Since LinkedIn arrived it’s been progressively casting its shadow on the recruiting industry. What started with idle fascination has grown into something so much more. And LinkedIn is like a virus: The more people use it, the more it spreads, the more data it captures, the more interesting the insights become, the more people use it…
Recruiting is a big industry that thrives on connections and who knows who. No surprise then that LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networking platforms have become a new channel and useful tools to hungry recruiters looking for new talent. Many companies are now seriously looking at how their e-Recruiting strategy can be up-geared to increase the volume and quality of talent they need, wondering if perhaps they can cut out the middle-man altogether.
But while LinkedIn is ‘useful’, it’s by no means a perfect vehicle for recruiting because it is itself ‘a market’. People that submit their profiles and invite links and connections do so for a reason (no surprises then that recruiters have some of the biggest connection counts!)
If we take it as a given that people aren’t completely naive then the more people grow in stature in LinkedIn then the more attention they get and the less they need it. The highest performing people with the most desirable roles start to see LinkedIn as a liability when they expose their true talent and skills. The answer therefore for many is to start to dilute the details presented in LinkedIn – staying connected but being less specific, a little more vague. The top quartile becomes harder to reach talent.
So we maybe start to see the visible chinks of the knowledge economy and the difference between those with desirable skills and expertise, and those with less. Five years from now, with the advent of big data and more sophisticated actionable analytical tools like Encanvas and Locationary, maybe we’ll start to measure the status of people by mapping the number of connections they have on LinkedIn, where a low count equals a high status. If you could visualize the plots of talent skills against LinkedIn counts over business life-time, would this start to reveal patterns that could suggest which are the most skilled? – Or does it simply visualize those more socially active compared to those that prefer to be more reserved and humble?
People who are experts in a niche activity don’t always want to work for an employer that occasionally leverages their core skill. They want to use their skills and expertise all of the time. For the community of workers that Workspend (and its sister company US Tech Solutions) serve, LinkedIn is not a place to confess your IT competencies and Microsoft qualifications. To do so would mean a barrage of LinkedIn connection requests every day. This hard to reach layer of talent requires a guide to find the best roles, and likewise, employers seeking these skills need an agent. Could you imagine Hollywood actors finding their own jobs? Nor can I. And it’s not a great pastime looking for your next placement when your last one is nearing its conclusion.
And so while the mass market of unskilled and semi-skilled workers might find LinkedIn a panacea solution for finding their next job opportunity I expect we’re still going to see agencies thrive well into the digital era – but if they’re going to do so they will have to invest more time in taking good care of their talent. The days of ‘pile them high, sell them cheap’ are quickly disappearing.
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