Well LinkedIn have decided that the Recruitment Agency market is to big not to service it. The new product called LinkedIn Recruiter is launched that enables Recruitment Agencies to harvest the full power of the LinkedIn Social Network.
Is LinkedIN Recruiter a good or a bad thing for you?
Well, depends from your standpoint. LinkedIn as any other social network is finding hard to monetise it’s service. The subscriptions to Employers aren’t making the desired revenue levels. Advertising Jobs didn’t take up in most of markets. In Ireland for example, there is about 30ish jobs advertised in LinkedIn at one time for the last two years (January 2009: 17 jobs in Ireland advertised in LinkedIN). Obviously not a sustainable business model. Considering and national job board even in the recession times has thousands of jobs advertised.
Therefore from a LinkedIn’s perspective, this is clearly a new revenue stream.
From the Recruitment Agency perspective, this lets them in LinkedIn on a completely different level than before. Built in protection when the staff leaves and being able to share the contacts and the communication is what was always missing element for the recruitment agencies. LinkedIn Recruiter is here to offer all what a recruitment agencies need to use LinkedIn on a larger scale than before.
And then there is a job hunter, the passive job hunter, the ordinary LinkedIn user. How will LinkedIn Recruiter affect him/her?
One thing is for sure – the amount of the job offers sent via LinkedIn InMail is going to increase. In markets where the LinkedIn Recruiter is going to be large, and there is a shortage of certain skills in the workforce, some LinkedIn users will find themselves as a target to job offers. So far it was great – since they wanted Employers to find them when they have a job for them. What happens when the Recruitment Agencies have a capacity to get to them easily is that a great ‘candidate’ will be contacted by every recruitment agency trying to fill the same position. So you might get 5, 10, 20,… InMails from all different Recruitment Agencies who are interested to head hunt you for the same role. If you not like the role – will you respond to all of them saying: ‘No Thanks.’? And when that happens next week when another company has a similar role, and you get XX InMails about it again?
So the success of sales of LinkedIn Recruiter will decrease the quality of the LinkedIn service for the job hunters that have skills that are in demand in their markets.
The trade off that LinkedIn is making with introducing LinkedIn Recruiter is that to increase their profits, they decided that it’s OK to decrease the quality of the service they are providing to their most sought users. The longer term problem for LinkedIn is what if those best users leave, finding they get too much SPAM? And with that crème candidates cut off, LinkedIn all of a sudden becomes not a source of Good passive Candidates, but of just … Passive Candidates? And even those slightly fed up by being hassled by many recruiters for the same job they don’t want in the first place?
Then again, LinkedIn limits the number of InMails that a recruiters can send a month. It is 50 a month (to multiple recipients each). So to reach more candidates and send more InMails a recruitment agency will just by more licenses. That creates more revenue for LinkedIn, so they will turn a blind eye that the top candidates gets bombarded with job offers.
Ireland might be a bit specific in that regard. Ireland is a small country where everyone knows everyone. (Almost) Literally! Online Social Networking take up in Ireland is far lower than in the US (where LinkedIn is from). Ireland is still the country where more people get a job via the traditional Job Boards than via the Social Networks. The ratio is changing, but we are far from the situation currently in US or Far East.
Who will be the first Irish recruitment agency in Ireland to take up the LinkedIn Recruiter offer?