LinkedIn: From Professional Networking to Social Recruiting

LinkedIn – yes many of us know and use it. It started off as a fresher tool in the Business networking / Professional networking foray, offering smarter usage of technology for a rather professional audience.

While offering a combination of services like managing your contacts and connections and giving people access to profiles of senior executives in major companies, it somehow achieved what many other pre web 2.0 sites couldn’t. I can think of plaxo back in the days.

Recruitment agencies and Executive search companies woke up to how they can headhunt candidates via Linkedin, solving the age-old question of who does what where and how can one find them.

After struggling to get very mainstream and adventurous, especially with the launch of Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is now rediscovering what it does best.

LinkedIn has thus realized that its service might be of value to the recruiting industry and eventually developed enhanced tools for corporate recruiters to source talent within the network – most of the services on reasonable packages.

While the number of users of LinkedIn users are in their tens of millions, my guess is that some of the most active and paid members are actually recruiters or people involved in the recruitment industry. And to be honest, it is not that so expensive, compared to other recruitment mediums.

With the recession and the fact that more candidates where looking for more ways to market themselves; where they can sell themselves to many at the same time using just one profile – on the other hand, clients and employers are slashing hiring budget and finding better ways to attract talent, LinkedIn saw a massive rise its its usage in the last 2 years, and naturally more earnings from paid users.

Originally designed for Professional Networking – which it will continue to be I guess, LinkedIn is probably figuring out that an actual surge in their future revenue model could be built on the recruiting market, and via social recruiting. Mind you, LinkedIn UK are running a networking event in May just for corporate recruiters where there intend to promote LinkedIn as a Social Recruiting tool.

Yesterday they launched the Job Seeker Premium Account, starting at $19.95 per month for the basic plan.

The new Job Seeker Premium Account enables job seekers to:

– Move to the top of the hiring manager’s list as Featured Applicant when you apply to jobs on LinkedIn

– Send personalized InMail messages directly to hiring managers, even those outside their network

– Save profiles, add notes and keep track of contacts from your job search with Profile Organizer

    This will make Job seekers more proactive in approaching hiring managers for jobs, and of course generate conversations between candidates and companies.

    With this new service, LinkedIn is setting itself up as a top Social Recruiting tool.