Hire On Linkedin: Get 74.2% Reply Rate From Candidates With Expandi

10 mins

LinkedIn is a great, if not the best, place for hiring.

Why’s that?

One of the main differences between a good and great recruiting source is the ratio of passive over active prospects that populate it.

Although both prospects are desirable, those who aren’t actively looking for a job (the “passives“) are much harder to find and communicate with. But it’s important you’re targeting them both to improve the chances of employment. And LinkedIn can help you with it.

When recruiting passive candidates for high-impact roles in your company, people assume that a 20-25% response rate is good when doing outreach on LinkedIn.

In reality, this is not the case…

According to Jonathan Campbell, the CEO of Social Talent, a 65% or a higher response is optimal when hiring on LinkedIn.

What does this mean for you?

If you’re recruiting on LinkedIn, we’re about to show you how to go well over that optimal rate and achieve a 70%+ reply rate when reaching out to potential candidates on the platform.

And the best part?

You don’t even need to use LinkedIn Recruiter!

Instead, we’ll be using Expandi (a cheaper and more optimal solution) and some clever growth-hacking to achieve results like this:

  • Connected out of all requests sent – 74%
  • Total replied after connecting – 74.2%


  • 1.8% of those who connected and responded to a connector message
  • 72.4% of those who connected and responded to a follow-up message

recruit on linkedin

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Why should you be using LinkedIn for recruitment? 
  • Step-by-step guide of how we hired 3 new SDRs with LinkedIn automation and an outreach campaign of 70%+ reply rate

Doing outreach on LinkedIn?

Be sure to join our private Facebook group the LinkedIn Outreach Family. In it, we cover all things social selling, lead generation, sales, and more. If you want to get the most out of LinkedIn, you’ll want to join the group for proven strategies and outreach templates.

Now, let’s get started!

Why Hire On LinkedIn?

Did you know that over 55 million companies are listed on LinkedIn?

So, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise it’s the ideal platform for recruiters and HR.

According to a recruiter report:

  • 87% of recruiters found LinkedIn to be the most effective platform when vetting candidates during the hiring process.
  • 69% of recruiters reported their company’s hiring has increased in the past year.
  • A good candidate is often hard to find. Recruiters are most focused on growing talent pipelines (57%) and the quality of their hires (56%).

However, using LinkedIn for recruitment isn’t as simple as creating a job post and hoping for the best.

If you want optimal results when hiring on the platform, you need to take initiative

From our experience, the best hires have been from reaching people on LinkedIn, instead of letting them come to us.

And by the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how to find your ideal candidates on the platform, how to hook and communicate with them, and ultimately grow your business.

But first, let’s briefly go over the reasons for hiring on LinkedIn.

What are the benefits of hiring on LinkedIn?

Aside from being the go-to networking and business platform, LinkedIn also offers many benefits to human resources and hiring managers.

The benefits of hiring on LinkedIn are as follows:

  • Different methods to find your ideal employee. You can create a job listing, reach candidates through InMail, or simply automate the outreach process (more on this below).
  • There are well over 830 million members on the platform across more than 200 countries. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll find someone who fits your hiring criteria.
  • You can easily give updates on candidates, share their profiles with your team members, and cut down hiring time by connecting with the right people quickly.
  • You can create very detailed filtered searches to find your target audience, based on your location, experience, and more.

Step-by-step Guide On How To Get A 74.2% Response Rate From Candidates On Linkedin [Expandi Use Case]

Investing in a strong sales team is one of the best ways to grow your business.

So, when we wanted to scale our outreach sales team to new heights, we set out with the goal of hiring 3 new SDRs.

Sales development representatives help you with lead nurturing and qualification. They dive into prospecting filings, look into ideal customer profiles, and flesh out different buyer personas. 

Then, they evaluate the fit of those prospects and individuals to be sales prospects.

SDRs are an essential part of any company. For more info on that, be sure to see our detailed guide on what SDR stands for and how to build your outreach sales team.

Now, let’s get back on track.

Below, we’re going to cover the particular steps we followed to gain a 74.2% response rate in our hiring campaign that led to us hiring 3 amazing SDRs Vira OsadchukLieke Tilburgs, and Kristy Pistun

recruit on linked in

Wondering how we did it?

I’m sure you do.

Here are the steps, down to the outreach hiring templates we used.

Step 1. Flesh out your ideal candidate

First things first, you should describe your ideal candidate in detail.

Now, this is very contextual, as only you’ll know what your candidate should look like.

However, to get started you should search for examples of the role you want to hire for on LinkedIn.

Simply enter the role name and filter for Jobs.

hiring linkedin


Go through the job descriptions, see how other companies describe the role, job benefits, and more. This will help you get an overview of what the job role entails.

Then, change the filter to People.

recruiting on linkedin tips

This will help you find different profiles of SDRs and potential examples of what an ideal candidate might look like.

We analyzed the profiles and identified a list of the requirements for our ideal candidate.

Bonus tip!
Consider looking at roles with transferable skills too.
For example, a customer support specialist might have relevant skills to move into an SDR position. So, consider looking at other roles that interact with customers and potential leads and add them to your campaigns as well. 

Step 2. Create a detailed search on LinkedIn for your ideal candidate

For this step, you should have an overview of what an ideal candidate looks like.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps here, but it’s not a necessity.

To give you an overview of what you should be looking for, here’s the filtered search we used:

  • Job title – We tried finding a similar title that would showcase that they could move into this type of role.
  • Geography – We recommend focusing only on 1 geography location per campaign. For our hiring campaigns, we focused on London and Netherlands.
  • Time in the role – For this, we filtered for people with 1-5 years in the same position so that we could pick up good talent with experience but might be looking for a change.
  • Company headcount – Here, you need to focus on company size that aligns with your company’s growth stage. For example, if you have under 10 employees, you wouldn’t be able to make the same type of offer that a company with 1,000+ employees could.
  • Particular vertical – This might seem straightforward, but you want to look for candidates who have experience in your industry. For example, an SDR with experience in real estate and a SaaS SDR offer completely different skill sets.
  • Keywords  – This is simple. Include keywords relevant to your industry. For us, it was  SaaS and Marketing. if you leverage multiple keywords that relate to your ‘vertical’ you will find SDRs working in that specific area.  So keywords enable you to be even more specific within a particular industry.

Step 3. Scrape the LinkedIn search results with Expandi to create a list of potential candidates

After you run the search with the filters from step 2, you’ll want to reach out to candidates with a personalized connection request.

Obviously, reaching out to 100+ people manually would be too time-consuming.

So, we can simply automate this step using Expandi. For this, you’ll need an account. But you can run this campaign for free with a free, 7-day Expandi trial.

To export your filtered search into Expandi, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Copy the URL of your LinkedIn Sales Navigator (or regular) search.

linkedin recruiter tool

2. Go to Expandi. On the left side, where are the menus, go to the menu called Search.

3. Create an Add New Search and choose the Sales Navigator search.

using linkedin for recruiting


4.  Enter the name of your campaign and click the Next button.

linkedin recruitment ads


5. Paste the URL that you copied from Sales Navigator. Keep in mind that only 2500 people will be imported into your account at once because of LinkedIn’s limit.

how to use linkedin for recruiting


6. Click on Search and wait until all of the LinkedIn accounts are added to your search.

Then, click Export and Mail all filtered contacts as CSV.

recruiting through linkedin

Finally, enter your email to receive the filtered contacts as a spreadsheet file.

Step 4. Prepare your spreadsheet for a LinkedIn CSV connector campaign

For this step, you need to split the CSV spreadsheet into two using a filter:

  • Contacts with emails.
  • Blank cells.

Once you do this, you can also include any personalization as needed. Though, keep in mind, with personalization, you should include something unique about each prospect. This might be time-consuming, but it’ll make each prospect feel like the message was custom-tailored for them specifically.

So, it might be worth walking an extra mile for this.

Now, we have a large list of LinkedIn profiles with names, job titles, and other info that you’ll be able to use as placeholders for Linkedin message personalization.

benefits of linkedin recruiter

But before you upload your CSV file and start your outreach campaign, you should check and prepare your contacts list. Most of the data in Linkedin profiles is stored in unprepared forms

So, we can’t use them as personalization placeholders in our campaigns. 

The most frequently used personalization placeholders include the first name field, job title, and company name, so check them with the highest priority.

It’s crucial to clean up the list because it can be a real flop if your recipient (for instance, Bob) gets your message with a name:

  • Bob Ford
  • Bob F
  • bob 

Bob will immediately recognize that it wasn’t a personal message and skip it as spam.

Here’s an example of what we mean:

hire in linkedin

We also want to fix the formatting so it’s ready for outreach.

So, take the extra minute here to delete all entries of LinkedIn profiles without an email.

For the profiles that do have an email, we can create a LinkedIn outreach campaign in the following steps.

Step 5. Plan how to communicate with your ideal candidates with your Connector campaign via CSV spreadsheet

Here, we set up an outreach campaign to connect with our list of profiles and find the right candidate.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Expandi.
  2. Go to the Campaigns tab.
  3. Select CSV Connector.

linkedin recruitment

4. Enter a name for the campaign.

5. Continue with a template.

6. Create your message sequence (see our sequence and templates below).

7. Import the CSV with all the email addresses we scraped above.

how to find candidates on linkedin

Once your CSV is processed, you will see all the prospects in your Expandi campaign.

Now, we can craft our outreach sequence messages. 

With this hiring campaign, we wanted to:

  • Start with one clear question or a hook to be able to immediately create traction.
  • Showcase the Expandi background and showcase why they were relevant.
  • Move them towards a clear call to action.
  • Write like human beings, not like a robot.
  • Focus on them, instead of bragging about our own company.

People are wired to make connections with other people. 

While you won’t be building a deep personal relationship with candidates here, you still need to make a connection if you want them to see your outreach as more than just spam.

One way to spark a human connection is simply writing like a human

Be yourself and show a little personality. If you’re worried about coming off as less professional, don’t be. You’ll simply be writing in a friendly conversational tone, similar to how you speak.

Then, to boost the effectiveness of the campaign, we always want to make sure to follow up.

The first follow-up is just a reminder.

The second one is to show that we signed off to show them that they could pass us on if they weren’t interested. 

We don’t want to follow up countless times as this will put them off our company and simply annoy them.

Here are the particular outreach templates we used for this hiring campaign.

Message #1 – 1 hour after connecting


Thanks for accepting {first_name}!

I noticed you work as a {job_title}. Are you interested in a new opportunity?

I'm building out our Sales Team at Expandi - and we're looking for a Sales Development Representative. Let me know if you're interested in learning more about the role?

We've been on an insane journey bootstrapping to $6M ARR in just 18 months exclusively inbound. Over 2022 our goal is to grow to $10M in ARR and our outbound sales team will be a big driver to help us achieve that!

Look forward to hearing from you - {Signature}

hire on linkedin

Message #2 – 2 days after


Hey {first_name} - Thought I'd send you a quick ping to see if you caught my last note?

The goal here is to bring your message to the top of the inbox and appear human.

Message #3 – 2 days after


Signing off after this {first_name} - Not to worry if you're currently not interested in a new opportunity :)

Out of interest, let me know if you know anyone who might be interested in the role?

Keep in touch - {Signature}

Here’s why we end the campaign here:

  • Why we sign off – This is to let them know in a friendly way it’s all good and we take it you’re not interested. Do not continue following up after this as it won’t reflect well on you and your brand.
  • Why we ask for a referral – If they’re working in a role we’re trying to hire for, chances are, they have teammates or colleagues they can refer you to!

Step 6. Check the results and campaign analytics

For the above campaign, we achieved a 74% connection acceptance rate and a 74.2% reply rate (for London GEO)

recruit on linkedin

Then, we replicated the exact steps for a different region (Netherlands) and generated equally high results:

  • 65% connection acceptance rate 
  • and a 58,5% reply rate 

Hiring with LinkedIn

The targeting was for a smaller geographic location and also a smaller sample size.

Yet, we saw similar results, which shows the campaign’s strength.

And the best part is that it can be easily replicated across different industries.

For the best results, you should consider A/B testing your campaign steps like:

  • Two LinkedIn connector campaigns with different request messages.
  • Different follow-up messages.
  • And more.

Fortunately, you can also do so with Expandi.

  1. Create the campaigns you wish to use.
  2. Complete the search you wish to use
  3. From the Search tab, select Assign all results. Likewise, you could select all the users and select the tab Assign to the campaign.
  4. Select the type of campaign you wish to add users to.
  5. Select the campaigns you wish to use from the pop-down menu.

And that’s a wrap!


Hope this helped!

As you might have guessed by now, LinkedIn is an ideal platform for hiring your next ideal employee.

But if you go about it the wrong way and manually start connecting with thousands of leads, you’ll lose a lot of time and money.

Which is why you should be automating as many of the steps as possible.

As outlined above, Expandi is ideal for this.

And the best part is that you can execute this whole campaign within the time frame of the free trial.

Get started with a free, 7-day Expandi trial now!

Or, if you’re looking for more information on getting the most out of your LinkedIn outreach campaigns, whether you want to hire more people or generate sales leads, you’ll want to join our private Facebook group the LinkedIn Outreach Family!



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