LinkedIn Recruiter Search Result Discrepancies Explored

Posted by | LinkedIn | 9 Comments


LinkedIn Search Results can be different across free and premium accounts, including Recruiter

LinkedIn search results can be different across free and premium accounts, including Recruiter

Irina posted an interesting piece on discrepancies in search results between LinkedIn Recruiter and a free LinkedIn account which prompted me to do a little digging as I don’t think I’ve ever come across materially different results in actual use.

While the discrepancies are definitely interesting, and I would love to know exactly what’s causing them, I don’t find them particularly troubling. Read on to learn why.

Even if you don’t have a LinkedIn Recruiter license, you will likely still find this post interesting, as it examines search logic and strategy which can be applied to sourcing via any site/resource.

In the C++ 3D iOS “computer games” example, where a free account returns 150 results and an LinkedIn Recruiter account returns 43, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to search for “computer games” as a keyword as it is too limiting. If the goal is to find people who develop computer games, I would run a broader, more inclusive keyword search than exact phrase of “computer games,” which many people who actually develop games would not use in their LinkedIn profile.

If you were to search for (games OR gaming OR game) instead of “computer games,” you get 494 results for both a free account and LinkedIn recruiter. You could also search using the industry filter in both LIR and a free account – in this case they return the exact same number of results (133).

One thing to notice so far is that “computer games” is also an industry on LinkedIn, and when you use it as a keyword, you get massively different results between LIR and a free account. However, as soon as you drop “computer games” and use other terms to search for the experience, or you actually use the industry filters, you get the same results across both types of accounts.

I didn’t find the hospital/healthcare example alarming, as I am not sure why someone would search for [hospital health care] when they are already searching for current employees of New York Presbyterian Hospital (they’re already working in the health care industry to some extent as they work at a hospital). Also of note is that in the example search, there is no search by title or a real skill, so I am not sure how effective that search would be in helping identify people with any specificity.

If you remove the [hospital health care] keywords and search for current employees of New York Presbyterian Hospital in the NYC metro area, LIR actually returns slightly more (6,911) than a free LinkedIn search (6,865).

If you search for the current title of [Nurse] in addition to the NYC location and current employer of New York Presbyterian Hospital – both LIR and a free search return exactly the same amount of results (1,180), which I believe is a more accurate and practical representation of what a LinkedIn user might search for.

The pattern I can see from all of the examples provided is that they all search for keywords that are also industries (Computer Games, Hospital & Health Care, Research, etc.), and in all cases I am not sure why someone would search for those terms, as they would represent very weak searches IMO. Another way of saying this is that I don’t run into the issue of discrepancies in “real world” searches between a free LinkedIn account and LIR based on the queries I run and train others to construct.

For the health care search, I would advise people who were really looking to identify candidates to use [hospital OR hospitals OR health OR healthcare] as keywords in LIR, which would result in 6,675 results, significantly reducing the gap found. However, as I have previously stated, I wouldn’t actually ever search for [hospital OR hospitals OR health OR healthcare] when searching for current employees of a hospital, as they are implicitly working in that industry by the very nature of their current employer.

Of note, for the Research Intel Labs China example Irina provided, using LinkedIn’s free search, if you exclude people who mention Intel as a current or past employer from their profile, you find 28 results. If the searcher’s intent was to find people with Intel Labs experience, these 28 are false positives littered throughout the 283 – they mention “Intel” and “Labs” somewhere in their profiles, but not as an employer. If the searcher’s goal was to actually find people who either currently work for Intel Labs or have previously worked at Intel Labs and currently live in China, I would recommend either searching for “Intel Labs” or simply searching for Intel Labs using the current or past employer search field.

Additionally, I am not sure why someone would search for a keyword of [research] when they could simply find and review all of the current and past employees of Intel Labs regardless of the keywords they chose or did not choose to include on their LinkedIn profile – a very manageable <300 results.

Although I am pretty sure the discrepancies in search results across free and paid LinkedIn accounts, at least from the examples I have seen, has something to do with searching for keywords that are also industry terms, I can’t explain exactly why searching for a simple term like [research] produces such huge differences in search results between LIR and a free account (119 vs. 283), other than perhaps LIR doesn’t search the industry field when you use an industry term as a keyword. As soon as you remove [research] from the search (which, remember, is also an industry in LinkedIn), search for a current or past employer of “Intel Labs” and switch to a current title search of [engineer], you pretty much get the same results between LIR and a free search (92).

If the interesting response from LinkedIn posted by Joseph M provides me with any educated guesses, I would say LinkedIn’s free search is “dirtier” and less precise than LinkedIn Recruiter’s, allowing more, but not necessarily (and not likely to be) relevant results to be returned. On other words, until we learn more, my position at the moment is that LinkedIn Recruiter license holders need not worry that they are missing out on relevant search results provided they don’t run very basic/imprecise searches using keywords that are also LinkedIn industry terms.

Have different observations/advice? Please share.


Talent42 Keynote: Building Talent Pipelines

Posted by | Conferences, Lean/JIT Recruiting | 3 Comments


Glen Cathey - Talent42In theory, building a talent “pipeline” sounds like an ideal strategy, ensuring that you always have a steady supply of the talent you’re looking for.

In reality, there are many issues with building talent pipelines, and they all “leak” extensively.

I recently delivered the closing keynote at the always excellent Talent42 technical recruiting conference where I explored the core issues associated with building talent pipelines, proposed that talent acquisition is essentially responsible for managing a company’s human capital supply chain, and challenged the audience to see that the “war for talent” is really a supply chain management competition.

If you have a difficult time seeing the parallels between talent acquisition and supply chain management, take a look at the definition of supply chain management according to the CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals): “Supply chain management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing, procurement, conversion, and logistics management…It also includes the crucial components of coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third-party service providers, and customers.”

Talent acquisition certainly involves the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing, procuring/converting candidates and all associated logistics – as such, I believe HR/recruiting organizations need to leverage proven production and supply chain management principles (e.g., Lean, kanban, Just-In-Time, etc.) in their recruiting processes and strategies to gain competitive advantages.

Unfortunately, many companies seem to be very late to the game in this regard. As the ultimate owners of talent acquisition, HR/recruiting should be the experts in human capital supply chain management and processes, leading innovation in this space. However, I have found several examples of global I.T. professionals innovatively leveraging Lean principles to recruit people for their own teams and to manage recruiting processes that should serve as a serious wake-up call to HR/recruiting organizations.

If you’re curious about the core problems associated with proactively building talent pipelines and would like to learn about the many benefits of applying lean principles to the recruiting process, including reducing the “7 deadly wastes,” employing kanban and enabling Just-In-Time delivery, take some time to navigate through the Slideshare below.

My live presentation deck was comprised mostly of images, so I’ve published a modified version that can be consumed without the benefit of hearing me speak to the concepts.

Enjoy, and please do share your thoughts.

How to Find Active & Passive Software Engineers on Stack Overflow

Posted by | Sourcing, Sourcing and Recruiting, Stack Overflow | 3 Comments


Stack Overflow CareersDo you source and/or recruit software engineers?

Would you like to know how to find software engineers on Stack Overflow who are actually interested in hearing about new career opportunities?

For free?

If you answered YES!, YES! and YES! – you’re in in luck, because I am going to show you how to find active and passive job seekers on Stack Overflow for free. Read More

Sourcing vs. Recruiting – What’s the Difference?

Posted by | Myths and Misconceptions, Sourcing | 17 Comments


While you may not  know that Balazs Paroczay recently posted a rebuttal of my proposed definition of sourcing, I strongly suggest you read his argument, as I appreciate his perspective as well as the fact that he disagrees with me on the definition of sourcing and I’d like to hear your opinion.

I believe disagreement is important and valuable, because it fuels critical thinking and forward progress.

Before I get to Balazs’s post, I’d like to get your take on a recent disagreement I had with Recruiting Animal. Read More

Twitter Sourcing Tool Tactics Cloud Shuts Down

Posted by | Uncategorized | One Comment


Tactics Cloud NoticeI hope my blog post wasn’t somehow the kiss of death for Tactics Cloud, but in only a matter of weeks after writing about how awesome I thought their Twitter search solution was, they will no longer be offering Tactics Cloud as they have decided to focus our efforts on new opportunities.”

Although Derek Zeller discovered that you could still access and search Twitter with Tactics Cloud via this link, the Tactics Cloud crew said they will be shutting that down shortly. At the time of this post, that link was still working, although I am sure that won’t last long.

Enjoy it while you can, before your only real option for searching Twitter bios is Followerwonk and good ol’ fashioned X-Ray searching. Read More

Excellent New Twitter Talent Sourcing and Recruiting Tool

Posted by | Sourcing, Twitter | 8 Comments


Tactics CloudDo you leverage Twitter in your sourcing and recruiting efforts?

If NO – I strongly recommend you read my 14 Tips on How to Use Twitter for Social Recruiting and see the two comments from Matt Chiasson.

If YES – would you be interested in a better way to search for and find people in your target talent pool on Twitter?

Look no further!

I received a notification from the Google+ Social Recruiting community last week that Hung Lee believes he found something that “pretty much destroys FollowerWonk as a Twitter sourcing tool.

“Destroy” is a strong word, but I would say Tactics Cloud gives FollowerWonk a thorough beating and I will be using Tactics Cloud as my primary tool when searching for people on Twitter. Read More

View Full Names on LinkedIn for Free with LIPPL

Posted by | LinkedIn | 9 Comments


Lippl 1I am pleased to share a cool and very practical free Chrome extension that allows you to quickly and easily view the public profiles of LinkedIn members beyond your 2nd degree network, thus showing you their full name.

Victor Soroka first shared Lippl with me back in January. I had the honor of meeting him while at LinkedIn’s Talent Connect 2012 in London and apparently Victor has been busy working on a great way to view the public profiles of practically anyone on LinkedIn.

Once you’ve installed the Lippl Chrome extension, all you have to do is open the Lippl sidebar and click “open.” It works by automatically opening up the person’s public LinkedIn profile in a new Incognito window, so even if you’re logged into LinkedIn, LinkedIn can’t tell whether or not you “know” the person (within 1st or 2nd degree) – as such, you can see their full name. Read More

LinkedIn Represents Over 60% of U.S. Non Farm Employment

Posted by | LinkedIn | One Comment

LinkedIn Statistics Feburary 2014 277M 93 Million USIn certain sourcing and recruiting circles, it’s in vogue to say that you shouldn’t rely heavily on LinkedIn for your talent acquisition needs.

In fact, some people will go so far as to say that LinkedIn is “overfished” for talent and that recruiters are lazy if they use LinkedIn as their primary source of potential candidates. Whenever I hear that kind of sentiment, I simply have to laugh. LinkedIn’s latest stats claim 93M+ U.S. profiles.

To believe that a talent pool the size of LinkedIn’s is “overfished” is like saying the Pacific Ocean is overfished, that you can’t find fish in the Pacific Ocean that others haven’t already caught, and that you would be lazy to fish in the Pacific Ocean. Yeah – there’s just too many fish in the Pacific Ocean…we should go find some other place to fish. Right.

You might be surprised to learn that most people find, review and take action on less than 20% of LinkedIn’s users, but that’s the topic of a separate post I will write in the near future. In the meantime, contemplate my claim.

LinkedIn Represents Over 60% of U.S. Non Farm Employment

Let me share with you an interesting statistic I recently calculated and shared at SourceCon in Atlanta. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics is showing preliminary figures for total non farm employment in January 2014 at 137,500,000 (I rounded up). Read More

14 Tips on How to Use Twitter for Social Recruiting

Posted by | How-To's, Social Recruiting, Twitter | 12 Comments


My tweet about seeing a recruiter with 3 followers tweet about a job opeingTwitter’s been around for nearly 8 years and has always been popular in recruiting circles, but there are still plenty of recruiters  who don’t use Twitter to its full potential or are simply new to using Twitter for recruiting.

For example, just the other day I noticed in one of my Hootsuite streams a recruiter with 3 followers tweet about a job. I found this interesting so I decided to tell the world what I had seen via Twitter and LinkedIn to see what kind of a response it would generate.

I got a surprising number of responses in defense of the unnamed recruiter, even though there was no attack to defend against, which I found very interesting.

Many of the responses were “Hey, you gotta start somewhere,” which of course is true. However, I would argue posting jobs without a decent number of followers from your target talent pool is like buying a lottery ticket – it is a hope based action/strategy.

Seeing a  senior recruiter with 3 followers tweet about a job and seeing the small flood of comments I received on my observation, I decided it’s time to create a guide detailing the recipe for successfully using Twitter for recruiting. Read More

Keep Calm & Message On: LinkedIn Group Messaging Still Free

Posted by | LinkedIn | 9 Comments


There were a number of tweets, blog posts and online discussions late last week that stirred up a great deal of confusion over whether or not you would soon still be able to send free messages to fellow group group members on LinkedIn. I’ve got the straight dope from LinkedIn and will demonstrate with multiple screenshots what is still free for everyone and what is not going to be free for LinkedIn Recruiter license holders.

I believe the confusion began with emails LinkedIn recently sent out to Recruiter license holders explaining that they will be disabling the ability to send free InMails to group members from LinkedIn Recruiter as of January 14th.

Based on the chatter online, some people seem to have incorrectly interpreted this to mean that no one will be able to send free messages to fellow group members on any more (see example image at the bottom of the post).

This tweet from LinkedIn cleared up the confusion for me on Friday:

LinkedIn Group Messaging Still Free

However, as I began to write this post, I came across several examples of people I know claiming they spoke with LinkedIn reps who said free group messaging was being eliminated for everyone. Even though I was quite confident that @HireOnLinkedIn knew her stuff, I decided to check with her one last time:

Question to LinkedIn about free group messaging

Within 2 hours of that tweet (on Sunday!), I received an email from a Senior LinkedIn PMM copying several other LinkedIn folks definitively clarifying that free group messaging on LinkedIn isn’t going anywhere:

As you have noticed (and commented in Social Media), we have disabled the ability send to FREE InMails to Fellow Group Members from Linked Recruiter.  This Change is only applicable to LinkedIn Recruiter customers (not LinkedIn members).

Background: When the feature was launched in LinkedIn Recruiter several years ago, the intention was to provide members with an opportunity to connect and share ideas within groups while enabling recruiters to participate and find talent. Based on a recent analysis, we have noticed that this feature is being used in ways we hadn’t anticipated, often creating negative experiences for both members and recruiters.

Here are some additional clarification points.  

1.  Free Group messaging is and WILL CONTINUE TO BE AVAILABLE to all LinkedIn members

2.  All group members CAN continue to send messages to fellow group members on

3.  LinkedIn Recruiter customers CAN continue to send InMails to fellow group members but these InMails will be deducted from their allotted InMail credits.

Finally to answer your tweet:  Free group messaging isn’t going away for any member.

Hope this clarifies any confusion.

It certainly clears things up for me.

Screenshots: LinkedIn InMails to Fellow Group Members

This is what will no longer be free – from LinkedIn Recruiter ONLY, as of January 14th:

LinkedIn Group Messaging from Recruiter

Prior to the change LinkedIn is instituting, this is what you would see when attempting to send a message to someone with whom you have a group in common:

LinkedIn Messaging Free to Group Members

After the change, this is what it will look like to LinkedIn Recruiter users even if they do have a group in common with the person they are trying to message:

LinkedIn Message Costs 1 InMail

Screenshots: Free LinkedIn Group Messaging

When you’re on and in a LinkedIn group and you want to send a message to someone, even if they aren’t connected to you in any way other than sharing the same group, you will still be able to send free messages to anyone who hasn’t disabled the ability.

LinkedIn Group Messaging Example

When you click “send message,” here is what you will continue to see:

Free messaging to fellow LinkedIn Group members

So keep calm and message on.

I should remind you that LinkedIn group members can elect to not allow other group members to send them messages via LinkedIn. Here is where users can find this group messaging setting:

LinkedIn Group Messaging Option