LinkedIn is paid to be a headhunter-recruiter

LinkedIn is different from Twitter and Facebook, very different.

LinkedIn is a network of primarily business contacts therefore I do not believe it can be called a social network. Some say that LinkedIn is overvalued; this may also be true because of the suspected rumor that it has a very low percentage of active users. But if you are a recruiter then why should you care? If you can find potential clients or applicants based on a few demographics like job title, location, industry and skills then this is a recruiter’s heaven. LinkedIn provides huge short cuts to those endless phone calls of who knows who from were. Where it used to take weeks to find one qualified non-passive candidate, it can now be done in minutes.

Most of the naysayers are not looking at the LinkedIn’s value based on the recruiter’s perspective and they have very good points.  See Krista Bradford and Seeking Alpha

I really like these articles because they are both reality checks on what LinkedIn’s value actually is and where it may be heading. I believe LinkedIn’s natural evolution is in the job and sales business. I think it would be silly for it to try to compete with FaceBook, Twitter and now Google plus for the pure social part of networking which is usually a ‘boy meets girl’ kind of deal. 
The future of LinkedIn lies in job boards like Monster, Career Builder and Dice and contact management systems like Sales Force. It can be a big player in these areas but does not stand a chance in true social networks. This is a good thing for both recruiters and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is branded and so it should use its brand and not try to be something it is not. They should capitalize on their true value.
If you want a quick fact sheet on LinkedIn so you can figure out if you can make it work for you, it comes down to these bullets:
• LinkedIn is planning to offer an ATS/CRM system. Since I make my living selling ATS systems I will be watching. Up until now I have always described LinkedIn as an excellent sourcing tool but that it is only the first step in the work of a successful recruiter and the entry point of a recruiting software.
• Only 1% of the LinkedIn members visit more than once a month. I say “so what”, as long as they have a profile with a title?
• LinkedIn is a sourcing tool not a recruiting system
• It has been reported for some time that the majority of the traffic on their website has been from Recruiters
• There seems to be a consensus that the use of InMail responses is gradually declining but it is still better than emails
• LinkedIn and any other Social Networking sites used by recruiters can get the recruiter and the candidate ‘Over Branded’ like yesterday’s news. Some of the comments below can help me explain this point a little better.
  • Ted Moore “…looks like a European CV and the candidate has 50 recommendations and 500 connections, the brand suffers a hit in the minds of those clients…””
  • Krista Bradford “…A lot of us on this thread specialize in finding candidates that are not so obvious …”
  • Geoff Peterson ”…so, just because we can find them on LinkedIn doesn’t necessarily mean the value of that candidate should be any less…”
  • Jim Sullivan “…LinkedIn is a tool, it will never do your job for you, you still have to “follow the yellow brick road” to get what you need…”
  • Gordon Frutiger “…And the reality that LinkedIn is nothing more than a marketing and recruiting site is shocking because?…”