Will you be left on the sidelines when it comes to LinkedIn?

Based on a recent study by JobVite, Lance Whitney wrote a blog on the statistic stating that 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to fill their pipelines. Now as any science class would teach you – if you only use LinkedIn as your source then your sample size is not complete because it doesn’t include those not on LinkedIn. Yes, Mrs. Grimm from 7th grade, Mr. Eckard from 8th grade, Mr. Bixel from 9th grade, Miss Reese from 10th grade, Mrs. Brennan from 11th grade, and Mr. Bixel again in the 12th grade (I would mention my college professors but I dodged any meaningful science class so we will skip that part.) – this is an INCOMPLETE sample size.

How do you find those individuals who aren’t on LinkedIn? I think the better question is – does it really even matter? I’m sure experts, historians, very experienced, or wise recruiters – whatever they’d like to be called – will tell you about how lucky or spoiled this generation is to not have to look through paper directories, rolodexes, or cold calling straight into a company with no name in hand. I’m sure there were other methods but, I couldn’t tell you what they would be.

Our company leverages LinkedIn Recruiter and when a co-worker asked me about the “old way of doing things” my reference point was LinkedIn without the Recruiter capability. It didn’t even occur to me how the job would be done without LinkedIn as a resource. At this point if you’re going to have a training program for recruiters, it MUST include LinkedIn whether or not you foot the bill for the Recruiter capability or not.

But, as I can hear the little recruiter angel on my shoulder saying, “But wait, hold on young one, it’s impossible that every candidate will be on LinkedIn – there are qualified candidates that aren’t on LinkedIn.”

I will concede that this statement is true. I’ve been referred to multiple individuals who do not have a LinkedIn profile (multiple as in maybe 15 in one year? That’s being generous) – but, the time it saves will eventually or already has, made other methods obsolete. If you say you aren’t interested in making a job change, so you don’t want to be bombarded by recruiters on LinkedIn, that’s fine. But, LinkedIn is not only about looking for the next opportunity. For example, you can join and the next day find out that a former colleague you worked with 8 years ago is now working at the pharma company across the street. Might be nice to get coffee with them, no?

As for recruiters, utilize it and utilize it well. Create targeted searches – you may miss 10 qualified candidates without a LinkedIn profile but with one click you can have 500 others pop up on your screen. Yes, you missed out on 10 but, you got 500 within 45 seconds of creating a search and pressing enter. Magic.

Whether you’re 18 and just entering college or 55 thinking about what you’ll do when you retire in not 5, not 6, not 7, not 8 years (or ever) like LeBron and his NBA championship rings – it’s more than advantageous to be on LinkedIn. There is only upside by joining LinkedIn and by standing on the sidelines you’re only holding yourself back. Who wants to do that?

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