How Proxies Can Help HR Teams Improve Talent Management

HR Managers working on laptops

Many contemporary professions use advanced technologies to streamline and automate tasks. Although human resources are typically correlated with social activities rather than tech, they can also benefit from IT solutions to improve efficiency. One way of doing so is by using proxies.

Talent acquisition is the leading HR task, involving a lot of manual information gathering. LinkedIn claims to have 930 million members in 200 countries, and analyzing this data manually is exceptionally lengthy, if at all possible. Proxies are a handy tool that can automate information gathering and speed up hiring.

But before we dig deeper into LinkedIn data nuances, let’s briefly overview what proxies are and how they work.

What Are Proxies?

Proxies are an irreplaceable part of the World Wide Web. They help distribute the data flow to reduce server load, protect users’ IP addresses from online surveillance, and crawl publicly available websites to extract valuable data (commodity prices, discounts, user reviews, etc.) Primarily it’s a computer networking technology. However, it was adapted for commercial purposes and successfully used for data gathering and analysis.

A proxy is a third-party server that assists with online communication. Without it, a user device called a client communicates with websites called servers requesting information. A website analyzes the query and marks down the user’s IP address to forward information. This exposes the IP address and could result in a data leak if the communication happens over an unencrypted channel.

A proxy server acts as an intermediary. It accepts clients’ requests and forwards them to servers. A proxy assigns a new IP address and obfuscates the original, protecting the user’s privacy. The server returns data to the proxy, which sends it to the user.

Although simple to understand, IP address obfuscation achieves multiple goals. It helps manage multiple social media accounts if a service limits one account per unique IP address. Simultaneously, it’s an invaluable data scraping tool to avoid website detection. We’ll talk more about scraping LinkedIn data via proxies in the second half of the article.

Different Proxy Types

It’s crucial to understand different proxy types to use them efficiently. We can roughly separate proxies into two types: residential and data centers.

1. Residential Proxies

Residential proxies come from genuine user devices. A person agrees to share their Internet connection with a third party, becoming a proxy server. An HR specialist can obtain their IP address and use it to gather data from LinkedIn without exposing their operations to the website.

There are static and rotating residential proxies. Static issue a permanent IP address. Marketing managers use static residential proxies to manage multiple social media accounts without getting banned. For example, Facebook allows only three accounts per IP address, which is insufficient for an FB marketing campaign. Employees can use dozens of different static IPs to create as many accounts as required.

Rotating residential proxies excel at data scraping. They change the IP address at chosen time intervals. Websites that detect hundreds of simultaneous information requests from the same IP can restrict access because they consider it a threat to their competitiveness. Rotating proxies will issue information requests from different IPs avoiding ban and detection.

2. Datacenter Proxies

These come from data centers that specialize in proxy services. They also issue a new IP address, but websites can easily identify someone using a datacenter proxy. That’s why they are not suited for operations that require online privacy, like social media marketing.

On the other hand, they are excellent when online anonymity is not required. Datacenter proxies are faster than residential and have better uptime. Businesses use datacenter proxies to gather data from websites that do not limit web scraping, speed up large file transfers, and secure operations with a Cloud.

HR Proxy Management

As you might’ve guessed, proxies provide significant advantages on the LinkedIn network. The same applies to all other social networks that store relevant information, but LinkedIn is an ideal case.

HR specialists can spend days upon days going through thousands of user profiles. Instead of wasting time on manual labor, they can use proxies to scrape LinkedIn data automatically. Furthermore, proxies combined with web scrapers return the result in an organized .jsv or JSON format ready for immediate analysis.

You should note that Microsoft does not willingly share LinkedIn data, although it’s publicly available. HiQ Labs scraped public LinkedIn data for their business model, resulting in a lengthy lawsuit with Microsoft. The court sided with HiQ but later reversed the decision. The case ended in a settlement agreement between the two parties, raising more questions for the scraping community than providing answers.

That doesn’t mean you cannot gather LinkedIn data. You can use it to improve the talent acquisition process, but directly profiting from LinkedIn user information would most likely result in similar legal troubles. Here are a few tips on how to scrape LinkedIn data ethically.

1. Use Rotating IPs

Use rotating residential proxies to get a new IP address for multiple information requests. Set the rotation interval every few minutes and use several proxy servers for small operations. Exhaustive data gathering can require a few hundred proxy accounts.

2. Avoid Personal Data

LinkedIn stores personally identifiable data (PII), but it’s generally accepted to avoid gathering it. You should know very well what you’re looking for. For example, maybe you want to get a list of employees with experience in a specific field nearby. You can scrape a list with a name, surname, and work experience, avoiding scraping education, birth date, etc.

3. Inspect Robot.txt File

Like most other websites, LinkedIn has a Robot.txt file with instructions on data gathering. You should review this file before starting the operations. Even though LinkedIn may state they don’t allow scraping, you can still gather public user profiles. However, it’s best to adhere to at least some Robot.txt rules to avoid unnecessary issues.


Businesses often use proxies to scrape web data, even if they don’t disclose it. IT giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google scrape vast data to remain on top.

If you master web scraping technologies and use them ethically, you will automate numerous manual processes, like talent acquisition from LinkedIn. Furthermore, your online operations will be more private, protecting your competitive advantage.

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