Will LinkedIn replace recruitment providers, or can it be used as a tool to support what they do? Chloe Watts examines this social media network.

Alium’s HR Practice hosted a very successful, capacity-crowd, networking event recently with speakers presenting on LinkedIn. Chris Brown from LinkedIn and Toby Barnes, an interim resourcing professional who is an advocate of LinkedIn as a corporate channel, offered great insight into the tool and how to enrich our interaction with it. But was I brave or foolish to invite a direct channel into our midsts?

LinkedIn Offers Convenient Connections

A self-confessed relatively late joiner to social media, I have become one of 259m professionals globally to reach out into the rapidly expanding virtual rolodex of connections to manage my contacts. I confess it is an incredibly easy way to maintain wider networks than would be possible through more traditional means – just imagine the litres of caffeine it used to take to update everyone on a new qualification or a job move, all now done by pressing a few keys from wherever you are at whatever time of day is convenient to you.

Adapting to Changing Times

The world of social media continues to blindside those of us who are not as generationally adept at the pace of techno-change. As a case in point, I’m sitting on a train heading to see a client typing a blog. It wasn’t so long ago that if I had said to someone I was blogging, they might have raised a questioning eyebrow and surmised all sorts of erroneous conclusions as to what I was actually doing.

Don’t Forget the Human Touch

However, I’m prepared to go on the journey – to an extent. What I am not prepared to do is to become faceless. We are social animals who (typically) thrive on interpersonal interaction: there is no virtual replacement for unspoken behaviour such as the tweak of a grimace, a cheeky twinkle in the eye, a firm handshake. I therefore don’t see LinkedIn replacing recruitment providers; I see it as a tool that can support what we do, but the human touch will always win out.

What do you think about LinkedIn as a tool for recruitment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

photo credit: TheSeafarer via photopin cc

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  • IRM

    The small problem for recruiters and interims is that, as far as I am aware, the interim needs to be following the recruiters group on LinkedIn (of which there are rather a lot) to recieve the feed and thus make this work successfully.

    The alternative of having a contact who re-broadcasts the feed would not be as successful and could end up with multiple re-broadcasts and re-broadcasts of re-broadcasts of the same information within the interims feed so making it impossible to work with.

    I agree whole heartedly with the human touch however this has been disappearing over the years to the point where it is common to get automated “no response in n days = no role” type emails that are decidedly unhelpful, no responses to phone messages when left or complete radio silence.

    • Chloe Watts

      Thanks for the feedback. Networking is becoming an ever more professional game and as we
      get to grips with these tools that broaden the network further, the human touch
      points - by dint of logistics - are reduced. I know the provider
      community who like to focus on the relationship recognise this issue and try to
      work against it but I guess in being human there is fallibility.

  • Steve Hobbs

    I agree Chloe. I have achieved a great deal with Linkedin personally and also co-founded and built a Linkedin group “UK Professionals in Australia” to what is now over 1800 members, which now spans Australia and the UK. With Linkedin and the group site as an enabler, what really brings the members together are the professional networking events. The face to face contact at the events is very important in building trust, relationships and in many cases business. The events are also great fun. Best regards, Steve Hobbs steve.hobbs@patientcentric.co.uk

  • Isabella

    I think that LinkedIn is great to cement someone’s profile and expertise if used cleverly. However, personal relationships and face to face networking is key. I believe that LinkedIn is not going to replace recruitment agencies, at least not the ones that act in a professional manner and that leverage the power of LinkedIn and social media as well.

    Over the past few years the reputation of recruitment agencies has gone down the drain. Far too often recruitment agencies are focused on the quick fee and treat the candidate as a disposable not considering that the individual may well rule them out from the list of preferred suppliers in their future role. What is being lost nowadays is the professionalism and basic skills in how to handle human relationships. There are some consultants, companies (HR departments) and agencies that have developed such a negative reputation that there is no LinkedIn that is going to make any difference for them.

    • Chloe Watts

      Isabella - good to hear from you. Thank you for your comments. I agree process over people doesn’t make for the most conducive relationship. Even as providers, we are often the wrong end of faceless internet recruitment engines which remove us from the hiring manager and it is nigh on impossible to make senior hires without assessing the cultural/chemistry fit. These processes don’t display us, the client or the candidate in the best light; waste a lot of time; and, as in your experience, damage brands. We’ve got the find the right blend of media, tools and human interaction and remind organisations they are hiring people not procuring stationery.

      • Isabella

        Hi Chloe, I totally agree with you!