Let's Discuss: Is LinkedIn a Job Board?

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I'm going to waffle on this one folks.

Yes – because you can post jobs and find potential candidates.

But, at the same time, my “no's” are a little lengthier.

  • No… because the postings where candidates really engage are within the groups under career discussions.  Because the candidates are seeing a real person tied to the post, not just some bot.
  • No… because fee based postings are…well pardon my French…crap.  More and more I ask Fortune 500 recruiters if they're getting hires from these and it seems that the No's outweigh the Yes'.
  • No… because so many people don't treat creating a profile on LinkedIn the way they treat posting a resume on Indeed or CareerBuilder or ClearedJobs.Net.  The information posted is selective.
  • No… because job seekers still aren't completely convinced LinkedIn can impact their job search.  They're buying the company line of only connecting to those they know as opposed to looking at the site strategically.  Like if I want to work in Frederick, Maryland, I damn well better connect to everyone I know, and don't know, in Frederick, Maryland.
  • No… because HR is scared of LinkedIn, it's either giving too much informatio

    n or they're nervous about seeing pics of candidates before they see profiles (hint: check out account settings.)  And hell, the lawyers are telling them they can't connect with anyone on social media anyhow.

  • No… because there isn't the level of engagement possible on a job board that there is on LinkedIn.  I come in contact with a person, and don't have a job for them but they introduce me to two of their friends.  I connect with those friends and have expanded my network exponentially by 40,000 people.  My reach to source and share information has just grown tremendously in a measurable way that I can't do with a standard job board.
  • No because information there today could be gone tomorrow, or the next day, or 3 months from now.  Particularly if you're sourcing from LinkedIn via Google you'll find that your results change and some profiles don't surface again.  Unlike the typical job board where you can dive in continuously to the archives.

Maybe, instead of questioning whether LinkedIn is a job board we should ask a different question.  Is it a name generation tool?  Yes, yes it is.  And from a recruiting perspective, names are gold.

What do you think? Hit me in the comments…

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FOT Background Check

Kelly Dingee
Kelly Dingee is a Strategic Recruiting Manager for Staffing Advisors. She has extensive sourcing experience having worked for AIRS, as a Sourcing Researcher/Technical Writer, performed contract sourcing for Thales Communications, Inc., and got hers start in the profession while a full life cycle recruiter at Acterna (now known as JDSU).  Lucky for Kelly, she had a boss who could see the potential of sourcing candidates from the web, and in 1998, she stepped into a newly created sourcing role. No truth to the rumor that she has a side business to help you push your resume to the top of Google search results...

11 Comments

  1. Apikoros18 says:

    I don’t think of it as a Job Board… But I also think that traditional Job Boards are as dead. 2 out of my last 3 roles were via LinkedIn, and my most recent was via a personal connection. As a head hunter for an agency, even though I am not as concerned with HR worries, I do not like seeing the pictures. I worry I will have an unconscious judgement.

  2. ToddR says:

    This gets into semantics a little. Is it even necessary to add some kind of taxonomy? I’ve successfully filled jobs with people I sourced through Linked-In. The same goes for people that I’ve met in retail establishments. If users start to think of it exclusively as a place where career moves are made, it will decline in its usefulness. I find it most effective to view Linked-In as a springboard where I extend my reach and extend my “find-ability” and that’s about as far as I go with it.

  3. Scot Duke says:

    Starting to think of LinkedIn as a Spam-Fest.. especially in the Groups.

  4. Thanks. Good thoughts. I think we tend to over think these things.

    An equally important perspective is whether the Prospect…active job seeker or someone just curious about their market value considers Linkedin’s posted positions as a part of their strategy.

    If they do then YES, its a job board.

    And, if they act to use Linkedin to research and target employers, the recruiters in those firm, the hiring managers tey might work for and the direct reports of the hiring managers as well as, find and contact people they know in the company, find and connect with people they don’t know but who do work for the company AND who also graduated form the same schools they did; find and connect to recruiters handling the jobs they saw posted; etc. etc. , then NO its an interactive “Career Hub” with social media characteristics.

    Can you say for sure what the balance of the to is without discussing the behaviors of the people you seek…and I’m a fan of data that backs an opinion btw. Among the 17,500 completed surveys by candidates who had applied to the 37 firms who won, Linkedin was certainly a player and, depending on the job family, level and region both modes were in play. Stay tuned. We hope to have some data out shortly.

    Seems to me what is relevant is learning [in real time] [for the very specific audience we seek] who uses what and how. The moment we generalize (i.e. traditional job board’s are dead ) rather than examine the behavior of the stakeholder we seek, we are likely to miss the point entirely.

  5. Kelly Dingee says:

    All are good thoughts…

    @apikoros – you can hide those pics – one of the HR groups I spoke to this year asked that I show them how – check the settings..

    @ToddR – I think LinkedIn agrees with you based on their recent actions

    and yes @Scot – I find the groups can be spammy…that’s unfortunate and really on those people who found the groups and let people in.

    @GerryCrispin is referring to the Candidate Experience Awards I’m sure….and his comments always engage us in further thought on a topic…here’s where I am now:

    The more I think about this the more I think – we have to step away as recruiting professionals and look at this as the average jane jobseeker. Or joe in the case of Linkedin unless the stats have changed.

    So many people I meet, and who seek out jobsearch assistance, are at a loss where to begin and have no idea how to truly leverage the site to their advantage, so maybe eventually they say they got their job via Linkedin, but they need a little push in the right direction. When jobseekers start to realize how they can go beyond just clicking on job posts and really connecting to their network, their efforts tend to take flight.

    As I continue to turn this over as I think about the level of user generated and often limited user generated content on the site. When LinkedIn starts to require certain information – say education, years of experience, exact employment dates and so on…it may become more job-boardish to me… But it’s loosey-goosey still on what people are able to input and share.

  6. Tim Sackett says:

    Job Board 2.0 for sure, and advancing more into that space at a quicker rate.

  7. Tim S. beat me to it – I view LI as one possible way forward for job boards. Very much 2.0.

  8. Kelly Dingee says:

    2.0….maybe….I’ll sign on to them being a full blown job board when they give every recruiter the same access….

  9. Neal Bruce says:

    LinkedIn is a job board and a lot more than that. Job boards provide a super efficient way to connect seekers and employers. LinkedIn is capitalizing on this efficiency and doing lots of other cool things to connect people. When did being a job board become a bad thing? Job boards are awesome. The proof is that millions of people get hired because of them every year.

  10. There are two fundamental flaws to your premise.

    1. Being a job board is just one of the many things that Linkedin is.
    2. What exactly is a job board anyway?

    Linkedin is not the only site which has “become” a job board over time. Indeed began as a straightforward aggregator of jobs advertised on others sites. Now that it sells ads direct, registers candidates, and offers a searchable CV database, it is a huge job board, and actually the biggest threat to every other job board which fills Indeed with vacancies via an XML feed.

    If Linkedin were launched today, with all of its current features, every employer in the land would immediately bar all employees from signing up. Why on earth would employers want a comprehensive list of every employee in the public domain? What we all know happened however, was that Linkedin got into the pool at the shallow end, and has now swum up to the deep end.

    These two sites, which many claim are not job boards, are to me the most exciting and dangerous participants in the online recruitment sector. Great for candidates, mostly good for employers, but terrible for any site that calls itself a Job Board.

    PS. To give you a little background, I run the UK National Online Recruitment Awards, which are now in their 12th year. http://www.norauk.com

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