Discrepancies in Search: LinkedIn Recruiter vs. Personal

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Up until recently, search results in LinkedIn Recruiter (LIR) and in (any) personal account were the same. LIR provides more results available for viewing for a given search and better results visibility (and also some facets that are not available in a personal search).

This has changed dramatically.

If you have a LinkedIn Recruiter account, you must read on.

Here are three examples of searches, compared side-by-side for a personal vs a LIR account. (Guess, which account provides more results?)


Search for C++ 3D iOS “computer games”, title = engineer OR developer, in the Bay Area 

Personal account: 150 results.



Click on “View Results in Recruiter”



… the same search shows only 43 results in LinkedIn Recruiter:



So, in the EXAMPLE #1 the numbers are:

C++ 3D iOS “computer games”, title = engineer OR developer, in the Bay Area 

  • Personal: 150 results
  • LIR: 43 results



hospital health care, NYC, currently at New York Presbyterian Hospital

  • Personal: 5,574 results
  • LIR: 1,302 results



Research Intel Labs China

  • Personal: 283 results
  • LIR: 119 results


In the above examples, LIR provided anywhere from about 50% to 20% (!) of the numbers of results that a member would get with a personal account – including a Basic account.

I do have some guesses for the reasons of the discrepancies, but I can’t be sure. There’s no official documentation or information in blogs about this, as far as I can tell. I don’t think the discrepancies are caused by software bugs. My best guess is that these are “side effects” of developing Galene and the Economic Graph.  I have seen some cases where the discrepancies are the other way around: LIR shows more results than personal, for no apparent reason.

Bottom line:

Take a note of it. Don’t lose matching results. I’d recommend to search from both personal and from LIR and, perhaps, X-ray as well.

Comments 11

  1. We noticed this same exact issue with our LIR account. We reached out to LI and below is a response we received from support. Hope it helps.

    “There may be different reasons why you’re seeing different results or different number of profiles depending on the search itself. Every search is different and therefore how our algorithm configures it, really depends on the specific search criteria. You should also know that Recruiter uses a different system than linkedin.com. Linkedin.com search design tends to focus more on names, since most searches are for specific people or companies. Recruiter search on the other hand focuses more on keyword and has a slightly altered design that emphasizes qualifications and quality. For example: if you choose Intuit in the “current company” filter, Recruiter will search the members who chose the company name from the dropdown and affiliated themselves to the correct company, while linkedin.com will also include those who typed in the company name but didn’t choose the affiliation, hence they’re not displaying the logo of the company in their profile. It’s safe to say that search in Recruiter tends to focus more on quality than quantity. Lastly, Recruiter includes Talent Pipeline, which allows you to search not only within the LinkedIn Network, but also to search for any prospects that have been added to your pipeline that may not have a LinkedIn profile.”

  2. Interesting, and thanks for sharing.

    I just ran a couple of test searches and my variance has been +/- 3 (e.g., 246 vs. 243).

    Example search – Keywords: java hadoop nosql, Current title: engineer OR architect, 25 miles from 94109.

    I’ll continue testing and share my findings.

  3. I clicked your link and ran the search and got the same numbers you did. However, when I put together the search for myself in linkedin and filtered by location I only had 36 results.

  4. Example 2 is a real mess

    I got the same numbers. I tried this in LIR thinking the logic is somehow self-correcting in LIR
    Hospital (Healthcare OR health care)
    Now getting 2,154 results, still not close to 5,574.

    In LIR I went back to KW = Hospital health care
    and selected advanced keyword, Current = “New York Presbyterian Hospital” (Current Only)

    I have free version of LI on personal account so I am only seeing 10 pages x 10 result
    Comparing the results and looking to drill down to the name level I added “Sasha”

    Free = 5

    LIR = 2

    There is definitely something broken with LI Recruiter. This is not foil hat fodder. Anyone attending Talent Connect two weeks from now, let them know the paying customers are not pleased!

    1. Aaron did you try health care in quotes? health care won’t work accurately in LI, whereas “health care” will display results of the two words together.

  5. I did some digging and investigated all of the examples you provided and summarized my findings here: http://bit.ly/1ytUVD0

    The short version is that LIR doesn’t “see” LinkedIn’s industry terms/phrases when you use them as keywords as a personal/free account does. I’d like to see some searches that produce material differences in results between the 2 accounts that does not use an industry as a keyword.

  6. I have searched for SAP AND SCM who currently works at Capgemini and Lives in Bengaluru Area, India.
    Personal LI – 59 results and LIR 59 results.

    And then 2nd search:

    (lifescience OR “life Sciences” OR Biotech OR Pharmaceuticals OR Bio OR Pharma OR Biopharma OR “Medical Device” OR Bio-Medical OR biotechnology OR Pharmaceutical) who currently works at Digitas and Lives in Greater Chicago Area.
    Personal LI – 12 results and LIR – 5 results.

    So shall i assume for India its working fine and not for other few locations.

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