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Jul 24, 2019
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

When LinkedIn was founded at the end of 2002, it revolutionized the staffing industry. Touted as a professional social site, it very soon became the go-to place for sourcing candidates. With its one-stop-shop search and message capability, anyone could use it, and in fact, it seems nearly anyone and everyone has.

However, with the advent of LinkedIn also came the arrival of laziness in the recruitment professional. You can’t blame LinkedIn for this, but sourcers and recruiters nowadays aren’t as creative as they were before LinkedIn.

To use LinkedIn, you don’t need to learn how to source appropriately or how to use different boolean search commands. All you need to know is, well how to type. Think I am kidding? I get about 80-100 emails, InMails, and calls a week about opportunities. At least 40-50% are wanting me to do jobs I am not remotely qualified to do or overqualified to do, in other words outside my domain. For instance, an Oracle Developer. I am not nor have I ever been an Oracle Developer. Another example is Recruiting Coordinator (RC), now I understand the need and importance of an RC. However, I have never been an RC and given I have 30 years in the industry as a staffing professional; I think I am overqualified.

You get my point, and I know what you are thinking. What does that have to do with LinkedIn? Well, 90% of those 40-50 contacts for jobs that are not remotely what I do come from LinkedIn InMails. Before LinkedIn, I hardly got any contacts for jobs out of my domain, but since LinkedIn, I get a lot. Now the question is why? Well, it’s pretty simple. LinkedIn has made it so easy to use that the LinkedIn recruiting generation has a hard time paying attention to what they source. They see your profile return in the search results and immediately mass InMail you. What’s worse is that the emails are terrible. They make you feel like a number, and not so much a person.

A huge reason for this laziness is a lack of training. Managers feel the pressure to ramp up their staff to become as productive as quickly as possible. In doing so, they cut corners, and they eliminate training. It’s hard for sourcers and recruiters to creatively source and message candidates without proper training. The lack of training in our industry has created lazy recruiters and has given our industry a bad name.

Again, it’s not LinkedIn’s fault that recruiters don’t know how to use their website correctly. The blame should fall on the managers and directors of those recruiters. However, many of those leaders are convinced that tools, like LinkedIn and formerly job boards, is all you need. So, how can recruiters and sourcers use resources other than those mentioned, when their leaders can’t think outside the box themselves?

There is a finite number of potential candidates on LinkedIn, and let’s not forget Facebook, which has a few billion more. Recruiters lack the depth to think on creative ways to sources these sites effectively. They lack quality, and they lack the skills to source email address and personalize outreaches to candidates.

Candidates live on many websites other than LinkedIn, and the average LinkedIn users supposedly check LinkedIn less than once a month. Also, let’s not forget about the potential hazards of misusing LinkedIn and landing in LinkedIn jail. Such actions below can get you “locked up.”

  • Viewing too many profiles
  • Viewing profiles to fast
  • Sending too many InMails
  • Getting too many InMails rejected
  • Getting a low reply rate

All of those are designed to limit what you can do on LinkedIn, and this should concern you.

LinkedIn isn’t a terrible tool, and it has earned its rightful place in our industry. What I am against is lazy recruiting, and the lack of training on LinkedIn is one of the more significant reasons why this type of laziness has grown.

Being ex-military, I know better than to point out a problem without having a proper solution. The solution is simple, train your staffing professionals, make them learn boolean, x-raying, detective methodologies, etc. Make them learn the things that will allow them to succeed with or without LinkedIn or any one method or process. Prepare them to be able to do their jobs even if all the tools went away. That’s how you can help fix the lazy staffing problem.


This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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