If AI Improves, Do We Need LinkedIn Recruiter?

I’m a life-long (at least career-long) LinkedIn Recruiter (LIR) user, it’s how I generate over 90-95% of my placements, so when someone suggested, “Why don’t you get rid of LIR and just use an AI sourcing tool?” I laughed at them and brushed it off.

But then I got to thinking – will an AI sourcing tool handle what I need it to instead of LIR?

Short answer: Yes, depending on how you use LIR.

The first things to ask are, “What AI sourcing tools are out there?” The two most dominant in the market right now are Hiretual and HiringSolved. I will be writing another article that compares the two together, but for the sake of this topic, know those are the two big ones.

Second thing – what can’t the AI sourcing tools do right now that LIR can? The list is very small:

  • Open to new opportunities (OTNO)
  • Daily Saved Search Results
  • Messaging without email addresses (InMails)

So, are these three playing a significant role in your placements/hires? If not, maybe it’s worth evaluating getting off LIR completely and downgrading to something like Recruiter Lite or Premium.

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Open To New Opportunities

Open to new opportunities (OTNO) is excellent to use to find the folks who are actively looking for roles. While this may seem like a “no duh, I need that,” it’s important to note that the AI sourcing WILL find these folks, but you won’t know they’re OTNO. So, if you’re not explicitly messaging people mentioning that you know they’re OTNO, this won’t be a loss to you. Also, check your data. Are you getting hires from OTNO folks or are they filling up your pipeline with little results?

Daily Saved Search Results

Are you using them? Do you get daily emails from LinkedIn with all the folks in your saved searches that have updated their profile? And then, are you reaching out to them first thing in the morning to get the first point of contact? If not, understand you’re not making full use of the platform, which is okay! But it might be time to save some money and energy and let an AI sourcing tool work for you.


A lot of people have said, “InMails don’t work, people just don’t respond.” I think this is a skill-set issue, not a “LinkedIn InMails don’t work” issue. For the past three months, I’ve put a focus on trying to see if this is valid or a gap in skills, and I’ve been able to maintain between a 24% and 26% response rate on LIR. But again, if this isn’t working for you or your organization to MAKE HIRES – re-evaluate!

There is no “right answer” as to whether AI sourcing is better than LIR for your organization, it all depends on your data. I can tell you though, if you’re not using an AI sourcing tool, you are spending a bunch of time doing something that a machine could do far better and free you up to do more creative searches.

Mike (Batman) Cohen has been in the talent acquisition space for over 10 years with a focus on the agency-side of the house. For the past several years he's spent his time consulting for organizations in the area of T.A. Training, Process creation & improvement, Change Management, and Tooling.  Batman has been on several recruiting panels, spoke at Scala Up North in Montreal, Scala.io in France, and ERE 2018 in San Diego.