LinkedIn, the holy grail of recruiting, has just made some enemies among the talent acquisition community. As it inches closer and closer to monopoly status, recruiter complaints regarding the use of extensions and allowance of messages has reached an all-time high. Spend ten minutes on the Internet and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Let’s suppose for a moment that recruiters have reached their limit. The rising prices and increasing restrictions are about to send them packing, but the options remain limited. After all, what social media site could possibly measure up to LinkedIn in terms of recruiting capability?

So what is a recruiter to do? In an industry that is so reliant on one particular site, how is a recruiter to respond?

I’m afraid you won’t like my answer.

Expand Your Reach

Now that LinkedIn is flying down the toilet, it might be time to explore your options for the future. According to Ninh Tran, Pete Radloff, and Steven Jiang of Sourcecon, this might require the piecing together of various websites’ information. They mention the following as a jumping-off point:

  • Google/Bing X-ray search
  • Facebook graph search
  • Indeed search
  • AngelList search
  • Github search
  • Twitter search
  • Quora search
  • Stackoverflow search
  • PDF resume search
  • Hiretual email search
  • Connectifier email search
  • Prophet email search

While no one of these can offer the same information that LinkedIn offers, a combination of these can provide enough information to do the job if LinkedIn hits the fan. Not ideal, but neither is LinkedIn these days.

Stop Relying on LinkedIn 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn

If you didn’t like my last idea, you’ll hate this one.

If you have nightmares about the downfall of LinkedIn, I can assure you that you’ve been relying too heavily on social media to do your bidding. Recruiting is a social industry; it requires relationship building, communication, and * gasp*  picking up the phone! Rather than sending hundreds of unsolicited messages via LinkedIn, perhaps you should have been recruiting via the phone to begin with. LinkedIn is a tool, not the recruiter itself.

Furthermore, I’ll let you in on a little secret: not everybody uses LinkedIn to begin with. Of the people that do, not everybody updates their profile consistently. If you’ve been counting on LinkedIn to do the work for you, you’ve been missing out on a large portion of the candidate pool. With the changes that have taken place since the Microsoft buy-out, this portion of the candidate pool will only grow.

When your strategies depend on phone calls, lunch meetings, and asking about the kids, the problems with LinkedIn suddenly seem much less daunting. Sure, the occasional LinkedIn search can take some work off my plate. But I don’t depend on it. When all this Microsoft-buying-out-LinkedIn stuff hit the fan, I was irritated. But I wasn’t devastated.

I told you that you wouldn’t like my answer.


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