The Best LinkedIn Recruiter Alternative for Talent Sourcing

The current labor market presents a unique challenge for recruiting teams. While the fundamental need to hire the right candidate remains crucial to organizational success, the evolving business landscape and intensifying budgetary pressures necessitate a strategic shift in hiring practices and investments.

The hypergrowth mentality, characterized by ambitious hiring roadmaps and reliance on expensive, broad-spectrum recruitment tools, is becoming increasingly untenable. Instead, we’re moving towards a more frugal hiring model, focused on reducing overheads and minimizing expenses.

And sourcing is the low-hanging fruit here. In one of our previous articles, we explored the impact of talent sourcing's ROI and how it can dramatically improve hiring outcomes with all other factors constant.

There’s no question that LinkedIn Recruiter remains the most popular platform for recruiters to source and engage candidates. Most recruiters and sourcers have used this tool one way or the other. To LinkedIn's credit, the LinkedIn Recruiter was an indispensable part of talent sourcing. However, LinkedIn has been increasing prices steadily,  leaving many smaller businesses and agencies wondering if it is still worth paying for a subscription.

With prices ranging between $170/month for a single license to over $1000 /month per seat, LinkedIn Recruiter can get expensive very quickly if you use it for high-volume sourcing.

The LinkedIn Recruiter Alternative for Talent Sourcing

As a recruiter or sourcer, if your goal is talent discovery and engagement, plenty of tools will help you get the job done. However, for this assessment, we'll be looking at three critical traits in a potential sourcing solution:

  • Size of the database
  • Candidate engagement
  • Pricing

#1 Size of the database

LinkedIn currently counts over a billion users on its platform; however, nearly 80% of all its users are based outside the US, which leaves you with a database of 200 million odd candidates within the US. While LinkedIn may be professionals' most popular social network, some platforms serve specific talent industries and communities.

Platforms like GitHub and StackOverflow provide a rich source of engineering talent. At the same time, Wellfound (formerly AngelList Talent) offers diverse startup and scale-up talent, and Kaggle positions itself as a community for machine learning and data science professionals. While LinkedIn offers a more catch-all perspective to discovering talent, purpose-built communities and networks like the ones mentioned above offer richer insights into prospective candidates.

LinkedIn's entire database is also based on members' information, so you have no external data sources or validation to supplement the candidates you discover. As a talent sourcer, relying solely on LinkedIn, you risk boxing yourself into a narrow view of the talent pool based on limited information and data.

That's where ChatterWorks comes in. With over 500 million verified profiles across the US and Canada, you can access a diverse and dynamic talent pool you never knew existed.

But it's not just about numbers. ChatterWorks goes beyond the information available on LinkedIn. It gathers insights from diverse sources, offering a richer picture of a candidate's skills and experience. This deeper understanding allows you to make informed decisions and identify the perfect fit for any requisition.

And the best part? No more wasting time and resources on outdated information or chasing false leads. ChatterWorks verifies all its data in real-time, ensuring you have the latest and most accurate details. This translates to less time spent verifying candidates and more time spent connecting with them.

ChatterWorks empowers you to reach out directly to potential candidates, bypassing any intermediary hurdles (think InMails). Your emails land in their inboxes, opening the door to faster communication and efficient hiring.

#2 Candidate engagement

When it comes to candidate engagement at scale, numbers matter. Here are some insights provided by LinkedIn when comparing emails to inMails:

Chart comparing key messaging metrics for LinkedIn InMails and Emails
Source: LinkedIn Business Solutions

While these figures may seem impressive at first glance, a more profound examination reveals that they might not tell the entire story. Notably, LinkedIn promises significantly superior open rates compared to emails. However, relying solely on open rates as a metric for email engagement has its pitfalls.

The reliability of open rates is increasingly questionable due to variations introduced by recipient email clients. For instance, the tracking mechanism often relies on image pixels, which can be affected by email clients like Outlook that don't automatically download images. Additionally, with the rise of privacy-focused features such as Apple Mail Privacy Protection, open rates may be artificially inflated. This feature enables recipients to "hide" their opens, making distinguishing between opens forced by Apple and genuine recipient interactions challenging.

As consumers and email clients advocate for more privacy, new tools may emerge, providing more options for users to protect their privacy. So, it becomes imperative to reevaluate the reliance on reporting email opens and explore alternative methods to measure and improve candidate engagement.

While talking through metrics, it’s also crucial to consider the limitations and opportunities associated with different outreach channels and methods. While LinkedIn Recruiter allows for direct communication with potential candidates, there are notable constraints. With a basic limit of up to 150 InMails and a 40% or higher response rate requirement to recover credits, achieving success, particularly in cold outreach scenarios, can be challenging.

Moreover, the dynamics of email outreach provide distinct advantages. Emails offer the flexibility to warm up cold prospects through follow-ups, gradually building a connection and conveying the fit between the candidate and the job or company. This personalized approach can be instrumental in converting prospects into active candidates.

ChatterWorks helps you break out of LinkedIn’s confines, opening the door to multi-channel candidate engagement. Connect with potential candidates across various platforms, including email, text messaging, and phone calls, for a truly personalized strategy. And here's a number: SMS messages boast an impressive 98% open rate!

#3 Pricing

We saved the best for the last! The cost difference is striking when comparing LinkedIn Recruiter, equipped with all its add-ons for high-volume recruiting, to a comparable solution like ChatterWorks. LinkedIn Recruiter can surpass $1500 per user per month. In stark contrast, our pricing model is straightforward: a flat subscription fee of $600 per user annually. This inclusive pricing grants you access to the entire database, allowing you to download unlimited resumes and candidate profiles. This streamlines the sourcing process and makes it significantly more cost-effective for your hiring needs.


In an industry where efficiency is more important than ever, finding the right talent at the right price is no longer optional. While LinkedIn Recruiter is still relevant, the high cost can feel like a heavy anchor.

ChatterWorks empowers you to unlock a wider pool of qualified candidates, engage them authentically, and build a high-performing team that fuels your organization's success. Start your free trial today and see how smarter sourcing can make all the difference.

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