As promised in my blog post last week, I wanted to review some of the qualms I have with LinkedIn. As a recruiter, I use LinkedIn as my main tool to source candidates. I use it daily, hourly, minutely – basically, I use it a lot, probably more than the average person. As much as Linkedin has helped me to fill positions for our portfolio of expansion stage technology companies, however, LinkedIn and I have some serious beef with each other.
To most, LinkedIn is a supplement to a resume, which is rarely used for anything other than updating your profile. I’m not sure if the general public is aware but for recruiters, LinkedIn is EXPENSIVE. Why is it so pricey? It’s over $1,000 for access to 10 inmails (messages to people outside of your network). The packages for searching access are over $100/month, and the search function isn’t even that good! Nevertheless, we are forced to fork over the cash (or credit card info), in order to recruit candidates who haven’t applied. If Linkedin had any competition I’m sure their prices would drop. As it is, though, that is a lot of pure profit LinkedIn is making off of recruiters who are trying to do their job well.
This brings me to my next point – the search function on LinkedIn is pretty bad. First of all, even after paying the additional membership fees each month, you are still not granted access to all of LinkedIn. The search is limited to individuals in your network. In addition, once you have your search results, it’s very difficult to navigate through them to connect or message others. After you send a message or connection request you are required to click the “back” button in your browser, which usually messes things up and is just plain annoying.
Why am I always getting error or maintenance messages? At least once a day, my work is interrupted through LinkedIn’s, “Sorry, searching is unavailable at this time, try again later,” or “ We are going through some maintenance, please be patient.” Look, I know websites are constantly changing and updating, but every day? I pay money to use this thing. Let me use it.
Lastly, I think it’s absurd that I am occasionally blocked from connecting with people. If you send too many connection requests, and members reply with “I don’t know this person” you can be kicked off for a bit. I understand the point, but LinkedIn makes SO much profit off of recruiters, can’t you give us a break? I know these people don’t know me! I’m trying to get to know them, and offer them a job opportunity. It’s nothing malicious; please stop kicking me off. I think it would be wise of LinkedIn to add another option of “recruiter” when sending a connection request in order to avoid any confusion or mishaps.
I have a very love/hate relationship with LinkedIn. There are certainly things they could improve upon! I really hope a competitor rises in the near future who challenges LinkedIn on their site performance and pricing in order to improve the recruiting experience.