Before I jump into this article, I’d like to take a moment to tell you about Betteridge’s Law of Headlines (it’s a real thing). The law states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” I tell you that to say this: laws were made to be broken. And while Betteridge’s law is largely right in today’s world of clickbait questions, today it is wrong, because whether you realize it or don’t want to admit it, the answer to my headline is YES, LinkedIn is most likely ruining recruiting for your staffing agency. This idea of LinkedIn ruining recruiting is not a new one, but it is one that bears repeating, because despite the overwhelming evidence that LinkedIn does not care about you or your recruiting business, recruiters continue to find themselves beholden it.
A Necessary Evil
Many recruiters we speak with say that LinkedIn ruining recruiting is a real concern for them, but they still view the platform as a necessary evil with which they must coexist so as to enjoy continued success. I’ll spare you the moralistic issues of excusing evil for its necessity (hint: it’s a terrible excuse), but I’ll focus on the word ‘necessary’. Quitting something as seemingly crucial to your livelihood as LinkedIn is not going to come instantly, but it may be time to reassess how necessary LinkedIn is for you. The more you can rely on your own website and applicant tracking system, the less you need to put your eggs in someone else’s (Microsoft) basket.
All Power Corrupts
And absolute power corrupts absolutely. The more you relinquish control of your business to LinkedIn, the more absolute their power over you. The problem is, LinkedIn itself is not invested in the recruiting business, and they are definitely not invested in your recruiting business. They could change their entire business model tomorrow, leaving you and your agency in the lurch. So when you build your entire empire on someone else’s sand, don’t be surprised when they kick over your castle.
Guilty by Association
We’ve discussed some of the negative connotations of recruiters, and many of those who view recruiters negatively associate that experience with contact through LinkedIn. When your digital presence lives only on LinkedIn, then it also dies there. Many candidates will see you as just another LinkedIn recruiter with no pedigree and no legitimacy. Is LinkedIn ruining recruiting? If not, it could at the least be ruining your reputation.
Are you able to completely rid yourself of LinkedIn? It’s possible but highly unlikely. Are there steps you can take to avoid LinkedIn ruining recruiting for your firm? Absolutely. Having your business means building your own brand, and the best way to do this in the digital world is to manage your own content via a professional and modern website. Being a little old school helps also. Build a strong catalog of candidates and manage them through your own systems, incorporating advanced applicant tracking systems to streamline the process. The further you can separate yourself from being just another LinkedIn recruiter, the better chance you have of avoiding LinkedIn ruining recruiting for your firm.