Feeling LeftOut on LinkedIn?

No. It is not a typo.

My misplacement of capitalization in the above heading is intentional. LinkedIn spells itself with a double capital so I decided to play along.

There’s been alot of brouhaha over LinkedIn lately. Every conference, convention, and seminar I attend has a LinkedIn workshop. LinkedIn Webinar invitations land in my email inbox semi-weekly.

Here LinkedIn. There LinkedIn … everywhere LinkedIn.

I don’t get it. Is it just me?

Sure, I have an account. And yes I get invitations to “join my network” each week.

I find LinkedIn is little more than an annoyance for the following reasons:


• It has increased my daily unsolicited sales calls by brokers & investors 30% (by making me a more visible target).
• Most of the LINKED invitations originate from people I never heard of and have dubious intentions.
• It increases my email spam.
• I can contact anyone who’s important to me without LinkedIn.

Last year I had one of my best years ever.

This year is taking place to become the same despite the dumb headlines I get tired of reading.

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I just had one of my biggest placements ever with another one in the works (net fee just under six figures for the single hire).

Yet not one dime of my 2008 revenue has come from a LinkedIn contact.

I attended a few of these workshops and still don’t see how this will help me in my recruiting practice!

Am I in the minority of successful recruiters that does not see the benefit of LinkedIn?

I’d like to hear from LinkedIn users and non-users alike. Add your comments to this article.

President of iresinc.com & Searchwizardry.com Within two years after leaving the corporate world in 1987, Frank Risalvato was earning $21,000 average fees as a search consultant. Each individual fee equated to almost 50% of his previous annual salary in 1987. In 1991 he founded www.iresinc.com, the search firm he continues to operate today. Today his fees are more than double that of his earlier years while working fewer hours weekly. Frank's audio download page on www.searchwizardry.com provides an opportunity to "be a fly on the wall" and listen in to live calls, messages, conversations with clients and candidates. His recent book, A Manager's Guide to Maximizing Search Firm Success has helped recruiters using it lock up partial and full retainers between $5,000 to $45,000 by helping drive home the concept of exclusive/retained over the usual contingency approach.

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19 Comments on “Feeling LeftOut on LinkedIn?

  1. I still think referrals systems are going to be the best means of good qualified candidates. LinkedIn, myspace, facebook, and other ning networks have completely saturated HR’s awareness of candidates, but how many are good candidates?

  2. I’ve had some high level placements from Linked In. It’s a tool in your tool box. I love it personally, but you can certainly recruit without it.

  3. LinkedIn provides me with fertile ground for talent when I am conducting a retained or exclusive search for my consulting clients. Vast numbers of executive-level consulting professionals use that site and belong to some of the Big 4 and Big 4 alumni groups. I have also noticed large numbers of FS professionals as well, but it might not work as well for corporate searches.

  4. Why care if it works for others? If it doesn’t work for you/your environment don’t turn yourself into a pretzel or think like a lemming.

    Besides, one less recruiter on LinkedIn makes it that more valuable for those of us who do well using it (among other resources).

  5. LinkedIn is useful, but not a panacea. Like all recruiting tools, it’s more useful for filling certain types of jobs. It’s a step in the development of a universal passive candidate database.

  6. Definitely have to agree with Neil. If you are making “so much money” why do you care that you haven’t been able to leverage LinkedIn as a resource. More candidates for us!

  7. Guys
    In my humble opinion it’s another Job Board (and so I guess people get easy down/up on Monster?Career Builder etc. We have measured recruiter success across our organization by comparing Linkedin and non-LinkedIn users searching to fill the same position. If anything the LinkedIn route was less successful – there is a lot of misleading information put out there about individuals and spending a lot ot time talking to truly passive candidates is a waste of time. Many did not put their career history up there as a ‘to hire’ sign anyway.In the end we have banned use – simply because of corporate risk – recruiters building their own personal database of candidates off our own database. We want that central database kept up to date on a daily basis by our recruiters for the benefit of themselves and our shareholders and LinkedIn cannot give that to us with the security protection we need for this invaluable intellectual property in our database.

  8. About 80% of my team’s placements over the last year or so have been the direct or indirect product of cold recruiting from fresh search research. About 15% of the remainder were sourced from referrals from my network. the last 5% were produced by LinkedIn and other Internet sources. That’s up from 0% the year before.

    Now, 5% of the last 12 month’s production is an OK number (hope I didn’t kinda lose anyone there). But I doubt it will climb much higher, only because I’m lazy (“Where else are you interviewing? Nowhere? Excellent.”) and want to protect my brand (“We never would have found this candidate on our own.”)

    Happy hunting.

  9. I find LinkedIn Amazing! I just started using it in March, as a Talent Acquisitions Manager. The program I bought can not be sold to 3rd party recrutiers and has given me the edge. I have saved over $200K in fees just in the past 4 months, and have found excellent passive candidates that are now new hires. If I could only have one tool, it would be LinkedIn.

  10. Although it is a rather rare occurrence to get a hire from a direct communition through LinkedIn, it has been rather valuable in obtaining general information about where activity is going on and where people are growing “restless”.

    It is not any sort of “magic bullet”, however, and, as much as I hate to admit it at times, I still think the senior people I spoke to when I started this business were correct – if you are comfortable pounding the phone and can operate a pencil and a pad of paper you will do well in this business.

  11. Everyone has their own way of doing business, but as a 3rd party recruiter Nancy’s comment “The program I bought can not be sold to 3rd party recrutiers and has given me the edge. I have saved over $200K in fees just in the past 4 months” has me feeling that it’s not the way to go.

    I classify it with “all internet recruiting tools” in that if I have access so does ever other recruiter on the planet (in-house or external). That doesn’t mean I won’t ever use them, but that is not where I focus my efforts. It’s in my toolbox, but like a spark plug wrench for a car mechanic, you only pull it out when you need it.

    As an “old school” 3rd party recruiter I have found, that for me, the best way to recruit is still being on the phone and getting referrals from other good people.

  12. I absoultely love LinkedIn! It is a great tool but should be viewed as such and shouldn’t replace effective recruiting, networking, referrals, etc. The most benefit for me is to research companies and find people who either are working there or have worked there in the past. This year over 50% of my placements have come from direct contacts through LinkedIn or referrals from someone on LinkedIn.

  13. I Totally disagree with Frank on this. I love LinkedIn, and like any other “sourcing” website, is as good as you use it. If you create a profile and “link in” to people, but don’t use it to source you will not get anywhere. I myself have found and hired qualified people on LinkedIn but have gotten sources on locating more names as well as the “thanks but no thanks” on others.. which is what he should do rather than get annoyed.

  14. Frank.

    No one said LI was a short cut. The article questions LI as a source. If you’re short cut in finding candidates is predominately LI, then your results will be so. Lazy recruiting will always gravitate to the “easy” or convenient”.

    However, at a macro level, you still need to establish a relationship with a candidate (if they applied to a posting on LI) or rapport with a contact (if you’re cold contacting them). Try to short cut either of those and you get the results you deserve. There will always be folks looking for a magical, silver bullet. Let them. They will come and go.

    This pro-LI or anti-LI rhetoric is silly. LI is a tool and like your $20 bill, it can be used in good ways or bad ways.

  15. I’m inclined to agree with John Kennedy up there (2008); if it isn’t working as a recruiting tool, it can most certainly make itself useful as a microscope into the industry. I’m not a recruiter myself, but I log into LinkedIn on a daily basis as an attempt to place my thumb on recruiting trends and industry activity. If anything, use it as a window Frank!

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