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Has LinkedIn shot itself in the foot?

A few months ago, we wrote about LinkedIn’s new ‘Job Seeker Account’ services. To recap: for additional costs, LinkedIn has made certain functionalities available only to those job seekers willing to pay a premium. But when we took a closer look at those services, our conclusion was that they didn’t add much value. (You can read the full text of the blog here.)

As a follow-up to this article, we posted a poll on our website, asking jobseekers whether they’d be willing to pay extra for the premium LinkedIn services.

As of the end of March, the vote was a clear ‘No’ – by a 4-to-1 margin.

What does this mean for employers and hiring managers looking to use LinkedIn as a recruiting tool? To begin, they are facing a much smaller, and possibly less relevant or talented, pool of candidates. With so many jobseekers unwilling to pay to appear in search results, the efficacy of the site as a way to find new employees really comes into question.

By the same token, we’d ask: Are those jobseekers who are willing to pay extra to be moved up in the search result rankings necessarily the most qualified or desirable candidates? Again, we tend to think this isn’t the case. In the process of searching for candidates and assessing their various attributes, we don’t want to be left wondering if someone appears at the top of the results list because they paid to be there, rather than because they are the most appropriate for the job.

We think the fact is, top talent know they have better job search options available to them – hence the overwhelming ‘No’ vote on whether they’re willing to incur the extra cost. For example, why would an applicant pay extra to learn the salary of an open position when – if they were working through a recruiter – this information is freely shared and recognised as a critical aspect of a job search?

It’s not that LinkedIn doesn’t have inherent value to jobseekers and hiring managers alike. But they may want to reconsider their policies in order to encourage more widespread use of the site as a job search/recruiting tool.

Do you think LinkedIn has shot itself in the foot? We would love to hear your opinions in the comments below.

KDR Recruitment is the home of the best data, technology and analytics jobs. For more news and views follow KDR on LinkedIn.

Gemma Morris

April 25th, 2014 View my profile

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