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LinkedIn has a weak position in most European countries

LinkedIn is becoming a niche players for recruiters

Aside from some countries in the West, LinkedIn has a weak position in Europe if you want to attract international talent. In thirteen countries in Middle and Eastern Europe, less than 10 percent of the working population says that they would use LinkedIn (among other channels) in their search for another job.

Even in countries where many people have a LinkedIn profile, such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Spain, only a third of them use LinkedIn for job searching. These are mainly the vast group of highly educated white-collar workers. Niche groups such as engineers and IT professionals hardly use LinkedIn for job searches at all.

These are the main outcomes of the Global Talent Acquisition Monitor (GTAM), conducted in 2018 by Dutch labour market researcher Intelligence Group amongst 60,000 people in 28 European countries. The data from the GTAM form the basis of the European Recruitment Dashboard, which gives recruiters insights into the ways they can attract international talent.

The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Spain are the countries with the most LinkedIn users. In the UK, Portugal, France and Switzerland, LinkedIn finds itself back in the middle of the rankings of the most used channels to find a job.

It is remarkable, and maybe one of the reasons why LinkedIn has a weak position in recruitment compared to the number of people who have a profile on the website (>100 million in Europe), and why most people regard LinkedIn as a social media website rather than a job board. GTAM also shows that freelancers barely use LinkedIn for acquisition, whereas common sense would indicate that they would use it.

Recruiters searching for international talent in Europe should be aware of the fact that the further East you go, the less coverage LinkedIn has in the working population. That is already the case in Germany, where Xing still has a strong position.

In spite of that, many recruiters still use LinkedIn for international recruitment, which is understandable, as long as it works and they do not have insights into alternative recruitment channels. LinkedIn definitely has a weak position if you want to attract IT professionals in Middle and Eastern Europe. In these cases, it is much better to opt for another, local channel, but these differ from country to country. The European Recruitment Dashboard will provide you with the information you need about the best channels for each country and target group.


Geert-Jan Waasdorp, CEO of Intelligence Group, explains: “After all the years LinkedIn has developed its platform, our research shows that its position in Middle and Eastern Europe is still insufficient. LinkedIn may still be an important tool for international recruitment, but in many European countries, in their search for talent, other, local channels should be part of the sourcing mix, as our data proves.”

For more information about Intelligence Group, The European Recruitment Dashboard or the Global Talent Acquisition Monitor, please send an e-mail to