And when I say "all recruiters", I don't mean only those in the recruitment sector like myself. Everybody and their dog looking for people are making a beeline for LinkedIn and seeing a way to find people and save money. There's a movement to in-house recruitment as a consequence, and not all of it is good. It's beginning to have an impact on how LinkedIn members respond to the advances of those who think they might have found the perfect candidate.
Let me draw a picture:
HR are asked to find a new Marketing Manager. They're keen on the concept, but struggling to get the annual appraisal review underway. However, a new a recent recruit is keen to make their mark and volunteers. Fame beckons if they get this right. They dive in.....
They search for every marketing manager within 35 miles. They find 1144 current Marketing Managers (that's how many there are within 35 miles of me). "This is going to be easy......."
Because it's so easy, they contact as many as they can. They cut and paste a general message into the 50 Inmails their account allows them. They also reach out to another 50 by trying to link with them and by using the email addresses some members leave open on their profile. Total 100. Could be more.
That's a lot of people. And if every company is doing this, you can see that the number of approaches being made to potential recruits is growing exponentially, and because the people making these approaches are busy with other things, the approaches aren't well-considered or followed up. This is magnified as organisations who used to advertise roles try to find people on LinkedIn to cut corners and save money.
The upshot of all this activity is that, from the candidates perspective, what used to be a rare event and an ego boost, is becoming increasingly common and, in some cases, a pain in the arse - It's the consequence of what used to be a targeted approach turning into a recruiting blunderbuss. And I'm picking up ever more comments from candidates who've been approached that these approaches started well, but fell into a black hole as the sheer weight of numbers has swamped the recruiting-person, or a candidate has been found, and everybody else is simply dumped without being told what's going on - HR are busy people you know... and the recruitment industry in general is poor at feedback already.
I haven't kept any firm stats, but it's happening more and more, and candidate caution is measurably on the rise. And this caution is spreading beyond LinkedIn, quite simply because potential candidates are understandably lumping all approaches in one basket - no matter the source.
Of course there are ways around this, but you don't think I'm going to share them here do you? I may look like a cabbage, but I'm not that green.
But this isn't going to get any easier - especially for those recruiters with neither the time or the skills to communicate directly on a candidates level and speak their language. And it's going to be an increasing challenge to LinkedIn to address this. They are becoming a victim of their own impressive and rapid success.
It would appear you can have too much of a good thing.
(Image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/)