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Why LinkedIn Isn’t the right platform for your recruitment business

Why the most popular networking platform for professionals may not be the best option.

September 29, 2020
Olly Keell
April 12, 2023

LinkedIn has become an essential platform for job seekers, recruiters, and salespeople with nearly 800 million members in more than 200 countries. As a professional networking site, LinkedIn offers recruitment businesses the opportunity to search for and engage with top talent. 

LinkedIn’s platform is free to sign up, connect with someone you know, and message them. But for recruiters, this isn’t enough. They are constantly searching far and wide for candidates and send out tons of messages to engage with them. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the drawbacks of recruiting on LinkedIn and why it is not always the best choice for your recruitment business or freelance operation. 

Some of the downsides of LinkedIn Recruiter

Next to the benefit of having most professionals on one platform, there are some major downsides of recruiting on LinkedIn compared to alternatives.

Some of which are:

  • Costly Recruitment Packages
  • Limited Search Filters
  • Limited Access to Premium Features
  • High Competition for Top Talent
  • Vague Pool of Candidates

Costly Recruitment Packages

LinkedIn offers the Recruiter Corporate and Recruiter Lite packages for recruiters searching for and messaging candidates. The prices of which are:

Recruiter Corporate: $10,800 billed annually or $1080 per monthly subscription

Recruiter Lite: $1,680 billed annually or $170 per monthly subscription

These packages are positioned on a separate platform adjacent to LinkedIn called LinkedIn Recruiter and contain a Boolean search to find candidates. Boolean searches allow you to combine words and phrases using the words AND, OR, and NOT (known as Boolean operators) to limit, broaden, or define your search.

A LinkedIn Recruiter Corporate license for a single recruiter costs $8,990 per year and any additional InMails you wish to send to candidates on top of the 150 monthly InMail credit allowance, will set you back $8 per InMail Message.

On the other hand, Recruiter Lite comes is a cheaper alternative for small and medium-sized businesses as LinkedIn charges $1,480 annually. 

However, it comes with severe limitations. Recruiter Lite has a limit of only 30 InMails per month. An active recruiter could easily run out in a few days and would then have to pay a whopping $240 for an additional 30 and so on. 

LinkedIn also indicates that the average response rate on InMails is 18-25%, therefore at best, you’d be spending an average of $32 just to get a response from a candidate, let alone one that is positive and engaging. 

Larger recruitment firms tend to keep a stronghold of the market as they have the capital to invest in Recruiter Licenses and Inmails, and thus will almost always be the first to reach out to candidates.

Limited Search Filters

LinkedIn Recruiter’s search filters are not the most comprehensive when searching for the right candidates.

Recruiters can search using keywords, location, industry, and job titles, but quite often the search doesn’t always provide accurate results. There are many times when a recruiter searches for a candidate and LinkedIn displays a profile that is almost the complete opposite of what was entered in the Boolean search, and having to filter out the irrelevant candidates is quite time-consuming. 

Limited Access to Premium Features

LinkedIn offers a range of premium features such as advanced search filters and access to in-depth candidate analytics. However, these features are available only to those who have subscribed to LinkedIn’s premium membership plans.

For the average person, It’s almost impossible to recruit on LinkedIn if you aren’t subscribed to one of the premium features as you will be limited to the number of profiles you can view and as every profile is only able to send 80-100 connection requests per week, anyone you want to message that you aren’t connected with will have to be sent an InMail. 

High Competition for Top Talent

LinkedIn is by far the most favored networking site for professionals. Its monopoly of the market is incomparable. As of 2023, the platform has nearly 800 million active users around the world and is 6th on the list of the most popular social platforms as a whole. 

Recruitment businesses have relied heavily on LinkedIn since the rise of technology over the past decade and the current state of the market is extremely saturated meaning top talent is constantly inundated with job offers and opportunities. Many of the top candidates in turn disable receiving InMails. 

The challenge of standing out from the competition when trying to attract high-quality candidates through the platform can get quite overwhelming when you’re just starting out or trying to compete with larger firms. 

Vague Pool of Candidates

As LinkedIn is a complete professional networking site, many recruiters struggle to keep in line with their target market. There will often be tons of irrelevant candidates that you have to filter out and the LinkedIn algorithms mean that there's no saying your content posts will reach the right audience. 

Sites like GitHub, Xing, and Polywork have seen some rapid growth in recent years as a result as they offer niche networking platforms like one for just software developers or one for those in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) and are slowly breaking up the status quo of a market that is extremely broad.

At the end of the day, recruiting on LinkedIn for new agencies and freelancer recruiters is getting less and less viable with unaffordable recruitment package costs, the over-saturation of recruiters, and a vague pool of candidates.

Your alternatives

With the rise in technology, new platforms have emerged that pull the information of candidates on LinkedIn, GitHub, and Stack Overflow allowing you to find the right candidates and engage with them at a fraction of the cost LinkedIn charges and providing you the ability to reach hard-to-find candidates that are specific to your target market. In addition, alternative solutions allow for further outreach automation and with that, scale. This could be key to standing out from the crowd and succeeding in the recruitment world in the future.

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