As a Recruiter or Headhunter, how successful have you found LinkedIn: 1) to source talent for a placement - what strategy do you find works best for you 2) to check and assess the talent?

This was a question on LinkedIn a few weeks ago; I thought it was interesting; unfortunately it didn't get too many responses. I have pasted my answer below. What would you say?

[here's my answer:]

LinkedIn is the top resource. It is even more useful when it's part of your sourcing strategy, i.e. is not the only social media source. 

LinkedIn is the largest professional self-entered data set. 
However, it is not at all a resume database. The problem in searching on LinkedIn is not as much duplicates, but "shallow" profiles that make it hard to qualify candidates - and even hard to find them using keyword people search. 
There are ways to overcome those difficulties. A phone is an option as a verification tool, but it's a slow option. There are many other sources of information online, allowing to cross-reference before you call. 

Sourcing on LinkedIn doesn't end with the people search. LinkedIn allows me to message potential candidates, so that: 
- they check me out; we are both network members 
- my message gets into their Inbox for sure 
- LinkedIn takes care of moderating communications 

This social-network style communication functionality is boosting our sourcing and recruiting productivity. 

Quite often I would find a professional profile elsewhere, then cross-reference and message on LinkedIn. Therefore I am able to make use of "shallow" profiles (the ones that are hard to find) as well. 

Marketing messages around LinkedIn and specifically around the value of LinkedIn Recruiter may be misleading. It's best to figure it out for yourself. Those who have mastered LinkedIn can successfully compete with others who use it for sourcing, perhaps for the very same positions.


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