LinkedIn has enjoyed a major boost in popularity over the last few years as jobseekers begin to recognise its worth when it comes to showcasing their skills for potential employers.
The social media network recently announced that it now has more than 300 million members on a global basis. Half of these are based outside of the US, which is where the platform first started.
Senior vice-president for products and user experience Deep Nishar said: “As we’ve grown, the value we deliver to our members has increased, the way they use our products has changed and our membership has become more diverse.”
LinkedIn hopes to focus on its mobile offering over the coming year to help service users access the site on smartphones and tablets.
But does this signal the end of recruitment consultancies? Are algorithms taking over?
LinkedIn - not a comprehensive solution
There are no doubts that LinkedIn is an incredibly useful tool for jobseekers. A lot of employers have started to use it for their own staffing needs, while the possibilities it creates for online networking make it far easier for people to connect with potentially useful sources.
Its convenience - epitomised by its recent commitment to developing its mobile channel - also means the platform can be accessed when on the go. What’s more, it is beginning to deliver a more personalised experience.
“To get there, we are delivering personalized experiences built around members and their identity, network and knowledge. We believe this focus will give us the ability to better help each of our members achieve their professional goals,” declared Mr Nishar.
However, that does not mean it should be considered the only source for candidates hoping to move on to new pastures.
Why is this? Well, first of all, not every role is going to be available on LinkedIn. Secondly, if a worker is hoping to move into a new market or take on a position that is unfamiliar to them, they may need a helping hand beyond the generalised advice available online or via other social media platforms.
The benefits of recruitment consultancies
Despite the convenience and instantaneous nature of LinkedIn job searches, there is obviously still a place for the traditional role offered by recruitment consultancies, who can put their knowledge to good use on the behalf of candidates.
Marketers keen to be put in touch with the best companies and hoping for a reliable service will recognise the benefits of such an approach - often, you are more likely to get a response from businesses if your application is mediated by a recruiter the organisation has worked with in the past and formed a trusting relationship with.
Ultimately, this question of relationships is the central one when it comes to the difference between LinkedIn and recruitment companies.
Because reputable businesses are seen as reliable and efficient in bringing in new staff, particularly for interim roles, candidates may have more luck in signing up with a consultancy rather than simply sending out their CV to every suitable position on LinkedIn.
A good recruitment consultant can also help you tailor your CV and cover letter for specific roles and industries.
Furthermore, they might have special relationships with particular businesses that mean you can connect with them more easily.
Keep an open mind
There is no right answer when it comes to asking what the ‘best’ channel is for marketers who want to find a new job.
LinkedIn provides many benefits, among them the remote connectivity options it offers - what other channel would allow you to engage with like-minded digital marketing professionals from as far afield as the US, India and Japan?
It is also extremely convenient and a good way to keep your job hunt ticking over while ensuring that employers are aware of your skills and experience.
However, over-reliance on this channel could mean you miss out on a host of opportunities.
Specialist websites and trade publications can give you a wealth of options when it comes to finding a new job, while recruitment consultancies offer their own set of strengths for jobseekers.
A referral from a reputable organisation can make all the difference when it comes to getting your foot in the door, so bear that in mind if you are debating whether or not to sign up with a consultancy.
Utilising as many channels as possible (within reason) will always give you the best chance of finding the right position, so it makes sense not to be limited.