See Who is Snapping at the Heels of LinkedIn

By The Recruiting Division

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When they think of online networking, recruiters, job search, and professional profiles, most people think of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the social media site for professionals, and aims to keep improving to keep engaging job seekers, employers, and recruiters. Its new Recruiter home page and “candidates you might like” matching feature are designed to create a more intuitive, “sticky” experience for its users.  But social media is rapidly evolving and LinkedIn has plenty of contenders nipping at its heels.

Competitors to LinkedIn

Google Plus

Google is the wildly successful stepchild of early search engines like AltaVista and AOL. When it popped up on the online horizon, it embedded itself in every geek’s psyche and soon entered the vernacular of EVERYONE’s language. Googlear in Spanish, Googlare in Italian, Googlen in German, Att Googla in Swedish, Guglati in Croatian, Googlowac in Polish, Googlata in Finnish, Gugleet in Russian, Google Ha Da in Korean. Not sure if the other contenders can claim the same superstar branding.

“Google it,” “I Googled it,” and “Let me Google that” mean the same thing as researching or finding something. Kind of the way recruiters look for top candidates online. People of all ages regularly “Google” their boyfriends and girlfriends, and if it’s on Google, it’s out there to be found.
Google’s latest incarnation, Google Plus or G+, is hitting social recruiting in new and surprising ways. All type of candidates use G+, from newbies to the workforce, recent graduates, mid-careerists, and seasoned professionals. It may well pull into the lead to be a LinkedIn contender.

Google+ is a sublime blend of professional and social recruiting capabilities, tapping into more than just a career profile to reach into a candidate’s online presence. It reveals not only skills, experience, and education, but displays personality, passion, and intellectual curiosity (or lack thereof), the secret sauce that employers and recruiters look for in candidates. And the G+ search versatility enables recruiters to source candidates by geographic location, industry, title, employer name, and other useful variables.

The G+ video chat capabilities of Google Hangouts is an extremely awesome recruiting tool for video interviews, job and workplace discussions, and on-campus recruiting all from the comfort of a recruiter’s or hiring manager’s desk, traveling laptop, or smart phone. FOR FREE. Which distinctly differentiates it from LinkedIn. Imagine a three-month contest between a Google Plus only and a LinkedIn only recruiter, to see who ends up with the most quality hires for the least amount of money. I’d put my money on the Google Plus recruiter.


The Society for Human Resource Manangement reports that 54 % of recruiters use Facebook. Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has sights on Facebook recruiting capabilities. The newest Facebook incarnation, Graph Search, has released some slick search tools, and as one of the biggest social media platforms with more than a billion active users, it has to give LinkedIn pause and Zuckerberg hope for expanding Facebook’s utilities into the recruiting industry.


Twitter is another huge social media platform that’s become a viable option for recruitment. It’s a triple threat – fast, fun, and free. Twitter enables recruiters, hiring managers, and employers to announce a job opening to literally thousands (maybe millions) of active and passive candidates with minimal effort and zero expense. Recruiters can search Twitter profiles for niche skills and experience and track candidates with their Tweets. With a little planning and even less cold hard cash, a well-crafted 140 character message can help recruiters  stock their candidate pools, match top candidates to job requisitions, and cut through large swaths of their recruiting processes to get ahead of the recruiting game.

Lookout LinkedIn! Fun and fast is rapidly gaining on conservative and professional in the recruiting industry.

Andrew Greenberg is the founder and managing partner of The Recruiting Division, a leader in On-Demand recruitment solutions. You can follow on Twitter: @RecruitDivision

Image Credit: Jason A. Howie


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