LinkedIn Privacy Concerns: What Do They Mean for Recruiters?

Poll Reveals Shocking Percentage of Employees Disengaged at Work
June 21, 2013 to Expand in Detroit
July 9, 2013

As necessary as it is, employee recognition is a subject that most human resource feel anxious about.

Potential Profile Changes Could Cause Ripple Effect
A recent petition on, which is quickly racking up nearly 7,000 signatures, calls for serious changes to LinkedIn’s privacy policy. The petition aims to protect LinkedIn users from stalkers, and points out that while nearly every other social media tool has the ability to block fellow users, LinkedIn does not allow for this capability unless a court order is issued.

Supporters of the petition say without the ability to block users on LinkedIn, it can be a dangerous medium, one where users can be easily followed and tracked. The creator of the petition has her own personal stalker story that involves incessant messages on LinkedIn as well as stalking her location and current position.

LinkedIn responded to the concerns by pointing out that users can “disconnect” from other users or heavily limit their profile visibility, but concerned petitioners say it isn’t enough.

As an extremely popular recruiting tool, the LinkedIn privacy concerns could bring momentous changes to the way recruiters function in today’s tech-heavy industry. If the privacy changes were to be implemented, recruiters could be easily blocked forever on LinkedIn, allowing for an increased likelihood of missing out on candidates.

Not only would recruiters not be able to reach out via InMail, it would bring the inability to be informed of job changes and relocation of its users. Also at stake is the practicality of paid LinkedIn subscriptions for recruiters once many of them are blocked by candidates.

Some argue that the essence of LinkedIn is to be seen and recognized. According to a recent poll by LinkedIn, as much as 44% of all users are considered “explorers,” or candidates who aren’t actively looking but are open to a conversation with a recruiter. But even “explorers” may be intrigued at the possibility of blocking recruiters who become a nuisance.

Some users are reporting that they have let their profiles sit idle for years as a result of LinkedIn stalking. The privacy concerns bring to light arguments regarding recruiting tools and the potential dangers of heavily relying on a single recruiting resource. If the changes were to be implemented, many recruiters would be turning to other resources to uncover talent.

Are you concerned about the changes to LinkedIn and what it could mean for recruiters?

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