Recruiting without LinkedIn just isn’t possible.
We don’t need a website. Our company is on LinkedIn.
I don’t need an applicant tracking system. I source my candidates on LinkedIn.
You are a smart, savvy and successful recruiter. And you’ve tethered your livelihood to a platform over which you have little (if any) control. Then one day you boot up your Gateway computer, wait for Windows XP to launch, brew a pot of coffee, continue to wait for Windows XP to launch, open Internet Explorer, finish your second cup of coffee, go to Yahoo, search LinkedIn and…404: Page Not Found. Refresh. Another cup of coffee. Nothing. Reboot. Late lunch. Still nothing. While you slept, LinkedIn went the way of the California condor. And before you could make your first call of the day, your empire crumbled. If the internet age has taught us one thing, it is this: nothing is forever. From the dot-com bust to the demise of MySpace, history has proven that to build your business on others platforms is to build digital sandcastles.
How do you ready yourself for the apocalypse? How do you prepare for recruiting without LinkedIn?
You think Microsoft is your ally?
If you can’t imagine a world of recruiting without LinkedIn, allow me to offer some plausibility to idea. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016. That’s good, right? Shouldn’t tech superpower Microsoft only solidify the social network’s viability? This is Microsoft, innovators of products such as WebTV and the Kin phone (if you remember these products you know how successful they were, and if you don’t remember them, that’s exactly the point). This is also the same Microsoft that spent a quarter of a billion dollars in 1998 to purchase LinkExchange, a paid search pioneer that Microsoft shut down after only a few months. Even if this isn’t the case, LinkedIn will become whatever Microsoft wishes it to be; therefore, even if it still exists, it’s entirely possible we’ll all be recruiting without LinkedIn in the not-so-distant future.
Who will survive?
Look back to the start of this article. There’s a couple of clues that will help you understand how to survive the post-LinkedIn apocalypse. If you’re not separating yourself with your own branded website now, you’re already falling behind. If you’re not capable of recruiting without LinkedIn, then consider where you will be when LinkedIn pulls the rug out from underneath you. But a website is only part of the picture. An applicant tracking system is a vital part of the digital ecosystem, and when it is combined with custom integrations and fits seamlessly into your website, it makes recruiting without LinkedIn truly possible. Even in today’s world of LinkedIn, a well-designed website with a custom-integrated ATS puts you far ahead of the competition. In a world of recruiting without LinkedIn, it makes your less tech-savvy competitors obsolete.
The future, with or without LinkedIn
You may want to write this all off as conspiracy theory and fearmongering. Regardless of what happens to LinkedIn (and I don’t know any more than you do, which is the point), it is not the future of recruiting, or any other industry for that matter, is not going to rely on an unaffiliated social media platform that has no stake in the success of said business. A powerful web presence that satisfies a visitor’s needs without connecting them with competitors is vital. Consider that Amazon has reported that a large majority of its transactions take place on its mobile app, customers are not even in a position to consider other options.
As recruiters, we do not have customers, and relationships are vital, but this only reinforces the idea that we provide our clients and candidates with a curated experience. If you are not recruiting without LinkedIn, you are not differentiating yourself and this is the impression made on clients and candidates.
Recruiting without LinkedIn may not seem possible. And perhaps, to some extent, it’s not in today’s environment. But if you are not making your firm more self-reliant, then you are preparing only for failure when recruiting without LinkedIn is no longer an option.