Business success primarily hinges on having talented personnel employed at your company. Put another way, every position occupied by an employee of lesser quality than what's possible in the role causes some type of drag on organizational performance. At midsized companies in particular, the effects of suboptimal talent are magnified. Because of the smaller numbers at midmarket firms, employees are more keenly aware of their colleagues and their potential to contribute, meaning a lack of proficiency in even one spot may cause frustration that damages morale and productivity across a wide swath of the organization.

Online recruitment tools have made it easier for every organization to upgrade its collective talent, but some have distinct drawbacks. For instance, job openings posted to or other general job boards attract resumes from scores of unqualified people, wasting the time and energy of hiring managers who have to sift through them.

Business-oriented social media outlets may strongly benefit companies looking for highly qualified prospects. While some job boards focus on individual industries, LinkedIn, the largest professional social networking site, includes all of them. LinkedIn presents a sweet spot for corporate recruiting: The best candidates are often not actively seeking another job, but for purposes of professional networking and development, they remain active on LinkedIn.

Let's look at two ways to enhance your recruitment activity by using this potentially valuable tool:

1. Full Engagement Throughout the Company

The most obvious action on LinkedIn costs nothing. Start by making sure your hiring staff and upper management have their own accounts (many should already have them). It won't take long for each employee to have access to a network of people and industry- or job-related groups. Next, make sure your company has a keyword-rich company profile, and set up a feed that regularly presents company goings-on, industry news and job postings that will all be seen by your followers.

For this no-cost strategy to work best, midsized firms should enlist as many employees as possible to get on LinkedIn as well, further expanding your online outreach. The more employees you have networking online, the more likely you are to come across a potential fit for an open position. Furthermore, coordinating efforts with your employees to spread the word about your business's happenings and offer referrals for job openings might motivate them to act as online company ambassadors.

2. Paid Services

The second way to approach recruitment on LinkedIn is through two of its paid services, Premium and Recruiter, each with a range of prices depending on the features you want. Using Premium, you have access to LinkedIn's entire database — not just your direct connections — and the InMail message function, which is used to contact potential candidates. Recruiter is a hiring manager that runs customized searches for desired candidate types by location, previous and current job titles, length of current job stint, previous employers and even universities. Recruiter also has a personalized email function to use for contacting these candidates, both active and passive job seekers.

What's the biggest drawback to the LinkedIn platform for recruitment purposes? Let us know what you think by commenting below.

Rob Carey is an NCMM contributor and a features writer who has focused on the business-to-business niche since 1992. He spent his first 15 years at Nielsen Business Media, rising from editorial intern to editorial director. Since then, he has been the principal of New York–based Meetings & Hospitality Insight, working with large hospitality brands in addition to various media outlets. Circle him on Google+.