Are any of you are using LinkedIn as strictly a sourcing tool.

I currently work as a "sourcer" and have been given the task of sharing with management how LinkedIn can be a resource for us.  To me, the definition of sourcing is gathering names, resumes and contact information.  My involvement ends when I turn the resumes over to agency recruiters that work closely with their hiring authorities. 

More background: I work for a government entity and the budget does not allow us to go outside for recruiting.  We currently have a subscription to an IT job board (my specialty has been mostly IT over the years...  I owned and operated an executive search firm with my late husband) which is a great database of candidates, and is also expensive.  LinkedIn is not a searchable database and I'm not sure how best to use it as a sourcing tool.

Thanks in advance and Happy Holidays,


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My current employer pays for LinkedIn Talent Finder at $100/Month and it gives you more details on the candidates than a standard account. To source, you'll generally need to contact the candidate with the "Inmail" allowed by Talent finder and request more information. Some candidates essentially post there resume with their profile and I also use the PDF print out to produce a resume without contact information.  

Also, The Indeed resume database is still free for registered companies. It is still a two step process to get contact information from the candidates.

Hey Meri,


Yes! Linkedin in my sourcing bible! It's THE one professional netowrking source that I have used for the past 8+ years. I have filled most, if not all, of my positions by networking with folks within this site or have been given several referrals from those that I've connected with within Linkedin. Let me know if you need any tips for how to source and reach out to folks within your network.


Thank you!


Lisa Reppucci 


I have not done a lot of investigation on paid services with Linked In because I have used LinkedIn for sourcing for years and never spent a dime on it. I can't speak to the paid service, but it is definitely a goldmine for professional networking. It is really just a matter of building relationships. Most of my relationships I've acquired through their discussion groups. Look for industry specific groups or create your own and then get involved. I use a signature line on all of my posts that says "I'm an open networker. Let's Link! I then put my email address so they can connect to me. I post my open jobs to my page using my site, now which makes it easy to refresh or post specifically to a group, etc. ( Sorry, couldn't resist a little plug, we're a great sourcing tool and we're cheap, too! )

 I wish you luck Meri... and hey...let's link! :)


Amy McDonald


I'm an open networker. Let's Link!

The evolution of Linkedin is amazing.  It is almost like a phone book now a days.  Simply put, not many people are not on Linkedin in some fashion.  This was not the case 10 years ago, but it is now.  So, as far as a sourcing tool, it is the best resource available to gather names.  Whether or not you will connect with them on Linkedin is another story.  You may have to go back to the basics of recruiting and cold calling & research to get their names and numbers.  Linkedin recruiter is very expensive, but if you have the budget, there isn't a better tool available. 

I use it for sourcing. I usually search by competitor or companies that have folks with the background I need. I then weed it down to the geographic location where the position is needed. Once I get the "list" I just browse and look for the folks that may have the background I need. My company doesn't pay for linkedin so I can't use the "fancy" features.

I thank you and appreciate each of your replies.  The challenge for me is that I work with over 100 different agencies, each with different needs when it comes to technical skills.  It made more sense to network with special niche groups when I worked for myself or for a specific company, but from day to day I don’t know what I will be looking for.  Each day, I am presented with a job announcement where my keyword and technical position is different.  :)  Again, I am not usually the person that contacts the candidate and only provide our agency recruiters with resumes of candidates that I can find using keyword searches with filters like salary requirements and location.  I’m still not really sure how LinkedIn can help with this type of sourcing when they have no resume database available.  I miss the days when I had one company with one need at a time and I used the Yellow Pages or Want Ads to start my search… LOL  OK... so I'm not in my twenties anymore...

If you haven't checked it out already, LinkedIn has a new tool called Talent Pipeline. It's built in to LinkedIn Recruiter and is designed to be your repository (and basic CRM) of prospects across multiple LI Recruiter seats.  It's pretty impressive. What I particularly like about it is that it isn't limited to just LinkedIn prospects. If you find a resume elsewhere, you can import them (in batches of 1000 even) and it will then either match to an existing LI profile and store the resume, or create a placeholder profile with the resume for your pipeline database.  If you adopt it as your core database of prospects (not applicants), it becomes a platform for you to track prospects across an entire recruiting team - preventing you from tripping over eachother contacting the same passive prospects, and keeping the IP with the employer if someone leaves.  Oh and guess what - if not all your recruiters need sourcing access, but you still want them to have access to the pipeline - there's a greatly reduced cost "pipeline only" seat. They won't be able to source, but they can still add candidates sourced elsewhere, and access all the profiles that have been added to your pipeline by your sourcers. So yes, I would say the new talent pipeline and LInkedIn recruiter pairing makes for an excellent sourcing platform!  We're doing a pilot of it right now.  Feel free to reach out to me in April if you'd like to learn how our pilot panned out.

Of course, LinkedIn is a searchable database, but you are right that it's different from job boards. The searching capabilities are available for any basic/free user. Besides searching for people, you can source in other (free) ways such as with LinkedIn Signal. You only get so much extra advantages with a lower-paid account such as the Talent Finder. Its main advantage is InMails.

As @DK points out, if you have the budget for one of the highest accounts (LI Recruiter is one of them), then the talent pipeline is an incredible tool. Not only you'll be able to search across LinkedIn and your uploaded info in one shot, you'd be able to cross-reference and keep track of any older info in your own ATS or your lists of people. Also, you'd be able to upload any lists of public sector employees found on the web (on .gov sites in particular) and cross-reference those lists against LinkedIn. 

Paying for the Talent Finder would speed up your sourcing work by showing more search results, more info about your 3rd level connections, etc. You'll have a few extra search facets which will not make a huge difference but wouldn't hurt. You can do all the same things with a free account, just slower. 

Bottom line, extended easily-accessible visibility and easily-accessible larger lists of search results given by a paid account  may be worth it. Since (it seems) your workload is huge, speeding up would matter. The Talent Pipeline is worth it and can do wonders for sourcers, but it is expensive. 

Meri - I really suggest that you take one of the webinars on Linkedin sourcing.  Linkedin is one big resume database.  It's the most incredible sourcing tool I have ever used.  You can find passive candidates that may not think they are looking for a job right now, but if presented with the right opportunity might consider it.  I do full-cycle recruiting, and rely on linkedin 100% for my sourcing needs.

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