Why you can’t rely solely on LinkedIn when searching for candidates

Quote from Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn.com, “We estimate there is nearly half a billion professionals in the world, and we are at north of 60 million today.”


Like many search consultants  and recruiters, I use social media websites to find candidates and have no hesitation in recommending LinkedIn as it’s one of the best. A treasure trove of information, I log in everyday and have been building my connections through the site since 2005. I also recommend using LinkedIn in my book as part of the research phase in the search process to find the right candidate, as well as for job ads for certain roles.

However, you should bear in mind that you are only seeing part of the potential candidate market when you use a LinkedIn lens.

I was reminded of this point when watching an interview with the CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner (that would be a fun job!), posted on Forbes Tech Mate. When asked about the future of LinkedIn, he stated, “We estimate there is nearly half a billion professionals in the world, and we are at north of 60 million today”.

Which begs the question: What about the other 440M? How do you find even one of them if they’re not on LinkedIn yet? Expert search consultants use a systematic search methodology to reach a greater proportion of the candidate market, therefore uncovering a larger number of suitable candidates.

Another factor to consider is that certain professions and geographic areas are more highly represented in the LinkedIn community, such as business developers, recruiters and those living in Silicon Valley.

LinkedIn is fast, easy, cheap and has excellent candidates on its site, but remember it’s only providing you access to a small portion of the market. There are a myriad of ways to find people, don’t just use one technique or site.

Article for reference:


Shireen DuPreez is author of the newly released book The Executive Search Process: A Step by Step Guide to Finding the Right Candidate. Further details and sample pages can be found at www.executive-search-process.com.

This article also appeared in Human Capital Magazine:


And on www.theresourcechannel.com.au Think Tank.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s