With the demise of advanced search in the new desktop design, many users are reluctantly having to consider upgrading from a free or Business level premium account.
So what option do you go for?
Why is this even a question?!!
Surely the clue is in the name – If you use LinkedIn to win new customers then Navigator is the correct solution (it is!) and if your role is to fill job vacancies then Recruiter Lite is the obvious choice (and it also is!).
But what if your role involves both?
That is the dilemma facing Recruitment businesses throughout the world and it’s more than just a choice between LinkedIn products, it actually addresses a key question about how that business operates!
Are you sales driven or a service provider?
The answer, of course, might be both and not every employee has to be on the same account but in this article, I intend to explain the difference between the two options.
The Case for Upgrading
I have used the new desktop UI for over 2 months now and I can see why LinkedIn felt the change was necessary. Only 22% of members are active and simplifying the UI should help to improve that number, this will benefit us all in time but the price we have to pay is the loss of almost 20 features! The most important of which is advanced search – a key tool for sales people and recruiters alike.
I have a web page dedicated to the new design which you can view here including many screenshots and videos.
There are still ways you can search with the new UI but it’s nothing like as good, so if you want to keep using advanced search you will need a Sales Navigator or Recruiter Lite account which both use completely different UI’s.
You could, of course, opt for a full blown Recruiter account…but you might need to speak with your bank manager first!
The Quick Answer
In my opinion Sales Navigator is the most suitable option for a Recruitment professional who has responsibility for winning and retaining clients, sourcing vacancies and managing those vacancies to a successful conclusion (including searching for candidates).
This is because Recruiter Lite is built for process management and Sales Navigator is built for relationships management. The ‘process’ of finding candidates and managing shortlists is only one small part of the job of a Recruitment professional whereas establishing and managing relationships with clients and candidates is far more critical to their long-term success.
The Detailed Comparison
For many of us, this beloved pop-up has been the mainstay of much of our activity on LinkedIn for many years (oh how I have missed it for the last 2 months!)
The equivalent in Sales Navigator is called Lead Builder and it looks like this;
It’s actually better than advanced search with more filters and an ‘instant result’ number showing at the top of the page.
The equivalent in Recruiter Lite looks like this;
Pretty much the same huh?…..not quite.
To save you the time of analysing the differences, I have summarised the key points below;
Filters unique to Sales Navigator
- Years in current position
- Years at current company
Filters unique to Recruiter Lite
- Years of experience (years of working in their specific field)
- Military veterans
Some filters have different labels but are exactly the same
- Interested in = Employment interests
- Relationship = Network Relationships
- Member since = Recently joined LinkedIn
So in summary, they are almost identical! The skills filter on Recruiter lite is only relevant if you need to search just skills, remember that a skill is also picked up in a keyword search.
Secondary Filters in Sales Navigator
In addition to the above primary filters, Sales Navigator provides some useful extra filters at the top of the search result
Extra filters include;
- Changed job in past 90 days (potential client opportunity)
- Mentioned in the news in the last 30 days (engagement opportunity)
- Posted on LinkedIn in last 30 days (proof of activity and engagement opportunity)
- Shared experiences (engagement opportunity)
- People that follow your company
Recruiter Lite has no secondary filters.
Sales Navigator also allows you to search companies (Accounts) and this search includes some very useful filters which allow you to pinpoint companies based on their overall or department headcount growth (+/-). This is demonstrated in this video;
This is a potentially rich source of leads for Recruitment businesses.
There is very little difference between the two accounts, visibility is restricted to up to 3rd tier for both (no problem so long as you have built a relevant network) and both have excellent filters, if anything Sales Navigator is slightly better because of it’s secondary filters.
Both accounts provide saved searches and email alerts.
Both accounts are exempt from any commercial use limitations.
I have primarily concentrated on advanced search because that is the main feature missing from the new UI and the key driver for considering an upgrade. beyond search the two options vary considerably.
Recruiter Lite excels in the provision of shortlist management tools. Profiles can be added to a clipboard or saved to a project and notes can be added from the shortlist.
Once in a profile reminders can be set and the handy ‘update me’ feature will alert you if that individual updates their profile.
Recruiter Lite also provides a handy little ‘to-do’ feature (see top right of above screenshot)
Sales Navigator is a relationship management tool. Interesting profiles can be saved as a Lead, this means that you are effectively ‘following’ that individual and your Sales Navigator home page only shows activity from Leads (not connections) thus allowing you to focus your attention on those clients or candidates you wish to engage with.
When viewing a profile you have saved as a Lead you are able to tag and make notes as well as seeing their recent activity front and centre.
I have covered the features of Sales Navigator in much more detail here;
Both accounts provide a monthly allowance of InMails as follows;
- Sales Navigator – 20/month
- Recruiter Lite – 30/month
This is the painful bit!
- Sales Navigator is £647.86 (£53.99/month)
- Recruiter Lite is £935.28 (£77.94/month)
(above rates include vat)
As stated earlier, the answer to the question lies in how you operate as a recruiting business.
I firmly believe that success in recruitment is all about influence. Influence in your specialist market allows you to win more clients, find better candidates and successfully manage the recruitment process to a satisfactory conclusion.
“The reason your clients pay you a fee is because of your influence”
The skills required for this are much more aligned to a sales role than that of a recruiting administrator.
Recruiter Lite is for recruitment administrators – it’s essentially a process management tool.
Sales Navigator is for influencers – it’s essentially a relationship management tool.
Recruiter Lite is a great product but it’s designed for corporate recruiters, not for recruitment businesses. Most recruiters use their own internal systems for shortlist management so the reason to upgrade is mostly about advanced search and Sales Navigator is actually slightly better in that respect…..and less expensive!
I hope you found this comparison useful, please ask any questions in the comments below.