I have like all of us in the recruitment industry seen the huge growth of Linkedin and have written about it and what it is on many occasions - Is Linkedin a Job Board? seemed to be one that got the “chattering classes” chattering.

But in talking with a recruiter pal of mine who is a heavy user of LinkedIn has revealed that ” when we use Linkedin we find that at least 20% of LinkedIn profiles are essentially defunct in that the email address is no longer current and the user is no longer therefore receiving any message alerts from LinkedIn”. Furthermore, this contact confirms that “at least 40% of their premium ‘Inmail’ messages are not read by the intended recipients within a week of being sent”.

For me this portrays a rather different view of LinkedIn where millions of people have created profiles on the site but where it’s actually a far smaller core group of users who regularly access the site and can be reached via LinkedIn’s paid services.

So couple of points;

- This is one users experience but is it one shared by other recruiters? please share your experiences

- Could this be because this company operate in a specific sector? and handle a “certain audience/user”?

- Is this an issue as to how they use Linkedin?.

- Does it really matter?

I decided that given I attended the Top-Consultant conference last week and they talked about social media and how recruiters and job seekers were using it to talk with Tony Restell Co Founder of Top-Consultant. Tony’s quote below highlights that yes social media is being used but and my words maybe those on Linkedin expected to be “found on it – not find a job on it”? They build their profile and wait to be found rather than use it as a networking tool.

Tony comment that the “Strengthening the impression that LinkedIn is more of a CV database than a job board are statistics collected by Top-Consultant, the careers website for management consultants. In a poll of over 1,000 candidates, Top-Consultant found that whilst 45% of candidates say they regularly use LinkedIn, only 5% have actively responded to a job advert placed on social media sites like LinkedIn. ‘When we asked candidates to indicate how they would go about searching for their next jobs, hardly any said they would apply for jobs via social media sites. So the lines seem to be being clearly drawn, with social media being a means of researching firms and allowing oneself to be seen by headhunters… whilst job boards remain the places where candidates will actively head to seek out a new job.’

Also could this be a UK cultural issue? we do compared to the US be less inclined to “market Brand Me, Network Brand Me and Sell Brand Me” or maybe I am being to harsh.

Would love to get the thoughts and experiences of others using Linkedin – both recruiters but would like to get a job seekers perspective.

Thanks for reading.

Views: 2380

Comment by pam claughton on March 21, 2010 at 9:20am
I agree. I think the reason the job response rates are poor on LInkedIn is because it isn't a job board. People are not there solely to seek new employment, so they are much more passive. I find LinkedIn to be a great resource, but often more of a starting point to generate addditional referrals. Or a great tool to keep aware of good people, to not just make one call and give up if no response, but to track your efforts and keep trying as so much of what we do is timing. My last placement was a woman I reached out to several times over several months, no return call. Until finally, on the fourth attempt we connected. She was not looking but something about my search intrigued her enough to want to learn more and then she really liked what she learned. Have to say I'm a huge fan of LInkedIN. :)
Comment by Gareth Jones on March 22, 2010 at 6:32am
Great post Keith - and some good comments. I'm not surprised by the findings. I think it will take a long time for social media to be a key job finding route, if indeed it ever does. Personally, i love linkedin and for me its actually re energised the direct sourcing approach. Its certainly made it easier - i remember the days, pre internet when we had to do the 'ident' as we called it!

And despite the general level of defunct profiles etc, its still way more up to date than the average database for those candidates that are in the habit of using LinkedIn. I also would echo what Pam says, its important to build a network of trusted 'sources'.
Comment by Paul Alfred on March 22, 2010 at 10:49am
Keith .... I think Linkedin is a pretty powerful tool and as per Pam's note its not a Job Board. I wrote a blog on how I have found it to be quite useful: LinkedIn, Its’ Unorthodox Use Revealed! A recruiter's perspective: http://bit.ly/deglE7 ....
Comment by Keith Robinson on March 22, 2010 at 11:28am
Mark, Pam, Gareth and Paul,

Thanks so much for your comments and advice. Agree in principle re Linkedin not being a job board (yet) but I know recruiters who do post jobs too Linkedin.

My real concern which all of you have address is the defunct profiles one and yes I agree with the "build trusted networks" comment.

Paul liked your blog and agree about "watching the competition".

Thanks again to all.

Comment by Joe Goss on March 23, 2010 at 11:23am
Interestingly enough, there are dead people on LinkedIn with "active" profiles. I've also had people respond to InMails one year after I sent them.

LinkedIn is aware of the concern of the community about inactive members and how to get them more engaged. It's not something they are working on (that I'm aware of), but they have been open to ideas on how to connect better with these folks. I expect it to become a bigger issue as more "dead end" and duplicate profiles emerge.

Disclosure: I sit on the LinkedIn Recruiter Advisory Board.
Comment by carol koegel on March 23, 2010 at 11:43am
LinkedIn (and most other netowrking sites) are indeed another source to find someone in your niche. Someone that you need to build a relationship with. Ideally if you can have an admin or researcher manage this process while you (the recruiter) stays on the phone having conversations it would be more beneficial. The biggest negative I see in any of the networking sites is it becomes a big "time sucker" and the Recruiter ends typing rather than talking. At the end of the day, Phone Time (or actual conversations) is the beginning of all the metrics we track. It is the beginning of the placement process.
Comment by Ron Kubitz on March 23, 2010 at 12:03pm
Interesting topic Keith! As with any source of information there is good and bad with LinkedIN! In my opinion the good far outweighs the bad! Using LinkedIn as a recruiting souce last year alone (2009) I was able to find 6 candidates that were subsequently hired by my company not to mention of course countless referrals and excellent industry contacts!

Using LinkedIn has increased my recruiting capacity and enabled me to cut the costs of the pay sites we use by about 60%. I am planning to use even more Social Media Sites and less job boards going forward in 2010!

Well worth the trouble of a few glitches!!
Comment by chandra bodapati on March 23, 2010 at 12:08pm
LinkedIn is a great place to find qualified people. Communicating with them might be a problem.
Many recruiters rely on LeadResearcher from eGrabber to connect to people on LinkedIn.
With LeadResearcher, you enter the name/company info from LinkedIn, and it finds reminder of the contact information - enabling you to contact the person directly through phone, email or postal mail.

Disclosure: I am the founder of eGrabber, the makers of LeadResearcher

Comment by Gerry Crispin on March 23, 2010 at 12:17pm
The power of linkedin in the US especially has nothing to do with recruiters. Instead it is the ability of jobseekers to quickly obtain connections within target firms who can affirm their cultural value propositions...or not and supply the person applying with an "employee referrall". It changes the game for a grwoing number of savvy job seekers. In the UK, external recruiters still dominate the "entry" and so this mnode is less helpful...for now.
Comment by Valentino Martinez on March 23, 2010 at 12:36pm
LinkedIn works for people who WORK IT. It is a platform with a multitude of benefits, e.g., reconnecting with old friends and connecting with potential new friends; accessing complete strangers and being impressed with them, their position(s) and their accomplishments; accessing unique ‘Groups’ and ‘Subgroups’ with meaningful and related focus; and exchanging ideas and benefiting from a very broad base where many valuable inputs are proffered.

Key with LinkedIn is gaining access to new prospects, particularly if you're recruiting for the near term and/or for later. The dynamic of 'recommending and being recommended on LinkedIn' distinguishes LinkedIn as "GOLDEN" for recruiters who need to more effectively vet their candidates. Knowing and assessing the ‘source’ of a recommendation is most critical in the scheme of things related credible recruitment results.

How good is LinkedIn? The question should be, "How good are you as a working professional, regardless of what stage you are in your career, at leveraging 'thee career networking vehicle of the 21st Century--LinkedIn?'


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