With the recent changes to your permissions and abilities around recruiting with LinkedIn, it’s the perfect time to update your recruiting strategy with some fresh LinkedIn skills. Different details about LinkedIn’s changes have been explored by several of our favorite recruiting writers, but our goal here is to bring together all of the noteworthy differences between old LinkedIn and new, plus, provide some helpful tips for getting the most out of the new system.

Let’s get to it.

LinkedIn’s changes to Altered Search features (and what to do about them)


Perhaps the most significant changes to the platform are the changes to the search features that you probably rely on everyday. We’re talking about limits here. With limits on the number of profile views and the information that can be viewed using certain types of accounts, it’s important to adapt your searching techniques.


X-Ray searches may be the best solution to this change. LinkedIn has begun to phase out Boolean in their Recruiter Lite package, so these users will benefit from new search techniques and tools. Instead of using the LinkedIn search bar, you enter your search string (called here an X-Ray search string) into your Google search bar.

Sourcecon provided us with the string below as an example of an X-Ray search string that can be entered into your Google search:

site:linkedin.com (“network engineer” OR “network * engineer”) (ccna OR ccnp) -dir -intitle:profiles -inurl:jobs “Washington D.C. Metro Area”

This string specifies that it is limiting its results to only LinkedIn profiles that match its criteria. X-Ray searches can be performed without logging into your account. However, LinkedIn may ask you to login to view profile previews depending on the number of views you have access to (based on your account type). You can’t work around their limits for too many searches before LinkedIn will limit your results and force you back into their website search functionality. X-Ray searches won’t give you access to full accounts and contact information though, so you may have to perform some social media sleuthing and triangulation to find candidates’ social media accounts and contact information. (Luckily, our Chrome Extension performs these exact functions and you can try it for free.)

Keep in mind that X-Ray searches utilize the same search commands as Boolean. If you could use a refresher course on these commands, check out our Boolean guides to get an understanding of the Boolean basics or boost your Boolean prowess with our guide for crafting better search strings.


As Irina Shamaeva points out, LinkedIn no longer offers the ability to specify job titles and current roles. It’s now a keyword search filter which yields much broader results and provides users with profiles that simply contain these terms. The results will not necessarily be people who have ever worked in the role you searched for, they merely mentioned that title somewhere in their profile. Shamaeva provides us with these statistics to illustrate how difficult this will make the search process and the scale at which searches are altered:

  • ~1.7 MLN people with the job title “developer” and ~5.7 MLN with the keyword “developer.”
  • ~1.1 MLN people with the job title “nurse” and ~2.5 MLN with the keyword “nurse.”
  • ~800K people with the job title =  (recruiter OR recruiting OR recruitment) and 8 MLN people with the keywords (recruiter OR recruiting OR recruitment)


Fortunately Glen Cathey, one of our Boolean and X-Ray search heroes, has a work around for this change. By adding the word “current” plus an asterisk before the job title, he is able to narrow down search results to those who currently work in the role indicated.

The asterisk serves as a placeholder for unknown terms and can be used to add variety to your search. Cathey suggests adding additional asterisks to your strings to increase variety in your results if you are unhappy with your returns. His experimenting found that up to three asterisks could be helpful in expanding the search, but four became somewhat messy and the results were a bit vague.

One of Cathey’s examples:

site:linkedin.com (inurl:pub OR inurl:in) -intitle:directory “greater new york city area” “current * director of accounting”

You can see where the asterisks are added within the string above. Using the symbol and allowing for more variation yields broader search results and finds a larger number of potential candidates.


LinkedIn is releasing a chat feature that is expected to be a great new way of communicating with potential candidates. This is expected to be similar to Facebook’s chat feature and will allow you to quickly contact candidates and have real-time conversations with them. As a result, it’s possible that candidates will come to expect immediate results when inquiring about positions.


Be prepared to man your personal profile as well as your firm’s, checking them regularly to avoid missing out on interested candidates. LinkedIn will likely receive more inquiries than other social sites, as some job seekers are still hesitant about finding career opportunities on sites that are considered to be strictly social.


LinkedIn Record is not currently available to all users, but Influencers have access to the platform allowing them to stream live videos to post to their profiles. This feature could grow to become a great recruitment marketing tool and may provide new ways of conveying a company’s culture and values to candidates. Using quick videos as a way of marketing is becoming an increasingly popular means of communication and it’s estimated that video content made up almost ¾ of all internet traffic last year.


Videos can seem daunting to master and downright burdensome to incorporate into your recruiting strategy, but there are simple and lightweight solutions for getting your toes wet. Facebook Live, Periscope, and even Snapchat are great platforms for practicing your video crafting skills. Utilize short videos as a part of your employer branding strategy to find new candidates, while advertising your great clients and positions.


Even though we’re losing several of our favorite LinkedIn features, hopefully these tips and work arounds will allow you to continue to use the site effectively. If you have any hidden tools and tactics to share, let us know! We love hearing and sharing your advice. With all of these changes, be sure to take advantage of the helpful ones like Chat and Record, so that you and your team can continue to reach out to new candidates effectively.