LinkedIn Is the Secret Weapon to Reaching CEOs (If You Know How to Use It)

It’s no secret that LinkedIn has become the go to social network for all work-related needs, but what may come as a shock is how more often CEOs are finding time to use it on a regular basis and for different purposes that may give insight as to how to reach out to them when needed. Of course, social media has become a huge part of HR recruiting processes, which you can actually read more about on the Jason Hanold WordPress page, but there is this myth that top CEOs don’t have time or professional interest in going on these sites regularly. The fact is more CEOs are turning to LinkedIn, but for quite specific purposes. It’s not completely out of the question that a CEO wouldn’t take time out for LinkedIn, mainly because of their serious time constraints, and second because the main features of LinkedIn don’t really fit the CEO profile like recruiting, marketing and sales. The reality is that this is not at all what they are using LinkedIn, but at the end of the day the fact is that they are using it.

What do CEOs log on to LinkedIn?

LinkedIn actually has tons of other features, and some of these are the ones that attract CEOs to the site more than the obvious ones. First off, the content on LinkedIn is pretty amazing. You’ll find that it has become the place to look for thought leaders in all industries, and this draws in CEOs interest. Reading up on innovative, interesting and up-to-date relevant topics about your industry from people that are leaders in the industry is one of the things that most CEOs like to do and LinkedIn has become the place to find said content. So, in reality they will log on at least a couple of times a week not only to read up on interesting industry-related articles, but to update their profiles. Yes, CEOs are aware that this has become an open channel to showcase their resumes, so they go in every once in awhile to update relevant information that can make their profiles even more attractive for future projects. That’s why they will make sure at least their current position and updated photo is listed. Finally, of course, networking is one of the main reasons CEOs connect to LinkedIn. The networking opportunities of reaching out, keeping in touch and engaging in meaningful shop talk online will be essential to creating relationships that can transfer into job opportunities, new projects or even recommendations.

Now, some CEOs are catching on to this and are purposely participating actively on LinkedIn to make their profile and expertise more noticeable. These are the CEOs that are becoming thought leaders and will get more attention when the time comes.

LinkedIn Network_jason hanold_Reaching CEOs_Ceo Executive search

Image courtesy of Olivier Duquesne at

How can HR use this to their advantage?

First of all, if we know what CEOs are doing on LinkedIn we know where we can reach them. This means LinkedIn Ads are out of the question, while most will never actually click on them, some even say that they have never even seen them. So reaching out to CEOs will not be left upon Ads that are posted on LinkedIn. This will lead you to up your company profile, create relevant content on LinkedIn and take part in the conversation with other executives. Yes, you could always use the strategies that LinkedIn gives you to find additional job candidates, but if you know how to play your cards right and where to look you could probably find your next CEO candidate simply by networking and taking part in LinkedIn conversations on industry-related topics.

How to actually find these top executives?

Well, even though LinkedIn has tons of tools to search for the right candidate, it will come down to your HR team to take on several tasks. Of course, besides looking at profiles, your team will need to match the profile with the specific role, and then try to track these candidates down since not everyone keeps their profiles updated. The normal follow-up process of contacting, qualifying and screening candidates will be the same so LinkedIn won’t save you much time there either. But, it will let them find outstanding profiles that are thought leaders and do keep their information updated. LinkedIn will be an effective tool to find those top leaders in the market to fill a CEO post, but it will still need the HR team to take on a very active role and know how to approach the CEO, because although on the surface it may seem like a normal selection process, it probably won’t be. Besides LinkedIn, you can also find thought leaders and c-suites on other social media like Twitter. Although, many CEO Twitter accounts are managed by other people to simply build brand loyalty, a few of them will be the CEO in the same effort to create a personal brand and become a thought leader that stands out on social media.