What LinkedIn InMail Changes Mean for You

January 13, 2014 at 7:06 AM by Jordan Taylor

New PictureGet ready for a change to your LinkedIn Recruiter account. Starting tomorrow, January 14th, LinkedIn will begin charging users for sending mass mailings to group members.

Numerous sourcing and recruiting surveys have demonstrated time and again that LinkedIn is still the most popular site for vetting and messaging candidates.

A 2013 study by the Society for Human Resources Management found that 77% of employers use social networks to recruit, with the majority of them seeking to attract passive candidates. As of today nearly 90% of these companies utilize LinkedIn for their recruitment process.

If you’re a LinkedIn Recruiter subscriber you may have received this email:

Hi ______,

We would like to inform you of a feature change in Recruiter. As you know, the strength of the LinkedIn network comes from the value we provide our members. To improve the member experience and ensure you garner great InMail response rates, we’re disabling the ability to send free InMails to members in LinkedIn groups from LinkedIn Recruiter starting January 14, 2014. You will still be able to send InMails to fellow group members, but they will be deducted from your allotted monthly InMail credits.

Background: When the feature was launched several years ago, the intention was to provide members with an opportunity to connect and share ideas within groups while enabling recruiters to participate and find talent. Based on a recent analysis, we have noticed that this feature is being used in ways we hadn’t anticipated, often creating negative experiences for both members and recruiters.

Thank you for being a valued LinkedIn Recruiter customer and we look forward to continue offering you the best products and solutions.

If you have any questions on the change, please contact us.

Thank you,
LinkedIn Talent Solutions Team

The impact of these changes sparked mixed reactions. Sourcer Maureen Sharib (in “This Is Not OUR Problem, LinkedIn—It’s YOURS!”) quarreled with the legal contractual issues, and ethical implications, of this decision to punish spammers.

“I don’t give a good darn damn that LinkedIn’s User Agreement (as most User Agreements these days, if not all) claims the right to change things at their willy-nilly pleasure but if you ask me (and I know many of you aren’t) a claim to a unilateral “change” in a contract makes for no contract at all.”

Matt Charney, Managing Editor/Director of Marketing at RecruitingBlogs, had this to say in response to Cathy Mannis:

“Anyone whose sourcing or engagement strategy is affected by this news is either a troll, a bad recruiter or a B2B content marketer.”

One thing to keep in mind is that paying members get an allotted number of InMail credits: Talent Basic = 10/month; Recruiter Lite = 25/month; & Recruiter Corporate = 50/month. Moreover, InMails are response guaranteed (if you don’t get a response in 7 days LinkedIn will return your used credit).

Keep an eye out for more changes to come from LinkedIn as they re-evaluate practices. For now, a LinkedIn spokesman said that most recruiters will not be affected by this change.

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