How useful is LinkedIn for recruitment?
LinkedIn is a fantastic resource that has been going since the dawn of the age of the internet, and for good reason. It is a quick and effective way of sourcing professionals and people in business, and finding out about them.
We do not think LinkedIn is not particularly as good for actually contacting professional people about jobs though, because of course this is one of the ways that LinkedIn make their money – by charging you for the privilege of making contact with other professionals.
How good is LinkedIn for recruitment?
In theory, it is the perfect solution for anyone who is looking to recruit a new employee. Simply go on to LinkedIn, search in your area for a suitable candidate with the appropriate level of experience in the right location, and LinkedIn will come up with a list of potential targets for you, who you can then contact.
Recruitment agents will purchase a recruitment package from LinkedIn, which will give them access to contact details of potential candidates that they can then contact. So, for example, if I were looking to recruit a conveyancing solicitor for a Cardiff law firm, I could search for conveyancing solicitors within 30 miles of Cardiff, and a list will be produced, and I can then make contact with each of those candidates.
What could be easier – set up a recruitment agency, get a vacancy from a firm, find a candidate on LinkedIn, introduce them to a firm, get paid an introduction fee, and thank you very much LinkedIn!
Unfortunately, as anyone will tell you in the recruitment sector, recruitment does not work like this, and LinkedIn is not particularly brilliant when it comes to sourcing potential candidates for a few specific reasons.
Firstly, if you have an account on LinkedIn, you will probably know that there are strings of recruitment agents across the country all trying to make contact with potential candidates for potential roles, and a lot of professionals are a little bit jaded by the constant contact from recruitment agents on LinkedIn telling them about the next fantastic role that they are ideally suited for.
I am a director and owner of three businesses, and still regularly get contacted by recruitment agents on LinkedIn wanting to offer me a recruitment consultant role with a firm, because they have spotted the words ‘recruitment consultant’ on my LinkedIn profile, even though they can quite clearly see if they do a search, that I am not likely to be a very good target for most recruitment jobs, partly because I am quite old in the tooth but also because I am a business owner rather than an employee.
Direct Employers Slight Advantage
Things are slightly different if you are an employer looking to recruit directly, and this is where LinkedIn does come into its own, because I think that candidates are probably more interested if you go on to LinkedIn, do a search and come up with a list of targets that you can make direct contact with, to tell them about a job within your organisation.
This is not relevant where you are the HR manager, because potential candidates will probably treat you with the same disdain as they treat recruitment agents, but if you are one of the directors or the owner and you have a specific role and have identified somebody fairly local who may be ideal, then it is quite possible that LinkedIn will be a good resource for you. Try and keep everything personal when you make contact, and do not send out generic messages to potential candidates, because they will be completely ignored.
LinkedIn in summary, is in theory an absolutely amazing tool. Unfortunately, in practice, it is a little bit over-subscribed by recruitment agents and HR departments, and more established recruitment agencies probably don’t use LinkedIn as much as you would think they do. For example, we do not have a LinkedIn recruitment contract, something we cancelled a few years ago and have not regretted since, simply because we have never managed to successfully recruit via LinkedIn.
We mostly recruit from our own candidate database, which consists of well over 12,000 solicitors and has been built up over 22 years of business, and in a similar way to other recruiters who are similarly well established, we do not need to use LinkedIn to try and get introductions to potential candidates; if we did we would probably be wasting our time in about 95% of cases. This is only our own experience and you may find you get a much better response than we do.