There’s no question. LinkedIn is the most prominent business networking site on the planet, and it’s not even close.
Tens of millions of business professionals have active accounts on LinkedIn. And the site has grown beyond social networking for business to include a well-rounded selection of hiring tools and a job board that competes with some of the top job-search sites.
But how important is business networking to helping you find new employees? Will you need to run an adjacent hiring campaign on a more traditional job board?
Pros and Cons
There’s a lot to like about LinkedIn, especially compared to other social networks (many of which are viewed as too casual and personal for business networking).
But the site is far from perfect, especially when its job search products are compared to other job search sites.
- It’s the largest social network for professionals
- It combines business networking with a job board
- LinkedIn offers employer branding tools and visibility
- It attracts more than 50 million weekly users
- Job posting is pricey compared to other job boards
- It’s still considered lacking for entry-level and blue-collar jobs
- The social networking component deters some job prospects from joining
- Poor transparency in pricing
An Overview of LinkedIn
LinkedIn didn’t start out with the idea of being just another Facebook app or rival social network. The San Francisco company started out filling a need for people who wanted to keep business from being too personal.
While it has added job search and recruiting tools to round out its offerings, professional networking is still what it does best.
The LinkedIn website says it has registered more than 850 million users worldwide, and 188 million in the U.S. alone. Each week, about 50 million users visit the website.
It was likely similar numbers and projections that caught the eyes of Microsoft when it purchased LinkedIn for $26.2 billion back in 2016.
Though it was Microsoft’s biggest purchase at the time, it has largely left LinkedIn alone to continue on its current trajectory.
LinkedIn continues to innovate by developing and releasing new features for both employers and job seekers, from talent acquisition and branding tools to eLearning and employee development.
Its core products for employers are its free LinkedIn Jobs subscription and LinkedIn Recruiter — Recruiter comes in three versions: Lite, Professional Services and Corporate.
The professional network recommends LinkedIn Jobs for small businesses not looking to hire a lot of staff, while mid-size and larger organizations are directed to a package that includes a version of Recruiter.
LinkedIn Jobs (Free)
With Jobs, a free account, you get to post one free job and your job ad gets promoted in emails, job-search research and mobile push notifications. You get some control over deciding how your ad gets promoted and where it gets targeted.
A Jobs LinkedIn account gives you basic messaging and applicant-tracking tools with the ability to batch-reject applications.
You can only message people in your network with at most a third-degree connection to you. To widen your reach, you’ll need to send out more connection requests or upgrade your account.
You also get basic performance metrics and the most basic tools for sorting through candidates.
Your organization only gets one seat for a single recruiter, and that person has to use their personal account to post the one job ad you get.
For more seats and company ownership of data, you’ll need a premium account.
LinkedIn Recruiter Lite
Recruiter Lite adds to the features of Jobs, so you’re still limited to just one job posting.
It gives you access to over 20 search filters to help you sort through job seeker accounts. The standard version of Recruiter gives you about twice the amount of filters, plus it gives you insights into your search.
Recruiter Lite lets you save up to 10 searches with alerts that notify you each time a relevant LinkedIn profile matches your parameters. Alert frequency can be set to daily or weekly.
While the free version and Recruiter Lite only let you message LinkedIn users you have at least a third-degree connection to, up to 30 times a month.
Unlike the full version of Recruiter, Recruiter Lite doesn’t include skills assessments that can be used to pre-screen candidates.
LinkedIn Recruiter Professional Services
There’s no limit to the number of jobs you can post with a Recruiter Professional Services subscription. You get multiple seats, so multiple members of your organization can post jobs to the professional site.
You get more advanced applicant tracking tools, a wider set of search tools, and much more control of your job ads’ placements.
A full Recruiter subscription also gives you finer control over targeting your job postings with “Dynamic” ads. You also get a company page to raise your organization’s brand awareness and offer a look at your company’s culture.
This tier includes LinkedIn’s talent analytics platform, which delivers data-driven insights and competitive analysis to help build a profile of the type of employee you need. And it helps you identify strong fits when you see them.
Both Recruiter Professional Services and Recruiter Corporate expand your save searches and alerts to 50 per month. They both also allow you to create company pages that show off your company’s culture.
LinkedIn Recruiter Corporate
The biggest difference between the Professional Services and Corporate versions of Recruiter lies in messaging capacity and level of access to the full LinkedIn network.
While Recruiter Lite restricts you to 30 messages a month within your network, a Professional Services account lets you send out 30 messages a month to any user in the entire network. A Corporate subscription lets you message anyone on LinkedIn up to 150 per month.
Both the Professional Services and Corporate versions let you send bulk messages, up to 25 per batch. And they both give recruiters up to 20 licenses for collaborators like hiring managers and directors.
As for data ownership, the Professional Services and Corporate subscriptions give control to the organization, while Recruiter Lite gives ownership to whoever sets up the account.
LinkedIn Recruiter Lite starts at $140 a month or $1,440 for an entire year. Prices for Recruiter Professional Services and Recruiter Corporate vary based on each organization’s specific needs.
However, you can expect to pay around $900 a month for a corporate Recruiter account or around $9,000 annually.
Choosing a Job Board for Finding Employees
Just about all LinkedIn reviews will agree, it’s easy to recommend LinkedIn for its business networking. But there are enough shortcomings with its job board to strongly consider marketing your job openings on another site.
Many organizations, especially small and midsize businesses, find it more practical to post jobs on a more traditional job board like ZipRecruiter, while using LinkedIn’s social networking to nurture connections.
While you may find LinkedIn’s subscription and performance-based pricing to be a bit expensive or unclear, ZipRecruiter offers upfront pricing that makes it easier for any business to budget for hiring.
Starting with a flat rate of $299 per month, you get to leverage all of ZipRecruiter’s core features — including its one-click job-post syndication and artificial intelligence-powered recruiting.
Post to More than 100 Job Boards with One Click
Every job prospect is different, so you won’t find all the best talent on a single job board.
ZipRecruiter gets it, which is why they have assembled a network of more than 100 job boards that range from big names you’ve heard of to niche sites for specialists like engineers or educators.
With one click, you can syndicate your job ad across ZipRecruiter’s entire network of job boards, or you can take a more targeted approach and focus on the most relevant boards.
A Board that Empowers Recruiters to Do More
Finding and evaluating talent is hard, but ZipRecruiter makes that task easier with the assistance of artificial intelligence.
Whether you’ve got a team of recruiters or an HR head who does it all, the site’s AI helps you find the type of talent you’re after.
Their AI scans that talent pool and references millions of data points to help your recruiters quickly produce a shortlist of high-caliber candidates.
You’ll live alerts and recommendations when the AI finds a match. It’ll even reach out to relevant job seekers to encourage them to apply to your job opening.
Ready to get ZipRecruiter a try? Start your free trial to see just how much attention your job ads will get with a reach of more than 100 job boards, and the assistance of AI that just keeps getting smarter and more effective.