By Bruce Powell, Founder & Executive Recruiter

There is no question that LinkedIn is an effective way to connect with other like-minded business professionals. It’s a great way to keep in touch, network with others in your industry, and it can even provide you with some leads when you are looking to hire someone, but…

LinkedIn Is not a Guaranteed Job Candidate Pool  


Recently, I came across a LinkedIn profile of a candidate I interviewed a few years back. Upon taking a quick, one-off glance at his profile, it appeared that this person has been jumping around from company to company for the past 5 years, when in fact, the opposite is true.  This is the fallacy of a LinkedIn profile.

Through my network and understanding of the market, as a recruiter, I knew that this person had been working for one company during this time. This company was purchased by two other firms, so essentially he only worked for one business in five years.

An internal corporate recruiter, solely relying on LinkedIn, would not have known this and might have passed on this person as a job candidate, brushing them off as a job hopper  – and would miss out on a great candidate.

Why LinkedIn is NOT a Replacement for Hiring a Recruiter


1. LinkedIn is hit and miss: Looking for candidates on LinkedIn or job sites like Indeed is no different than buying a lottery ticket. From a client perspective, you will never see the best the market can generate – you will only see the best in the database at that moment.

2. Recruiters know the market: They are tapped into how the market ebbs and flows. Recruiters know the latest trends, expectations of candidates, and can help manage expectations across the board.

3. Passive candidates are increasingly ignoring or missing inquiries and emails: Filters are scrubbing away unwanted or non-work related emails every day. Why would you expect your company’s email to a potential candidate to be any different?  For example, today, my spam filter blocked five candidate resumes and emails. Good thing I check it! If I was hiring for their background, I would never have seen their resumes.

4. LinkedIn is a database: LinkedIn and other similar job sites are databases. While they are engaging and interactive tools, they are, nonetheless, databases.  You still need to connect live with candidates and speak with them to truly understand what makes them tick to assess their fit for the position.

Why LinkedIn Alone Won’t Work

SPAM: We are constantly hearing this from candidates… there is too much spam out there and for that reason they’ve increased the filter sensitivity on their servers to block out spam… and typically that includes invitations from corporate recruiters.  We coach our recruiters to use LinkedIn to find the right candidates, THEN we teach them to pick up the phone and have a career conversation with them.   Your email blast may have targeted the right person but it will not guarantee success.

Profiles:  Recently, one of our recruiters reached out to a candidate on LinkedIn who stated “Business Development” as one of their core functions.  However, after speaking with this candidate we uncovered that “BD” in their past role meant something different from the well-known definition of “BD” as essentially Sales. Within 10 minutes, we were able to uncover the error and ensure a better fit for our client.  Sometimes, candidate profiles are misleading, and moreover, LinkedIn does not mandate that people be open and transparent with their skill sets.

Career Conversation:  Recently,  we met a candidate whose LinkedIn profile strongly aligned to our client’s opportunity profile. After meeting with her, she pointed out to us that she wanted to shift away from Brand Marketing and move into Product Marketing, with the goal of working for one of the large banks.  We were able to quickly introduce her to our Financial Services recruitment team and, within two days, we got her an interview with a bank.  LinkedIn doesn’t allow for career conversations, but rather it is a one sided, one way communication tool.

LinkedIn is a database software tool – a very powerful and necessary application tool – but it is just that, a career database.  People still connect people and relevant conversations, market consultations, and skill assessment are all pieces of great recruitment process.


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm with offices in Toronto and Vancouver. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations and Mining & Engineering. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Bruce Powell Executive Search

Bruce Powell

Bruce co-founded IQ PARTNERS in 2001 and currently operates as Managing Partner. His personal background includes hands-on management experience in sales, marketing and marketing services. He has built management teams for a wide variety of marketing, communications, media and technology companies. He has also participated in several M&A transactions for service-based companies and is frequently called upon as a resource in the planning and negotiation of such deals.

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