting Tools”.  Click the star icon in this section to mark a candidate for updates.

4. Search Filters

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LinkedIn lists filters in their advanced search option that you can utilize as well, based on the type of employee you are looking for.  Change the “Years in Position” to “Less than 1 year” or “1-2 years” and the “Interested In” filter to “Potential Employees” and “Consultants/Contractors.”

LinkedIn is an extremely powerful tool, but like with any tool, the more you know the more powerful it becomes. Hopefully these tips help you find the consultants and contractors you need among LinkedIn’s more than 400 million members.

By Liz Barrett