Linkedin Juggernaut Rolls On
Jeff Weiner, CEO of Linkedin, wants the company to be synonymous with ‘talent’ just as ‘Internet Search’ is for Google. In an interview with Techcrunch, he talks about past achievements and sheds light on future plans. Not surprisingly, Linkedin’s recruitment products are the largest and fastest growing part of the business. However, Jeff is careful to differentiate Linkedin from job boards. Here’s his take:
We are unique….Monster is all about jobs and that’s a component of what we do certainly, but Linkedin is not just about helping you find the best job, it’s about making you more successful, more productive in the job you are already in.…. ultimately we want to connect talent to opportunity. We want to do that on a massive scale and I don’t think that it has been done before……within a professional context we have an opportunity to completely change the game.
Membership has now reached 75 million, and if rumours of an impending IPO are proven real, it’s safe to assume that growth will accelerate further. When job boards first showed up, fear and loathing greeted them. Once the dust settled and it became clear that they added value to the sourcing function, objections subsided. Soon, the focus shifted to getting the best out of the new recruitment channel. Discussions revolves around cost and pricing. ‘What is the cheapest and most effective way I can use job boards’ was the prevailing mindset; a sign job boards have come of age. A week ago I spoke to a recruitment manager who just negotiated a deal with Linkedin. ‘It’s very expensive, but necessary’ he quipped. Be prepared to see conversations shifting to the issue of pricing. The question is no longer about LinkedIn’s place and relevance as a recruitment tool, but more about how best to capitalise; a situation enjoyed by job boards in their heydays. It seems to me Linkedin is destined to have a permanent and prominent presence in the Australian recruitment landscape. What do you think?
Spot on, Justin.
I think Linkedin have close to one million profiles in Australia, reaching roughly 15% of the workforce. So, there’s definitely a place/role for players who mine the deep web. I was always impressed with Zoominfo's data mining capabilities.
Though, I think in many ways Linkedin reward professionals more than it does recruiters. I can go into Linked and stumble upon people and connect with new organisations. It gives my networking activities context and expands my reach. The challenge for Linkedin is to get a lot more professionals excited about updating their online CV/presence.
I spoke to a group of 20 recruitment agency MD's 5 years ago and when I asked who was using Linkedin only 1 put up their hand. I asked the same question to a very similar group of people 12 months ago and everyone raised their hands. Linkedin is here to stay and is a core part of our sourcing strategy. For some assignments it's replacing job board advertising.
There may be challengers from information aggregators such as Zoominfo and Jigsaw which rely on automated bots crawling the web for information (rather than user generated content like Linkedin), but their information isn't yet strong enough and is actually quite limited in the Asia Pacific region – they're both very US centric. If they improve, which I'm sure they will, they may have the advantage over Linkedin of having information on people that don't have a public profile.