'All change' for LinkedIn users

For many years now, LinkedIn has successfully attracted people with a huge range of business motivations, to use and become reliant on LinkedIn as an essential resource. Whether to build a personal story/brand, to network and collaborate amongst industry colleagues, to find employees or to look for work. We’ve all been sucked in.

Judging by the recent feedback on social media, it seems that their new UI has not been well received by everyone. Not least because under the cover of a ‘new look’, LinkedIn has decided that the casual (free) user should have much less functionality, and those who do want more functionality and are prepared to pay for it, now have to choose between revamped paid (more expensive) options which are most suited for sales professionals ‘sales navigator’ or recruiters ‘recruiter lite’ and ‘recruiter corporate’. All sound good? Possibly for some converts, but here are some of the issues.  It’s rather like a new super highway that everyone’s got used to using. Suddenly there’s a road block, and although there are some alternative (tolled) options, those routes don’t take everyone in the direction they want to go.

As far as recruiting goes, LinkedIn has now made it a lot harder for the well-networked entrepreneur to identify potential hires on LinkedIn. Sure he can post an advert or an ‘update’ but that’s really only going to catch those people actively or passively looking, and already within his network. How about trying to identify someone outside of his network, who is happy in their current role – little chance unless he has degree in ‘boolean strings’!

What about those recruiters out there who are reliant on using ‘key word’ searches to find a short list on LinkedIn. It’s going to be all about the ‘low hanging fruit’ – they’ll find those people who have a comprehensive and well written profile on LinkedIn. However, what about finding someone who might be the perfect match for their client, but has a minimal LinkedIn profile? Unlikely to ever surface now.

Actions:

1.       If you are looking for a new job, make sure your profile is very comprehensive, and contains the words which a recruiter might include in their ‘search strings’

2.       If you are an employer, you will undoubtedly need to spend more money to get the most out of LinkedIn. Your HR staff/recruiter might now find it harder to identigy the right people using LinkedIn alone

3.       If you just use LinkedIn as a ‘shop window’ for your current and past employment, or simply to look people up and connect with them, LinkedIn is still a great resource

4.       If you are a sales professional and rely on LinkedIn for new leads, then you’ve really no option - sign up to ‘sales navigator’ or use an alternative tool

Thankfully, my clients can rest assured that with over 20 years of experience in identifying and sourcing people, and having learnt my research skills long before LinkedIn, my work will remain unaffected.