I don’t think that it is such a bad idea to explore.
There are two (or maybe three) obstacles before a candidate can seek to influence a hiring manager, the person with whom they will be spending the vast majority of their working life. Recruiters decide whether to put a candidate forward to an employer, HR teams get involved to filter the candidate pool yet further and now “intelligent” software is getting involved at every stage to offer its additional input.
In a world where only the hiring manager truly understands the subtleties of their role, there are a lot of judgement calls being made before a candidate’s CV lands on their desk. Or not.
Now, you might argue that recruitment is only a tiny part of a hiring manager’s remit, and you would be correct, but there are certain times when this recruitment activity can make or break the future of their team.
They need to make the most of every tool at their disposal to find the right person.
Some progressive hiring managers might be active on social media and seek to cultivate a network to tap into when the need arises. While only 2% might see success with this approach, even then they won’t necessarily reach the right people at the right time.
But what if it were to work the other way around?
What if candidates could catch the eye of hiring managers?
What if job seekers were to “advertise” their availability to exactly the people that they wanted to reach? Just as people pay to take advantage of the increase in reach offered by a LinkedIn Premium account, why might they not pay to highlight their candidature to a specific person (that they might not be connected with). The fact that this would be a paid service would ensure a targeted approach, and there could be safeguards built into the system to combat the temptation of spamming someone. For example, hiring managers might indicate that they are open to viewing candidates in certain areas, and only then can a candidate’s “ad” be delivered.
It works with B2B advertising, so why wouldn’t it work in this context?
The recruitment industry has often been accused of having “too many cooks,” and while social media has allowed candidates to showcase their experience in all sorts of unique ways, there is no real mechanism (apart from an InMail which will likely not be read) for a candidate to approach a hiring manager and say: ”hi, I’m looking for a role, how about a chat?”
For any hiring manager who is actively looking for someone, such approaches would certainly be welcome, and would be visible above the masses of other messages that they likely receive on a daily basis.
I know of a couple of interims who use LinkedIn’s B2B advertising solution to put their (our) content in front of people who might want to work with them in the future, so if this has a return on investment, why wouldn’t it work once every couple of years for a job seeker?
For certain individuals, this may well serve to provide introductions that they would not otherwise have enjoyed.
In a competitive job market, every little helps.