Corporate Recruiters Use LinkedIn the Wrong Way

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - SEPTEMBER 26: U.S. Preside...LinkedIn is just another social networking site that takes your data and sells it to advertisers. That’s part of how they make money.

There is no judgment in what they do except that the site is marketed to professionals as a job search tool and to employers as the future of recruiting.

That’s a bit disingenuous.

LinkedIn is really just the Facebook that your employers will tolerate.

So I recently played around with my LinkedIn profile — and specifically, my job titles — because I was sick of  my data being used incorrectly. I was being served ads for jobs and companies that were all wrong for me.  Do I look like I want to do a Human Resources administrative role in Paducah, Kentucky?

Maybe I do.

I could see the real-time shift in ads when I changed my titles. And don’t even get me started on how LinkedIn serves ads to people who are in staffing versus recruiting.

What bothers me most is that recruiters are using LinkedIn much like they used Monster and Career Builder back in the 90s. They are targeting people in existing roles instead of looking for undiscovered talent (or people with jagged resumes) who could do the job — and exceed our expectations — with a little bit of training and development.

Good talent won’t emerge from a job posting on LinkedIn — just like it didn’t emerge from putting ads on a job board in 2002. And while the global economy is ready for a change, talented people aren’t interested in changing jobs and doing the same exact job they’re doing right now. That doesn’t make sense. They are interested in doing something new and different. And they expect to be compensated appropriately when they finally decide to make a change.

You probably can’t offer that to a candidate.

Recruiters need to start using the amazing technology that’s out there in a more effective way. If you are going to spend money targeting people on LinkedIn, stay away from job titles and target someone who fits your job 60% or less. Focus on your competitors who do a good job at sourcing talent and then use additional keywords that correlate to character and resiliency.

We rarely ever find exactly what we’re looking for in life — whether it’s a soul mate or a pair of shoes at Zappos. You certainly will not find exactly what you are looking for on LinkedIn.

But you might find someone better if you try a little harder.

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