LinkedIn is Making Us Less Connected

LinkedIn is Making Us Less Connected:

Why Social Media is better as a supplement than a solution

By: Mike McDonough


Social Media seems so easy. Thousands of people are connected on the same sites for the same purposes – so finding someone for a job should be easier now than ever. Sites like LinkedIn can be useful tools, but there are many reasons hiring managers and job seekers should only use them as part of their equation.


LinkedIn bills itself as the “World’s largest professional network.” With free access to thousands of profiles, hiring managers are flocking to the site in droves in hope of saving time and money in their recruiting efforts. In fact, over 97% of HR and staffing leaders use LinkedIn as part of their process. The problem is, it may not be saving you as much time as you think.


When you set filter parameters for a new job post, over 72% of your average search results won’t be relevant to the position. But you still have to review every submission to find the relevant returns, which can take 30-60 seconds each. So for every qualified applicant you’re identifying, you’re wasting nearly three minutes on profiles that shouldn’t have been returned in the first place.


Three wasted minutes per qualified applicant doesn’t sound too bad. After all, you’ll likely only want to find 10-15 potential candidates to seriously consider. But the problem is that for every 16 people you reach out to, only an average of four will respond. Of the four that respond, only one person will be interested in the job. Let’s do the math:


Initial Results Relevant Results Candidate Responses Interested Candidates
100 28 7 1-2


So for every one or two candidates you want to interview, you have to look through 100+ search results. To interview four or five applicants, you may need to look through 400+ profiles, and that’s only if you want to move forward with every interested person that gets back with you.


425 profiles x 60 seconds per profile = Over 7 hours looking at LinkedIn profiles.


That’s nearly an entire day just actively looking for people to line up for interviews. That doesn’t even take into account the time you’ll need to spend reaching out to candidates, setting up interviews, interviewing, callbacks and negotiating salary and benefits.


Negotiating salary is no small feat when you’re using LinkedIn either. With a recruiter, the candidate will have expressed salary requirements already and your job posting will come with a salary range in mind. With LinkedIn, you don’t even get close to that level of information. Here’s what you’ll gather when a candidate responds to your job post:


  • Candidate Name
  • Candidate Headline
  • Current Employment Job Title (No details, just title)
  • Past Employment Job Titles (No details, just title)
  • Names of colleges or universities the candidate attended
  • How many people have recommended the candidate (No details, just the number)
  • Common LinkedIn connections
  • Candidate’s E-mail address and phone number


Not a lot to go on when you’re trying to identify the next leader in your organization.


If you’re performing an executive search, the process is even more difficult. Leaders in other companies have to be very careful pursuing a job through a public forum like LinkedIn. If someone on their board sees them updating their profile to express interest in other opportunities, they could be risking their standing in their current organization. There is also too much information that needs to be gleaned when considering a leadership role for someone to risk their position for a cold call. This means that recruiters, traditional networking and referrals are still the preferred methods for finding executives who are looking to make a move.


The most important aspect that is missing from LinkedIn recruiting is far less tangible. Changing careers is a life-altering decision and candidates want to have a personal point of contact that will listen, resolve any issues they have with the offer and look for solutions to any holdups. If a candidate has any reservations during a strictly online recruiting process, it’s easy to simply stop responding and move on. With a personal connection like a recruiter, those reservations can become small bumps in the process instead of complete derailments. Hiring has always been about relationships, and when you take away the personal component you’ll find candidates are a lot less committed to the process. Think of all the time you will have wasted if the candidate you’re targeting backs out at the last minute with little to no warning.


LinkedIn and other social channels should certainly be a part of your recruiting efforts, but as you can see, there are many aspects of the process where social media can be more time consuming and challenging than traditional methods. By incorporating LinkedIn and other online efforts with traditional recruiting channels, your reach will be much wider, without the wasted time and resources.


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