By Katharine Robinson

LinkedIn has gone through a lot of changes lately, but what exactly do they mean for in-house recruiters?

Some of you will have had the new interface for a while and others won’t have been switched over to it yet. The changes will impact everyone, even those of you with a LinkedIn Recruiter licence.

Here’s how the changes break down…


Irrespective of how much money your company does or doesn’t spend on LinkedIn, it will become a bit harder for job seekers to find you. This is because users with a free account will have fewer search options.

This makes it important, once again, to be dedicated to growing your network in both size and relevance. This is as true for those with a recruiter licence as it is for those without.

Your profile will change too. Be sure to check if these things still look good after you have the new interface.

  • Your profile picture (now circular, rather than square).
  • Your profile background image (the dimensions have changed, so bits can easily get cropped off or distorted).
  • Your Summary section (only the first sentence is visible without clicking on ‘see more’. Does your first sentence speak to candidates?).
  • Your company page (compare yours with LinkedIn’s page to see if you are on the new format yet).

How LinkedIn changes will affect sourcing…

LinkedIn Recruiter

You won’t notice any difference to your day to day candidate searching activities. As far as this round of updates is concerned, all the search functionality and access you are used to from LinkedIn Recruiter will remain the same.

Recruiter Lite

Recruiter Lite has recently lost its Boolean search functionality. I would be interested to know, from anyone who uses this option, how this has affected your search results.

Premium Accounts

You have lost, or are soon to loose, all the extra search features you were paying for. Basic search has also become harder to use (see below).

This means that you are now only benefiting from a monthly allocation of InMails. It could be worth looking at spending the money on LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator product or the new Social List tool from Irina Shamaeva and her team.

Free Basic Accounts

If you are on a free LinkedIn account then search will, or will soon, become more difficult to use. There are some field search commands that make searching a little more flexible than it first appears. A lot of useful features, like Postcode radius searching, are gone for everyone search on

So, are there any positives from these recent LinkedIn updates? From a sourcing perspective, it doesn’t seem like it at first glance. As such, it is vital you continue to build your network and maintain your profile and organisation’s company page to ensure potential candidates can still find you.

And perhaps now is the time to explore new sourcing channels, so you’re not relying too heavily on LinkedIn. There’s always good old Google X-Ray search, or this handy free LinkedIn search tool from Sourcing Hat, if you don’t have the budget to upgrade and you are struggling to search with the new interface.

Katharine Robinson uses the Internet to track down tough to find talent. She has experience in Executive Search and In-house recruiting teams.

Katharine founded Sourcing Hat, a consultancy that is passionate about helping you reach more interesting and interested people. She runs regular sourcing meetups around the UK via the UK Sourcers community.

Find out more

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About the author

Hannah Vincent

From candidate experience to flexible working, and from supporting graduates to ATS reports; Hannah's written it all over the years! Hannah has contributed to publications as diverse as The Guardian, UK Recruiter and University Business. She is also the wordsmith behind our whitepapers and guides, from GDPR to Employee Volunteering.