Lots of recruiters have a LinkedIn Recruiter Licence. Indeed many of my clients do, or are considering investing. I’ve written several blogs about recruiters not “getting” the value of LinkedIn:

  1. Recruiters: Don’t Expect a Return on Investment from LinkedIn (part 1)
  2. Recruiters: Don’t Expect a Return on Investment from LinkedIn (part 2)
  3. And now I’m about to go into a 3rd episode and talk specifically about LinkedIn Recruiter.  (And if ever there was a time to discuss the placement of the colon.)

Having a LinkedIn Recruiter licence – Just like having a Porsche

When I work with recruiters on their social media strategy I tend to get a bit car mad (Lewis Hamilton has done me some favours this year). I often equate having a LinkedIn Recruiter Licence to having a Porsche. I’ve done my research too and many recruiters would love (or indeed have) a Porsche.

There’s going to be all sorts of Porsche and car analogies in this blog. Tune your valves and check your mirrors!

Imagine this Porsche was a company car. The recruiter I worked for in the early 2000s had one –  you “won” it for a month if you smashed target.

Imagine if you had a company Porsche:

  1. You’d have a flipping huge smile on your face if you got to drive it (but I rarely see recruiters look delighted when they’re using LinkedIn Recruiter)
  2. You wouldn’t just give it to your mates to rag (but you sometimes share a LinkedIn Recruiter licence)
  3. Your boss wouldn’t let you get in unless you’d got a valid driving licence (but there are 1000s of recruiters using the licence and have not been trained to use it, and no-one is studying their usage reports and holding them accountable for their use of the system)
  4. You’d be expected to keep it clean (but any recruiters are not saving searches, setting up alerts or using projects)
  5. You’d win the race, rather than draw with the freebie recruiters (but I still see a lack of revenue generated by this licence, and a “it’s ok to break even” approach by some who are not seeing or expecting value)

LinkedIn Recruiter: Get out of the Porsche and “get on the phone”

Technology being disruptive is old news. Never before have the technology options which the average recruiter has access to so paralysed the recruiting process. Recruitment leaders are hoarse with “get on the phone”.

When it comes to LinkedIn Recruiter this is often the norm in a recruitment firm:

  1. Not enough licences to go around and they are shared amongst the team
  2. The “all the gear no idea” approach to the licence – barely scraping the surface of what this licence can offer
  3. Lots of searching and InMailing, not enough clever use of the features such as Update Me, alerts, projects…
  4. Nowhere near enough training on the product
  5. The recruitment CRM barely getting a look in on the talent contacted / placed via the LinkedIn licence. Hence no real understanding of the source of the fee

…and with many recruiters handing the licence around like a tray of chocolates after dinner there’s not enough buy-in to the product for it to make its mark.

Then the renewal comes around and some recruitment leaders renew due to fear of missing out rather than tangible return on investment.

Buying a Porsche seems a lot more exciting!

Breaking even does not buy you a Porsche!

I also regularly hear that a great measurement of LinkedIn Recruiter is “breaking even”.  As long as the recruiter makes a placement, and hence paid for the licence, then all is well with the world.

This clearly goes against the average recruitment leaders’ approach to making money. Breaking even does not buy you a Porsche!

The strapline on the LinkedIn Recruiter landing page on LinkedIn’s website is “Find and Engage the Best Talent”. I would imagine if Porsche could be that direct, they may use the same strapline for their cars? 😉

Indeed many recruiters have that goal day-to-day, and in the pub on a Friday / Saturday night.

How to treat your LinkedIn Recruiter licence like a company Porsche

  1. Give it to the people who demonstrate that they deserve it – not simply because they have asked for it. (Want a Porsche? Earn a Porsche!)
  2. Train, train, train. (Driving test / licence)
  3. Set goals for how it should be used – never assume that if you give someone some tech they’ll organically slot it in to their already stretched workflow. (Highway code)
  4. Study usage reports monthly and either nip bad behaviour in the bud with training / alignment of expectations, or take the licence away. (Servicing / MOT / Mileage check).
  5. How are they currently using social and sourcing tools? If they are pretty shoddy and don’t connect to the CRM enough, having a LinkedIn Recruiter licence won’t change their behaviour.  (Are you about to give your Porsche to a recruiters with a bashed-up, dirty car?)
  6. Get users to sign a contract with you – you wouldn’t hand over the keys to your company Porsche without s signature and a sanity / driving licence check.

The LinkedIn Recruiter licence is often seen as an “expensive” bit of kit, but it is a tiny fraction of what the average recruitment leader spends on their IT / advertising / salary budget.

Having higher expectations of what a LinkedIn Recruiter licence can do, and asking your team to deliver, is crucial if you are to engage well with this product and not just see it as an inevitable  cost of running a recruitment business. The investment is not just about the invoice you pay. It’s the time you spend on it and whether you can really attribute an improvement in your bottom line to it.

Using it well could even help your recruiters buy that Porsche (perhaps even a 918 Spyder.)


[Image Credit: Shutterstock]

About Lisa Jones

Lisa Jones is a Director at Barclay Jones, a Consultancy working with recruiters advising them on the most effective use of technology, web and social media to improve their business processes, recruitment and bottom line. Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaMariJones.

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