Earlier this year, after LinkedIn stated their intention to become a publicly listed company, I wrote a lead article about LinkedIn’s global aspirations and specifically, their intention to tackle the recruitment agency market.
This intention was made explicit when they registered their S-1 Statement with the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in late January. In the S-1 Statement, under the heading ‘Our Opportunity ‘, the message could not have been clearer:
We believe we are transforming the way people work by connecting talent with opportunity at massive scale. Our goal is to provide a global platform capable of mapping every professional’s experience, skills and other relevant professional data to his or her professional graph, including connections with colleagues and business contacts.
In my InSight Issue183 lead article about the Australasian Talent Conference, I highlighted the effectiveness of LinkedIn in solving the global hiring challenges of management consulting firm, Accenture.
For those of you not familiar with the range of LinkedIn offerings, here’s a quick summary of the three current major premium (ie paid) services:
1. LinkedIn Recruiter includes:
Unlimited access to names and full profiles : Unlike ‘free’ LinkedIn where you can only view the full profile of a first level connection, LIR allows you to access the full LinkedIn database of candidates and view their full profiles.
Exclusive refinement filters : Unlike ‘free’ LinkedIn, LIR gives you access to Premium Talent Filters. This enables a more tightly defined search to be undertaken using criteria such as Company Type, Years in Position, Function, Seniority Level, Years at Company and Years of Experience.
Contact candidates directly : LIR provides you with 50 InMails per month to contact any candidate. InMails are credited back if unanswered after 7 days and these InMails can be rolled over each month, if unused.
Project folders : These allow you to set reminders on profiles to follow up with candidates of interest. These folders, including notes and candidate communication history, are visible to your colleagues.
Search Alerts : Up to 50 search alerts can be established so new talent can be accessed immediately.
2. Job Network
is a service that allows each user to post jobs on their profile page and also to their network. Also up to 50 candidates are identified for the user by a LinkedIn algorithm.
Other services offered under this category include Referral Engine which unlocks each employees’ referral potential by highlighting company vacancies and identifying the best talent from their entire network.
3. Recruitment Ads
is the traditional ‘classified ad’ service except the big difference being that the information available about each LI member allows ad targeting and placement at a level that print media and job boards can only dream about.
Other services offered under this category (Recruitment Branding) include Career Pages which allows companies to establish a professional career page on LI , Recruitment Insights which provides a research service for companies wanting to understand where their employment brand rates with their target candidate market and how to maximise the impact with this same candidate market and Work With Us which enables personalised-to-viewer ads to be listed next to your employees’ profiles.
The beauty of the LinkedIn business model is that the commercial interests of LinkedIn coincide perfectly with those of their clients.
For example, the value of the Job Network offering (#2, above) is maximised when a LinkedIn premium service client has all their employees listed on LinkedIn and then encourages each of these employees to build their own large networks.
This is great for the employer (more first level networks to access for potential candidates) and fabulous for LinkedIn (the more high quality, complete and updated member profiles LinkedIn contains then the more attractive LinkedIn is for paying clients.
Of course LinkedIn has its limitations, in that …
i) Currently lower skilled and technical/trades candidates are vastly under-represented
ii) Not all LinkedIn profiles are up-to-date
iii) Not everyone with a LinkedIn profile responds (positively or at all) to contact or connection requests
But overall you can certainly say that LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffman has certainly made giant strides in his stated mission for LinkedIn to ‘enable enterprises and professional organizations to find and connect with the world’s best talent’.
With such a powerful DIY recruitment service available for companies and organisations, how should agencies respond?
Watch this space.