Article main image
May 26, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

It’s safe to say that while some recruiters would argue LinkedIn Recruiter is worth big bucks, there are many others who would say that LinkedIn Recruiter is not worth the time of day as most of the data can be found by anyone for free online these days. So why pay the big bucks?

There was an ambivalence within me when I attended a LinkedIn event two weeks ago where they showcased their next generation LinkedIn Recruiter product. I wasn’t sure if the product was as good as they say and I wanted to find out what all the hype was. By the end of the product demo, I must say I was not convinced.

So according to the LinkedIn, the new product is much simpler, faster, and more intuitive to use. LinkedIn Recruiter essentially is an advanced search engine that finds profiles using parameters such as job titles, skills, and company names. It will show you other terms you can add to your search and provide you a list of potential profiles, helping you quickly review the matches for your open job.

If you have a potential employee in mind (assuming they are on LinkedIn) simply enter their name and LinkedIn Recruiter will guide you in building your search. For example, if you were to search for Java Developers, LinkedIn Recruiter will automatically generate a list based on top skills, companies, location and more. If you can’t find who you’re looking for, you can narrow the search by adding sections based on elements within the profile (e.g. school, current company, years of experience, etc.).

I guess many of you reading this are thinking – If the next generation of LinkedIn Recruiter is so intuitive and is able to do all these by itself, then it must be pretty cool and really is worth the big bucks!

However, it’s not all conquering as they make us recruiters believe.

The Challenge

As a recruiter, you must have realized by now that candidates are an innovative bunch and they express themselves in many different ways on LinkedIn. Have a read of this blog I had written and you will know what I mean.

Think of all the available LinkedIn data produced by these candidates as the haystack, keeping in mind LinkedIn today has 450 million profiles globally, and all the targeted profiles in your search as the needles. The haystack is getting bigger by the minute, therefore, the needles are getting buried deeper and deeper. Even now, some of these needles are making themselves “ghosts” so you and I can’t find them, hence, your targeted profiles are becoming harder to spot by the minute.

Even if you had gone through the haystack, how can you be sure that have you found all the needles? With all the variation in the data, are you certain you haven’t missed any potential needles (or profiles) during your search?

Can you rely on LinkedIn Recruiter to do this for you? I don’t think so, well not to the level you need.

Let’s forget about LinkedIn Recruiter for a moment.

Remember that the process of candidate searching is all about data retrieval and pattern recognition.

It’s a systematic approach to:

  1. Gather your requirements (what you need to search for)
  2. Run your search
  3. Review your results
  4. Identify the patterns and false positives (e.g. exclude terms you don’t want)
  5. Modify and re-run your search
  6. Continue the above 5 steps until you get it right and are confident you haven’t missed anything

It’s about the Execution

You can have the fastest car in the race, but if you don’t have the skill to steer it around the track without crashing, then having the best car is not a guarantee you will always win the race.

Now apply this analogy onto LinkedIn Recruiter. Sourcing is more about how you execute your search by following an iterative/systemic approach rather than just keying parameters into a search field. I know that practicing iterative/systemic approach in my search whether using LinkedIn Recruiters or my free LinkedIn account will enable me to uncover the profiles most can’t.

For me, I will always trust my search capability and don’t see the need to pay LinkedIn the big bucks, even if they have a much simpler, faster, and more intuitive search function. It’s free all the way for me.

What about you?

This post originally appeared on the ATC Blog.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
Get articles like this
in your inbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting articles about talent acquisition emailed weekly!