You are either using LinkedIn Recruiter/Recruiter Lite or have considered using them. Sometimes you don’t have a choice. Either your company uses it––or not. But if you could decide and it’s your money or budget, would you still buy it considering the plethora of options available?

The $10,000 question is: is LinkedIn Recruiter worth it? Recruiter or Lite, It Doesn’t Matter If You Can’t Connect With Candidates, With over 500 million profiles, LinkedIn is the go-to place for recruiting. The LinkedIn Recruiter has numerous features. It holds multiple seats, allows collaboration within the recruiting team, enables talent pipeline (add and search tags and status, custom fields to profiles, and reporting and analytics)––functions that you may or may not use depending on your recruiting tools or ATS. But what is necessary is your need to reach the candidate that you have identified. None of those other features are relevant if you cannot do this.

While LinkedIn Recruiter has excellent information on a candidate’s work history, education, and other information, it is missing the most crucial piece of information for recruiters, the contact information. In place of that, recruiters can try to connect to the person, use InMail, or attempt to find the candidate’s email elsewhere.

Connecting with people is always best, but it’s hard to find tech talent that will not accept your invite. Then, you are forced to use your limited InMail. Forget using it on some “dark horse” candidates that could work out––you don’t even have enough InMail to message a candidate more than once. And whether someone is busy or forgetful or just plain hard to reach, it helps to be persistent and contact them multiple times.

At the end of the day, if you can’t contact candidates, it’s no good. It’s simple, really.

Get 300% Increase in Response Rate if You Contact Candidates 4x According to a large research study, email campaigns with 4 to 7 emails per sequence received three times more responses than campaigns with only about three emails. This means a one-time message under LinkedIn’s InMail restrictions makes it more difficult to interest candidates. If you message someone more than once, the better the chance you will obtain a response.

Infographic source from Woodpecker

InMail Costs Over 24x Email InMail and personal emails are two ways to reach passive candidates. One of them is preferred by developers and provides improved results to recruiters.

With InMail, contacting the same candidate six months later for a different role means you must pay again. With personal email, there is zero cost to resend to the candidate. Additionally, personal emails are often good for years, so recruiters can grow their candidate database and build relationships.

Recruiters also try to minimize the InMail limitation by connecting to their potential candidates, but this can also be problematic for companies because recruiters would own the connections, not their employers. Companies pay recruiters to connect with candidates and message them for free, but they take their connections with them if the recruiter leaves. With InMail, LinkedIn––not the sender or the company––truly owns the relationship.


It Costs Less to Purchase a Personal Email Than Send an InMail LinkedIn Recruiter is $8,999 for a year-long subscription and costs $825 a month. This, like mentioned earlier, includes access to all LinkedIn Recruiter features. With this price, recruiters have access to 150 InMail messages with multiple seats available per account. On the other hand, Recruiter Lite costs $2,399 per year, and there is only one seat open per account with access to 30 InMail per month.

With an analysis done beyond this blog’s scope––which we will cover in a different blog––the estimated cost per inMail is $4, excluding the value of the tools and perks. The price also takes into account that if your candidate responds, you get your credit back. However, if you run out of inMail credit for the month, the ala carte amount would cost $10 each.

If we compare InMail to taking an Uber for a one-time trip, personal emails are like purchasing a car. For a one-time $4 purchase, InMail is a lot more expensive than buying developer profiles with personal emails that can be used multiple times. Many data vendors are willing to sell profiles with essential information and emails for $0.50 to $1.If we were to calculate sending an InMail 3 or 4 times (to get a higher response rate) at about $4 per InMail, contacting one candidate could easily cost roughly $16 vs only about $4 for personal email. Look Beyond InMail Depending on your usage and budget, LinkedIn may not be worth it. Several excellent services offer personal emails of candidates, each with its pros and cons. For instance, developerDB offers developers personal emails, and it is one of the few services focusing exclusively on tech recruiting. The developerDB database includes tech skill rankings and personal emails for 8.4M developers. Check out our cheap pricing by clicking the button below.

Remember, you can always use LinkedIn along with the benefits other tech recruiter databases like developerDB can offer. It’s about differentiating yourself from other recruiters to stand out and find that perfect candidate.

Stay tuned for next week for more information on how you can make your tech recruiting search more manageable and more affordable.