Lateral Hire Integration Made Easier with LinkedIn

by Adrian Dayton

The ethos of integration is as old as time.

Think about it: the stories of Cinderella, Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel are all stories of integration gone badly. Integrating a newcomer into an existing family—or firm—can be difficult and the consequences can range from being costly to destructive. When your organization brings in a new lateral hire, there will be similar stress. The new hire wants to know, “Will this new company love me like my old company did?” The firm wants to know, “Is this new hire really partner material?”

Here are just three ways to use LinkedIn to help make this transition easier.

1. Provide the new hire with a LinkedIn profile makeover

In one global firm I work with, I recently chatted with an incredible attorney who has spent over two decades handling high profile litigation for a government agency. He had never marketed a day in his life, but he had a great story to tell—he just hadn’t gotten around to telling it through his web bio or his LinkedIn profile. When he joined the firm, it was the perfect opportunity to help him build a clear and simple narrative highlighting his experience over the past twenty years in a way that would help other members of the firm appreciate what he had to offer. This also gave the marketing department a great excuse to take a deep dive into learning and understanding what value this new hire had to offer, and it gave the new hire a chance to appreciate the marketing resources available at the firm.

2. Help the new hire craft an elevator-pitch-esque headline on LinkedIn

When people view your profile on LinkedIn, the first thing they see is the headline. They’ll see it even if they don’t click through to you entire profile. The headline is just about a sentence and a half:

It is absolutely crucial to develop a headline that is short and memorable not only because of its visual prominence, but because when people send you a connection request it is your two-second window to make an impression. Here is an example of a connection request I received yesterday—notice that in the connection request you can see the headline. I think it’s a good headline.

Richard’s headline clearly describes his specific practice area. It isn’t overly general, so if I ever run across someone who brings up aircraft leasing, I can instantly recall, “I know a guy who is an expert in that specific area.” Which is a way better answer than, “I can probably figure out how to handle an aircraft lease.”

Having a strong headline helps new laterals communicate their value proposition to the other members of the firm in a single phrase. Hopefully, members of the firm will read their entire bio, but even if they don’t, the headline can begin to brand them in a clear and concise way.

3. Have the Lateral Personal Connect on LinkedIn with the team

There are two ways to send a LinkedIn connection request: personal and impersonal.

The impersonal way is to upload a spreadsheet to LinkedIn of all the employees within your firm and send a mass connection request to all of them with the same generic message. Note: this is an OK strategy for the lateral to connect with the majority of your firm. Think about it: everybody gets a chance to see the new hire’s name and headline, and they also get to see if they have connections in common and can click-through to read the entire profile if they have any interest in learning more about this person.

The personal way, which is obviously more powerful (as well as more time consuming) is for the new hire to send customized LinkedIn connection requests to key members of the firm who they see as having good potential for cross marketing and collaboration. In these customized connection requests the lateral can include personalized messages that range from, “I see we went to the same school or have connections in common,” to “Marketing tells me that you are one of the best golfers in the firm.” Personal connection requests can help the new lateral begin to build real relationships in the firm before they have even met very many people in person.

These are just three ways to increase the chance of successfully of integrating new people into your organization through LinkedIn. The best part? None of them are expensive. You know what is expensive? A failed hire. Not just the cost of the wasted salary of a failed hire, but all the time and work everyone on your team took to bring them in. Next time, try these three LinkedIn strategies to increase the odds the new hire will succeed.

What else has your firm done that has helped increase the success rate of lateral hires?

Written by:

Adrian Dayton

ClearView Social on:

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