Have things changed in the talents’ identification with LinkedIn?

The database offered by LinkedIn (and other professional networks like Viadeo, Plaxo, etc…) proposes a selection of approx. 200 millions members. The size of this network combined with the head-hunter talent eases the opportunity for young potential quest.

What are the various sources for talents’ identification?


In the process of an active recruitment, the identification phase plays a key role. There are mainly four different sources for talents’ identification:

-    Personal networks: built from personal experience and/or prior recruitment of similar profiles.

-    Private databases: All Top tier Companies and each Executive Search Practice have filed all the spontaneous CV for ages. They receive hundreds or thousands (Depending on the size of the country) of spontaneous applications every week.

-    Public databases: the recruitment world seldom uses public sources like Universities alumni, professional associations.

-    Direct market approach (cold calls)



What happen with the rise of LinkedIn?


Over the last decade, has LinkedIn (and other professional networks like Viadeo, Plaxo, etc…) changed the role of the above sources of identification? Basically it is a public database!

LinkedIn has allowed each executive to have access to his/her profile and to update/complete nearly in real time!

LinkedIn has also strongly enlarged and completed the information giving a far broader view of various aspects of the candidate’s profiles (out of the traditional CV topics).

A side effect is the increasing number of followers from the same company. Once the “Boss’ is on LinkedIn, everybody in the Company is supposed to be present too, not to mention the childish games of the recommendations (Be nice with me and I’ll be nice with you!) and the connections rush (How many more than you have I got?)



LinkedIn has broaden the scope of executive search


The Executive Search methodology is best adapted to identify top executives. The lower the identification goes in the hierarchy the tougher it becomes. In other words, it is far easier to identify the Finances Director than one of his young potential!

The private databases are usually quite poor in this kind of young profiles with the exception of a few having sent their spontaneous candidature! .

For such an assignment, the main question remains how to identify young profiles: Imagine someone calling a top tier company to ask for the best young manager in the Finance Dept, without knowing any name …..




Professional networks have substantially increased the number of members (200 million in LinkedIn only!). This enlargement has opened the opportunity to identify talents at a lower level in the organisation.

Professional recruiters have now some material to start identifying high potentials. So LinkedIn has to seen more like an opportunity than a threat for the Executive Search profession.



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