Linkedin's key missing link (and what I did about it).....

I got into the recruiting world 3 years ago and, like a lot of us, started using Linkedin very heavily to find prospective candidates and work my network for referrals. Recruiting like any sales process is inefficient but the one thing that struck me was the heavy reliance on guesswork on which candidates I would reach out for specific positions. Linkedin has many great features but a key thing it lacks is giving you an understanding of candidate intent when it comes to job search. In fact when you put Linkedin and theLadders side-by-side the only meaningful extra value that theladders offers recruiters is the implied intent that candidates are there because they are actively looking. The result is lots of wasted outreach to people who aren’t looking and not enough outreach to people that are looking – for example those folks with less than 6 months tenure at their current role who we assume, often wrongly, are still settling in.

So I set about rectifying that inefficiency by creating a platform called HireSignals that launched last week. In a nutshell, HireSignals gives candidates the ability to declare their job search status to recruiters on Linkedin in confidence. The candidate can provide extra details on their job interests to ensure only targeted outreach. They can also opt-in or out of recruiter interests and can block specific domain names (especially from their current employers) from seeing their status or interests.

The platform is built on Linkedin’s API. Candidates register their status and job interests at by logging in with their Linked credentials. Recruiters register there also and, after a vetting process, they get access to a web browser add-on that superimposes color codes on Linkedin’s search pages showing job search status and pop up windows on their profiles that show their interests. You can check out the platform demo at

The intent with this platform is to create something that is both recruiter and candidate friendly but also highly complementary to Linkedin and a genuine enhancement to their platform for recruiters. I would love for the candidate adoption of the platform to be recruiter-led and have plans to add some extra services on the platform that will provide additional value add to recruiters – One example is proactively reminding candidates on changing their status / registering their status for the first time, that they are connected to you and suggesting that they notify you of their status or status change. Hopefully that one negates finding out after the fact that a great candidate that you are connected to has just taken another job. We also want to email candidates regularly with the recruiters that are most active on their profile. That way you get rewarded for hard work.

Interested to hear your feedback and anything we can do to a) get more recruiters using it and b) getting recruiters comfortable with their candidates using it in the comments section.


Views: 1448

Comment by Darryl Dioso on June 26, 2012 at 11:30am

Nice idea. For some reason the link above didn't work. But I found it by going to your main site

Comment by Feargall kenny on June 26, 2012 at 12:01pm

Thanks Darryl - fixed the links

Comment by Christine Robinson on June 26, 2012 at 12:06pm

Hello there.  

As a resume writer working with many frustrated job seekers (including several who don't appreciate the value of LinkedIn), I'm excited to read about this tool.  I'll pass it on to my clients.


~Christine Robinson, CPRW

Comment by Sandra McCartt on June 26, 2012 at 12:23pm
Interesting, what kind of response are you getting from people who are on LinkedIn?
Comment by Julia Briggs on June 26, 2012 at 12:32pm

Not for what I do, but I think it sounds really good.......and shall tweet!

Comment by Christine Robinson on June 26, 2012 at 12:35pm

Sandra, not sure if you're addressing my comment or the blog post.  Just in case:

To my amazement, I'm finding that many clients simply don't realize that recruiters are using LI to locate candidates. I've promoted rather passively as part of my resume/career consulting biz, but have recently become more aggressive about it.  Instead of writing a cover letter template as part of my standard package, I'm now offering LI setup in its place.  To my further astonishment, sometimes even after I set up the LI profile, clients aren't activating it.  And I'm talking high-level execs who ought to know better.  Conclusion?  Job seekers are suffering from TMI.


Comment by Feargall kenny on June 26, 2012 at 12:52pm


It only launched on Thursday so it is early days yet but so far the response has been very good. Obviously there is a chicken and egg piece of this platform - i need lots of recruiters on there to benefit the candidates and vice versa. We will be pushing the candidate side of things a lot in the coming weeks hopefully through folks like Christine! (thanks Christine) but I also want to get recruiters to push it with their candidates. Interested to hear if you would do so...

Comment by Bill Schultz on June 26, 2012 at 1:00pm

 It matters little to me whether candidates are actively searching or not.  Good luck with your app.  

Comment by Feargall kenny on June 26, 2012 at 1:05pm

@bill they have 4 options to choose from - active, passive, not looking (but open to seeing the market) and not looking (do not contact).

Respecting option #4 is good for the reputation of this industry in general. Plus i think you would want to know when one of your connections changes their status - from not looking to actively looking or from actively looking to not looking (eg if they took a job). That notification is coming in phase 2. you might miss out ; )

Comment by Bill Schultz on June 26, 2012 at 1:33pm

Hi Kenny- The way this industry respects do not contact is for the candidate to opt out of inmails completely.  

I don't feel it's tops on everyone's list to change their career status like a teenager changing their relationship

status on FB.  If you send a respectful, well worded inmail offering opportunity, you never know what will happen.

Not poking holes in your app, just your use case.  Cheers!


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