LinkedIn’s Members and Companies Disconnect

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Sourcing Summit Europe-2023 was awesome in every way – just look at all the reports on #sosueu on LinkedIn. It’s hard to describe how wonderful the event feels; you must go there!

My presentation was  called “Unscrambling LinkedIn for More Efficient Sourcing.” As I was preparing the slides, I ran into several problems with LinkedIn Recruiter search, and I want to tell you about them.

What this post is about:

TL;DR LinkedIn Recruiter does not find many people whose profiles do point to their current company pages by:

  • Company selection
  • Company size
  • Company type.

Consider this search: the negated company selection for Exxonmobil and Boolean (text) search for exxonmobil in the company field.

If you open the first profile in the results, you will see:

There is a current clickable company pointing to Exxonmobile’s LinkedIn company page. But LinkedIn fails to recognize that the member works at this company if you select it in the search dialog. This person will NOT be found by any company size or type either.

The majority of the 4K+ results for this search are also “lost souls;” only some work at Exxonmobil country offices (and at least have company sizes).

Take Ford Motor Company (depicted above with Midjourney) and you will see a similar picture. Profiles of many of its employees are not found by the company selection (or type, or size).

LinkedIn does a poor job categorizing its data. It means that Boolean rules – it does find Ford employees by the company name.

Bottom line:

  1. Search for companies not by selection but by Boolean (text).
  2. Do not use company size or type in most of your searches.

What does this mean for LinkedIn? Engineering wants us to find more profiles. They have redone the Skills search in Recruiter in a manner that makes Skills similar to keywords (and less useful). They could achieve the goal instead by closely examining their data and restoring the data connections that should be there but are not.

(I have discovered other things, along the same lines but different filters, and will post soon.)

To proceed with the promised AI “2024” search, it would be best if LinkedIn worked on better understanding their data first.

Speaking of AI, you are invited to the updated class “ChatGPT and AI for Sourcing and Recruitment” on October 18-19.

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