Recent changes to LinkedIn's feature-set whereby "Company Pages" are afforded In-Profile Activity Feed's (like Facebook's "Update Status"), but "Member Profile Pages" no longer enjoy the feature, "Censor" Agency Recruiters for 2 key reasons.
First: The vast majority of Agency Recruiters are solo operators whose "Value Proposition" is closely tied to the reputation and relevance they build for themselves, often reflected not through a Company Page, but through their individual LinkedIn Membership Profile Page.
As independent consultants, it's about the skills they bring, not the company resources behind them."Member Profile Pages" are in effect, an Agency Recruiter's "Company Page".
Second: Passive Candidates (professionals not looking for job opportunity at present and typically serving as "model" corporate employees) are most Agency Recruiter's "stock & trade".
Passive Candidates "typically" show disinterest in "following" an Agency Recruiting Firm's LinkedIn Company Page (if one exists) as by definition, if they Followed, they wouldn't be Passive Candidates.
Passive Candidates do however, willingly "connect" with likeminded professionals through individual Member Profile Pages, to include Recruiting Professionals.
It's fair to say most today inherently recognize different Social Media Platforms serve different purposes. Some are "friend & family" based (down-time networks) and some are business focused.
Typically, they are frequented by their members for different reasons. Few could argue, people (by people I mean non-recruiters) access Facebook with different intentions then when surfing LinkedIn, despite Facebook's attempt at blurring the lines through features like Graph Search and through their targeted advertising suite (among other things).
LinkedIn's adoption of Company Page Updates (Facebook "Lift") DEPLETE "Member Profile Page Updates" ... imagine Facebook removing "Update Status" from your Facebook news-feed... pretty unthinkable, right...
... underscores what may be a classic demonstration of LinkedIn not understanding its customer's motives and businesses, current employment trends and as alarmingly, the basic tenets of Social Media vis-à-vis, an "individuals" ability to "Brand" oneself within the context and framework of their choosing, while sharing information with likeminded "opt-in" participants.
It's no wonder only 13% of LinkedIn’s members visit LinkedIn daily vs. 63% for Facebook where these tenets are clearly embraced (Pew's December 2013 Report on Social Media Use).
With regards specifically to Agency Recruiters and their relationship with Passive Candidates, LinkedIn "swiping" Facebook's company page model fails also because typical Facebook Company Pages are anodyne (Flower Shop or Retail Clothing Distributer for example). What risk is involved in "following" either, outside an occasional spam volley?
Contrarily, consider the sensitive nature and confidentiality surrounding the reasons people (by "people" I'll include recruiters this time) frequent LinkedIn.
Company Pages take on a completely different character especially for the Agency Recruiter and their Target Audience, the Passive Candidate. Followers of Company Pages are publically displayed for peers and current employers to "stumble upon".
Corporate Recruiters may "dovetail" job posts within the context of a company's overall business model and product marketing which offers candidates that follow "some" level of "motive diffusion", but for all except the largest "house-hold-name" or most innovative companies in their niche, the veil is rice-paper thin.
By eliminating the Activity Feed in individual Member Profile Pages, LinkedIn has effectively stifled the voice of Recruiters (or any Independent) who have invested in the LinkedIn platform and for years have built their Networks (their customers) through careful crafting and maintenance, often using the In-Profile Activity Feed to establish Current Relevance with their Target Audiences.
When done tactfully (and I don't mean unadulterated "job-opening" blasts) candidates align with these Independents BEFORE they ever feel the need to enlist their services (salesmanship 101).
Inexplicably, though by intention or through customer neglect, LinkedIn's returned members to yesteryears static"Tombstone Profiles" reflecting days-gone-by.
A huge lapse in vision considering estimates are 33% the US workforce today and as much as 50% by Yr 2020 will enter the "freelance economy" (Forbes).
All in light Facebook introducing search options making Facebook more viable as a Talent Sourcer than ever.
LinkedIn's tentative success as a Premiere Professional Network grew on the backs of independent members, especially Recruiters, the majority of whom pay the freight through Talent Solutions and Premium Memberships (LinkedIn Investor SlideDeck).
As a de facto "Stakeholder" in LinkedIn's overall success, members are not impotent in guiding LinkedIn's decisions especially when those decisions have the potential to negatively impact members ability to effectively "Brand" themselves, a clear necessity moving forward, especially today, as more and more "freelance gigs" pad "everyones" resumes, and digital footprints gain sway in both company hiring decisions and purchasing choices on all levels.
Voice your displeasure with LinkedIn's uninformed decision to eliminate Activity Feed Updates Displayed directly in Member Profiles, a feature users of Facebook, Google+ and dare I say every other social media platform I can think of, enjoy today.
Comment... Share... or, Write your Own blog, enter a LinkedIn trouble ticket (help.linkedin.com) and Voice your opinion, tell your story on LinkedIn, twitter or wherever you choose to blog and lets show LinkedIn they've obviously lost their way on this and reinstating In-Profile Activity Updates is good business for all of us... including LinkedIn!
President / CEO