I should start this blog by stating that I love LinkedIn. I think it is a fantastic tool for professional connections, hiring, selling, and more. I genuinely enjoy the LinkedIn community.
But I recently met with my new LinkedIn success manager for ASG’s recruiting services account, and found myself rather surprised, and not in a good way, by some of their success tips for better recruiting.
LinkedIn’s Tip One: Post the same job in multiple locations to attract more applicants.
Tip number one has some valid logic in terms of reaching multiple regions. The downside of this practice is that while you will receive more applicants, it will also give the appearance of multiple positions when only one actually exists, and the quality of the applicants from any location other than the real location is borderline obsolete.
For example, if someone is looking for a position in Chicago and loves Chicago and they take their time to apply for a role listed as being in Chicago, what do you really think the likeliness is that I will convince that person to move to Denver?
I questioned my success manager about this practice, and the response was repeated that it’s a tactic for more resumes only.
LinkedIn’s Tip Two: Post all jobs as being open that you anticipate possibly hiring over the next year.
Have you ever been a stellar applicant for a job and didn’t even get an interview? Have you walked away thinking to yourself, “what did I do wrong?” or “do I need to rewrite my resume?” Rest assured, it is not necessarily you.
LinkedIn and many other job boards like Indeed or ZipRecruiter are all promoting this concept of collecting resumes. It is actually highly likely that the job you applied to doesn’t exist. And truly, may not ever exist or immediately become open.
Many of these jobs are listed in general terms. General sales positions because eventually, they will need salespeople. Or general admin because eventually, this will also need to be hired.
When I explained to LinkedIn, that I consider these tips to be unethical and poor practice…
…the success manager was unsure of why I felt this way. AGAIN, I received the value concept of gaining resumes. So I explained that I will take 10 great and real applications over 1000 resumes any day.
It seems many of these companies have been taught that their Return On Investment (ROI) ONLY centers around the metric for the number of resumes. If this were truly the only metric, then yes, these are great tips. But this isn’t the metric.
Ultimately, the metric is: can I find the best talent? So while hiring managers are looking for the best talent, LinkedIn is showing their value as the number of people they can collect. Not the same goal.
And more so, I believe such practices to have a long-term negative impact on the candidates!
When you post an opening, candidates who genuinely want to work for you, are excited by the possibility.
They go through the considerable efforts of updating their resumes, going through the application, writing cover letters, and whatever else your process asks for. They are careful and meticulous. It takes hours away from their lives, families, activities. Then after all that effort, they receive silence and experience rejection.
This type of negative candidate experience stays with that person. Even if you reach out to that candidate a year later, there is a good likeliness you will be told how they applied the year before. They will wonder, “why am I good enough to talk to now?”
Even more likely, they will tell you that you had your chance a year ago when they were looking, but they found something else. The ship already sailed.
If you do want to collect quality applicants early, there is a simple modification to the job postings: State the truth about the job in the description.
Tell candidates the role is for applicants interested in potential FUTURE positions. Hiring is all about making good decisions both for the candidates and company. You cannot make good decisions on bad information so give good information. You should know by doing this, you won’t get the thousands of resumes, but you will get some quality people lined up early.
Simply put, practices like LinkedIn’s suggestions wastes people’s time.
It wastes the candidates’ time. It wastes the recruiters’ time. It wastes everyone’s time because no one is making decisions on truthful information.
Hiring is a two-way decision. Collecting resume’s isn’t going to get you very far if those resumes lack quality and real interest.
Lessons to learn:
- Someone who is looking today, will most likely not be looking a year from now.
- Someone who has already been rejected (from their perspective) has now had a negative experience with your company, making them far less likely to be interested.
- Someone who is interested in a different region than the job posting is highly likely to feel mislead and develop a lack of trust in the company.
Most importantly, if your company cannot see the difference between quality and quantity in even the beginning stages of hiring, basing recruiting on lies, I’m going to assume you never see this difference in your people management practices.