I was speaking to some of my colleagues the other day about LinkedIn. One of my colleagues thought that this specific Social Network had hit the top and that there would soon be another one along that would replace LinkedIn.
I on the other hand disagreed. I see LinkedIn stronger than ever and I believe it very difficult that another Social Network can take its place.
To give you an example, I am currently sourcing candidates for a senior role where I am searching for the right candidate on an international level. I have tried with international job boards and other professional Social Networks, but nothing gives me the same results as LinkedIn. The big majority of professionals at a certain level can be found on LinkedIn, sometimes it is the only place to find them. Why would I search anywhere else, if I know that the person I am looking forcan be found there?
I am currently using the Executive Account in LinkedIn in order to do recruitment but also to do business development and so far I am very happy with the results. Nevertheless, LinkedIn has many other and much more developed recruitment tools to offer, some are still pending to be launched this year.
Now, I can’t help but wonder; will LinkedIn put an end to job boards as we know them (at least for mid to senior level roles)? Why go through the normal process and post your jobs in an endless number of job boards, when the candidate you are searching for most likely can be found in LinkedIn?
And even more critical (at least for us, the recruitment agencies), will companies in the future simply invest their recruitment budgets in LinkedIn instead of in recruitment agencies. For if we all use the same recruitment tool, where is the added value of a recruitment agency?
Here I must intervene and defend the role of recruitment agencies in the market. It is true that you can do a lot with LinkedIn, but I sincerely do not believe that this tool will replace recruitment agencies for the following reasons:
- Time issues: Many companies contract the services of an agency because they do not have the time to dedicate for the search and sourcing of candidates. No matter which tools you contract, you need to have the time to use them. You will always get 100% dedicated time from an agency and you will receive fast results.
- Recruitment volumes: If the company has a low volume of hiring needs, it is probably not worth them investing in one of the advanced solutions. For one or two hirings a year, the best solution would be a recruitment agency.
- Specialization in profiles or markets: Even if you have the recruitment tool, to use it well, a recruiter needs to know where and how to search for specific candidates. If a company is recruiting for a specific complicated market or a difficult role in which they have no prior experience, it would be a great advantage to work with an agency which as previous experience in this specific area or profile. Not only would it be time saving, but the results would probably also be better.
These are just a few of many reasons not to drop your recruitment agency. I believe that LinkedIn will take a more and more important place in the sourcing of candidates (until the next big thing arrives of course!) but no matter what will happen in the future there is no denial that for some specific things, a recruitment agency is the best choice :)