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Most LinkedIn users think it is just for recruitment
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Most LinkedIn users think it is just about recruitment

James Gray

Owner/Editor at Busara Ltd
I am a published writer, journalist and photo-journalist. I have an MA in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales and my journalism has been published in a number of UK national newspapers including 'the Observer'. My photo-journalism has been represented by Agence France-Presse.
James Gray


New research from Guild, a messaging app built for business, reveals that most professionals no longer see LinkedIn as a platform for valuable business networking but use it for sales, marketing and recruitment.

The Key LinkedIn Survey Findings:

62% of LinkedIn users surveyed say that less than 21% of their LinkedIn connections have provided value to their personal career.
45% agree that LinkedIn has become more about sales and marketing than professional networking.
59% say that LinkedIn is mostly about recruitment.
28% find LinkedIn full of spam.
61% of LinkedIn users have met fewer than half of their LinkedIn connections.
Only 10% of respondents aged 45+ agree that the statement LinkedIn is for networking with their valued professional connections is very accurate.

The survey also shows that users are realising that worthwhile networking is about quality not quantity. Having spent years adding connections of people they do not really know, and have not met, it is becoming clear this is not the way to create real business value.

68% of those surveyed believe that their “little black book” of professional contacts they actually value contains up to only 15 contacts. However, 61% have over 150 LinkedIn connections.

“The use of LinkedIn has greatly changed since it launched nearly seventeen years ago,” said Ashley Friedlein, CEO and founder of Guild.

“In the early years there was a sense of membership and belonging and the quality was higher. Due to a natural tendency to accept new contacts to grow our networks, many users now find themselves with an experience that is too noisy. Senior people, in particular, get a lot of sales approaches and few would now choose to run high value groups or networks on LinkedIn.”

“We know from the Dunbar number that humans cannot know, or maintain, more than around 150 relationships” continued Ashley “and this is true in our professional lives as much as our personal lives. We’re realising we need to focus more on the relationships that actually matter rather than chasing connections for the sake of it.”

Guild has created a new model for professionals recommending how best to manage both real-world and digital business networking: ‘A Model for Professional Networking’.

The model is inspired by the ‘Dunbar Number’. Professor Robin Dunbar, a world-renowned anthropologist, and advisor to Guild, revisited his famous research finding to confirm it still holds true in our digitally connected world.

Launched in November 2018, Guild offers professionals and businesses a safe, privacy-by-design messaging space to communicate.