My Love-Hate Relationship With LinkedIn: The Overview
So, we all know LinkedIn has a monopoly over the “strictly professional social networking” sites.
Others have tried to compete — FaceBook with its “BranchOut,” for example — and have subsequently failed. As of now, LinkedIn is the best (and only) way to reach those hard-to-find, passive candidates who we all desire — but at what cost?
We recently went through a transition with the LinkedIn resources we use here at OpenView Labs for our recruiting when we made the switch to “LinkedIn Recruiter” — the platform designed specifically for corporate recruiters to source, recruit, and track their efforts. This brought the OpenView Talent Team through a whole range of emotions, from elated to completely frustrated.
In this three-part series I will introduce why LinkedIn is so important to expansion-stage recruiters and why we love it. In the second installment, I will go into the things about LinkedIn that make me wish it was an animate object that I could shake some sense into. Finally, I will offer a few suggestions that might make our lives — and subsequently their business — just a little bit better. This will be a nail-biter, so be sure to tune in!
So…why do we love LinkedIn?
For starters, it’s impossible not to. As I mentioned above, LinkedIn allows us to connect and network with the candidates we would not find elsewhere: the passive candidates. LinkedIn has over 170 million members worldwide, 4 million new members are added each month (about 2 new members per second), they support 10 languages, and have over 6,000 corporate clients. As a recruiter, you can’t afford not using LinkedIn. Almost every professional at an expansion-stage company at least has a LinkedIn profile (whether they log on often is another story). With a basic account you can only see the name and profile of first and second-degree connections. You can also see the first name and last initial of 3rd degree connections, but not their profile! This means you need to grow your network as large as you can to make sure you are connected to more first and second-degree connections.
Now, LinkedIn Recruiter is LinkedIn on steroids. It’s amazing. It opens up your search capabilities to all LinkedIn members regardless of your connection. You can also send Inmails (direct emails to the candidate) and organize your candidates into folders. Additionally, LinkedIn recently released a new add-in called “Talent Pipeline” which you can use to add candidates to specific “project” folders (for different roles) and update their status in the hiring process (i.e. phone interview, in person interview, etc.). You can add notes, tags, sources, resume attachments, and even candidates without a LinkedIn profile. All the other members of your team can see your activity. Essentially, it’s an ATS within the LinkedIn Recruiter platform. It is the perfect addition to a smaller recruiting team at an expansion-stage company.
LinkedIn Recruiter makes everything very easy to use and tailor to your processes. You customize the tags, sources, and statuses to ones that your team finds most useful.
However, neither LinkedIn alone nor LinkedIn Recruiter is perfect. We found that we did run into issues and overall frustrations with the product, itself. So stay tuned! More to come on that next week…