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should hefty platform users move to a linkedin premium plan?

Until recently, many active social sellers and recruiters did not feel the need to upgrade their LinkedIn account, because they got most of the functionality they needed from the basic account. But since the introduction of several key changes in the LinkedIn background, including the “commercial use limit on search”, many recruiters may have to upgrade to Premium.

The key change

As of January 2015, LinkedIn started allowing members with a basic account to see the full names of up to the third-degree connections – a function that was previously restricted to those with premium accounts. This solution should allow social sellers and recruiters to obtain more and better results.

However, the enhanced network visibility came with a price tag in the form of a “commercial limit on monthly search usage”. If the limit is reached, LinkedIn believes that you are either prospecting or hiring, and that you should pay for that service. So, you either wait for the search limit to reset after each calendar month, or upgrade your account to Premium for unlimited searching.

The limit is measured starting from date 1 of every calendar month. A progress bar appears in your search results when your limit is at the 70 percent mark, and continues to remind you in 5% increments until you hit the limit. After this point, you can continue to search for the rest of the month, though the number of results will be very limited.

The effect

LinkedIn has not stated what the limit is, or even how it is measured, though many people assume that it is around 60 searches a month. If this is indeed the limit, that number of searches is insufficient for recruiters and other active users. The limit could also be over 300 searches, which would mean that industries that are largely dependent on LinkedIn should upgrade their accounts.

The cost

With this change, LinkedIn has become another sourcing tool that users have to pay for, like resume databases, job boards, ATS/CMS systems, and Office 365. There are different Premium packages, with the cheapest one going for $29.99 for job seekers with limited search. The business plan, which goes for $59.99 a month has unlimited search, while the Recruiter Lite, also with unlimited search, goes for $119.95 a month or $1, 278.56 per year.

Verdict

Upgrading your account to premium seems like the easiest solution for active social sellers and recruiters, since they should be able to afford it anyway. This Option also makes it easier for LinkedIn beginners to access a wide range of contacts without necessarily having a large network – since you can easily access relevant connections within 3 degrees of connectivity. Alternatively, you can use X-ray search, where you search LinkedIn from search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) to view hundreds of results.

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