LinkedIn to… Laziness?

Social media sites are constantly prowling for new revenue streams. LinkedIn now sells job postings, for example. So, when I needed an SEM person, I plunked down a few hundred dollars to advertise on the site. I am no newbie – I’ve been using online job boards for years, including Monster, Career Builder and Craigslist. But I find the quality of job inquiries on Linkedin is just not as good.

I’m not saying you can’t find people. I just found an amazing SEM Manager through LinkedIn to lead my web services group at 4 Walls. But despite the exceptions, the overall quality of the job applications are worse. Perhaps that’s because it’s too easy to apply.

You’d think the ease of applying might yield candidates who are super prepped; because they don’t have to spend time filling out forms, they could do more research. And they might realize that ease of applying means more competition; they could be asking themselves, what do I need to do to get ahead of what could be huge competition?

Instead, people often apply without even reading the ad carefully, never mind actually researching the position. For example, one applicant asked me what industries we service—information that was right in the ad! The information was also very easy to figure out if you look at my LinkedIn profile or the corporate website. Score zero on the “always ask an interesting question” front.

We do short phone screens in advance of a full interview. Some HR people worry how they can reliably sort out applicants in a phone call. But those from LinkedIn are disgracefully easy: Most people I talk to haven’t even visited our company website. This phenomenon of poor preparation predates the Internet by at least 2000 years. But it seems more frequent through this business network. Is it LinkedIn or are applicants getting lazier?

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