This article is part of a larger series on Hiring.
LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media networks and the only one dedicated to business and professional networking. It’s the best place to promote your company as an industry leader and a great place to work. Plus, its free tools and paid plans harness the power of LinkedIn’s network for promoting job openings and recruiting new employees.
Businesses can use LinkedIn for a number of initiatives such as business exposure, networking, lead generation, and building brand awareness. For the purpose of this LinkedIn review, we’ll be focusing primarily on using it as a recruiting platform.
What We Recommend LinkedIn For
LinkedIn profile and business pages are free and easy to put together. Besides that, LinkedIn is also one of our top recruiting apps for finding new hires. It offers a paid plan specifically for recruiting, but its free tools are easy to use for research and reaching out to potential candidates.
In short, LinkedIn is best for:
- Businesses recruiting qualified professionals: LinkedIn’s profiles allow people to post resume-type information as well as other information that shows them as thought leaders and industry experts.
- Businesses looking to find passive candidates through networking: The social media nature and IM tools of LinkedIn make it easy to reach out to connections, even those not actively looking for a job.
- Businesses hiring managers and leaders: LinkedIn is one of our top choices for the best job posting sites when seeking people for leadership positions.
- Businesses looking for qualified international hires in professional fields: While the US has the most users (around 176 million), over 75% of LinkedIn users are outside the US, according to Kinsta.com. Thus, it’s a good place to look for international employees as well.
When LinkedIn Is Not a Good Fit
- Businesses needing hourly or unskilled labor: LinkedIn is a powerful tool for finding and hiring employees—but most candidates on the platform are typically white-collar workers and industry specialists. If you are looking for blue-collar, hourly, or young workers, such as for retail or restaurants, you may want to check out our list of the best recruiting software.
- Hiring freelancers: While you can seek and contact freelancers for jobs on LinkedIn, you may streamline your search by using more powerful platforms for finding freelancers and gig-based workers instead.
LinkedIn offers free and paid premium plans. In addition to the premium plans listed below, it offers a Sales Navigator plan primarily for identifying potential clients rather than potential employees, so we won’t cover that in detail.
- Career: For candidates seeking employment, this plan helps them get on your radar.
- Business: Used primarily for promoting your business, it can help you get the attention of qualified job seekers.
- Recruiter: If the free tools are not enough, this plan gives you an extra boost with detailed search and improved InMail reach.
Many SMBs find the free plan sufficient for their day-to-day needs, but you can always upgrade to a paid plan for a limited time such as when you are in a hiring surge. LinkedIn also offers a free 30-day-trial of each Premium plan. After that time, it will start billing unless you cancel. It warns you seven days before your trial ends, which is a courtesy we don’t always see in subscribed services.
LinkedIn Plans at a Glance
LinkedIn Premium Career
LinkedIn Premium Business
Cost per month
Connect with others
See who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days
People browsing (level of connection accessible)
Third degree, advanced search filters, candidate search alerts
Send InMail (to those not in your network)
Company and job applicant
Company and job applicant
InMail performance, company and job analytics
LinkedIn Learning access
Access LinkedIn Interview Prep tools
Includes team collaborators, more searches, more filters, out-of-network search
Expand the sections below to learn more about each of LinkedIn’s paid plans.
LinkedIn is designed to be a professional networking solution. Therefore, while it offers features similar to most social media platforms, the focus is on business: making contacts, hiring employees, and showing your business in its best light to both customers and potential new hires.
Business LinkedIn Pages
The business account (LinkedIn Page) is about your company—its mission, employees, advertising, jobs, etc. You gain followers rather than connections. Savvy job seekers research the companies they are interested in—and LinkedIn, along with your website, is one of the best ways to learn more about you.
You have to have a personal page, which we cover next, to set up a business page. If you are the sole proprietor of your business, it may make sense to use your personal page for your business if you only want it for business promotion and your brand is synonymous with you (Gary Sven Marketing, for example). However, you cannot post job ads—this is only available with Business Pages. You can always transition to a business page if you grow. Check out LinkedIn’s guide for how to do just that.
You can post to any of the tabs on your Business Page (About, Posts, Jobs, Video) for free. You can also create events for free. The People tab shows demographics about your employees that LinkedIn has collected based on their personal accounts.
As a business owner or recruiter, your personal page can introduce you and your company to a broader business audience, help build a network you can tap to fill open roles, establish your credibility in the market, and more. There’s no reason not to have a personal profile, and you need one to create a Business Page.
Personal profiles are also a great resource for looking at potential candidates. You can either search profiles or look up a profile of someone who has applied or been recommended to learn more about them.
LinkedIn’s personal profile is designed to be like a resume and has places for endorsements from previous managers or co-workers. People can indicate if they are looking for work or are open to opportunities. LinkedIn has skills assessment tests with badges for the person’s page and they are noted when someone does a recruitment search. In addition, posts tend to display their expertise in their field, as opposed to the lighter antics of TikTok.
InMail is LinkedIn’s messaging feature, but with a twist. Unless you have a premium plan, you can only contact people with whom you are connected. Paid plans offer a limited number of InMail messages per month to contact people outside your network. In this way, you can reach out to job candidates even if you are not connected with them.
Sponsored messages are promotional or informational ads that are part of a marketing or hiring campaign. You can target these by profile information like position title, industry, or region. They don’t count for message credits in your InMail system but are paid for on a cost-per-send or cost-per-displayed basis. Learn more on LinkedIn.
Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn lets you form or join groups, which are private spaces for viewing, posting, and commenting on posts with other group members. Users within the same group can also send messages to each other through InMail. Use this to find candidates in your alma mater or through professional organizations like the National Society of Professional Engineers.
Personal profiles and business pages both have the option to let you create events such as meetups, workshops online, or webinars. They can be in person, online, or via LinkedIn Live. You can use this to create or announce recruiting events or job fairs.
If you want greater publicity for your job ads, LinkedIn has impressive tools through Sponsored Content. It can take the form of text, images, video ads, and even sponsored InMail messages. This is similar to Facebook.
In addition, you can create original ads—called Direct Sponsored Content. You pay for ads by objective, such as visits to your careers page. In that case, LinkedIn only charges if someone clicks the website link on your ad. This makes it analogous to Google Ads, and indeed the interface is similar.
In addition to creating ads, you can retarget them to reach specific audiences based on actions. For example, you can send ads specifically to people who recently visited your careers page. Retargeting depends on the ad, action, and desired result. Learn more on LinkedIn.
The LinkedIn mobile app lets you do all the front-facing tasks that the online version does: business and social networking, posting on your feed, candidate research, and messaging people. You can also add things to your profile and schedule events. However, you need to access the online version for more back-end work, like using LinkedIn Recruiter.
- Score on Google Play: 4.3 out of 5, 2.3+ million reviews
- Score on Apple Play Store: 4.3 out of 5, 69,000+ reviews
LinkedIn Ease of Use
- Highly intuitive—easy as Facebook
- Huge set of how-to articles
- No live chat, phone contact for free plans
If you are comfortable with social media of any kind, then LinkedIn is a no-brainer. It’s extremely easy to create and edit a profile or business page, add items, upload videos and images, and reach out to connections. InMail works like any chat, although there are limits on who you can contact. The search feature pops up people in your network with indications of how you may be connected (for example, people your current employees are connected to).
My biggest issue with LinkedIn is the support. There are probably thousands of articles—but they are overly focused. Sometimes, I could not find an answer to more general questions, and sometimes, the different terminology was confusing (for example, there are no articles for “Business page,” but rather for “Showcase page”). I never did find a contact form, email, or chat for support—despite finding instructions on LinkedIn that were supposed to have led me to those options.
What Users Think About LinkedIn
Users Don’t Like
Super easy to use
Paid plans and PPC pricing are pricey
Excellent for business networking
Support hard to reach
Like that it’s business-specific and professional
Can get spammed by other LinkedIn members (via InMail)
Overall, private and business users that left LinkedIn reviews said that they loved both the paid and free plans of the platform. They appreciated the business focus of the platform—which made networking and lead generation easier—and found the tools overall effective. The two main complaints were the prices, especially for ad campaigns, and that support was hard to reach. (I also had a hard time even finding a way to contact support directly.) Overall, however, people say LinkedIn was well worth the time and effort they put into it.
- Capterra: Business Plan, 4.6 out of 5, 1,020+ reviews
- G2: Recruiter, 4.4 out of 5, 230+ reviews; Marketing, 4 out of 5, 230+ reviews
If you are looking for a wider reach or a more robust applicant tracking system, check out our list of best job posting sites. You can always use them in conjunction with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the place for businesses and business people to meet. Its free pages make it easy to get your company noticed and make connections with potential future employees. With paid plans, you get even more power for finding and hiring great talent. Best of all, it’s super easy to use. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account, set aside some time and make one soon. Don’t miss out on this powerful business and talent recruiting tool.
You Might Also Like …
Check out our articles for tips for recruiting as well as how to efficiently use LinkedIn: