8 min read
Jun 15, 2020
Human Resources

A Beginner's Guide to LinkedIn for Recruiters: Costs, T&Cs, and More

Recruiting on social media is a must. Over half of job seekers say social media is their most useful job-hunting resource. LinkedIn is a great platform to focus recruiting efforts on, but you must understand its terms and conditions (T&Cs) and costs first.

Sierra RogersContent Writer

Recruiting on social media is a must. Over half of candidates find social media to be the most useful resource during a job search and 73% of millennials (currently the largest job-seeking group) found their last position through a social media site.

And when it comes to social media platforms aimed at working professionals, LinkedIn is the place to be. It’s essentially built to be a part of your social recruiting strategy. Not to mention it has more than 500 million users, and new hires found through LinkedIn are 40% less likely to leave the company within the first six months.

While other recruitment software can provide similar value, LinkedIn is a great tool if you know how to use it. Here’s what you need to know to make the most out of recruiting with LinkedIn. 

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LinkedIn terms and conditions

As a recruiter, it can be easy to fall afoul of LinkedIn’s T&Cs and have your account suspended pending investigation, or even blocked. It’s even easier to do this if you employ third-party extensions and software, which some companies and recruiters use to scrape profile data.

Let’s dive into three common reasons recruiters and companies have their accounts suspended, and how you can ensure compliance with LinkedIn T&Cs.

1. Use of third-party software and browser extensions

Third-party software is often used to automate certain LinkedIn activities such as sending connection invites, endorsing skills, downloading profiles, or bulk messaging. While this sounds great in theory, using this kind of application violates the LinkedIn user agreement and puts your account at risk for suspension.

One example of this is excessive page requests. LinkedIn will restrict or suspend your account if they receive an abnormally high number of page requests from your profile.

Here is an extract from LinkedIn’s help section on the use of third-party and extensions:

“In order to protect our members’ data and our website, we don’t permit the use of any third-party software, including “crawlers”, bots, browser plug-ins, or browser extensions (also called “add-ons”), that scrapes, modifies the appearance of, or automates activity on LinkedIn’s website.”

What this means for recruiters: If you’re using an extension, you’re likely breaking the company’s T&Cs, and your account is at risk of suspension. The best action to take is to remove all extensions linked to your account(s).

2. Carrying out a large number of searches

LinkedIn has what it calls a Commercial Use Limit, which limits the amount of searches carried out per month for all account levels (free, Premium, and Career).

The company states that: “Until your limit resets next month, your search and suggested profile viewing experience will be limited. You can wait for the limit to reset on the 1st of each calendar month, or you can upgrade your account for unlimited people browsing.”

That said, LinkedIn’s Recruiter Lite and Recruiter Corporate plans both provide unlimited browsing and viewing of profiles (you can see the costs of these below).

What this means for recruiters: As LinkedIn doesn’t provide numbers on what the search limit is, it’s very difficult for recruiters to monitor and control their monthly searches. While a warning is delivered when you are near the limit, there is no easy way to avoid running out of searches, other than upgrading to a recruiter account.

3. Miscellaneous reasons for suspension

LinkedIn has also been known to suspend accounts when you access the same account from multiple IP addresses, as well as connect to too many services, what it calls “permitted services.”

What this means for recruiters: Check your settings to see how many sessions you currently have access to, and close out any you aren't using. You may think that because you only access LinkedIn on your computer and phone that you’ll be safe, but if you’ve traveled to conferences or logged on at a colleague or friend’s house, you could have more open sessions than you think.

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LinkedIn recruiting solutions costs

There are a number of different costs you’ll run into when using LinkedIn as a social recruiting tool.

Recruitment account costs

While you can use LinkedIn as a recruiter for free, you may run into restrictions. If recruitment is only a small part of your job or you hire candidates on an infrequent basis, you may want to stick with a free account. Bear in mind that you’ll still have to pay for job ads and you won’t be able to message members you aren’t connected to without LinkedIn InMail (only available with LinkedIn Premium).

If you’re considering one of LinkedIn’s paid options for recruiting, there are a handful of plans available under the platform's Talent Solutions umbrella. The three most popular offerings are Recruiter Lite, Recruiter Professional Services (RPS), and Recruiter (find a breakdown of what’s offered with each plan here).

While the costs of each product are not clearly listed on LinkedIn’s website, according to Betterteam Recruiter Lite starts at $2,399/year and Recruiter starts at $8,999. 

In 2017 LinkedIn launched two new products aimed at recruiters: Pipeline Builder and Career Pages. Pipeline Builder lets businesses market to LinkedIn members through sponsored ads, while Career Pages allows for a branded landing page for potential candidates. Pricing for these products varies from business to business, so the best way to get a quote is to reach out to LinkedIn directly.

Job posting costs

When you post a job ad on LinkedIn, you can set a daily average budget, from which you’ll get charged per job ad views.

According to LinkedIn: “The higher your daily budget, the more your job posting is marketed into newsfeeds and emails of members that match the information listed in your job description.”

It’s important to note that you may be charged more than your average daily budget depending on the number of post views.

If you are only writing templated job descriptions on LinkedIn and hoping to attract top talent, you’re wasting your time and money.

Instead, focus on building up your employer brand to convert potential candidates into fans of your company and invest in employee referrals to tap into your existing network. 

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Next steps

If you want to focus your recruiting efforts on LinkedIn, information is power. You can start by taking a look at:

Remember that LinkedIn isn’t your only option.


This article is intended to inform our readers about current LinkedIn site and user terms and conditions in the United States. It is in no way intended to provide legal advice or to endorse a specific course of action. For advice on your specific situation, consult your legal counsel.

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