LinkedIn To Begin Charging For Group InMails

LinkedIn_logoLinkedIn is making a change to the way recruiters can reach out to members of a group. Beginning Tuesday LinkedIn will charge for sending mass mailings to group  members.

InMails recruiters send from Recruiter to fellow group members who aren’t 1st degree connections will be deducted from their allotted monthly InMail credits

Previously, anyone with a LinkedIn Recruiter account could send free InMail messages to any number of members of groups of which they, too were a  member.  It cost nothing, for example, for a LinkedIn recruiter customer to send one or 1,001 emails to fellow group members.

Most Recruiter customers used the free service judiciously. Enough, however, did not, that LinkedIn chose to end the free mass mailing option. As a LinkedIn spokesman gently explained it, charging recruiters to send InMails helps to “encourage them to tailor their message and maintain a positive member experience.” In other words, it cuts down on spam messaging.

However, he said “The vast majority of recruiters will not be affected by this” as they have more than enough InMail credits to accommodate their mail volume.

The rule change will have no affect on non-customer recruiters because they never could send mass mailings. They will still be able to send free InMails to fellow group members from LinkedIn.com and will also be able to continue to post jobs and messages to the group.

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The impending change has prompted a number of sourcers and recruiters to call foul.

Sourcer Maureen Sharib wrote a lengthy blog post railing about he change and suggesting the change might prompt legal action.

Elsewhere, commenting about the change, Cathy Mannis said: “LI is really making it impossible for professionals to have an exchange of ideas and, thereby, building professional relationships. ”

Other comments on Twitter and elsewhere are equally as harsh. But not everyone sees the move as a big impact.  Notes Matt Charney, “Anyone whose sourcing or engagement strategy is affected by this news is either a troll, a bad recruiter or a B2B content marketer.”

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.

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4 Comments on “LinkedIn To Begin Charging For Group InMails

  1. My problem is how silently they made the switch – why wasn’t an inMail delivered to every RPS user? Apparently they sent an e-mail that made it to my spam folder. Until today 1/13/14 I had no idea of the change. I log into RPS every single day.

  2. LinkedIn is a company without any integrity. One should read Nick Corcodilos’ articles on the subject. John Zappe rarely checks his facts and is mostly incorrect in stating that free emails to groups are no longer allowed. They still are, but the convenience of the LinkedIn Recruiter system itself is substantially diminished by not allowing those emails to be sent as inmails. Also, the limitation on 50 groups is a pain, since a real recruiter will recruit in very diverse fields. A ‘real’ recruiter should be able to start from scratch in any field and develop a thriving network within a month or less, given talent at the craft of recruiting itself. LinkedIn is discouraging cross-over recruiters (who tend to be much more successful) by limiting the number of fields that they can participate it. I am definitely angry with the changes made by LinkedIn, but John (as usual) has his facts wrong.
    By the way, Jessica C., I worked all through the weekend (1/11, 1/12, and 1/13) to send out as many inmails as possible to all potential candidates because I had been informed in advance. So, they did tell some of us. The interesting (and most encouraging thing) is that once I stopped using LinkedIn to recruit, I more than doubled the number of candidates was finding, and also finding candidates for searches that I had zero success with on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is really just a crutch, in a lot of ways.

      1. That’s a little like asking my parents: “What did you guys do in the old days before TV?”. Basically, use your own network. My network is 50x as large as the network I have on LinkedIn (even with 5000 contacts). Go figure. LinkedIn is for lazy people who don’t have research skills, mostly.

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