LinkedIn.com statistics show that 49 million people use the network to search for jobs weekly, and companies hire six people through LinkedIn each minute. Users submit 77 job applications every second.
But headhunters and recruiters have a great way of targeting potential job candidates.
Just look under the #hirethishuman and #hypethishuman hashtags on LinkedIn. There, they would find Laurel Burns' new way of connecting the jobless or job seekers with new opportunities.
Since March, Burns, 33, who lives in British Columbia, Canada, has been creating graphic images, similar to graphics of sports playing cards, of connections she met through the professional networking site. She highlights a person's picture at the top-center of the card, lists some of the person's accomplishments to attract recruiters in the same place where the player's stats are usually located, and then posts.
And it's worked.
“Everyone has been super nice – down to the people that run the company. It's been such a breath of fresh air,” said Scott, who started working in late June with Chicago-based Syndigo, a software development company that helps market products.
Burns started with #hypethishuman.
In the middle of a job search herself, Burns wanted to do something to make it easier for people in their job search.
She discovered many LinkedIn members were looking for a job. Most people do not enjoy looking for a job, and Burns thought she might be able to make the task a little less intimidating.
That's when the idea struck.
Why not play up the strengths of different candidates and make posts to catch the eyes of headhunters, she said. Then, hopefully, these posts can pave the way for people to get hired.
#Hypethishuman in Action
The Pokémon-like card image is what caught Scott's eye. It reminded him of his younger days when he collected Pokémon cards.
He didn't realize this card graphic, tagged #hypethishuman, would lead him to a new career.
“This is a person with whom I can see myself having a conversation,” Scott, 33, said of Burns when he saw the card and the content she posted.
So, that's what Scott did. He struck up a LinkedIn conversation with Burns. That conversation ultimately led Scott to his present job as a Customer Success Manager at Syndigo.
Scott had been working in the healthcare industry, looking for a way to pivot away from the industry for some time, he said. He also had earned a certification in scrum product ownership, hoping the certificate would give him a boost in the job market.
He wanted a job in technology. “Technology always interested me,” he said. Also, there “is a lot of money in tech.”
Through their dialogue, Burns discovered Scott had an interesting story. He grew up in small-town Michigan, where there were few jobs. His parents expected him to find a factory job like them, but Scott could only find fast food jobs due to factories closing.
With no money in his pockets and parents who disapproved of his decision to pursue college, Scott earned himself an associate's degree from Jackson College in Summit, Michigan. He graduated and found a job.
However, due to company layoffs, Scott has been unemployed since January. He needed something new.
“With a dynamic background: from Community Manager to Verification Processor, to Senior Account Representative – and most recently, an Implementation, Optimization, and Training Specialist. He would love to work at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Syndigo,” Burns wrote.
Burns was also the one who linked Scott with Tabitha Cavanagh, a senior recruiter at Syndigo.
Cavanagh started talking to Scott, and Cavanagh said the two hit it off from the start. They were from the same area — Pittsburgh, although Scott transplanted there, originally hailing from Michigan.
At the time, “(Scott) was working in health care,” Cavanagh said. “We thought he would make a great addition to the team.” Through the many applications Cavanagh received, Syndigo officials decided to go with Scott for the customer success position.
Meeting The Headhunters
Cavanagh was linked with Burns on April 2, 2022. She had randomly seen one of Burns' posts and thought she would strike up a LinkedIn conversation and connect. She's been impressed with what she's seen Burns do when giving others shoutouts.
“Laurel is one of the ones I've seen that can run with it,” Cavanaugh said. “She's consistently promoting job seekers and trying to help them. And, she features great people.”
Cavanagh, also known by the hashtag #TabtheRecruiter, hired another of Burns' #hypethishuman candidates, Emily Endsley.
Burns said Endsley was the first person she highlighted in her #hypethishuman series. She'd written the post from a stair lift while snowboarding. This first profile had no #hypethishuman graphic card. Burns added the images when she realized plain-text posts didn't garner much traction.
Endsley was a transitioning teacher looking for another job. Burns' card caused Cavanagh to notice Endsley. She noticed Endsley's posts, which she would not have seen without Burns' #hirethishuman comments.
“I liked what Emily was saying in the comments. Her energy. Her enthusiasm,” Cavanagh said.
Endsley wanted to pivot into a customer success position, and Cavanaugh had one open. Yes, the same designation Cavanagh hired Scott to fill. The company has multiple customer success positions.
And, when someone gets hired, Burns makes sure everyone in her network knows by stamping on each candidate's #HireThisHuman graphic card, in block-red letters, the hashtag #Hiredthishuman.
Cavanagh says Burns is one of her go-tos when she needs to fill a job opening.
How #Hypethishuman Started
#HireThisHuman was gaining traction, but something was missing.
“I saw the need for another type of shoutout,” Burns explained.
Other LinkedIn users are just as talented but aren't getting the recognition. Some LinkedIn members are looking for jobs but do not want their present employers to find out through a public announcement.
Looking to fill the gap with something similar to #HireThisHuman and a fan of alliteration, Burns decided on another title, #hypethishuman.
“I think it's incredible,” said Aaron Barreiro of Burns' work with the LinkedIn community. Barreiro is featured as one of Burns' #hypethishuman.
Burns said she had been impressed with Barreiro's story and wanted others to learn about his fantastic service.
Barreiro and his wife, Rosaneli Barreiro, started a non-profit, Our Cross to Bear Ministries, in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The goal of this non-profit, which they have self-funded, is to keep children away from gangs and off the streets.
Born in Texas, Barreiro moved to Mexico with his newlywed wife on May 10, 2018, for what they thought would be a volunteer trip for a few years to help local churches.
“After spending some time down here, we see a lot of need – especially around the youth,” he said. So, they decided to stay.
The two have purchased land and have provided activities for the children and teenagers, from providing playtime to the younger boys and girls to teaching life skills to the adolescents. Barreiro said they've probably served about 20 to 60 children directly – apart from the 300 who have participated in the youth festivals Barreiro and his wife organize.
Altogether, Burns estimates she's promoted about 50 individuals on her account and plans to continue helping.
“Laurel has a servant's heart,” Cavanagh said. “I think she is actually looking for her next opportunity. I hope she finds something great, and she's awesome.”
This article was produced by Wealth of Geeks.