Why I love LinkedIn

March 24, 2008

Today we have a guest poster: Le tete du fromage Recruiter/Blogger

Wow, have you seen the new company page feature in LinkedIn? It was great before, certainly the number one source for cold calling software engineers. The information is the best, as the users keep it updated with their latest moves, so it doesn’t go bad like you might get from that lowest of the low service Jigsaw.

Now it is even better. It is all arranged via company and much easier to view all the employees at once. And searchable too. No more scrolling through all those records, looking for only the developers.

Even better, they show you who has been promoted and who was hired recently. So now we can see that someone senior was brought in for a project lead role. This naturally ticks off a few of the team members that were passed over, so it is a great heads up on the right time to call the group. Same thing when someone is promoted, a few people would be vying for the job, so now we have the opportunity to call when they are most vulnerable to being poached. Brilliant.

Also, showing where the new hires have come from and where they go, points out the companies that are vulnerable and losing employees. Recruiters always have been doing that using their personal knowledge, but now, we can take advantage of companies on a much larger scale as we have info on every company and the fact that they are losing employees and to whom.

You have to give credit to LinkedIn for being able to pull this off. Always wary of recruiters, companies are well aware of the firms that set up the revolving door and take people out and then put others right back in. A perpetual source of income. That is why recruiting agreements have non-solicitation clauses. But LinkedIn sells a company a recruiting package with job postings or maybe even recruiting consulting and then opens up all the employees names to us recruiters to do what we do best. Of course we use the inmails to reach all the engineers of your company 😉 .

Another thing that is great is that it only takes 10 minutes and around twenty connections to build a network with a reach of over 4 million people. I brought on a new recruiter the other day and had her subscribe to LinkedIn and do the following: send connect invitations to the top twenty most connected users in LinkedIn. This took about ten minutes and within an hour or so, they all had accepted the connection, no problem with not knowing who they are linking to, it’s all about how many you are linked to. So boom, an inexperienced recruiter now has a network of over 4 million contacts to review backgrounds (might as well be a resume) and start dialing for dollars.

One more great thing about the loosely conntected millions is that it makes the Linkedin job ad virtually useless. If you delve into the recruiting testimonials from the LinkedIn clients, I bet you will find they acheived their results by using LinkedIn to directly poach out of other companies. My conversations with hiring managers, is that as an ad delivery vehicle, LinkedIn is not that great. I would think that is because, what is supposed to be a highly targeted candiate pool is actually a diluted mess. Due to the “my network is bigger than yours” mentality of a lot of the users and recruiters, LinkedIn is definitely not a powerful network of trusted professionals. But it is a beautiful searchable “employee directory” like the slimy sourcers used to steal. Now they just use Linkedin.

In conclusion, LinkedIn is the best thing that has ever happened for us Head Hunters and it is only getting better as they add more features to deliver their users to us in an evermore efficient and timely manner.