• brian mcneil

    I think LI is great and I use it all the time. But, they are a long way from being the number one sourcing tool. Here’s why. LI is mainly a professional networking site where most people who are on there are professionals themselves. Loaded with IT, Marketing, Sales and Company leaders but they are missing a lot of others like Grocery workers, construction, truck drivers, labor help, and so on and so on. This is where MoNster and others are way ahead. Until LI figures out how to get ALL Facebook type users they CANT BE NUMBER 1!.

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  • B M

    Great Information, but I will have to disagree with a comment.

    Linkedin reduces the quality of old school recruiting methods and dilutes the real reason people look for jobs. Jobless are not wanting to connect, they want to interview and this portal reduces the amount of time someone has to find work.

    The jobless are very time limited and do not have the time to waste on networks with zero return. Its another wasteful social network, not an asset to those looking. People who are unemployed have zero money, zero time. Some do not even have internet connections. Why make another FB type social network that involves friending/connecting with people you rarely know.

    I have talked with hundreds of people trying to understand why they have used Linkedin and they have told me the tried it, but all they got was recruiter spam mail. This was the majority of people I contacted all said that they had never gotten a single ‘lead’ for a job on linkedin. I am sure the concept and design was honest at first but given the industry of arm chair recruiters, their are more arm chair recruiters than available jobs or recruits. So you get spammed so much that it becomes junk mail. Its just a portal to house all the recruiter spammers in the world which are in the millions. Those trading leads of recruits and selling off information to other recruiters. So in terms its illegally selling of ones information without their consent. Without any end result to the recruit, they are wasting valuable time and resources on a network without any results associated.

    I am afraid I would compare it to the worst of job portals out their, below the majority of contractor sites like dice, here you get spammed by multiple recruiters for the same job.

    Noone really understands that these linkedin recruiters are reselling you the same job, and multiple other recruiters are sending you the same job over and over again. Its sad to see the country has evolved into this circus when the end result is, noone has ever landed a decent job using these portals. Sure contractors will sometimes land a job after a few thousands resumes, but the QUALITY of position and pay and time it takes to get that job do not equal the pay. The payrate is so chopped up, that you wish you never started on those corrupt networks.

    The end result is payrate and using these job portals connecting with arm chair recruiters, is “not” the future. Its the end for the American economy and will only make it worse. So if you want to help on the quality, linkedin needs to understand about Quality jobs with higher payrates, which in return means direct facetoface interviews. This site will only evolve into a place for testing, judging recruits on their profile and testing results. Its not a real future and means more wasted time for unemployed that have no time to waste as starvation and homelessness are real factors. Linkedin has not helped a single person get a job. They do not provide a resource but a place to wastetime, which is the original design of all social networks.

  • http://www.ere.net/ David Manaster

    @B M In your final paragraph, you say that “Linkedin has not helped a single person get a job.” You assert it as a fact, but it is so hilariously and demonstrably untrue that it’s hard to take the rest of the comment seriously.

  • http://hospitalityexecutive.com Modris Reinbergs

    HOSPITALITY EXECUTIVE fills professional and managerial hotel, restaurant and other hospitality career jobs internationally. To date most of our placements have come from LinkedIN. However, LinkedIN has dozens of user restrictions that eventually stop your recruiting efforts dead in your tracks. Moreover they keep increasing restrictions in a misguided attempt to maximize revenue. With this in mind we are planning our long term migration to Google+ Plus. By and large we do not encounter the restrictions there. Google+ Plus already has more members than LinkedIN. With Google’s search capability potential I have no doubt that they can and will surpass LinkedIN.

  • Ash DeVane, CPC

    LinkedIn is inarguably a great recruiting tool today, but the effectiveness will diminish with time as did Monster and Careerbuilder. Any headhunter who has done this since prior to the late 90’s knows what I speak of. As LinkedIn continues to bill itself as the great recruiting tool it is (versus just a “business social network”), the passive candidates that have been the hallmark of LinkedIn will start to shy away to avoid the unwanted solicitations and repeated recruiter contacts.

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  • Matt Hancock

    LinkedIn is no doubt the premier recruitment tool on the market today, and will be for some time. However, as some other commentators have noted, a push into this area by Google could spell disaster for LinkedIn. LinkedIn need to keep innovating, as the market has shown, it only takes a new better offering to hit the market for you to be yesterdays news.

    I don’t think Facebook is a real threat though, their BranchOut offering is a flop and I think FB’s userbase is declining.

    I think the real challenge for LinkedIn now is how to continue to grow revenue on the platform. Hiring solutions has shown great growth over the last couple of years but it is not sustainable. Having used my clients premium solutions there is little difference between that and my own personal account with 3K+ connections.

    As clients of Hiring Solutions build their own networks, they will stop paying for full site access. LinkedIn need to offer much more to retain their client base.

  • Gary Costa

    What I’m really interested in that I can’t seem to find an answer for, is published results on the amount of successful placements made via LI.
    I think for any claims to be considered seriously, some reliable data needs to be produced.

    Does anyone have any data to share?

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  • Ash DeVane, CPC

    @Gary- I can’t speak for corporate recruiters, but I don’t think the community of third party recruiters will ever release info like that. I sure won’t. Plus it is hard to nail it down. For instance, a LinkedIn connection leads to a phone call that leads to an email that gets forwarded to someone who is laid off who has a former co-worker who is a glove match for a job, who we may or may not actually place. Extreme example I know, but you get the idea. It is not always a direct and linear relationship between use of LinkedIn and how many recruiting fees were generated.

  • http://michaeljmctaggart.com Mike McTaggart

    How times are changing. I sold job board recruitment advertising for 17 years. In 2003 after leaving BrassRing (the old job board) I was hired by Dice by responding to a job posting on monster (sounds funny but Dice is high tech and I was looking for a sales job and it worked in 2003). Flash forward to 2012. . .monster, CB, etc. were a mess to look for a decent sales position. I was spammed, crammed and flimflammed by hucksters with a multilevel, commission only and bizarre investment opportunities. VIOLA. . .my LinkedIn profile delivered my current position to me here at WorkTraits. The company is small and smart and was using LinkedIn as an inexpensive alternative and the match was good for both of us. Job boards have their place and should remain as anchors in the marketplace but LinkedIn has the power to alter that marketplace and I am anxious to see what they do next.

  • Chai Malai

    hmmm – self fulfilling prophecies I have a fear of – people ( humans) are very flexible , innovative , inventive and who knows , times are changing fast ..linked-in is just another ‘link’ in this evolution – the more creative people are , the better the thought process and choice – different horses for different courses ..and so on – in the melee to get ahead ..bound to come across a few hustlers .. linked-in is as good as it will last

  • Ash DeVane, CPC

    @Chai- You said, “people (humans)…”. There’s another kind? What on earth are you talking about?

  • http://www.booyango.com Chris LaFontaine

    LinkedIn seems that it could become this type of platform only because it’s target base is more aligned to those filled by recruiters, but at the end of the day, if you subtract the social functions used for business networking, LinkedIn is no different than any of the major job boards and suffers from the same malaise as them, it is just newer so it doesn’t appear this way.

    LinkedIn is currently suffering from an identity crisis, it doesn’t know what it wants to be. Quite a few executives and professionals (myself among them) don’t like our data being sold as a recruiting database as it is not what we joined for in the first place. Quite frankly, while LinkedIn has a different target base from Facebook, it is now going through the same crisis as MySpace went through some years ago. As they continue to sell a myriad of services (personal, business and recruiting) they risk becoming an amalgamation of spam and further declining their usefulness. They grew up on their focus as a business contact network and the further they stray from that, the harder the future of the service is to see.

    Lastly, as more companies perceive LinkedIn as a recruiting platform it is becoming ‘dangerous’ for an employed professional to maintain a profile while employed. It is akin to keeping an updated resume on Monster for the same reasons. I’ve met quite a few professionals who were recently forced (or pressured) into deleting their LinkedIn profiles as their current employers viewed it as them looking for a job.

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  • Gary Costa

    Thanks for the comments from Ash and Chris.
    My post was a little brief and I think lacked a clear explanation.

    I understand that the various links that occur during a search assignment can be complex, however in my own work, success has always come from one or two primary contact points that I could readily identify. My question should have been clearer that I was interested in placements resulting from adverts appearing on LI.

    I still appreciate that as per the jobs boards here (in Australia) that the boards generally don’t make hard data available.

    With that in mind, is anybody able to provide some anecdotal evidence along the lines of having placed the same advert on multiple job boards, and the successful candidate mostly arriving via LI?

    I was also very interested in Chris’ observations of LI suffering an identity crisis via its (obviously engineered) strategy of initially accumulating professionals on the basis of open networking, and then rebirthing as a job portal overnight and from what I recall – essentially unannounced.

    The fact that some now regard it as an open slather hunting ground for recruiters, is also interesting.

    I’m hoping to cut through the lack of hard data from LI and hear about success or failure stories on advertising (if not search work) via LI

  • http://thesmokingrecruiter.wordpress.com Bill Barnes

    This has been true for a number of years. It’s even more true now due to the economy. Because there are so may job seekers, employers expect candidates who are an ideal match to the job. Yet recruiters are so overwhelmed by applicants that they can’t keep up. So companies engage or hire dedicated Sourcers whose only function is to search for passive candidates.

  • http://www.boooleanblackbelt.com Glen Cathey

    It’s hard to argue against the points you raise John – LinkedIn is in a great spot and they will likely only improve their position, so I tip my hat to them. The have a great product that gets better over time, and if you use it properly, you’ll get strong results. What more could you ask for?

    However, while LinkedIn undoubtedly enjoys a “high passive to active” member ratio, I do want to point out that it’s not accurate for anyone to say that LinkedIn has a “high passive to active” member ratio as if they somehow have a ratio higher than any other significant source of human capital data, including job board resume databases.

    As I have pointed out over the years, some basic search techniques will reveal that approximately 80% of the resumes stored in Monster, CareerBuilder and Dice are over 30 days old. Resumes over 30 days old have a high likelihood of representing people who are no longer actively seeking work. When you get past the 60 or 90 day mark, the vast majority will represent non-job seekers and passive candidates.

    Yes, passive candidates.

    On job board resume databases.

    I know, right?

    A resume that was posted 1-3+ years ago is much more likely to represent someone who is not actively looking for a change in employment.

    When the majority of the resumes on major, minor, and niche job board resume databases are aged more than 30 days, and the majority of those aged significantly more than 30 days (people are most likely to pull down a resume right after getting a job, if they will at all), that all adds up to a “high passive to active” ratio – the same kind that LinkedIn enjoys.

    I’d also argue confidently that, at 160M+ profiles, LinkedIn has as many active candidates as a percentage of the total population as any other source. Several basic laws of statistics would bear this out. Technically, simply due to the sheer size of LinkedIn, they have more active job seekers by volume than any job board resume database – because I am not aware of any job board resume database that is even close to 1/3 of 170M.

    Perhaps most importantly, there’s nothing wrong with LinkedIn having an average representation of active job seekers when compared to the total population, nor should anyone really be bothered by the fact that any significant source of human capital data, especially those with a large percentage of “aged” information, actually enjoys a high “passive to active” ratio as well.

    Lastly, I continue to be confused by Facebook for not directly making big moves to capitalize on their massive stores of human capital data, plenty of it work-related and this relevant for sourcing and recruiting, and letting app makers tinker in this space.

    Conceivably, although many people seem to think it’s not ever likely to happen, it would not take much work for them to become a juggernaut in the talent space.

    It’s all about the data, baby!

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  • http://www.sparkhire.com Josh Tolan

    Very detailed post, Dr. Sullivan. It appears to have sparked a bit of debate about LinkedIn’s likelihood of becoming the the #1 corporate recruiting portal.

    I’m most interested in your #5 reason for recruiters to use LinkedIn. There, you say LinkedIn makes it easy for recruiters to compare profiles side-by-side because, unlike resumes, they are consistent from person to person. I agree to that comment in part, and I’ll tell you why: LinkedIn is much like the video service we offer at SparkHire.com. Yes, every profile has the same basic structure, but individuals’ videos can differ significantly. Likewise, on LinkedIn, we all have the same basic profile, but we can optimize and insert our personalities in small ways that make a huge difference. Wouldn’t you agree?

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  • http://fitzdrakesearch.com Bill Fitzgerald

    I’m curious what flaws John sees in Linked In. I’d love to hear is POV. The whole active versus passive conversation is interesting. We find ourselves talking with clients more about employed versus unemployed. Some who are employed are active, while others are passive. I’m not sure that matters much to our clients. They just want to hire the best person they can find. I can’t tell you if LInked In is a “social network” or not. To me it seems like a big data base filled with people who don’t mind lots of other people crawling all over their life history. It tells me that more people than not, at least for now, have a desire to be found and may be a little paranoid about potentially being left out. I also wonder if the constant pestering by recruiters will grow old for people who don’t want to be bothered? In the mean time, its a great tool and is just another tool in the tool kit.

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  • http://drjohnsullivan.com Dr John Sullivan


    In my experience, the major current problems related to utilizing LinkedIn for recruiting include:
    1. Weak messaging – members don’t respond quickly to InMail sent to them and not everyone has full access to the InMail feature.
    2. Weak relationship building – the platform is not the most effective for building long-term relationships with prospects. Facebook and Twitter have a broader range of topics on which to build relationships with non-job seekers.
    3. Quality of the groups – the volume of the exchanges and the quality of the content in some LinkedIn groups is inferior to many professional sites and forums.
    4. Spamming – the most highly qualified receive too many poorly worded and directed recruiting messages. And that turns them off.
    5. Not global yet – the database is not yet truly global.
    6. Hourly jobs – the database does not include enough individuals in the trades.
    7. Facebook – a lack of integration with Facebook.


  • http://www.avanade-jobs.com Glenn Gutmacher

    The next step in this space that should help prove whether excessive spamming turns off desirable candidates from LinkedIn (and any related sites) is automated job-candidate matching suggestion functionality. Not just for you to send yourself, but suggesting connections of your referrals who should be approached as potential matches. So now our colleagues can spam potential candidates directly *and* spam their connections to ask them to refer candidates, thus accelerating the passive audience tune-out from two directions! All the major job boards and LinkedIn are playing with this. When you give lazy recruiters such tools, watch out!

    @Bill Fitzgerald – Your question of “I also wonder if the constant pestering by recruiters will grow old for people who don’t want to be bothered” is already being answered: an increasing number of in-demand candidates are removing themselves or (since I agree with your “may be a little paranoid about potentially being left out” comment) make themselves more hidden by not showing their whole name or changing their name.

    @Glen Cathey – another excellent comment. Let’s hope someday soon the distinction between passive and active candidate will become sufficiently blurred so it will stop being used as a point of bias. I’m also hoping the proliferation of free tools to help brand oneself as an expert may help the aspiring unemployed in areas that have not yet recovered to land enough freelance consulting work so they end up looking about as desirable as anyone else.

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  • Export Data

    Hi everyone,

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    Our challenge was to build a solid list of candidates using LinkedIn and doing a saved search was a great start but was not very user friendly as it would take hours and hours of copy+paste work to get it into an excel sheet and eventually having a .csv file to import into our CRM (sales force or netsuite for example).

    We used other tools out there and there are some good ones and some less good ones, the main problem as we saw it was the cost.

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