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Thanks for nothing, LinkedIn! You are too good.

28 OctoberBy Jon Cooney

So...I’ve been a hands on recruiter now for 4 months. Overall it’s been very liberating; helping others find work is a special existence. Scaling a business is fun. The media segment remains an innovative and exciting place to operate. One thing that has struck me is the disdain that gets thrown at recruiters on a regular basis. Comments such as “I didn’t know you had decided to end your career” and “#worsethanestateagents” are just two of the comments levelled at me in this short period of time (I often retort with #hateustilyouneedus...but that’s beside the point).

There’s plenty of ammunition on both sides of this coin as to why people feel so passionately about the vocation, so don’t worry, I’m not going there. There does however seem to be a huge contributor, key to driving poor candidate experiences and attitudes towards recruiters, that hasn’t yet been addressed...LinkedIn job applications.

Now, LinkedIn is a must have asset for any recruiter, it’s great on so many levels. In fact, being on this side of a recruiter license has made me realise why recruitment products I’ve been involved with building in the past, should have been nonstarters. The big issue for me is that it’s just too easy for candidates to apply to job postings! Just click a button - even less friction than a job board. We’re seeing upwards of 50 applications per advertised role, from UK based applicants to anonymised ads. Some of which will be relevant, some of which will be completely wrong for the advertised role, but the vast majority will be from candidates that are 75% applicable.

These are great candidates, good people, well-educated with backgrounds from well-known organisations. Personally, I’d love to call each and every one and try to help them with their search, but this is just not feasible for a small/medium sized recruitment business (of which there are thousands and most don’t have sophisticated ATS pipelining tools). An unsuccessful, automated reply does more harm than good to candidates who have thought long and hard about their application and really considered their fit to the role. Their frustration gets immediately thrust upon our business.! We need better pipelining tools for us to manage this large proportion of underutilised value. Rather than try to upsell us with more branding solutions, company pages and display ads, help us retain more of the value you are already delivering us.

You are partly responsible for the growing negativity thrown at recruitment professionals and giving us problems that we are just not equipped to deal with. Other HR Tech companies either have or are working on pipelining solutions ( from Dice or, but none have the quantity/quality first party data required to emulate the pipelining process accuratley and effictively. If a solution like this is to work for a recruitment company, it must be low touch and automated. Really, this is a data science and algorithmic challenge. There are 250 employees of LinkedIn with ‘Deep learning’ listed in their get to it! This sort of solution will not only deliver far greater attribution to each and every recruiter license owner but will go some way to improving the reputation of the Talent Acquisition industry in the eyes of the candidate.

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