Eliminating False Positives in LinkedIn Recruiter

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People are absent-minded. They forget to put an end date on a previous job on their LinkedIn profiles when they move to the next. Unclosed past positions are responsible for the majority of false positives in LinkedIn people search.

LinkedIn could fix it by allowing to search for the top position, but there never was such a filter. From my dialog with LinkedIn Engineering based on LinkedIn Recruiter Notes I had shared:

The “last position” feedback, the team is exploring solutions in this space. The main reason we don’t do this today is that many members hold multiple positions at one. Oftentimes, one position is their main 9-5 job and another can be advisory / volunteer / board position, etc. As a result, if we only enable “most recent position” search, we risk not including many members for their main 9-5 jobs that might be a great fit for recruiters.

We can advise only so many potential candidates about closing past positions and are unable to trigger a major LinkedIn profile update campaign. But we can try to eliminate the “absent-minded” members from search, finding more matches and fewer non-matches (and discriminating against some people with unclosed past positions, but we will search for them separately).

An average professional progresses through their career, gaining seniority. So, if you search for an engineer, use engineer NOT manager to eliminate managers with unclosed past positions. For managers, use manager NOT director, etc.

Alternatively, exclude higher levels of seniority in LinkedIn Recruiter, for example, with NOT seniority:6 (which means NOT director). Exclude company types also, for which you do not search.

If you are searching for company employees, exclude companies of other sizes and similar companies with NOTs in the Company field.

You get 17% fewer results for a search for Engineering Manager at Google if you search like this, eliminating companies:

(When these companies are included, we will find people who left Google for other companies or came from them to Google. So we should go back and find that “correct” half separately.)

Removing Seniority higher than Manager 

eliminates another 24% – mostly, correctly (though it does happen that a Manager goes back to an individual contributor role because they like to code):

I know, it is unintuitive. But it will save time.

Join me for a fully updated class

LinkedIn Recruiter Mastery

on Wednesday, December 21st. We will go over best search practices and reveal the actual functionality of the search filters, based on the new inside knowledge from the  Engineering, plus, cover 20+ hidden search operators that LinkedIn does not know about.

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