White, who has embraced LinkedIn, says recruitment firms like the Michael Page Group have no reason to see the professional networking site as a threat, as is commonly perceived, for this very reason. In fact, it’s added value to how they conduct their day-to-day business.
“LinkedIn is an excellent tool for recruiters and has improved our ability to understand the key decision makers in the market,” says White. “(But) recruitment is complicated and it needs people who understand the nuances that come with each market.”
The danger for LinkedIn, believes White, is if the site becomes just another job board, like Monster or Workopolis. As more and more jobs are posted to the site, the value in finding the ‘right’ connection declines, he argues. Members bombarded by job prospects, advertiser pitches and supplier inquiries may start to log off.
“If there’s an assumption that everyone on LinkedIn is happy to hear about job opportunities, it will lose its impact,” White says. “You can become bombarded. We have had a number of senior executives more themselves off (the site).”
In the meantime, LinkedIn continues to make headway in Canada's recruitment market with approximately 7-million Canadian members (20 per cent of the population), 12.5 per cent of which are from the finance sector (the highest of all industries), according to Statistics Canada (2013). Toronto accounts for 24 per cent of all Canadian members with more than 1.6 million residents logged on.
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