Earlier this month I received an email letting me know that LinkedIn were retiring some Premium account features, but don’t worry as these changes will “simplify and improve [my] experience”. It makes sense as limiting my search ability and the detail of information I am shown definitely will make me “more productive and successful” especially as finding people is my job, so restricting the filters I can use to search really will help me… erm no! What I wish LinkedIn had done was to send me an email saying “your prices are going up”, at least that would be more honest. Instead, they attempted to package the reduction of features into a benefit for me.

 

LinkedIn Old Profile Page

LinkedIn New Profile Page

What’s changed?

All the ‘Relationship’ data has gone. No longer can you see the last message you’ve sent, tag a contact or create any reminders. This doesn’t seem too bad in itself but when you then have to search for them in your messages it simply adds more steps in. Not an improvement in UX.

They’ve also removed the interests section which although doesn’t seem like a huge loss, it was an opportunity for people to share things they did outside of work and a small insight into their personality.

LinkedIn Old Search Tool

LinkedIn New Search Tool

What’s Changed?

Here you can see the majority of LinkedIn’s changes. They have removed all the ‘Advanced Search’ filters including: groups, years experience, function, seniority level, interested in, company size and when joined. Removing the ability to search by groups has made the already struggling groups even more defunct.

The loss of years experience and seniority level are a loss of recruiting tools, which although sad for some may not affect the majority. However I wouldn’t be surprise if this results in more recruiters contacting candidates who wouldn’t be interested or the right fit for new opportunities. The removal of function has restricted your ability to be found. If you have an obscure job title you can no longer group yourself into your field to assure you can be found, this may mean less networking and fewer people contacting you – which could be what you’re after but those of us who want to be kept informed about relevant events, products or services are now more likely to be missed out. It also means that if you’re trying to get hold of someone at a particular company within a particular department i.e. finance, HR or marketing you will have to go through their entire company roster or call their switchboard… good luck.

There have been some slight modifications to current searches as well. You can no longer scroll through a list of companies and industries and selecting multiples to find the people you want, instead you have to type them individually. A hassle but not the worst thing ever. The most infuriating change is the removal of location search by postcode. This means if you’re looking to connect with people within your area you have to type in their location. So, if you’re like me and live in the middle of the countryside, you’ll never be found unless they type in that obscure village. So, not only will I struggle to find people in my area, they will struggle to find me so I will have less opportunities to make good connections.

 

What does this mean?

For recruitment, this has made everything harder and for jobseekers, it has made it more difficult for people to be contacted with relevant opportunities or find recruitment companies in your area. For SME’s this will make it harder for people to find you unless they have a Sales Navigator or Recruiter account. It seems as though LinkedIn have stopped caring about the ‘small’ people, those with Basic accounts and even those with Premium accounts, they literally no longer care about your ‘Interests’ but sadly as a much needed business tool they’ll probably end up benefiting from these changes even if all their users do not.