While 31 per cent have advertised posts on the platform, only four per cent said LinkedIn advertising is ideal for senior executive roles commanding a salary in excess of £70,000.
It was argued that direct advertising on LinkedIn didn’t provide anonymity for the employer or candidate, with 41 per cent believing this was why senior executives prefer applying for posts through a recruitment agency.
And 26 per cent argue that LinkedIn is not used widely enough by senior personnel in certain countries. As a result, the HR department can’t effectively reach international talent.
HR heads also doubt some of the information contained on LinkedIn, making it trickier for internal teams using the channel to check out potential candidates. As a result, while 46 per cent of HR teams use it to look at senior candidates who have applied for a role, they only score it 5.3 out of ten.
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Only eight per cent of HR professionals fully believed LinkedIn profiles, with 29 per cent feeling that people are likely to be less honest than on their CVs.
It was also suggested by 37 per cent of respondents that LinkedIn recommendations aren’t of much value as they are often swapped and 47 per cent see endorsements on the platform as unreliable.
Norrie Johnston, managing director of Norrie Johnston Recruitment, said: “When companies are searching for senior executives they want the certainty that they will get a shortlist of qualified, well matched candidates in a predictable timeframe. LinkedIn may offer many benefits but it simply cannot guarantee such a result. That’s why recruitment firms still have a role to play. That’s not to say LinkedIn isn’t exerting a powerful influence, or that recruitment firms can afford to ignore how it has changed things, but LinkedIn isn’t a substitute.”
While LinkedIn isn’t a complete recruitment game changer, the research showed it is transforming some aspects. Over half of HR heads are using LinkedIn to build relationships with prospective candidates before they are even in the market to recruit.
Johnston said: “While LinkedIn may not be ideal for advertising senior roles, and profiles may not always be reliable, there’s no doubt that it offers a huge potential to proactively identify and target top flight executives. Picking through that talent obviously requires considerable skill and know-how, but that doesn’t reduce LinkedIn’s possible contribution to the process.”
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“Is LinkedIn an executive recruitment game changer? The answer appears to be in some respects, yes, and in others, no,” Johnston concluded. “It isn’t usurping the recruitment process, but it is massively powering it – and people ignore its strengths and weaknesses at their peril.
“Recruitment teams, be they in house or in agencies, need both the specialist skills and experience of traditional recruitment, plus LinkedIn know-how, if they’re to win the battle for senior talent in this LinkedIn era.”
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