“LinkedIn Only” – A Recruiter’s Downfall?

Every employer knows the nightmare of a poorly organised hiring process – at its worst, it can lead to recruiters being inundated with applications from hordes of unqualified, unsuitable candidates, turning your email inbox into a virtual paper-storm. Soin many ways, LinkedIn’s been a game-changer for the recruitment process, bringing anetworking environment to the online jobs market with personal recommendations, introductions and more.

Recruiters and hiring managers can search for keywords, advertise positions, use InMail to feel out potential candidates, and cross-reference CVs with publically displayed information, to name just a few useful functions. In lots of ways, LinkedIn can feel likethe Utopia of hiring, a thoroughly modern response to a thoroughly modern jobs crisis which can see as many as 800 applicants for a single graduate position.

With this in mind, it is, perhaps, unsurprising that recruiters are relying on LinkedIn more and more heavily, with many now choosing LinkedIn as their sole platform for advertisement. But is this really the best way to fish from the talent pool, and does it really give all candidates a fair and equal chance?

It’s a well-known fact that personality is a key consideration for many employers – with Brits working an average of 9.6 hours a day, it’s unsurprising that they want to spend these hours with people that they like. It follows, then, that if recruiters’ true aim is to provide companies with the best candidate for the job, a more old-fashioned, meet-and-greet approach may yield better results, rather than simply checking candidate’s qualifications and LinkedIn profiles remotely. As useful as LinkedIn is, it doesn’t allow the stringent vetting of an in-person meeting – a candidate who is lying or embellishing their CV can often be busted in a face-to-face chat, despite their excellent qualifications on paper. Doing old-fashioned due diligence on candidates before recommending them to clients can save recruiters the embarrassment of putting forward a job-hopper or fraud.

But with many recruiters working to strict targets and KPIs, long-term client satisfaction isn’t always front of mind. And not all candidates are interested in this approach, either. With the jobs market more fluid and more competitive than ever before, plenty of potential candidates simply want job descriptions, not preliminary chats over coffee. LinkedIn caters to this bulk-applying approach, allowing candidates to submit their CVs to dozens of positions at the mere click of a button. Multiple rejections are commonplace, even for top candidates – so not every candidate wishes to emotionally invest by talking to individual recruiters. This creates a vicious cycle of frustration and mistrust between candidates and recruiters (which has, rather ironically, been the subject of much discussion of late on LinkedIn).

Can we hold LinkedIn responsible for this new approach to job-seeking, or is it simply a modern solution to a changing jobs market? And how could LinkedIn change its platform, to make it more useful for both recruiters and candidates? Or does the problem lie with the mindsets of job-seekers and recruiters themselves? The fact is, that LinkedIn is unlikely to change, so maybe it’s time for us to consider changing the way we interact with it. If we don’t, the cycle of frustration is likely to continue – and as many fascinating LinkedIn thought pieces as that may spawn, it’s unlikely to draw employers and jobseekers any closer together.

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