How LinkedIn Has Changed The Recruiting Industry

How LinkedIn Has Changed The Recruiting Industry

LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and shortly thereafter dubbed itself “The World’s Largest Professional Network.” Of course, there wasn’t a lot of competition in terms of online professional networks, so it wasn’t really too difficult for LinkedIn to claim that spot. Slowly but surely over time, LinkedIn continued to make strides and carve out their own place in the landscape. With each new update to their platform, new features were introduced that made LinkedIn more useful and more user-friendly. Even in their earliest days, it was clear that they were working toward a big goal — to become a platform that is useful for recruiting.


1. LinkedIn Welcomed Recruiters Ahead of IPO

Simply put, LinkedIn needed to be embraced by recruiters in the lead-up to their IPO. By putting recruiting features behind a paywall, LinkedIn had successfully made recruiters their main source of revenue as they prepared to take their company public. They were the earliest adopters of premium accounts, which provided them with a wealth of information on potential candidates. While LinkedIn did have an advertising platform, by 2009 over 40 percent of the company’s revenue was derived from Premium Subscriptions, and most of those came from the recruiting industry in one form or another. Since that time, the company has made a point of diversifying their revenue


2. How Recruiting Once Was

To understand the impact that LinkedIn had on the recruiting industry, you have to understand what the industry looked like before there was a LinkedIn. In the old days of recruiting, companies leveraged headhunters and recruitment firms as their go-to way for identifying high-level talent for mid-level and senior management positions. Headhunters often kept a huge database of talent that they interfaced with personally often while they were searching for work. Recruiters and recruitment firms maintained private databases of talent that companies gained access to when they hired the company. The processes were streamlined and standard. Candidates would interview with a person at the recruitment firm, who would then connect them to a number of potential employers.


3. Recruiters Embraced the Platform out of Necessity

If recruiters weren’t already using LinkedIn as their primary recruiting platform by the time the company launched their IPO, they embraced it shortly thereafter. Most companies today, including the largest Fortune 500 companies, have transitioned to focusing on recruiting in-house instead of going with outside firms. With a database like LinkedIn available with the click of a button, they were able to get a similar level of talent acquisition at a much cheaper price. One of the main complaints regarding this shift has been the move away from personalization in the recruiting process. Recruiters are less interested in getting to know their candidates and many are operating under a “quantity over quality” outlook. 


4. LinkedIn’s Tools for Recruiters

Over the years, LinkedIn has debuted a number of tools that are targeted toward recruiters, chief among them is the LinkedIn Recruiter membership. LinkedIn Recruiter allows recruiters to search through the LinkedIn database using a more focused user interface, identify, and contact candidates that may be a good fit for the position. The platform makes it easy for recruiters to sift through candidates for specific jobs and manage searches for multiple jobs as well. It also integrates directly with the popular recruiting application tracking systems, making it an easy for choice for companies that want to have access to the world’s largest pool of talent.


5. Bots and A.I. in LinkedIn Recruiting

The next big step in LinkedIn recruiting will come from bots and artificial intelligence. While there are third-party solutions that use the LinkedIn platform using automation and A.I., LinkedIn continually makes it easier for recruiters to contact a huge range of potential applicants in one fell swoop. Plenty of recruiters are also using their own third-party and in-house developed tools, which could potentially break the terms of service of the platform in some cases.

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