LinkedIn Offers Recruiters Limited Success, Study Says

Cleared Recruiting

If you’re a recruiter, the conventional wisdom is that everyone is on LinkedIn. If you’re recruiting professionals with an active federal security clearance, that’s far from the case. Regardless of who you’re recruiting, LinkedIn may not be the best place to start your sourcing.

A State of the Recruiting Industry Report found that almost an equal number of recruiters reported finding candidates on LinkedIn as those who found no candidates –  30% reported hiring zero candidates using LinkedIn.

LinkedIn does offer a big pool – it boasts 500 million users, half of whom are active. But the reason those big numbers don’t always result in big hires is because the sheer size of the platform means some recruiters find it difficult to drill down to find the skills they need – in a candidate with a clearance or clearance eligibility.

The issue for U.S. based companies is 70% of LinkedIn users are located outside of the U.S. Fake profiles are also an increasingly serious problem. With LinkedIn, you have a big barrel of fish. But does your recruiting fishing bucket really need to be bigger, or does it just need to be filled with the right candidates?

The one demographic who is on LinkedIn? Recruiters. 87% of recruiters report being on LinkedIn. That manifests in another common recruiting problem – noise. The average user spends 17 minutes a month on LinkedIn – by the time that average user reads a few articles and visits their groups – they probably don’t have the time for the dozens of InMails they’re getting from the majority-recruiter audience.

Does that mean social media shouldn’t be a part of your recruiting strategy? Definitely not. Candidates do report using social media to find information about a company’s brand. Social media platforms offer a great way for candidates to research companies and discover more about an organization – but they’re increasingly wary of recruiter messages that come unsolicited.

In the latest in a string of cases of Chinese espionage against the U.S., a former Defense Intelligence Agency employee and government contractor reported being contacted by a Chinese intelligence officer on LinkedIn. The story is just the latest instance of how aggressively China is targeting the U.S. defense industry. Iranian hackers and Russian spies are also using the social networking site to specifically target defense contractors.

Should you be using LinkedIn as a recruiter? Absolutely. But should you be expecting to source candidates primarily using the site? Absolutely not.

Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.

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