LinkedIn’s recruiting trends for 2017 don’t add up…

LinkedIn’s recruiting trends for 2017 don’t add up…

By Martin Ellis


I’ve just read LinkedIn’s Recruiting Trends for 2017. As somebody who used to write this sort of stuff in a past life, I tend to regard it as self-serving nonsense. Cos it usually is. They are hardly likely to publish anything that’ll self-harm. I certainly never did.

If you must, you can get access to this report here.

It is quite interesting.

And if that sounds like faint praise – it is.

Averages are useless

Overall they have some interesting statistics, but the trouble is they’ve swept up a load on international averages, and the problem with averages is they never apply to anyone. It’s like having one foot in a bucket of ice cold water, and the other in boiling water. The average should be warm comfort, but try telling your feet that. So, averages are interesting, but broadly irrelevant.

“Most recruiters would spend more on employer branding if money was no object”

It really says that.

I stress, “Most…”

53% of recruiters would invest in company branding, and only 30% on the candidate experience. If LinkedIn has gathered this data accurately, and let’s assume they have, then this makes the recruitment community look stupid. Why invest in the brand and deliver a crap experience? OK, it doesn’t actually say that, but that’s what it implies by default. The collective recruitment brain isn’t made to look very bright.

Apparently, employer branding is best delivered when marketing and recruitment get together (I’ve worked in both disciplines and even I would disappear down the pub when that meeting started). They can then sell the sizzle – although later in the report, candidates and recruiters agree that the most important element of branding is the company culture – which certainly never comes from marketing or recruiters – it comes from the way the organisation is managed and led. Good or bad.

Do you think some marketeers and recruiters are sometimes trying to polish a turd?

It also says that most candidates get their ideas of culture from the company website and social media. So spend more money, or just do what you already do better?

I know what I’d do.

“Automation would increase the speed of screening candidates, minimize human bias, and help assess soft skills more precisely”

Yep. It says that too.

Now let’s say that’s true. Humour me. Just for the moment. Doesn’t that counter the importance of the candidate experience?

Some of this stuff doesn’t add up.


  1. The collective recruitment brain isn’t very good, or…..
  2. LinkedIn is putting a spin on this, or…
  3. I’m reading this wrong

I’ll let you decide.

In case I present myself as some sort of Luddite resisting technology and change…

Technology will continue to change this industry, and overall, mostly for the better. It’s just that I can smell people jumping on bandwagons before they’ve arrived. They’ll be broken teeth on the pavement and blood in the gutter.

To be absolutely fair, LinkedIn have new owners looking to get a return, and if I were in their shoes, I’d do EXACTLY what they’re doing…..

…but that’s EXACTLY the time you should start to fret.



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Martin Ellis is the Headhunter at the RSE Group. He’s not always this grumpy. But Christmas is approaching, and with that, the party. That means he has to try to be nice. And that means he needs to get the bile out of his system early. If you dare, he can be reached at or 07823 887982. He’s usually better in the morning.



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