My Love Hate Relationship With LinkedIn: The Frustrations

linkedin frustrationsLast week I wrote about LinkedIn — what I love about it, and why recruiters at expansion-stage companies can’t live without it. But I also acknowledged that LinkedIn was not perfect, and during the OpenView talent team’s recent transition to LinkedIn Recruiter we realized that more than ever.

In this post I will go through a sampling of the issues that our team (and I’m sure other teams) has with LinkedIn.

No Consistency

As recruiters, we rely on LinkedIn to find qualified candidates for the positions that need to be filled. Since we are on it all day, everyday, it’s easy for us to forget that there are a lot of people that don’t rely on LinkedIn like we do. Most people don’t log in daily (which is already difficult for me to fathom), but some people don’t even think to look at it weekly, especially if they aren’t on the market for a new position. Those are the candidates we want! LinkedIn is the best way to reach passive candidates, but if the candidate we want doesn’t look at our message for a month it doesn’t work that well.


LinkedIn limits the amount of connections you can make with one account to 3,000. I have been in the recruiting business for over two years and using LinkedIn exclusively for my sourcing for six months. I have 500 connections left before I run out, and I’ve really just started my career – what am I supposed to do after I reach the limit?

Additionally, LinkedIn locks you out if you get too many “I don’t know you” responses. First of all, why is there even an “I don’t know you” response? Hasn’t anyone learned the value of networking? Okay, you probably don’t know me, and maybe you aren’t interested in a new position, but what about next year? You will be looking at some point, and when that time comes my connection will come in handy.

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Beyond that, the management at LinkedIn needs to realize that the way the product is used has changed drastically since it started in 2003. With the amount of people who are using the site and the resources they give you (job postings, keyword searching, etc.) they are asking for it to be used by recruiters. LinkedIn is also the best place to connect about job hunting on the candidate side. It has grown to be more than just a social networking site. The archaic rules in place to prevent people connecting with others they don’t know need to be lifted. The use has changed; the platform should change with it.

Customer Service

There is no inbound customer service phone number for LinkedIn. I repeat, NO phone number at all to reach customer service. Excuse me? What benefit does that offer? If I have a premium account and there is a billing problem I want to talk to someone now! Not connect via instant message or email. I want a live person to talk to. I am completely dumbfounded as to why they don’t have a number. When we were looking to get more information on the LinkedIn Recruiter platform at OpenView we sent in three inquiries to get more information. After no response for almost a week I started chatting (via instant message) with someone on the customer service team. I asked for a number to call and was told there was not one. The person then told me another inquiry would be submitted and I should be contacted soon. The next day, there was still no response, so I tried calling the corporate headquarters. After pressing 0 a few times and reaching no operator I started putting in random three or four digit numbers to reach someone on their extension. All that effort resulted in nothing. LinkedIn literally made it impossible for me to speak with someone on the phone. What kind of customer service tactic is that?


After finally implementing LinkedIn Recruiter, our team wanted to take some training so we could learn how to use it in the most effective way. After signing up for three separate training sessions that are open to the public we found that we were not learning anything new and that they were essentially a waste of our time. About 30 people attended each training session via WebEx — all the other lines are put on mute and you have to communicate via chat to ask questions. This makes it very hard to ask a question and have it answered while it is still relevant. It is also almost impossible to ask a follow up question. At the end of the day we went through it on our own and used past experience working with LinkedIn Recruiter to make sure everyone was on the same page and using it the most effective way.

All in all, we are very happy with the LinkedIn Recruiter platform and LinkedIn, in general, is obviously a great product. I do think that LinkedIn could make some changes to improve the process and the customer experience, however. Tune next week for some suggestions – I’m talking to you LinkedIn!

photo by: ardenswayoflife

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Discuss This Article

Comments: 5

  • j-son says:

    if a bunch of people are replying to your invitation to connect with “i dont know this person”, that means you are sending unsolicited requests. These are spam, by definition, and it creates a poor experience for members. LinkedIn is right to put limits on this kind of mass unsolicited invitations to connect.

  • Peter Ivate says:

    Boo hoo – the writer can’t spam people without them having the option of telling LinkedIn they are being spammed. And then it annoys him to have to mail LinkedIn rather than call them, when he’s quite happy to bombard the rest of us with unsolicited messages…

  • Chris says:

    Recruiters like you are the main reason Linkedin doesn’t work well.

    If you look at my profile, you can see that I’m a long-time full-time employee, and you can get a pretty good guess at my salary level. Sure, I’d be open to looking at other positions – but spamming me with 6-month contract offers at a pay level lower than I’m making now is just going to tick me off. And, since you just looked at my profile – why do your emails always ask me to reply with a resume? You just read it – in fact, that’s how you got my email address in the first place!

    If I were Linkedin, I’d ban headhunters completely. It is meant for employee-to-employee networking, not for what you’re doing.

  • You can get more than 3000 connections. All you have to do is request them once a month to customer service. I am well over 3000. Just a little tidbit.

  • Rachel says:

    “First of all, why is there even an ‘I don’t know you’ response?”

    – So that people who even need to ask that question have a disincentive for their unwelcome spamming.

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