LinkedIn Recruiter vs. Sales Navigator: Which Is the Best Tool for Recruiters?

As a recruiter, deciding whether to subscribe to LinkedIn Sales Navigator or LinkedIn Recruiter can be challenging. Both tools offer powerful features but cater to slightly different needs. Here’s a comprehensive comparison to help you make the best choice for your recruiting business.

What is the Difference Between LinkedIn Sales Navigator and LinkedIn Recruiter Lite?
LinkedIn Recruiter is primarily designed for recruiters and hiring managers to find talent on LinkedIn. In contrast, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is built for lead generation, allowing users to find potential clients and people within organizations.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator:
Ideal for finding both candidates and clients.
Advanced search filters for precise targeting.
More affordable at $99/month for the basic plan.

LinkedIn Recruiter:
Specifically for recruiters to find candidates.
Includes features for collaboration and CRM integration.
More expensive, with plans starting at $170/month for Recruiter Lite and $835/month for the full Recruiter version.

Pricing Comparison
Sales Navigator Plans:
Core (Professional): $99/month
Advanced (Team): $149/month
Advanced Plus (Enterprise): Starts at $1600/year

LinkedIn Recruiter Plans:
Recruiter Lite: $170/month
Recruiter: $835/month

Search Filters: Sales Navigator vs. Recruiter Lite
Sales Navigator Filters:
29 filters, including job title, keyword, location, current and past company, company size, industries, and more.
Access to +3rd-degree connections, allowing a broader search.

Recruiter Lite Filters:
21 filters, including job title, keyword, location, current and past company, and industries.
Limited to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree connections.

Unique Filters in Sales Navigator:
Year in current company
Year in current position
Company type
Company headquarters

These filters help recruiters target candidates who are more likely to be open to new opportunities based on their tenure in their current role or company.
Boolean Search Capabilities
Both LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Recruiter Lite support Boolean search, allowing recruiters to use logical connectors (AND, OR, NOT) and punctuation to refine their searches.
Advanced Features in LinkedIn Recruiter
LinkedIn Recruiter offers several advanced features not available in Recruiter Lite, including:
Open to Work Filter: Identifies candidates who have indicated they are open to hearing from recruiters.
More Likely to Respond Filter: Highlights candidates who have interacted with your company or are more likely to respond based on past recruiting activity.
Enhanced Collaboration: Tools for teamwork, such as mentions, message sharing, and activity tracking.
CRM Integration: Syncs with popular recruiting CRM and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) like Workable, Workday, and Oracle.

Advanced Features in Sales Navigator
Sales Navigator offers advanced features primarily geared towards sales but beneficial for recruiters, such as:
Smart Links: Create and track sales presentations.
Account Lists from CSV Uploads: Identify decision-makers within companies by uploading a list of target companies.
Advanced CRM Sync: Available with the Advanced Plus plan for real-time contact updates and enhanced targeting.

Using Sales Navigator for Recruiting
Despite being designed for sales, Sales Navigator is highly effective for recruiting. It provides better search filters and access to the entire LinkedIn database for only $99/month.

Sales Navigator is the Best Option If:
You need access to a broad database, including +3rd-degree connections.
You want advanced search filters at a more affordable price.
You need a tool that can find both candidates and clients.
LinkedIn Recruiter is the Best Option If:
You need advanced recruiting-specific features like CRM integration, collaboration tools, and detailed reporting.
You have the budget to invest in these premium features.
How to Switch from Recruiter to Sales Navigator
To switch from LinkedIn Recruiter to Sales Navigator:
Cancel your LinkedIn Recruiter subscription: Go to Product Settings and click on Cancel.
Subscribe to Sales Navigator: Go to the LinkedIn homepage, click on Work > Find Leads, and subscribe to Sales Navigator.
By understanding the strengths and limitations of each tool, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your recruiting needs and budget.