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LinkedIn Recruiter vs Sales Navigator Comparison

LinkedIn Recruiter vs Sales Navigator Comparison
Last updated: March 12, 2024
Reading time: 10 minutes
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LinkedIn Recruiter and Sales Navigator are like the Batman and Robin of the professional networking world – each with its own superpowers! But which one is suitable for your business? And what is the difference between LinkedIn Recruiter and Sales Navigator?

LinkedIn Recruiter is your go-to tool for talent hunting – think about finding the perfect candidate for that dream job posting. On the flip side, if your daily grind involves expanding your client base, building relationships, and sealing deals, Sales Navigator is your trusty sidekick. 

We’re diving deep into the LinkedIn Recruiter vs Sales Navigator showdown to help you decide which one suits your needs.

The Differences Between LinkedIn Sales Navigator vs LinkedIn Recruiter Lite

Ready to level up your LinkedIn game and unsure which tool suits your needs best? Let’s break down LinkedIn’s dynamic duo – LinkedIn Recruiter vs Sales Navigator – and guide you toward a savvy decision.

LinkedIn Recruiter: If you’re in the recruitment game or steering the hiring ship, consider LinkedIn Recruiter your ace in the hole. Its main gig? The power to unearth top-tier talent within LinkedIn’s vast network.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator: On the flip side, if your goal is to find and engage new leads and clients, Sales Navigator is your digital battleground. It opens doors to potential leads and key individuals within companies, paving the way for your business to increase sales.

While both tools function as efficient search engines, they differ in their specialized functions. Consider them adept navigators through LinkedIn’s extensive profile database, each designed to enhance recruitment or prospecting processes.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator vs Recruiter Lite: Both tools share advanced search engines, providing precision in finding candidates or clients. The difference between the two comes from the additional features that customize the tools according to their respective purposes.

In terms of filters, LinkedIn Recruiter Lite offers a substantial 21, while LinkedIn Sales Navigator steps it up with an impressive 29. 

These filters form the foundation of your searches, allowing you to refine your results using criteria such as job title, current and previous companies, keyword, company size, location, schools, seniority levels, industries, network relationships, profile languages, and functions. 

These filters are not just functionalities; they serve as reliable tools, streamlining the process of creating candidate or lead lists. 

Now, let’s assess LinkedIn Recruiter vs Sales Navigator to determine which aligns better with your needs.

Unlock +3rd degree connections: This is a game-changer feature of LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This tool gives you access to the entire LinkedIn database, including 3rd-degree connections – those not directly linked to you but part of your broader network.

Conversely, LinkedIn Recruiter limits your searches, sticking to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree connections, which significantly shrinks your outreach. To break free and access the full LinkedIn database with LinkedIn Recruiter, be ready to shell out a hefty $835 monthly.

In contrast, LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers this broad reach at a more wallet-friendly $99 per month.

Explore our detailed guide on how to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Outreach Automation on LinkedIn with Dripify

Unique Filters of LinkedIn Recruiter

When it comes to LinkedIn Recruiter Lite, you’ll find two filters that set it apart from LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

First on the list is “Skills and Assessments,” a feature absent in LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This filter lets you search for candidates with specific skills, such as AI and ML. But remember that the skills section on LinkedIn profiles can sometimes be less than reliable. That’s because endorsements for skills may include ones irrelevant to your career.

The second unique filter is “Year of Graduation.” While it may not introduce groundbreaking applications, especially considering the availability of “Years of Experience,” this filter has its moments. “Years of Experience” often takes the lead when refining your search criteria for the perfect candidates.

Although “Year of Graduation” can be beneficial in certain scenarios, like entry-level hiring or evaluating recent graduates, it generally lacks the versatility and impact of “Years of Experience”.

Exclusive Filters in Sales Navigator

The Differences Between Sales Navigator vs Recruiter Lite: Exclusive Filters in Sales Navigator

Now, let’s look at what makes LinkedIn Sales Navigator different when it comes to specific filters compared to LinkedIn Recruiter. Sales Navigator takes the lead by offering over five filters that you won’t find in LinkedIn Recruiter Lite:

  1. Year in current position
  2. Company Type
  3. Year in current company
  4. Company Headquarter
  5. Groups

The “Year in Current Company” and “Company Type” are cool features. They give you valuable insights into candidates, helping you make smarter decisions and refine your searches exactly for your hiring needs. This extra precision can boost your recruitment efforts, increasing your chances of finding the perfect candidates.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator vs Recruiter: Both tools leverage the power of Boolean Search. This search technique uses words like AND, OR, and NOT, as well as punctuation, to conduct highly accurate searches within LinkedIn. This nifty feature is available in both tools, enhancing the effectiveness of your searches.

When searching for the perfect candidate or potential customer on LinkedIn Recruiter or Sales Navigator, remember that Boolean Search is like your helpful sidekick. It’s there to make your searches better, help you connect with the right people, and grow your professional network.

LinkedIn Recruiter vs Sales Navigator  –  Advanced Filters Made Simple

With LinkedIn Recruiter and Sales Navigator, advanced filters can make a significant difference. LinkedIn Recruiter, the upgraded sibling of Recruiter Lite, introduces additional search filters.

However, the question arises: Do the standout filters, Open to Work and “More Likely to Respond”, truly justify the monthly price tag of $835? It’s essential to note that not all top-notch LinkedIn accounts openly declare their job-seeking status.

But here’s the silver lining – you can replicate these filters on Sales Navigator.

Unlocking Advanced Filters in Sales Navigator: Want to find profiles that have engaged with your company? Tap into the “Following Your Company” filter. 

But when it comes to spotting “Open to Work” profiles, it might require a bit more effort, but don’t worry – it’s doable. We recommend you export your leads from Sales Navigator to Dripify to gain insights into individuals actively seeking job opportunities!

Read also: Why Recruiters Need to Use Dripify

Core Functions

LinkedIn Sales Navigator vs LinkedIn Recruiter: Both offer InMail credits and the option to bookmark your searches.

InMails are exclusive messages with a premium tag, allowing you to skip the initial connection request and contact your candidate directly. Conversely, saving your searches ensures you stay informed when new candidates or prospects align with your search criteria.

But here’s the twist:

Sales Navigator Excels in Client Discovery

Sales Navigator truly stands out when it comes to finding potential clients. After all, it was originally created to generate leads and sales. 

The best part is that you can even use it to find companies that have posted job opportunities. Using filters like “Hiring on LinkedIn,” you can find organizations that are actively hiring. Plus, you can pinpoint individuals within these companies working in decision-making positions.

LinkedIn Recruiter Lite Integrates a Recruitment CRM

LinkedIn Recruiter Lite Integrates a Recruitment CRM

LinkedIn Recruiter Lite isn’t merely a search tool; it’s an all-inclusive solution. The built-in recruitment CRM effectively streamlines your candidate management. 

For example, you can easily make “Projects” for consolidating candidates from various sources. This makes the process of managing your candidate pipeline super easy. 

Advanced Recruiter Features

LinkedIn Recruiter offers three distinct advantages over LinkedIn Recruiter Lite. 

One, it provides a higher quota of InMails (100-150 per month per team member). Two, it streamlines collaboration with team-specific tools. And lastly, it seamlessly integrates with popular recruitment CRMs and Applicant Tracking Systems.

Sales Navigator Advanced Features

The advantage of Sales Navigator is that it offers two premium plans loaded with amazing features for marketing and sales professionals. 

It allows you to compile account lists via CSV uploads and monitor sales presentations through a feature called Smartlinks. The best part? You can easily sync your CRM with LinkedIn for precise targeting. 

While the Advanced Plus plan may seem expensive at $1600/month, it is an excellent investment for businesses with substantial budgets.

Now, let’s slice and dice LinkedIn Sales Navigator vs Recruiter to determine their most important, distinct features.

Outreach Automation on LinkedIn with Dripify

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Features

Wondering about the core features of Sales Navigator? Let’s have a look!

  • Lead Recommendations: Sales Navigator takes the guesswork out of prospecting, thanks to the lead recommendation feature. Sales Navigator presents you with highly relevant prospects based on your engagement, target audience, profile information, and preferences. This not only saves you valuable time but ensures that your outreach efforts are laser-focused and tailored to your ideal clientele.
  • Advanced Search and Filters: Sales Navigator introduces advanced search filters with a unique emphasis – pursuing potential clients. You can tailor your search with filters like job function, company size, seniority level, industry, and more. This makes it a go-to tool for prospect identification.
  • InMail Messaging: The InMail messaging feature is a gem shared by both tools. You can use it to initiate conversations with prospects outside your network. This feature is your secret weapon for fostering connections, initiating meaningful conversations, and nurturing prospects.
  • Lead and Account Alerts: As you know, staying informed with the latest information and changes is vital in B2B sales strategy. Luckily, Sales Navigator steps up to the plate by providing real-time alerts for lead and account developments. This feature ensures you are always in the loop and ready to engage with prospects at precisely the right moment.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator Features: Lead and Account Alerts
  • CRM Integration: Sales Navigator understands the importance of a well-coordinated sales and marketing strategy. That’s why it easily integrates with many customer relationship management tools. This means you can easily track and manage leads, ensuring your efforts are efficient and data-driven.

Read also: Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator Worth it?

LinkedIn Recruiter Features

Now, let’s dive into the powerhouse of LinkedIn Recruiter Lite and unravel the features that set it apart when it comes to candidate search and recruitment efficiency.

Fine-Tuned Precision With 20+ Advanced Search Filters

LinkedIn Recruiter Features: Fine Tuned Precision With 20 Advanced Search Filters

Ever wished for a search tool that speaks your language? LinkedIn Recruiter Lite hears you loud and clear. With over 20 advanced search filters, it’s your gateway to precision. From job titles and locations to industry, years of experience, and skills – these filters allow you to pinpoint the ideal candidates for your organization’s unique roles.

InMail Messaging: Your Direct Line to Passive Job Seekers

Say goodbye to recruitment barriers with InMail messaging. It’s your golden ticket to reaching out directly to potential candidates, even if you’re not connected on LinkedIn. Use InMail to contact 30 candidates monthly and start meaningful conversations. Further, save your most effective message templates for future use – it’s like having your personalized recruitment arsenal.

Talent Pipelines

Navigating the sea of potential candidates can be overwhelming, but not with LinkedIn Recruiter Lite. It offers tools for organizing and tracking your potential candidates. This ensures your recruitment campaign stays on course. No more chaos, just seamless organization.

Promote and Advertise Multiple Listings

With a LinkedIn Recruiter Lite subscription, you’re not just limited to one free job listing – you can post one job listing for free and as many promoted job listings as you desire. It’s the perfect blend of cost-effectiveness and extensive reach.

There you have it – the LinkedIn Recruiter Lite advanced features that redefine your recruitment experience. From fine-tuning your searches to directly engaging with passive candidates and organizing your talent pipeline, it’s your toolkit for success. 

But wait! LinkedIn Recruiter is the ultimate game-changer, offering a wealth of features that outshine its Lite counterpart. With LinkedIn Recruiter, you get the following benefits: 

  • Amplified Communication: Send up to 150 InMails monthly, ensuring direct and effective outreach to potential candidates.
  • Precision in Searches: Access over 40 advanced search filters, providing unparalleled control and precision when fine-tuning your candidate searches.
  • Limitless Job Posting: Break free from restrictions with the ability to post an unlimited number of jobs, expanding your reach and opportunities.
  • Insightful Reporting: Gain valuable insights with reporting features for both jobs and InMails, allowing you to assess the performance and effectiveness of your recruitment strategies.
  • Efficient Pipeline Management: Streamline your recruitment journey with candidate pipeline management tools, ensuring organization and efficiency every step of the way.

In essence, LinkedIn Recruiter is the comprehensive solution for recruiters seeking advanced capabilities, offering a robust set of tools to elevate their recruitment endeavors.

Keep reading, or let’s compare LinkedIn Recruiter Lite vs Recruiter on a deeper level.

The Ultimate LinkedIn Sales Guide

LinkedIn Sales Navigator vs Recruiter Pricing Comparison

Choosing between LinkedIn Recruiter Lite and LinkedIn Sales Navigator involves more than just assessing features – pricing is a key player here! Let’s dissect the price structures of these two LinkedIn powerhouses to help you make an informed choice for your business.

LinkedIn Recruiter Lite Pricing

LinkedIn Recruiter Lite adopts a per-seat pricing model, where you pay for each user license. The cost per seat can vary widely, ranging from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars annually. 

Your geographical location also wields influence over the price you pay, with different regions experiencing distinct price structures and tiers. For example, in the United States, LinkedIn Recruiter Lite costs $70 per user per month.

LinkedIn sweetens the deal with occasional volume discounts for businesses with larger recruitment teams. The idea is to make Recruiter Lite a more cost-effective solution for expansive hiring needs.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Pricing

Sales Navigator, on the other hand, offers a more nuanced pricing approach with three subscription levels: Core, Advanced, and Advanced Plus plans. 

  • The Core plan, catering to individual users, typically falls in the range of $90 to $100 per month. 
  • Small to medium-sized teams can explore the Advanced plan, which provides collaboration and lead-sharing features. It is priced between $140 to $150 per year. 
  • The Advanced Plus plan allows for customization and additional support for larger enterprises with hefty requirements. The average of this plan is $1600 per month – a premium offering for organizations with expansive needs.

Sales Navigator vs Recruiter Lite: Both have dynamic pricing, explaining why they often tweak their pricing and offer promotions or discounts. We recommend you visit LinkedIn’s official pricing page to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.

Want to automate your recruitment drive? Check out the best recruitment automation tools


Making the correct choice between LinkedIn Recruiter Lite and LinkedIn Sales Navigator is more than a selection process – it’s a strategic decision that can shape the trajectory of your success. Both tools bring a plethora of robust features to the table, finely tuned to meet distinct professional needs.

If you’re looking for a tool for the purpose of talent acquisition, LinkedIn Recruiter Lite emerges as the star player if you’re looking for a tool for talent acquisition. Tailored for recruiters on the lookout for top-tier candidates, its fundamental search and management features, coupled with collaborative capabilities, position it as the optimal solution for building an exceptional team.

On the other hand, LinkedIn is perfect for B2B marketing, and if you’re into B2B sales or marketing, and your goal is to unearth, connect with, and nurture leads, LinkedIn Sales Navigator stands as the ideal tool. From lead recommendations to advanced search filters, and real-time alerts to CRM integration, Sales Navigator equips your team to forge meaningful connections with potential clients.

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