Why is the user interface of Quoras getting worse and worse

LinkedInsider Germany

Does recruiting work with Web 2.0 mechanisms? This question has preoccupied me for a long time. Since my company was looking for new project managers, the opportunity arose to carry out a practical test. The ads are almost at the same time

been published. The links lead to the "HowTo`s" that I have published in the last few weeks and where I have presented my experiences with publishing the advertisements. If you would like to see the template again, it is still online on the homepage of our management consultancy.

The duration was 30 days in each case.

Not only was ergonomics important to me, I also wanted to know what the ads were doing. Because the decisive factor is not whether an editor is available, but what counts: response, response, response.

In order not to have any influence from words, phrases or the like, the advertisement has been published identically:

Ads in comparison

Funny detail on the side: The display on BranchOut is exactly the same size with 1293 pixels as on LinkedIn, whether someone has copied it?

For the reach, the person who is looking is also very important. Here I had the greatest reach on Xing, followed by LinkedIn and I had the smallest influence on Facebook. The note is important because it narrows the empirical relevance of the practical test.

The task

We were looking for project managers for a small management consultancy in Berlin. The minimum requirements were an academic degree, at least 3 years of professional experience in the relevant area, willingness to travel.

But let's come to the comparison of the areas:

The price of the ad

The costs are comparatively low compared to other media (Monster (1,178.10 for 30 days) or the F.A.Z. (2,995 €):

Jobs prices

Whereby it is pleasantly noticeable that both Xing and BranchOut offer cheaper alternatives. These may be of interest for testing. Xing is a click-based variant (€ 0.80 per click) and BranchOut is an alternative, where the ad is only shown to your own network up to the first degree, but free of charge.

If you relate the price to the response, Xing is far behind. BranchOut too, but that still has great potential as the service is only a few months old.

Setting the display

BranchOut and LinkedIn are quite similar here and offer a standard editor, as you know it from WordPress or eBay. With copy & paste from Word or PDF, formatting (at least the most important ones such as font sizes, italics and bold) are retained.

Xing is less convenient, you have to format it with your own drawing elements. When copying out of Word, PDF or html, formatting is lost or is replaced by cryptic blocks. It is particularly unfortunate that the tabulator functionality is completely absent (if you use the tab key, you wander out of the creation box).

The statement

With LinkedIn you get a reasonable invoice, which can also be reprinted in the account at a later point in time.

At BranchOut you only get an email via PayPal, which has to be enough as an invoice. Even when asked, you couldn't get a decent one.

This is where the German clone scores points as it is the only one to generate a digitally signed invoice that complies with German EStG law.

The ad history

During the process, you can promote the ad for all of them through various channels. You should also do this, as social media channels have a decisive advantage over classic recruiting channels: You can also reach people who are not actively searching. And it is here that special pearls can be found.

Twitter and status updates offer all three.

Highlight at Xing: The ad is automatically posted in thematically related groups in a box (unfortunately my ad was only on the 56th page in the box of my own group).

LinkedIn offers the greatest variety, especially since you can also post the ad directly on Facebook.

BranchOut offers the least functionality. Here one relies solely on the network on Facebook alone.


In a practical comparison, LinkedIn is the only one to offer an application process alá Monsters or Stepstone. Xing has a button that only has a "MailTo" functionality. BranchOut doesn't even offer that.

The statistics

Those who regularly place ads know that you can permanently stand out from the crowd by tracking. Here, Xing at least offers statistics on how often an ad was viewed:

Xing statistics

Not much either, though. In comparison, LinkedIn:

Jobs Statistics LinkedIn

Here you get interesting details. Most importantly:

  • Where did the viewers of my ad come from?
  • What keywords were they looking for?
  • What company did they come from?

BranchOut offered no support at all.

Overview: adjustment and ergonomics

Now to the résumé of the first area. The best way to make the comparison is to use a benchmark. Here I have omitted the response, as it is listed separately below:

Jobs benchmark

In terms of points, LinkedIn is right at the front, followed by Xing and well behind BranchOut.

The response

It is interesting which response took place. BranchOut was clearly at a disadvantage here, as I do not have a large network on Facebook and BranchOut requires a separate registration.

Xing clearly had an advantage here, as I have the most contacts here (by far), and my project management forum with 44,000 members, in which I advertised the ad, is about 10 times larger than on LinkedIn. Here are the results:

Jobs Response

It was noticeable that I received more contact inquiries on Xing during this period, especially from social media experts. In the profile statistics you could clearly see that these came from the job page. What motivates them to do this is a mystery to me.


Some hints can be derived from this practical test. For us, as an ITP, you can say that LinkedIn is especially worthwhile. However, not only I seem to have come to this result, there are over 1,000 ads on LinkedIn for both Daimler and BMW (albeit through the cooperation with Simply Hired), only a few on Xing and BranchOut.

With comparatively low prices you can expand your recruiting portfolio in a meaningful way.

The following applies to all three providers: Without a network it becomes more difficult and without accompanying measures (posting in other groups, on other platforms, tweeting, etc.), the ads will fizzle out.

Both in terms of ergonomics and response, only LinkedIn was able to convince. BranchOut is an interesting alternative for people with a strong network and, in particular, the "€ 0" variant puts other providers under pressure.

The social media solutions always offer an interesting alternative and the costs of the American solutions definitely justify experiments.

In any case, we are happy to be able to poach someone from a large German telecommunications company via LinkedIn, and that after a few weeks at an advertising price of € 73.