A Brief Overview of the LinkedIn User Interface and Functionality Changes

Last week, there were some heated discussions from many voices on different social channels in the sourcing community of fundamental functionality changes affecting searches within LinkedIn’s user interface. Irina Shamaeva and Stacy Zapar were both noticeably instantaneous to update many users of these forthcoming changes. Some of these changes in LinkedIn appear insignificant, but other changes will significantly impact how we source candidates on its website. Here is what we can tell so far.

  1. You will no longer be able to search by job title. In some platforms of LinkedIn, depending on what you utilize, sourcers may experience a loss of being able to search for candidates by their job title. Many users are reporting that this functionality has already disappeared from Premium accounts. Other users of the non-paid version of the website also are finding the same. In LinkedIn Recruiter, job title sourcing remains intact. Job title searching in some cases is re-directing your keywords to matching terms found within a user’s profile.
  2. No more Boolean? There have been reports and rumors that LinkedIn is pulling Boolean and advanced search capability from its LinkedIn Recruiter Lite. The basic version of LinkedIn still allows for Boolean searches, and it appears LinkedIn Recruiter Lite seems to have it working (as of press time).
  3. New Limit on Search Results. Search options are limited in basic LinkedIn accounts to ten results per page. One will note that from the results page you will see minimal information in the summary section from that page, and unless your network includes a fair amount of contacts, you will not be able to see all the information in the profiles retrieved. A better solution is to use the XRay (site:) technique in a search engine to view more details in LinkedIn profiles. Although anyone can run a XRay in a search engine, with a basic account, you will eventually run out of profiles views. LinkedIn only limits its basic users to a maximum of 50 views when logged into your account.
  4. The XRay Lives (kind of)! XRay and other LinkedIn searches still appear to be working through search engines, but there is a catch. Running a site: search in Google provides us with this sample search string: site:linkedin.com (“network engineer” OR “network * engineer”) (ccna OR ccnp) -dir -intitle:profiles -inurl:jobs “Washington D.C. Metro Area.” LinkedIn is now prompting us to log in while running XRay searches once you click on a result to see the full profile. This will usually happen after clicking on your second result in the search. We can now say RIP to LinkedIn public profiles. Thanks, Shally Steckerl for alerting the community (if you can’t see his LinkedIn public profile, try this one).
  5. Pay to Play. In some cases, depending on the version of LinkedIn, you may be missing fields depending on where you click. For example, clicking on the blue magnifying glass will cause you to have limited features for searches while clicking on the advanced search will give you more options to narrow your search. Comparing the various features for searches in basic, Recruiter Lite, and Recruiter Premium, one notices more features with the price significantly going up in each package. It appears that some fields are collapsing and others remain.
  6. Zip Codes are Being Retired. The bottom line is that the more you pay, the more you will have. The features that were once free are being filtered to paid versions. It appears the location/zip code searches are now being replaced. With a non-paid account, LinkedIn will now require you to search the actual city. This will limit a radius search within LinkedIn with a basic account.
  7. Company Search Becomes a Dropdown. Company search features will still exist in a basic account. However, users will now have a drop-down field to select a company to search. You will be able to select multiple companies and will still have the ability to search current and past companies simultaneously. Within a LinkedIn Recruiter paid version all features will remain unchanged.
  8. Limited Information in Profiles. In some versions, depending on the type of account you have, those searching for a free basic account will notice little information on the profiles they are sourcing, and limited details available. Some users may experience not being able to see all the profile information they did before in the LinkedIn site revisions. XRaying, however, appears to reveal all of the information that you need to locate a candidate.


LinkedIn is slowly rolling out these new features to its users. SourceCon will continue to follow and report these changes.


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Shannon Pritchett is the editor of SourceCon. As a lifelong student in the recruitment industry, Shannon is passionate about improving it. Shannon has a diverse background in training, sourcing, international recruitment, full desk recruiting, coaching, and journalism. Shannon got her start in the recruitment industry at Vanderbilt University and later worked as a Senior Recruiter for Internal Data Resources and Community Health Systems, Social Media Recruitment Ambassador for T-Mobile USA, Director of Recruiting for Moxy, Trainer with AIRS, and last as a Manager of Global Sourcing and Training for ManpowerGroup Solutions RPO.

Mike Rasmussen, PHR, SHRM-CP is a Talent Acquisition Business Partner with ADP.  Mike works out of his home office in Utah and is a full life cycle recruiter at ADP.  Mike has a passion for Staffing/Recruiting and Sourcing and in his career has helped hire nearly 1000+ professionals in a wide variety of roles from Executive, Technical, Operations, etc.  Today Mike supports Talent Acquisition efforts at ADP in several key Western States.  A contributor to Recruiting Blogs, Mike has been writing regarding Talent Acquisition topics for nearly 8 years.  Connect with Mike via Twitter @MikeRADP.

Natalya Kazim is a Sourcing Consultant with 15+ years of experience in the Recruitment world. She has had the opportunity to work in several Fortune 500 companies to help lead the initiative to develop their sourcing function.  Natalya is passionate about learning new, innovative, and efficient ways deliver the best quality results.  She has served as both a Mentor and Trainer sharing her wealth of information to help others succeed. She has a strong background in advanced sourcing, competitive intel research, organizational charting, market analysis, candidate information retrieval, and passive candidate engagement . Natalya resides in the Washington, DC Metro Area.