Bullhorn Report: LinkedIn Most Popular Site for Social Recruiting

Bullhorn social media reportIf you’re beginning to think every one is using LinkedIn to source candidates, you’re close to right.

Nearly every survey on source of hire or use of social media by recruiters shows LinkedIn to be a key part of the mix; often it leads all the listed social media sites. The company itself reported adding 2,400 customers in just the last quarter of 2012, bringing the total to 16,400 organizations under contract.

Now comes a Bullhorn survey to report that of the 160,000 registered users on Bullhorn Reach, 97% use LinkedIn to source candidates. That’s not as surprising as it might seem at first glance.

Bullhorn Reach is a freemium site specifically for managing a social media program and posting jobs to the sites and to some job boards. Bullhorn Reach users are all committed to at least some level of social media interaction.

Yet, so strong is the draw of LinkedIn, that almost two-thirds of the Bullhorn Reach recruiters use nothing but the business network to find candidates. Far fewer are exclusive to either Facebook (2%) or Twitter (1%). Instead, these two networks are used in addition to LinkedIn.

Those who do use all three, the so-called power users who represent only 12% of the Bullhorn Reach registrants, tend to be the niche recruiters. Those who recruit for IT are by far the most numerous. Bullhorn says 3,249 are IT recruiters, which makes sense considering how competitive it is to find tech talent. However, finance and banking recruiters are second on the power list; this is explained, perhaps, by the larger number of early-career jobs they have for which Twitter and Facebook may be better targeted sites.

The LinkedIn influence is also reflected in the size of recruiter networks. Of the three major social networks included in the report, LinkedIn has more North American recruiters with large networks than either Twitter or Facebook. More than 20% of the Bullhorn Reach recruiters have more than 1,000 contacts in their LinkedIn network.

The average for recruiters in the U.S. and Canada is 692 LinkedIn connections.

Facebook, which has about five times as many registered members as LinkedIn, is far behind in recruiter use. Twitter is even further to the rear, with half the Twitter recruiters having fewer than 50 followers. Only 2 percent have networks in the 1,000-2,000 follower range. On Facebook, 3% have that many connections; the majority, though, have fewer than 500, and 26% have under 200 Facebook friends.

Article Continues Below

The Twitter average is 290 followers. On Facebook, recruiters average 251 friends.

About Facebook, the report says:

Its perception as a purely personal tool and the lack of awareness of its targeting features (such as friend lists) may account for why recruiters haven’t yet fully embraced it. However, our research indicates that it works better than Twitter for identifying place-able candidates.

Bullhorn social media power usersBullhorn’s 2013 North American Staffing and Recruiting Trends Report shows that while 22% of recruiters on Bullhorn reach use Facebook, versus 27% who use Twitter, Facebook produced more placed candidates. According to the report, 16.7% of recruiters successfully used Facebook to place candidates versus just 12.7% with Twitter.

However, 92.9% of recruiters reported LinkedIn produced candidates they placed.

Job postings on LinkedIn also got many more views (179 per) than they did on Facebook (10) and Twitter (45) combined. And LinkedIn yielded more job applications per job application than did either Facebook or Twitter.

Even when the size of the network — connections, friends, or followers — is factored in, LinkedIn is still the bigger producer by multiples. As you might expect, the bigger the network, the more applications each job posting gets. For Twitter and Facebook, those numbers rise slowly; on Linkedin, even recruiters with fewer than 50 connections average 5.7 applications for each job they post. Those with mega networks of 5,000 or more get 22.6 applications. On Twitter and Facebook, no matter how large the network, the average number of applications maxes out at just under six.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


42 Comments on “Bullhorn Report: LinkedIn Most Popular Site for Social Recruiting

  1. I just (five minutes ago) pulled entire Business Configuration Analyst group (12 names) out of health care provider in FL. ONE was on LinkedIn. Then I read this article.
    Keep on drinkin’ that Kool-Aid.


  2. @Maureen, your point is a good one. However, I posit that in time (give a year or two) and about 70% of that team will be on the platform.

    LI just reported that 70% of the workforce in Singapore has a profile. We’re marching toward 100% transparency.

    Remember, Jeff Weiner’s goal which he’s stated is he would like 3.3 Billion profiles and every job on their platform.

  3. @Maureen: Of course not everyone is on LinkedIn. But a significant percentage of the American working population is, and that percentage increases as you title up the ranks. For a sourcer to rely solely on LinkedIn would be bad business, because they get paid to find purple squirrels. For recruiters with 10 JOs, scouring LI is a significant step up from posting and hoping, which is why thousands and thousands of them are on LI.

    Just this morning I exchanged emails with a recruiter who wanted to know how to source on LI if he didn’t have a paid recruiter account. You and I both know that is the main reason recruiters accumulate so many contacts and join so many groups.

    LI is not the complete answer to sourcing talent, but it is an important tool. You can build a house without a hammer, but it is much easier if you use one.

  4. A “significant percentage”?


    This is an IT Analyst job I’m working on.

    You said:
    “Those who recruit for IT are by far the most numerous. Bullhorn says 3,249 are IT recruiters, which makes sense considering how competitive it is to find tech talent.”

    What is 1 out of 12 being on LinkedIn?


    That’s a “significant percentage”?

    I don’t think so.

    Not last time I checked.

    John, you’ve been hoodwinked – bamboozled – just like the others.

    LI has a tremendous press department and subjects WILLING TO BELIEVE – DESPERATE TO BELIEVE – what fodder it puts out.

    You have NO WAY OF KNOWING what percentage of the workforce is on LinkedIn.
    Because you’re not out here in the trenches CALLING IN to companies like I am.
    You do not see the percentages like I do on a daily basis.
    Neither does Bullhorn.

    I say it again:
    Keep on drinkin’ that Kool-Aid.
    You’re doing your readers a disservice.

  5. Robert – I suspect that may have been something you would have said a year ago too.
    It’s not happening and it’s not going to happen.

    In fact, I know if I go back a year in these forums the same thing was being said.
    I can say emphatically – it didn’t happen.
    You won’t (and really can’t know) know this though without experiencing it on the front line like I do.

  6. @Maureen, you are correct! I’ve been saying technology was marching toward this. But don’t forget. Most recruiters don’t need to find 12. They need to find one.

    If that one who IS on LinkedIn gets pitched job opportunities and gets promoted, their buddies will find out.

    For me, I’m not high volume. I need 1s and 2s. So who cares if 12 aren’t on? I just need one to be on.

  7. @ Everybody: Mighty Mo has a very good point:
    Not every potential candidate will ever be on Linked In, or any easily accessible source. That’s where she and a few other world-class sourcers come in- to find the (nearly) unfindable…
    However, as John Sumser said: “Pretty-good sourcing gets better and better,” and IMHO, fewer and fewer people are inaccessible via ordinary means of one type or another.
    I also think there is a major unspoken assumption operating here:
    That all these hard-to-find people are waiting like Rapunzel for someone to scale their “Tower of Impenetrable Anonymity” and will then say, “At last you’ve found me! Of course I’ll take the under-paid, mediocre position at your no-name company!” As I pointed out (https://staging.ere.net/2013/02/15/recruiting-supermodels-and-a-tool-to-help-you-do-it/) just because you have access to someone, doesn’t mean you can easily hire them; you need to have something they want. Furthermore, the fact that these people make themselves hard-to-find may decrease the likelihood that they’d want to talk to you about anything i.e., if they’re hard-to-find, they’re probably hard-to-“open” or “close”. Is this your experience, Folks?



  8. Robert:
    You said: “I see 331,997 current or former IT Analysts. That’s plenty ….”

    Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

    That’s exactly the kind of limited analysis LinkedIn depends on in selling subscriptions.

    How many of those 331,997 are in the Northern Ohio locale with specific skill sets that work for specific companies?

    Rest assured it’s a (very small) fraction of the “331,997 current or former IT Analysts ….” you mention.

    Keith: Nobody needs me (or any other “world-class sourcer”) to find the (nearly) unfindable.
    Nobody is really unfindable.
    All one needs is an open mind as to what a two-sided portal like LInkedIn can and cannot deliver and then be willing to act on a rational analysis of those facts rather than be a member of the herd rushing over the cliff at all those “331,997 current or former IT Analysts.”

    It’s not my experience that phone sourced names (those that aren’t on LinkedIn) are any less receptive to a recruiter’s approach than someone advertising themselves for sale (let’s be real here – that’s what they’re doing) on LinkedIn.

    I’m always surprised at how much resistance my assertions about LinkedIn (and social media in general) meet with.

    Those that know – KNOW.

    “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” ~ John Adams’ Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,’ December 1770
    US diplomat & politician (1735 – 1826)

  9. Maureen, you make it seem like a black & white thing. I do not posit that LinkedIn has 100% of people. But it’s foolhardy to protest that it has 0%. The truth is in the middle.

    There are 3,200+ IT Analysts within 100-miles of Cleveland.

    I can offer relocation, I’m not limited to Cleveland. I think you paint those who use the tool with a broad brush. LI provides a great service and it continues to evolve.

    Did you know companies are now encouraging their employees to create/update LI profiles in employee orientation? That some are using LI visual analytics data to get a better idea of who their company is since their own HRIS systems suck?

    It’s a great tool. Granted it isn’t comprehensive yet and may never be. But that in the know mentality seems limiting. It isn’t black and white. It’s gray. But more and more people are using it. They’re growing at almost 3 new profiles per second now. The fastest rate in the company’s history.

    You bring up great concerns, but I posit that LI can and does deliver most of the time.

    But that’s me.

  10. @ Robert: Thank you.
    @ Maureen: Without giving away secrets, can you give any characteristics of the people who aren’t on LI, the Internet, etc?
    One of these days I’d like to learn how skip-tracers find people who don’t want to be found.

    @ Everybody: Unless you have LIR, aren’t most people on LI NOT on LI (for you)? What is the nature of the 3rd & 4th level contacts? I have no idea if they’re people I’d never need to contact on the far side of the worlds, or perfect candidates right next door…


  11. I’ll think about that Keith (the characteristic thing) and try to respond later – in the meantime I’m interested in your second question as well.

    Maybe we’re not comparing apples to apples.

    I’m working off the premise where I do a specific search in a specific company in a specific office/specific city.

    NOT where I ask LinkedIn how many IT Analysts they claim anywhere in the world; any company.

    First I look at the entire office before I narrow it to the suspects I use when calling in to pull whole teams.

    I believe I’m getting 100% of what’s available in these offices; the exception being a very large location with thousands and thousands of employees but even on those the narrowed total generally falls w/in the 100 I can see.

    I suppose we should spell out our diagramming techniques for better accuracy on this thing.

    Robert, how do you know they’re 100%?
    You know my methodology; what’s yours in determining that figure?

    I couldn’t agree more with you Robert.
    I think LI provides a great service but the point I’m trying to make is there’s a BIG WORLD out there beyond LinkedIn and many seem very willing to ignore it.

    I understand mine is an unpopular stance.

    Robert; my customers usually don’t want to/realize many candidates can’t relocate.

    I can’t help but believe this is the preferred stance for many recruiters.

    We generally start local and spread out concentrically w/ 50 miles being about the most they want to go outside a center.

    I generally don’t do the high level stuff (C-levels, EVPs); mostly I’m tasked w/ finding the Worker Bees (and their management) inside organizations.

    Maybe that’s impacting this discussion.

  12. @Maureen You are correct, not everyone is on LinkedIn. As reported on ERE, the recent CareerXRoads source of hire report found that social media recruits represent 2.9% of external hires. 3rd party hires represent 3.1%, Temp/Contract 1.5% and other 7.2% (which I’m sure includes some agency work). Comparatively, social media hires do not represent a majority of external hires. Social media ROI is best realized in-house, because it saves money that would otherwise be spent on agency fees. As an internal social media recruiter with an agency background, I have provided significant ROI using social media and Boolean search to find and recruit candidates. It’s not just about obvious savings in agency fees. Social media is a marketing tool, and candidates expect companies to have a social media presence. Do I recommend social media recruitment as a primary sourcing method to an agency recruiter? No! It takes a lot of time and engagement, and one negative comment from a candidate will immediately negatively impact an employer brand. Agency recruiters: Pick – Up – The – Phone! LinkedIn is the most effective network to recruit from, but I would argue Boolean search is just as effective as spending time on LinkedIn. Twitter is #2 because it allows for real-time conversations, and well, Facebook…maybe it will be useful someday. Right now it’s just not that effective, but holds a lot of potential because of the sheer number of users. I would be really interested to see a comparison of your direct sourcing methods vs. Facebook. I think you will find more candidates, but the struggle is finding and engaging them without breaking the law because of all the personal info on the site. Social recruitment is effective, it just depends on who is using it and for what purpose.

  13. Not being on LinkedIn for professional reasons nowadays is like saying you can’t see the use for a smart phone so you are sticking to your old flip phone.

    I don’t have a single client that doesn’t want the LinkedIn Bio to go with a resume. In fact, some are skipping the resume altogether in favour of just the Bio for first review purposes.

    The simple facts are: if you aren’t easily accessible via LinkedIn, then the best career opportunities are probably going to people who ARE.

    Why drag a huge line to fish in the middle of the Atlantic when you can simply dip in a net close to shore?

    Recruiting is driven by speed to close the contract.

    If you are hard to find, then unless you are the one and only expert in your field, the best roles are going to be tendered to those who make it easy to connect.

    That’s what LinkedIn does: makes it easy to establish a new business relationship with a high level of trust of authenticity in a professional forum atmosphere.

    Dont’ want to be bothered with annoying recruiters coming to you will new career opportunities? Don’t bother to join LinkedIn.

    If you do: best quickly get onboard. It’s the ONLY game in town anymore.

  14. That’s a very good way of saying it, Suzanne:

    “Why drag a huge line to fish in the middle of the Atlantic when you can simply dip in a net close to shore?”

    You made me think of something I think might be Messenger-worthy to this audience knowing I stand the chance of being shouted down.

    I’m wondering, Suzanne, if all this disparate treatment (fishing close to shore – an intentional decision in the rate of selection) could lead to claims of disparate impact in the future?

    Yeah, yeah I know; issues of race, sex and ethnicity come into play but given as the average age on LinkedIn is 44 with average household incomes about double that found on other (Facebook, Twitter) networks and boasting a (mostly) male presence (63%) is it that far a stretch to think some enterprising attorney might not see some landmark case festering in place?

    I don’t think it is that far a stretch to see a potential for discrimination in the hiring process.

    1. http://www.cjr.org/innovations/investigating_algorithms.php

      “Algorithmic accountability builds on the existing body of law and policy aimed at combatting discrimination in housing, employment, admissions, and the like, and applies the notion of disparate impact, which looks at the impact of a policy on protected classes rather than its intention. What that means for algorithms is that it doesn’t have to be intentionally racist to have racist consequences.”

  15. Robert, am I surprised that “companies are now encouraging their employees to create/update LI profiles in employee orientation? That some are using LI visual analytics data to get a better idea of who their company is since their own HRIS systems suck?”

    No, nothing HR does surprises me.
    Wait til the C-levels get wind of what they’re doing…

  16. I have to say I agree with Maureen on a few things here.

    This survey, first, is skewed because it is only a comparison versus Facebook and Twitter. Not against other common sources of candidate discovery. As noted on the SilkRoad study found on this site, newspaper classifieds still have a higher percentage rate of placement than LinkedIn.

    Secondly, saying everyone is using the site is disingenuous. According to the International Labour Office, there are 4.53 million businesses worldwide with 10 employees or more, which means 3/10% worldwide are using LinkedIn for recruiting. That is a far, far cry from ‘everyone’.

    Additionally, there are 3.3 billion of working age, and 690 million professionals globally according to the International Labour Office. LinkedIn has 200 million accounts, of which they admit that about 26% (or approximately 52m) of them have actually filled in profiles (which is what is needed for passive recruiting) which equates to 1.3% of the global workforce and 7.5% of the professional workforce.

    Furthermore, many of the professionals on LinkedIn have no desire to be recruited – LinkedIn is not solely focused on recruiting but rather it is one aspect of it (so the percentage goes down even further).

    You know, LinkedIn dropped in this recruiting solution is 2008, you’d figure they could produce metrics by now of the overall total candidate placement versus total job placements but they don’t. Why? Because the number is terrible. SilkRoad, CareerXRoads and others have shown social media, in general, has a very, very low success rate.

    That’s not to say LinkedIn is not a good tool to have in one’s toolbox, but it is not the “be all, end all” it is so frequently made out to be.

  17. @Maureen, I’ve cross referenced some org charts I did get my hands on and compared with LI and have been very pleased. About half our employees are on it (I’m connected to them). About 40% of the employees of our competitors are on the platform and that is only growing. Heck, even the DDO of the CIA is on it.

    Also, finding very narrow skill sets on LinkedIn, means we pick up the phone and contact them. Just because you find them on LI, doesn’t mean you’re limited to InMail. (However, InMail in my experience has a 25-35% acceptance rate). Of course you’ll Bing for candidates still, but I go to LI first because it’s easy.

    @Thea, be careful of those social media statistics. Every recruiter who FINDS their hires on LI will report them as ‘Recruiter found’. LI won’t get any credit. Those numbers more than likely reflect an applicant by a job posted on that platform.

    Would I recommend LI to a recruiter at any level? YES! A resounding yes regardless of level! Agency too.

    You find them.
    You call/engage them. And then do our thing.

    @Maureen, why would you be surprised at companies encouraging their employees to use that platform? They’re struggling to figure out what their internal competencies are (THEY ARE). Current HRIS systems lack the ability to depict and are far out of date. Retention and engagement are being measured, and LI allows companies an empowered way to track employees. Happy employees won’t leave (or it’s harder to extract them).

    The capabilities LI will offer companies related to competitive intelligence, HR data analytics are staggering in my opinion.

    Of course have lots of tools in your tool belt. But do not underestimate the sea change and march toward transparency. Singapore will be created in the US. 70% of our workforce at some point will be on the platform.

    It’s coming. These words about being sold snake oil are patently false.

    I think we need forum on this at the next ERE. Todd, sign me and Maureen up. It’ll be highly entertaining.

  18. I remember a similar set of discussion as the job boards rose in the `90`s. People were screaming that they would kill the recruiting industry yadda yadda yadda. Did not happen.

    Sure you can make a nice living with a LinkedIn account and a phone, but the resource (like any useful commons) is getting more and more played, and because LinkedIn is now seen as mainly a recruiting platform by users (is anything social on LinkedIn other than discussion groups, which are what we old timers call listservs?) the savvy users are harder targets and the social permission LinkedIn pioneered has eroded; these days, if an employee suddenly gets active on LinkedIn, it’s the classic red flag to management, and its totally visible. OF COURSE companies want you on LinkedIn, why not?- All the better for them to scope employee activity…

    So everyone is right, but lets keep in mind that what Maureen does is worth a higher margin, and will continue to be worth it, because no website will ever get 100% and even LinkedIn has someone out there somewhere determined to drink their milkshake….in the meantime, you can do well with LinkedIn, just ask “LinkedIn Lou”…..

  19. “LinkedIn Lou” recently said:

    “Your workforce is now under attack by every recruiter who now has the latest version of LinkedIn Recruiter.”

    THAT’s why, Rob I said anything HR does wouldn’t surprise me.
    I say again: Wait ’til the C-levels catch on…

    THIS I agree with: “The capabilities LI will offer companies related to competitive intelligence, HR data analytics are staggering in my opinion.”

  20. @Maureen. My C-levels are the ones who ENCOURAGED this use of LI.

    Fact: Unhappy employees will look anyway, actively. You’re better off encouraging people to keep their LI profile up to date.

    Oracle and SAP will never offer the search features which LI can.

    The upside of having more powerful data analytics is higher than unhappy people who would leave anyway.

    I think you’ll find more and more embrace transparancy as time goes on.


  21. Thanks Maureen.
    @ Thea. Thank you for citing facts.
    @ Martin: You hit it right. As I have mentioned, the more a given recruiting tool is used by recruiters in general, the less effective it is for any particular recruiter. Think of LI (or anything else like a brand-new 12 lain freeway. When a few drivers start using it, it’s an incredible way of quickly getting to their destination. However, the more drivers start using it, the slower the average traffic speed is likely to be. One of the reasons Mighty Moe’s techniques work so well (besides the fact that she’s really good at what she does) is because SO FEW OF US EVEN TRY TO DO THE SAME THING.
    Imagine if you had tens of thousands

  22. of us learning Maureen’s techniques calling the same “Fabulous 5%” candidates. How many of us would ever be able to get through to the people we want? Consequently, if you have a good technique of finding/getting through/closing/etc. KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, and if you find a technique that you want choked off through overuse, TELL EVERYBODY ABOUT IT. (Likewise, by the most of us hear about something here on ERE, the “rose has probably lost it’s bloom” i.e. the competitive advantage of something ha probably peaked.)



  23. Wow! I love the invigorating debate. I’ve hired and trained recruiters now working at Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc. What I strived to teach them was to have a balanced approach. LinkedIn is a wonderful platform, and I use it every day. However, it does not mean that I should spend ALL of my time on it. Everyone knows your own hot book as a recruiter is your gold, and LinkedIn is essentially everyone’s hot book. Recruiters I’ve trained have a tendency to find something that works and beat it to death. That’s happening with many recruiters on LinkedIn. Use your tools wisely, but moderation is key…along with building your own hot book.

    As a Co-Founder at Ongig.com, I’ve had the fortune of meeting with Talent Acquisition leaders in top enterprises and rising startups. In almost every discussion, they talk about the use of LinkedIn Recruiter. Every recruiter on planet earth seems to be using it, and you’ve got to be aware of it. LinkedIn is not a competitive advantage in any way. It is a channel that you must master and use efficiently, not exclusively.

    One last thing, Bullhorn Reach has to figure out a way to look less spammy. My LinkedIn news feed is often cluttered with recruiters sharing their job ads via Bullhorn Reach. Can’t you do better than showing us the Bullhorn Reach logo on every single job share? No one cares about Bullhorn Reach. I wish I could turn those off in my LinkedIn news feed.

    Bottom line…moderation is key, and build your own hot book.

  24. @Keith @Jason I disagree with the 12 lane highway analogy.

    Okay, take any search. You have a needs assessment done/performance profile.

    Why wouldn’t you search on LI first? Why would cold call into a receptionist and dig out an entire organizational chart if there’s no need to? I grant that that type of intel could be useful, and her techniques for doing so are fantastic.

    But just perform some key word search, bam, get you list. Then cold call the said list, no need to have an org chart.

    We’re not cold calling the same 230-million people, I guarantee it. The 12-lane highway analogy makes no sense to me. Most recruiters aren’t calling anyone hardly.

    Our metrics are built around time to fill, quality of hire etc. Why in the world would I take more time to find someone who isn’t on LI if I don’t have to?

    Now if the LI search fails, what do you do? (and this happens). But until then, stick with what works.

    If the people fit the performance profile, great!

    In our industry there seems to be some compelling force that one has to have this ultra secret boolean search string picked up somewhere etc. No. We just need a list of people capable of doing a job. And there are 230-million right there.

    As LI continues to grow, it’ll become only more useful.

    But if the talent found on LI is great—great! Efficiency. Speed. Get ‘er done. I honestly don’t see the down side.


  25. @Rob I agree that there is a large audience of talent on LinkedIn that can be sourced. I’m not disputing that point.

    My point is that some recruiters are building a dependency on a third-party platform, without paying attention to their own recruiting system and technique. Top-level candidates see right through these rudimentary tactics. Why do you think skepticism of recruiters is so high?

    You are also assuming that sending InMails and emails is sufficient for pulling an A-player out of their seat. Or that a job posting on LinkedIn is enough to garner inbound interest.

    I know several Software Engineers who do not put their latest work on LI due to the skepticism of recruiters. And check out new college grads. Many of them don’t work LinkedIn hard because they are not confident in the experience-level presented on their profile.

    You should not spend all day on LinkedIn. For example, well-rounded recruiters can work GitHub, StackOverflow, Meetup, etc. to make inroads with Software Engineers. Not to mention, much of that can be free.

    I am not saying don’t use LinkedIn. I’m saying don’t use it exclusively as a crutch. Use it as a part of your strategy, even if it is a substantial piece.

    If 100% of your hires are coming from LI, you’ve got your time to fill beat, and the quality of hires is through the roof then you’ve got things figured out. Most of the companies I talk to who are heavy LinkedIn users still have holes in their talent acquisition program.

  26. @Rob The stats I presented from the CareerXRoads study reflect social media hires in general, not just LinkedIn. As I stated in my original post, agency recruiters should not use LinkedIn as their primary sourcing method as @Jason mentions above, variety is key. Picking up the phone is still the best, and above the rest!

  27. @Thea. Using Linked In AND picking up the phone is best. Advising recruiters to not search where 230-million people are seems ludicrous to me.

    First you find the talent on Linked In

    Then you call them.

    @Jason, there are 475,000 Software Engineers in the U.S. on LinkedIn. Engineers are overrepresented of the general population on LI. If my recruiters WEREN’T checking there first, I’d be disappointed.

    Again, LI is growing by about 200,000 profiles a day. I think promoting diversity in thought in finding people is great. But too much emphasis is placed in our industry in how many unique ways there are to find a purple squirrel, and everyone wants the merrit badge for mastering each one of them. That’s great.

    But recruiting isn’t rocket science. We find the people. We get them interested. We assess. We close them.

    LI offers a pool of 230-million people who have the skills. They have the competencies. They’re at our target companies with target job titles. And they’re 3-5 seconds away from being found.

    Every day 200,000 more. I’d embrace it rather than fight it.

    Sales will never go away. Just because they can be found in seconds doesn’t change our value add. We still have to call them. We still have to assess them. We still have to close them. LI will never change that.

    Agency recruiters. Get on LI and use it. You’d be crazy not to.

  28. @ Rob, @ Jason: As mentioned, LI is a great place to find people, a lousy way to contact people quickly. I use it to find the people I want, then I call them directly. I also use a service to obtain direct phone and/or email contact information (up to 100 profiles for $150) for more direct contact information. However, I say keep sending lots of InMails to the “Fabulous 5%”, also go to GitHub, StackOverflow, Meetup, etc. and choke those with recruiter over-use too.
    I’ve said it before: The real problem isn’t finding the people your Founders, Execs, and Hiring Managers want (https://staging.ere.net/2013/02/15/recruiting-supermodels-and-a-tool-to-help-you-do-it/), it’s getting those same Founders, Execs, Hiring Managers to recognize that they can’t have those people, because most companies have nothing to offer the “Fab 5”- they’ll NEVER work for you, get used to it! Instead, they need to hire the people you CAN get who WILL work for you.

    -Keith keithsrj@sbcglobal.net

  29. @Keith. NOW Y’OURE TALKIN! Hey, I want to learn about this ability to get the phone #’s. I struggle with the phone #s of the LI contacts at times. About 80% of the time, it’s not an issue, but then there’s that pesky 20% which it gets tough for the smaller companies etc.

    Love it. Thanks for the great comments.

    @Maureen. I respect the heck out of what you do, and think you’re obviously top 1% in that space.

    Happy Hunting!

  30. Thanks, Robert. Not to burst the bubble, but these folks are DEFINITELY NOT Maureen on the cheap. They just do low-level time consuming work- probably getting the phone number off Google or the co’s website, and trying a number of combinations for the email. I also sometimes use a quite affordable subscription) tool which is very good for the co. phone numbers, so-so on the emails. Either is better than the best results I’ve had (~20% response rate) with large numbers Up to 1580/week on one occasion) of sent InMails. I’d be interested in sometime running both in parallel, to see whether the tool or the team works better (I think the team is better for LI profile emails) and see how much overlap there is, but I haven’t yet had the opportunity.


    KH keithsrj@sbcglobal.net

  31. Hi John,

    Great article!

    Quick question – would you have information or articles on what how other people (line managers, directories) recruit people – as their motivations would be different to IT recruiters and likes would be different.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *