How Has the New LinkedIn Affected Recruiters?

LinkedIn changed the landscape for many industries, but it revolutionised the recruitment world more than most; providing a sourcing paradise for recruiters to approach candidates. Just a few months ago, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn and we've quickly started to see the changes included in the new user interface. So, what's changed - and will these changes ultimately be the downfall of the LinkedIn Recruiter we've seen rise in recent years?

What's Changed?

  • All profiles sections are now in the same orderNew LinkedIn Design.png
  • The summary section shows only the first two lines of text
  • Posts and recent activity are now a big feature on your profile
  • Endorsements have been scaled back so that you can only see the top three
  • Chat windows have been introduced
  • Advanced searchings have been removed for free profiles
  • Five different typs of premium subscriptions are now available: Premium Career, Sales Navigator, Recruiter Lite, Premium Business, and LinkedIn Learning

A New Type of Social Recruiting?

The addition of chat windows along the bottom of the desktop screen is very similar to Facebook's chat function - is LinkedIn transforming into a Facebook-esque social media site? It certainly seems that way! Never fear though, this is good news for recruiters. The new chat function allows recruiters to chat with multiple candidates through one screen, and for candidates to reply whilst catching up on the latest news in their own feeds. Adding less formal routes to conversation is definitely good news for recruiters; it could make it easier for you to build relationships with candidates as the interface looks like something candidates would routinely use to talk to friends. Sneaky, but definitely influential.

LinkedIn Free - Still Useful in the Recruitment Process?

Free LinkedIn accounts are used by newbie recruiters and candidates alike, but the new user interface now changes the ability for a candidate to highlight their skills, and for a recruiter to find them. The biggest downfall for a recruiter here is the loss of advanced searching capabilities. This sounds like a nightmare, but there are ways you can get around it; you’re still able to use Boolean search strings in the search bar, and you can filter search results down using location, current companies, past companies and so on. LinkedIn’s free accounts are still a useful tool for recruiters, but you’re going to need to improve the way you search to avoid wasting time going through results that aren’t relevant to you.   

LinkedIn Costs - Worth the Money?

With five new types of premium subscription come five new cost plans, here’s a rundown:

  • Premium Career: from £19.79 per month
  • Sales Navigator: from £53.99 per month
  • Recruiter Lite: from £77.94 per month
  • Premium Business: from £35.99 per month
  • LinkedIn Learning: from £19.79 per month

The Recruiter Lite plan includes 30 InMail messages, access to ‘who’s viewed your profile’, advanced search, unlimited people browsing, smart suggestions that claim to help you uncover additional talent, automatic candidate tracking, integrated hiring, and what LinkedIn call a recruiting-specific design.

As recruiters, we’ve been paying for LinkedIn for years now, it’s nothing new. What the new types of subscriptions highlight though, is the introduction of the Premium Career subscription aimed at candidates. This will be interesting to watch. Will candidates get used to the idea of paying for LinkedIn, or will they leave the platform in favour of other routes?

It’s important for recruiters that Microsoft is able to strike a balance between focusing on recruiters with additional search and tracking capabilities, but also being able to attract a thriving and engaged candidate pool at the same time.

How are you finding the new LinkedIn user interface? Has it changed the way you work, made you scale back to a free account rather than premium, or have you found an improvement in candidate engagement? Let us know in the comments. 

How to source candidates on LinkedIn

Heidi Gardner

Heidi is PhD student at the University of Aberdeen. Her research focuses on the issues surrounding the recruitment of patients into clinical trials.

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