Lately, I've been hearing from a lot of corporate recruiters who say that they've been using the LinkedIn Recruiter tool to find and recruit candidates.  Many of them claim that it has saved them a lot in search fees.  Does this mean the end for executive search firms is near?

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Short Answer is no.  We will only be out of business if every corporate recruiter starts to act like agency recruiter on a regular basis.

Just because they are able to source the right candidates with the right experience, that doesn't mean the prospects will say yes to the recruiter's proposal.  They still needs to close the 'deal' by selling the position and the company to the prospects.  

As a corporate recruiter with a LinkedIn recruiter seat -



As long as recruiting is a people business - people will be needed to manage the process. Some companies (like mine) spend their money on internal recruiters. Some spend it on search fees. Great recruiting does not come cheap, no matter what side you're on.

Exactly. And that's not likely to happen. :)

Raphael Fang said:

Short Answer is no.  We will only be out of business if every corporate recruiter starts to act like agency recruiter on a regular basis.

I agree. The answer is no. While you may see mediocre consultants disappear, the talented search consultant will never become obsolete. I do think that Executive Search Consultants will have to be prepared to step up their use of technology while holding on the basic tenants that have always made them successful such as a strong network of pre-qualified talent that will respond quickly to communication from a trusted recruiter.


Amy McDonald

President, REKRUTR

Absolutely not. That is the words of an insecure corporate recruiter..... :) Not that I don't like corporate recruiters....

Corporate teams however are hiring more search firm recruiters to come in house....That could cause the swing.

As a corporate recruiter my skills for sourcing candidates have hurt the amount of business we do with agencies.  There have been dozens of time that I have sourced candidates from Monster, Indeed or LinkedIn  and then the agency presents them after the fact.  I think iLinkedIn is great however, a good recruiter doesn't necessarly have to source form LinkedIn to fill the pipeline.  I get creative with my sourcing and I also rely heavily on relationship building. 


This isnt a slam on agency recruiters but I have found in my market there are not a lot of them that are presenting candidates that I havent found myself...



I don't think it's 'no' either, but I don't think we should be too complacent.

My experience is that more companies are using LinkedIn to source people, but they're failing to complete the project because they either don't put the right resources or have people who can communicate with candidates, especially at a senior level. However, some will get better at it and the market will continue to shift. This is is also having an impact on candidates who are being approached more often, and becoming more guarded because it's badly done.

We still have opportunities, but we have to be smarter than just saying 'no'.

I don't think real executive search firms will ever become obsolete...and I speak as a former firm owner and recruiter.  I have a great deal of respect for those that can actually sell the opportunity, and that is a talent that doesn't grow on trees :-)  I do, however, have a question for the group that may be a little off the subject, but I would really appreciate some input. 

I am currently working in sourcing and have been given the task of sharing how LinkedIn can be a resource for us.  To me, the definition of sourcing is gathering names, resumes and contact information of IT professionals to share with those that will actually contact those that the hiring authority is interested in talking to.  Did that make sense? :)  My involvement ends when I turn the resumes over.  Anyway, right now we have a free account and I'd like to keep it that way if possible.  Any thoughts on how I can use LinkedIn to source without spending too much $

Thanks in advance and Happy Holidays,


LinkedIn Recruiter is a tool like any other tool. Until recruiting is no longer a people influencing process, no tool will replace recruiters.

The beauty or the problem (depending on how you look at it), no single tool or website meets all the needs in the market. Resumes in databases or Linkedin are like yesterdays news, they are obselete the moment they are posted ( am exaggerating) but the business is so dynamic with people changing jobs, companies changing etc. There is also the drive to be efficient and cost effective in recruiting. Given all these conditions, human recruiters or search consultants are going to be around for a long while.



It's worth noting that not every company can afford or even needs a full time corporate recruiter... why so many agency recruiters are hell bent on calling into companies that (sorry guys) don't need your help instead of focusing on the small to mid-sized crowd (or even some larger firms) that PREFER to outsource to a third party, I'll never know.

@Amy - I try to find out how or why a company might need us as 3rd party recruiters when I first talk to them. But sometimes it's hard to determine that, or at that time maybe they can't or don't want want to use an outside recruiter. That changes all the time, so I do keep contact and try not be totally obnoxious about it.

Also, if I look at our client list, 95% have internal recruiters, and approximately 65% of those have an entire recruiting department!? When I first started in recruiting I thought I would not want to call those companies, but I quickly found out it doesn't always matter what is currently in place. (Those companies were obviously not as fortunate as yours to find the best people!)

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