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The other big player: LinkedIn

LinkedInAlthough most of the attention in recruitment marketing these days is on Google, Facebook, and Indeed, there is another big player: LinkedIn. In fact, long before we were shaking in our (virtual) boots over Google’s or Indeed’s latest moves, LinkedIn was creating upheaval in our industry. As the original ‘professional network’, LinkedIn has maintained its position through the recession and the long, slow recovery. Its acquisition by Microsoft has, if anything, accelerated its growth – recently seeing revenue growth of 37% in the last quarter and revenue of $1.46 billion (!).

So what have they been doing lately – and are there ideas that are worth stealing? Let’s take a look.

A rebuilt Recruiter: LinkedIn is consolidating its Recruiter program, folding three services into a single platform: Jobs, Recruiter, and Media. Thus, when a recruiter posts a job, the system will use the activity around that job (who is clicking it, where it comes up in searches, etc.) to populate candidate search results when Recruiter is used. Another result of this: since LinkedIn knows a recruiter is searching for a candidate, it can prompt them to post a job ad if they haven’t already. So the process is more streamlined for the user – and more profitable for LinkedIn.

TalentHub is coming: LinkedIn’s version of an ATS is called TalentHub. Set to roll out in mid-2019, the service will let recruiters manage candidate leads through the whole interviewing and hiring process. At the same time, LinkedIn is planning to improve its integrations with stand-alone ATSs such as SmartRecruiters and Jobvite. LinkedIn says that TalentHub will be highly customizable, which would be critical in a mature market such as ATSs.

TalentInsights…and some diversity: The company’s TalentInsights tool lets users analyze their organization’s hiring activity against competitors – how their job ad performance stacks up against others, for example. LinkedIn has also added a new feature that lets users see gender breakdown within businesses – so, for example, the user can now know what the gender breakdown is in a given pool of applicants or potential candidates for a role. This isn’t an industrial-strength diversity hiring tool – yet. But it’s emblematic of how LinkedIn seems to attack most hiring problems – in small, careful steps, and always with an eye to integrating with the rest of the LinkedIn lineup.

A Glint in their eye?: Finally, LinkedIn is acquiring the employment engagement and retention platform Glint. It seems that Glint is part of the wider strategy to build out more services for all LinkedIn users, alongside existing services like education, CRM tools and, most recently, business intelligence – a sort of connective tissue of engagement for all products. It’s easy to see how Glint moves LinkedIn more deeply into its members’ hiring, onboarding, and employee management work streams. It’s also easy to see how this could greatly increase LinkedIn’s revenue streams.

So what are some ‘stealable’ ideas here? Well, first and foremost, LinkedIn is digging deeper into its clients’ hiring process. Although job boards have long offered ATSs to their clients, they have been in the minority – yet those that do find that doing so greatly increases both revenue and ‘stickiness’. LinkedIn is also getting into the challenges of diversity hiring – a particular issue for mid- and large-sized employers. Honestly, most recruitment marketing sites should have some sort of diversity offering! And LinkedIn – via TalentInsights – is taking advantage of the vast amount of data produced by the hiring process. CareerBuilder has taken a stab at this in the past. Niche job sites could do this too – but it takes a vision and some investment.

Is LinkedIn perfect? No way. Are they going to ‘destroy the rest of us’? Hardly. But they continue to grow and develop, even (or especially?) under the Microsoft umbrella. And they’re expanding their reach. Just a reminder that there’s another player out there besides Google, Facebook, and Indeed!

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