Sourcers, Recruiters Riled By LinkedIn Mailing Changes

LinkedIn is making a change to the way recruiters can reach out to members of a group. Beginning Tuesday LinkedIn will charge for sending mass mailings to group members.

InMails recruiters send from Recruiter to fellow group members who aren’t 1st degree connections will be deducted from their allotted monthly InMail credits

Previously, anyone with a LinkedIn Recruiter account could send free InMail messages to any number of members of groups of which they, too were a  member.  It cost nothing, for example, for a LinkedIn recruiter customer to send one or 1,001 emails to fellow group members.

Most Recruiter customers used the free service judiciously. Enough, however, did not, that LinkedIn chose to end the free mass mailing option. As a LinkedIn spokesman gently explained it, charging recruiters to send InMails helps to “encourage them to tailor their message and maintain a positive member experience.” In other words, it cuts down on spam messaging.

However, he said “The vast majority of recruiters will not be affected by this” as they have more than enough InMail credits to accommodate their mail volume.

The rule change will have no affect on non-customer recruiters because they never could send mass mailings. They will still be able to send free InMails to fellow group members from and will also be able to continue to post jobs and messages to the group.

Article Continues Below

The impending change has prompted a number of sourcers and recruiters to call foul.

Sourcer Maureen Sharib wrote a lengthy blog post railing about he change and suggesting the change might prompt legal action.

Elsewhere, commenting about the change, Cathy Mannis said: “LI is really making it impossible for professionals to have an exchange of ideas and, thereby, building professional relationships. ”

Other comments on Twitter and elsewhere are equally as harsh. But not everyone sees the move as a big impact.  Notes Matt Charney, “Anyone whose sourcing or engagement strategy is affected by this news is either a troll, a bad recruiter or a B2B content marketer.”

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


22 Comments on “Sourcers, Recruiters Riled By LinkedIn Mailing Changes

    1. Nothing in life is FREE sooner or later somebody pays for it.. You pay for it in time (for the person doing the emailing) or a prepaid list…

  1. It seems Disgus is not working or I’m being censored. I doubt it’s censorship, so here is a paraphrased version of a previous post.

    1. Where did this come from? “Most Recruiter customers used the free service judiciously. Enough, however, did not, that LinkedIn chose to end the free mass mailing option.” *Sounds* like a copy/paste of LI press release.

    2. You quote Charney on SOURCECON? The guy who in recent weeks claims Boolean is over and sourcers done while calling traditional sourcers “borderline Autistic?”

    This barely over a month from your conference? I hope you’ve paid his way to defend himself. Being that he touts semantic search as the cure-all, I hope he’s not touting his former employer’s “PRS” developed by overpaying for Trovix and currently being murdered in the market.

    If he won’t show or you won’t pay his way, I hope he’s not just hiding behind a blog and will defend his thoughts to true sourcers and/or sourcing experts. #GoodLuckCharney

    1. Hi Erica:

      Regarding your point #2, thanks so much for this amazing feedback. I always appreciate the fact that you clearly read my stuff and I can’t thank you enough for that. You might not agree with my points, but if somehow that content on a relatively arcane B2B subject like sourcing triggered any kind of emotional reaction – even disgust – then I’ve succeeded in at least not being boring. I wish SourceCon would pay for my way as well, but even if I don’t make it to Atlanta, I’m not hiding behind a blog and would welcome the opportunity to actually talk to true sourcers any time. In fact, I’d really love to have a conversation with you since I don’t think we know each other and clearly it’d make sense for me to learn from you since, well, you’re a real sourcer. Feel free to give me a call or drop me an e-mail any time – I’d give you my contact information but as a real sourcer, you’ll have no problems finding it.


      1. Borderline autistic – wow – that statement is definitely a winner – NOT… Someone is not playing very nice in the sandbox. I am sure I could have a nice coffee conversation and tell you how traditional sourcing is still working and doesn’t seem to be going away…

        1. Glen – what I said was: “The borderline autistic personality of traditional sourcers, that is, the technophiles with a penchant for hacking, a fixation on tools, technology and basically breaking the system, thrived in this function because [sourcing] required a level of knowledge that, simply put, it just doesn’t anymore.” I

  2. I “railed” about the change?

    Oh, John…

    You make me sound like one of those trolls Matt is talking about.

    I guess I better go look at myself in the mirror some more…


      1. Are you going to be at Sourcecon? Connie, Pam and I are doing a LIVE phone sourcing workshop – you can bring your phone sourcing dilemmas to it and we’ll work on them LIVE. Think of it as LinkedIn Rehab .

    1. I read your article and had exactly the same reaction to LinkedIn’s announcement as the recruiter you described in it. Calling a recruiter a ‘troll’ for being diligent enough to contact every potential candidate makes a really good excuse for laziness, though…

  3. Maureen makes a very valid point in her blog: “…[LinkedIn] it’s a nice place to start but who really needs them if you know how to talk to somebody on the telephone?” and my heart gladdened at his self-assurance.”
    Recruiters and sourcers have adopted the ease and convenience of LinkedIn, but those of us that are experts at Sourcing know that it is just a tool, and there are other ways to get the same information.

    1. Very true. But, if I leased a car for a year, and after seven months the company I leased it from tells me I’m only allowed to drive it to work from now on, and nowhere else, I would be angry, too.

  4. Personally I think it is refreshing that LinkedIn is finally doing something about the bad behavior it has been allowing, training a whole generation of recruiters to do things poorly. There is no excuse for mass email other than laziness.

    1. LinkedIn, itself, is guilty of the worst behavior of any company that I know of, at least recently. I also disagree that “there is no excuse for mass email other than laziness”… it definitely has its place in the recruiting process. If I am an industry expert who has compiled an authoritative list of individuals in my field, it makes much more sense to send all of them the relevant job opportunity information at one time, rather than calling them individually…. Next time you get in your car to drive someplace, consider the possibility that using an automobile is lazy, especially when you could walk ten or twenty miles, instead. Going back to illuminated manuscripts instead of Gutenberg’s printing press would make as much sense.

  5. We cancelled our recruiter LI account, I don’t need it anymore and we can find people on LI without paying some crazy fee, I mean really, lets see, charge a large exorbitant fee, and then LI guesses what is best for all – uh – no. Additionally, I am not a troll on LI and this is not the only source for A-player talent. Sigh…

  6. Personally, I hate the job posts that do nothing but waste your time, like “I am a recruiter for XYZ company and they are hiring.” You don’t know what talents they are looking for, so to respond responsibly, you look them up to find they only want a junior person in some country I wouldn’t even visit on a vacation or worse, you can’t even figure out what they are looking for at all. But yet they still keeping posting the same banal nonsense.

  7. LinkedIn is a company without any integrity. One should read Nick Corcodilos’ articles on the subject. John Zappe rarely checks his facts and is mostly incorrect in stating that free emails to groups are no longer allowed. They still are, but the convenience of the LinkedIn Recruiter system itself is substantially diminished by not allowing those emails to be sent as inmails. Also, the limitation on 50 groups is a pain, since a real recruiter will recruit in very diverse fields. A ‘real’ recruiter should be able to start from scratch in any field and develop a thriving network within a month or less, given talent at the craft of recruiting itself. LinkedIn is discouraging cross-over recruiters (who tend to be much more successful) by limiting the number of fields that they can participate it. I am definitely angry with the changes made by LinkedIn, but John (as usual) has his facts wrong.

    The interesting (and most encouraging thing) is that once I stopped using LinkedIn to recruit, I more than doubled the number of candidates I was finding, and I also started finding candidates for searches that I had had zero success with on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is really just a crutch, in a lot of ways.

  8. It’s horrible. A recruiter is trying to contact me via LI. I can’t response to her without paying $10/email !!!*&&^(*&@#*)@*#!)*# I am NOT a recruiter, I just want to thank her for thinking of me … and to do that, I have to either paying $10 or $7.99/month. I bet LI will loose millions of members in no time!!!

    1. Quang, it is strange that a recruiter sent you an inmail message and did not include their standard email signature as text near the bottom of the body of the message. If you have their email, phone, twitter handle, etc., visible within the message, you are not obligated to use LI to respond to the recruiter. Contact them via any of the free channels listed – a good recruiter will respond via any method you use.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *