Has LinkedIn Jumped the Shark?

LinkedIn has seen some good days and some bad days, but these days it’s beginning to look like it’s circling the drain. Or jumping the shark, maybe. Things aren’t looking great over at the professional social media giant. And that means a lot of recruiters will need a better way to find the elusive great candidates.

RELATED: Programmatic Advertising: The New Normal?

Jumping the shark is a regular idiom now for that pivotal moment when it’s all downhill and not in a good way. Fonzie dons a pair of water skis and makes a heroic jump over, what else, a shark. Sadly, that gimmick paled in comparison to the hero’s original jump, much earlier in the Happy Days series, over a series of barrels. He learned a lesson, and all was well in the end. After the shark episode, viewers learned a lesson and tuned out.

LinkedIn is working on a gimmick of its own now, and it looks like their new direction has a lot more to do with revenue than helping professional connections find each other. It still has plenty of members. But fewer of them are active all the time.

Hello Marketing, Goodbye Professional Connections

Apparently LinkedIn is losing revenue. Big time. And it’s chasing that revenue by making itself friendlier to marketers. How friendly? According to Recruiting Daily, it recently launched a new “Account Targeting Option” for marketers. The now-famous astronaut commercial that ran during the Oscars and claimed that 3 million of its users qualify for the job of astronaut kicked off the new direction. What was supposed to herald a new age at LinkedIn might have just signaled the beginning of their end.

This B2B angle can really mean only one thing: LinkedIn needs revenue, and marketers provide it. Advertising is likely to ramp up on LinkedIn soon. And considering the way that L.I.O.N.s are already spoiling what was once a meaningful way of making connections but LinkedIn has yet to crack down, it shouldn’t be long before in-mail becomes a dumping ground for spam.

Real Time Programmatic Matching Makes a Difference

As if it wasn’t difficult enough to find genuine candidates before, soon mass marketing will be the thing to contend with at LinkedIn. Where you could once make organic connections, the landscape is shifting to an ad-centric platform with employers and candidates situated somewhere in the background. But when you use technology that’s made for sifting through data, the search could be a lot easier for both of you.

Real-time programmatic matching is different from other technology that recruiters use. It doesn’t just focus on one job site, but scans thousands, identifying the right sites to show a job ad on for the right target job seeker. And the data that it gleans is analyzed and matched in real time against the qualifications that you need in a candidate. If a job and candidate aren’t a good fit today but that changes later, real-time matching means no connection is ever lost. This is the best way to find candidates and for them to find you because it works on so many different levels, and it does so automatically.

LinkedIn has been losing ground for a while, but their latest iteration has made a lot of recruiters more than a little wary. What was once a reasonably good social media platform where professionals could connect and network is now scrambling to stay afloat. At least Fonzie stayed on his skis.

But with the right tech tools, you don’t have to rely on any one network for sourcing. That’s the beauty of real-time programmatic candidate matching. It goes to work for you, and for your candidates. You don’t have to shuffle through the noise of marketing, and neither do they. LinkedIn may very well have jumped the shark with their latest changes, but it doesn’t have to affect you.

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