LinkedIn, Do You Have Any Recommendations?

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Guest post from Talent Sourcer Mike Santoro

LinkedIn does not value public candidate recommendations as much as Recruiters and Sourcers do.  There is currently no way to search natively on Linkedin for candidates publicly endorsed by their managers, coworkers, clients, and friends.  Even more valuable would be a way to search the rich text that people use to describe the people they recommend.  This post will show you a new way to search for candidates based on the text in their recommendations section.

Social proof is powerful.  As a Recruiter and Sourcer, it feels like receiving a delightful and unexpected present when you find a great candidate and scroll down to the bottom of their profile and see they have 5-10 public “glowing” recommendations.

Working with candidates who have public recommendations on their profiles has at least three significant advantages:

1) You feel more confident in the authenticity of the candidate’s work history, skills, and abilities because others have publicly attested to it.  When recommenders are willing to put their professional reputation and name on the line as a “public stamp of approval,” their testimonies bear weight.

2) You can enhance your personalized outreach messaging – “Hey Bill, I saw John Smith highly recommended you on Linkedin and said you were ‘dedicated and resourceful’…”

2) It’s easier to “Sell” your candidate to Hiring Managers. The social proof of 5 colleagues who worked with the candidate for three years is substantial evidence for the hiring manager to feel more confident in their decision.

Usually, recruiters must persuade hiring managers to interview candidates based on their impressions from (often) limited data points such as resume and profile quality, social media postings, and prescreen call impressions. Social proof, like LinkedIn Recommendations, equip recruiters with another high-quality data point that adds validation,

“Mr. Hiring Manager, don’t take my word for it; read these five recommendations on LinkedIn from people who have worked with John for the last six years.  Take a look at what they say about him:”

How to X-Ray Recommendations Text:

With this new string, you can search LinkedIn profiles by words and phrases in the candidate’s recommendations section.

Google “click here to view” AROUND(100) “[insert keyword(s) or phrase]”

for example, “click here to view” AROUND(100) (“Excellent Manager”) “click here to view” AROUND(100) (“caring”|”honest”|”reliable”)

You can also do multiple phrases separately, but repeat the entire AROUND(100) function like this: “click here to view” AROUND(100) (“Excellent Manager”) “click here to view” AROUND(100) (“caring”|”honest”|”reliable”)

How do you apply this idea to your searches?

(Crash course on google x-ray search)

inanchor: operator will search headline, location, most recent company name, most recent school name

(see more on inanchor: in these articles Sink Into LinkedIn Headlines – Tie inanchor: To Your Strings and Raise inanchor: Sail to LinkedIn Locations, Titles, and Schools

intitle: operator will search current (present) company title and current (present) company name.

Example search with recommendation text:

Commercial Construction Project Managers (by current title or headline) in Phoenix, AZ, who also have LinkedIn recommendations where recommenders describe them as “Well Organized” OR “Highly Organized” OR “Dedicated:” (intitle:”project manager” | inanchor:”project manager”) “click here to view” AROUND(100) (“well organized” | “highly organized” | “dedicated”)  inanchor:phoenix commercial construction

This search has 64 results.

Try it out!  Think creatively about what words people might use to recommend your targeted candidates. This is a new search strategy, so it will take time to perfect.

Other ways to search for profiles with recommendations without searching the text of the recommendation:

Mike’s “A-Players” String = profiles with at least five public recommendations on Linkedin: “5..75 people have recommended”


Profiles with any number of recommendations: “recommendations received”

“For 💓 of Sourcing and Sourcers”Mike Santoro


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