As Microsoft continues to transform LinkedIn, it, by proxy, transforms the world of recruitment. What becomes more and more apparent, however, as LinkedIn evolves, is that Microsoft does not seem to find the value in LinkedIn as it pertains to recruiters. A continual push to not only push LinkedIn more into the social media sector has many wondering, is LinkedIn abandoning recruiters? The deeper question still is not only the one of abandonment, but is LinkedIn forfeiting the privacy of its users, and does this forfeiture sacrifice the legitimacy of recruiters who make LinkedIn the hub of their business?

Video:  Does it sweeten or sour the deal?

LinkedIn has announced its addition of video support, in an effort to reportedly enhance its users’ abilities in regards to sharing data with prospective employers. The truth is that the segment of LinkedIn users who could realistically use video as a tool for marketing their employability is relatively small. Additionally, LinkedIn has made no announcements to support live feed video, which eliminates the case for video being used as a remote interviewing tool, at least in the immediate future. What video really suggests is that LinkedIn is making a push to be recognized as a more mainstream social media platform, and this hurts the perception of LinkedIn as it relates to business professionals and those who recruit them.

Is your data safe?

LinkedIn abandoning recruiters is not the only concern. According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy is quoted as saying “Microsoft is further transforming LinkedIn into a data-driven marketing powerhouse that harvests all its data to drive ad revenues.” The implications of this should be alarming. As it continues to drive into the mainstream social media market, the association of recruiters whose sole web presence exists on LinkedIn may be seen as the recruiting equivalent to email spam. Users are savvy and only grow more so each day. If they associate your name with LinkedIn, they will also associate the legitimacy of your business with LinkedIn’s legitimacy.

LinkedIn:  The New Recruiter

This is a topic deserved of its own article (possibly its own book, considering the massive effect it could have on the recruiting industry). LinkedIn has made no mystery of its efforts to perform certain functions of the recruiter. From suggested job openings to streamlined application services, the social network’s continued incorporation of recruiter-like technologies only reinforces the idea of LinkedIn abandoning recruiters. LinkedIn only continues to add features that promotes its own recruiting capabilities. It has even been reported by Forbes that LinkedIn is in the beta stages of a mentoring service for jobhunters, further encroaching into the territory of traditional recruiters.

As we continue to witness LinkedIn abandoning recruiters, we’re faced with the question of how do we combat this? Ultimately, it is the individual recruiters and firms that have established their own presence and brand separate of LinkedIn that will survive and thrive in the recruiting industry. Although LinkedIn is clearly making moves to be the recruiter of choice for its users, its moves to be seen as a mainstream social media platform injure not only its legitimacy in the field, but the legitimacy of recruiters whose sole presence exists on the LinkedIn plane. A strong digital ecosystem built around a unique website is the best avenue for the recruiter of the future.

Adam is a copy writer, content specialist and editor with Recruiters Websites, a web design firm specializing in websites for the recruiting and staffing industry.

Views: 828

Comment by Chris Bell on August 30, 2017 at 11:52am

Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft and use LinkedIn as one of many tools in the arsenal.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Adam. I must disagree with your argument which amounts to speculation at best. I believe your last sentence sums it up well as to why you wrote this piece "A strong digital ecosystem built around a unique website is the best avenue for the recruiter of the future." You work for a company that builds websites and obviously are trying to promote the business.

You said, "the association of recruiters whose sole web presence exists on LinkedIn may be seen as the recruiting equivalent to email spam." LinkedIn isn’t the all be all for sourcing but will continue to be one source for recruiters to validate info, source, connect with professionals and leverage many other tools on top of the platform to find contact information. Most recruiters I know don't reach out to candidates within the LinkedIn platform. We either pick up the phone or send direct email to start the relationship building process. I’m sorry but that statement is complete BS and a soft pitch to sell more websites. Why the hell would I need my own website? unless I'm a sole proprietor, contractor/consultant, or have my own recruiting shop that doesn't make sense. Should we have our own blog sites? This could be an argument and your argument may have been more valid if you were talking about having a Blog. Recruiters lose ownership of their content once it’s posted to sites like this one or LinkedIn (that will be 10k for the new business strategy advise). Content distribution directly impacts your brand.

Video support is a good thing for content creators, it doesn't turn LI into facebook. You talk as if we're going to see a bunch of dog riding a skateboard videos.

Is your data safe? Really. you should create a complete new identity and get off of the grid, if you want your data safe. I'm sorry to tell you, it's already out there. What’s alarming about a company using its user data to drive revenues. What do you think every company that has any sizable amount of data does? Think facebook, Google, Verizon, Comcast, Yahoo, any big data company or large retailer or any company born in the cloud or any app on your phone or … I think we get it


Comment by Adam Appleton on August 30, 2017 at 12:24pm

Hey Chris. Thanks for your spirited response! Allow me to address your points in a less narrative form:

  • Of course it is speculation. Unlike you, I do not work for Microsoft or any of its properties, thus could not speak in utter confidence as to the true drives and initiatives of the company. However, calling something speculation is not valuable in terms of discredit. This is a blog article, and I believe by journalistic standards, this particular format allows for speculation (which, by the way, is largely based upon the speculation of The Washington Post).
  • Promotion does not have to exist separately from said speculation, nor does it invalidate the suggestion that complete and utter faith in a platform entirely out of your control in terms of its intention and direction may not be the most sound business plan.
  • "complete BS"—A quick click on the link for the firm I represent would show that we specialize in website design for recruiting firms. In that context, I don't believe it is "complete BS" to recommend that firms are better represented by their own website rather than a third-party entity. LinkedIn is a great tool (I never say it isn't) but if you operate a firm and the hub of your brand is on LinkedIn, then you are not promoting your brand to the best of its ability because you are sharing branding space with LinkedIn.
  • Let's give it a year, then we can more accurately account for the number of dog-riding-skateboard videos
  • Just because we live in a time of data proliferation doesn't mean we shouldn't question the motives of companies when they store and manage that data behind closed doors. Complete surrender without question doesn't have a great track record.

Thanks again, for reading! And I appreciate you candid response. While I write and work for a website design company, I do think it is a bit unfair to accuse me of baseless promotion, just as it would be unfair of me to assume because you work for Microsoft, that your defense of LinkedIn is due to some affiliation with that company and not your own thoughts and research.

Comment by Chris Bell on August 30, 2017 at 2:09pm

Thanks for defending your post Adam. I wasn't defending LI if you read it again. Yes on defending the premise that recruiters are doomed for being associated with LI and not having their own website, you didn't say firms.

Speculation without experience of actually using the platform for recruiting doesn't hold weight. There was nothing wrong with the Washington Post article but you spinned it. Purely conjecture and biased towards your companies gain. I get it, it happens and you have every right to post what you want in your blog. I even plugged one of my companies tools in this post, see here: . Look I just did it again. The difference is facts are at the core of my posting and lacking in yours.

Good day my friend. Thanks for implicitly sharing about your company. The websites looks really good and I wasn't aware of this specialty website builder.

Comment by Adam Appleton on August 30, 2017 at 4:34pm

No problem, Chris. If my posts aren't spurring people into conversation, then I'm not really doing my job. If you explore some of my past posts regarding LinkedIn, my focus is primed by the concern that the companies and individuals we seek as clients may be selling their brand and businesses short by placing all their eggs in the LinkedIn basket. You'll also see my tendency to promote is hardly implicit. I apologize if I've struck a nerve; it certainly wasn't my intention. But when platforms such as LinkedIn are the crux of the livelihood for people to whom they are not beholden, I think some conjecture is warranted if for no other reason, than to inspire consideration of other avenues. I have to respectfully disagree with your attacks on my use of facts or intentions, as I feel you may have misinterpreted my audience and their needs.

I wish you continued success. 

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on September 25, 2017 at 3:29pm

I don't believe that LI is abandoning recruiting- they are continuing in their tireless effort to provide less and less for increasing amounts of money so as to squeeze recruiters and our companies/clients for every penny, BECAUSE THEY CAN.

Comment by Adam Appleton on September 25, 2017 at 3:35pm

That is a strong point, Keith. And one I think is worth further research. 


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