They say that Curiosity Killed the Cat; a reference to the dangers of unnecessary experimentation. Here in lies perhaps the answer to the question if LinkedIn is in the process of killing and pushing the executive search and recruitment industry over the cliff. Many clients and candidates ask me how LinkedIn has impacted our executive search business the last few years.
According to Thailand's own National Statistical Office, we have a labour force of almost 40 million people of which 6 million come with a higher education. A higher level education is defined as holding a diploma, a bachelor or a master's degree. In other words, the just over 1 million Thailand registered LinkedIn members represent less than 20% of the group of higher level trained people in Thailand. Now, combine that with the research from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, that at any given time only 16% of us are actively looking for a new job.
If we take the liberty of assuming that all one million Thailand based LinkedIn members are there because they are interested in a new job, I suppose one could argue that a call or mail to such individuals would easily yield a shortlist to your hiring manager or client. But honestly, is that assumption just even close to the actual fact? No, I don't think so.
What many forget is that just having someone's name and contact details does not mean you have your next candidate victim. The search and recruitment process is by far over, probably just 2% into the long recruitment process. Finding a name in today's wired and increasingly smaller and smaller world is obviously a piece of cake.
The biggest challenge is what happens next. I mean after you have that name and LinkedIn profile. Just reaching out, asking the person if she is interested in a new job, surely will not cut it. But then again, this is the question inexperienced recruiters, corporate or recruitment companies, gladly ask right after they have introduced themselves. And don't forget that HR managers are in HR and not in sales for a reason. Few in HR find it to their liking to cold call someone and sell a job opportunity. Yes, recruitment is for a big part Sales with a capital S.
You must bring unique selling points to the table, when you establish contact to the person you found on the internet and LinkedIn. We call these points for Employee Value Proposition in executive search. You must be good in selling the job opportunity, have a high influence factor, able to quickly establish a good rapport, a strong impact when you communicate and be full of confidence. These traits are hallmarks of a great sales manager and a top recruiter.