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LinkedIn profile views – how many actually result in recruitment?

LinkedIn is undoubtedly the world’s top professional social network. And just like if you don’t tip a car guard you’re a bad person, society would also have you believe that your profile on the platform may be the most important web presence you hold, and what you put in your profile could open plenty of doors for you.

I don’t know about the car guards, but the belief about LinkedIn, I’ve found is, without doubt, questionable.

Unlike most social networks, the nifty thing about LinkedIn is that it allows you to see just how many people have looked at your profile and who exactly these people are. However, it appears, this function serves more as a way to get the latest low down on people rather than for its original purpose — potential recruitment.

A great example, especially when it comes to emerging markets, is South Africa. According to statistics released by Habari Media, LinkedIn usage has grown 45% among users in that country. The majority of these users are males and one of the largest industry user increases was found in the agricultural sector. These figures are interesting when you consider that one of the highest unemployment rates in one of Africa’s largest economies is in skilled agriculture but one of the highest increases in employment was in garden variety unskilled agriculture.

Skilled agriculture would likely be those educated people who have access to the internet and you could probably argue that they are more likely to make up the agricultural user growth on LinkedIn.

Yet even though they have a profile on LinkedIn they have seen the highest unemployment rates, while their unskilled counterparts who probably don’t have access to internet have seen the highest rate of employment. This may account for the high increase of skilled agricultural users on the professional social network.

Obviously it’s not only agricultural fields that use LinkedIn and the site is used for a multitude of other industries with manufacturing and medical arising as emerging markets that are increasing their LinkedIn usage. According to social specialist Mike Saunders, finance, high-tech and manufacturing are the top three job sectors on LinkedIn — probably due to the high demand in these areas and the saturation of the market. These people are joining the social network in an attempt to find a job and use the site for its supposed recruitment purposes.

What’s interesting to note however, is that 70% of global CEOs have no social media presence. What this means is that large corporations would probably rely on HR departments to trawl the site searching for the best candidates as the big bosses clearly have more important things to do then to check out a few LinkedIn profiles. But how often have you noted an HR practitioner in your profile views?

This could be due to a number of reasons. The first one and the basis of this article being that no one looks at profiles for potential recruitment. The second one being that perhaps you just aren’t marketing yourself well enough and therefore aren’t coming up in searches and are lost in the professional market clutter, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll pretend the latter doesn’t exist, like MSG in chip flavourings.

What all these stats and figures basically imply is that while it provides a fantastic place to network and read interesting articles about the “10 behavioural habits of highly successful people”, LinkedIn will only help you find your dream job if you are searching the jobs section. Other than that, your profile views are good for viewing which of your high school mates are checking up on you. If you can’t resist looking at a past schoolmates profile though, then just make sure your profile is more impressive than theirs. Better yet, offer them a job and tip your car guard.

Author | Tammy Binedell

Tammy Binedell
Tammy studied advertising and marketing, making her way up the SEO ladder and ending up as the Head of Editorial at Groupon South Africa. After realising she couldn't walk around with a caffeine drip in her arm forever, she left the world of deals and dove back head first... More
  • In my personal experience LinkedIn has proven very valuable as a recruitment tool and at least one client and a few potential client/employers have contacted me through LinkedIn after searching for someone with my skill set.

    It might depend on the industry and the market, but having a current, updated and optimized LinkedIn profile is important to enable potential recruiters and employers to find you. Savvy recruiters like Navy Blue Suits and Recruit Digital are using the platform to find potential candidates and more will follow.

    I’m not saying put all your career development hopes on this platform, but it does work and it does have value.

  • Tam

    I have personally been head hunted by MD’s and HR departments on LinkedIn where I was contacted about a few high profile positions relevant to my experience. I have also had some amazing professional recommendations which in itself act as your references and built up really valuable connections. So I believe it a really reliable recruiting and networking social professional network.

  • I don’t think any valid conclusions can be drawn regarding usefulness of LinkedIn based solely on data from the skilled versus unskilled agricultural sector in South Africa.

    The fact that CEO’s aren’t active in social media has no relevance to the activity of human resources staff on LinkedIn, for recruiting purposes. And yes, I do notice HR practitioners among my profile views.

    Consider this as well: LinkedIn provides one of the only initial credential checks, i.e. work experience, degree or certification. Many people describe themselves (online) as mathematicians, entrepreneurs or economists. Far fewer have LinkedIn profiles that support that. Everyone isn’t truthful. But LinkedIn profiles are more credible than most of the alternatives, online.

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