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Just the other day, I had three separate conversations with CEOs who had decided it was time to think about LinkedIn more carefully. While interested in figuring out LinkedIn, they were concerned about having their employees look good on LinkedIn.

“If my employees look good they’re going to be even more attractive to recruiters and our competitors. I can’t afford that. How do we use LinkedIn so I look good and can recruit others without others poaching us?”

There is so much to unpack from that one statement and question. My team and I have written about this before somewhat exhaustedly, and I understand why it comes up over and over. Talent has won. Finding top talent (regardless of how you define that) is beyond challenging and requires far greater creativity than ever. The search, wooing, on-boarding, and retention is not for the faint-hearted and requires a far greater commitment than ever.

While so many have given up on professional development, training, and investing in their employees, the best employers have continued to do so and have gone beyond traditional career path development.

If your employees look good on LinkedIn (let’s define good as a complete, optimized LinkedIn profile with an updated photo and interesting background image) there is a good chance they will come up in more searches and recruiters and your competitor’s will find them.

Good talent has always been recruited. Through word of mouth, suppliers, industry conferences, and more, top talent has always been known and sought out.

Yes, LinkedIn makes it more transparent; however, someone doesn’t leave because of LinkedIn. People leave for various reasons: uninspiring managers, lack of flexibility, following a spouse, work that is not meaningful, lack of organizational leadership and the list goes on.

Just google, ‘why do people leave their jobs’ and you’ll find a billion, literally, a billion results. When I clicked on the results on page one, I did NOT see, LinkedIn as a reason people leave their job.

The responsibility to attract, woo, hire and retain good people is solely focused on everyone who leads.

The question: “How do we use LinkedIn so I look good and can recruit others without others poaching us?” is dicey for most; however, the answer is straightforward. You can’t.

You can’t have it both ways. That’s not how LinkedIn works. Why? LinkedIn is and has always been based on the individual, not the company.

If you want to attract good talent, you need to be creative and inspired in your approach. You need to rely on/empower/activate your current employees to help you.

If they look good on LinkedIn and have even a halfway relevant network, they can be helpful. They may have gone to school with, formerly worked with or be friends with someone you may consider hiring.

Wouldn’t it be helpful if every one of your employees become a part-time recruiter for you and your company?

I hear from several CEOs that they have an employee referral program. Promote it, remind people and encourage them to use their networks to let people know about your company.

It’s a win-win that is often so overlooked.

It’s easy for me to say that you need to be less fearful and act more boldly by highlighting your culture on your LinkedIn company page, promoting your employees and their expertise through their LinkedIn profiles and networks.

When we work with clients who have no presence online or within their target market or geography and have done little to no marketing, it’s incredibly hard to find the “A” talent they want. People want to work for organizations that look relevant, successful, engaged and are bold.

To attract, woo, hire and retain the people you want, you need to be on the list of those you want to hire. First, they need to know who you are and why they should consider working for you. Who better to share that story than your best evangelists — your employees.

So, ask yourself, what’s riskier? Utilizing LinkedIn and seeing the reward you get from new prospects, customers, and even future employees, or don’t and risk not being seen or considered a possible employer from other users on LinkedIn?