LinkedIn is an amazing source of candidates. With 500 million members, you are sure to find the right candidates for your jobs.
You, along with "a few" other recruiters. As of December 13, LinkedIn had 11 million jobs posted. So while it’s a great resource, you are competing with many other recruiters in the world of LinkedIn.
A whopping 65% of LinkedIn's revenue comes from recruiters looking for talent. Whether it's in the form of fees for the 11M-plus job ads on the platform, or from recruiter licenses for searching and sourcing from their membership.
Pay Once vs Subscription
For astute recruitment marketers, the name of the game is acquiring and owning candidate data. When you download potential candidates from resume databases, that data becomes yours and you can market your jobs to those candidate in perpetuity. When candidates apply for your jobs or sign up for a talent network or job alerts, you own that data too.
LinkedIn's business model is based on you not owning the data. It provides you with a subscription to access their candidates each year. A subscription that averages around $8,500 per user per year. Though there are many reports of dwindling response rates due to "over fishing" areas like tech talent, LinkedIn is a great service that is relied upon by many recruiters. But the question you need to ask yourself is...
Invest in LinkedIn or Invest in Your Company?
LinkedIn recruiter licenses are not cheap. They can add up to six figures for an organization of any size. Of course, you will "own" any LinkedIn candidates who apply for your jobs, but today's recruiting strategies rely more on engaging passive/casual candidates and creating long term relationships.
Do you want LinkedIn in the middle of your potential long term relationships with candidates? The only way around that is to capture all the candidate data you can during your interactions with candidates on LinkedIn.
The best strategy is to treat LinkedIn as a piece of your overall recruitment marketing mix. Leverage a good CRM to capture all your LinkedIn candidate data and market jobs to them in your way, on your terms.
And you'll be investing in your talent pool, not LinkedIn's. You'll be building a proprietary candidate database of your own that can reduce your reliance on all external candidate sources, including LinkedIn.
What to do About LinkedIn?
As LinkedIn recruiter licenses have increased in cost, and free search tools become more and more locked down, it's time to have a tangible strategy about your reliance on LinkedIn. We advise prospective clients to moderate (not eliminate) their use of recruiter licenses and invest that savings in a CRM system that will best allow them to grow a proprietary talent pool asset and reduce their reliance on all paid sources over time – whether that's LinkedIn or any other source.
Better to build your own proprietary talent pool than to be beholden to a company that makes its money by standing between you and your next great hire.