LinkedIn is expanding it’s corporate recruiting functionality today with Talent Advantage. Really, all of the functionality is old stuff that has been rebranded. There is a new “Custom Company Profile” which I think has existed in one form or another for some time, but now has new functionality for employer branding and some cool algorythms to search your profile and those of your immediate network for job matches, automatically displaying jobs you might be interested in, or allowing you to forward to suggested network contacts.
LinkedIn’s value proposition is (I think) much stronger than Facebook’s for recruiters. After all, Facebook is a social network as opposed to a professional network, and does not allow the dynamic searching of competencies and jobs, nor does it have the same targetted professional audience that a recruiter would want. Everyone seems to be in love with Facebook these days, but honestly, Facebook has only the minimal vision around building out corporate recruiting functionality. And if they ever did get the the point of having an algorythm to search jobs versus the profiles of my contact list, I’m not sure I want my 13 year old niece being suggested for a job.
It seems we now have 3 choices for on-line recruiter experiences. There are the legacy job boards which we know people don’t find jobs in. There are social networks like Facebook that are simply not suited for real recruiting. And there is LinkedIn which over time has truly targetted the professional network. I’m not sure who wins in 3 years, but I do think that LinkedIn is most suited in their current level of functionality.
All of these toold have a considerable amount of work to do in order to get to a vision of the future that I have. For now, nobody serves both the candidate and the corporate recruiting function equally well ( or optimally I might add). LinkedIn now has better tools for recruiters, and candiates (who are almost entirely passive candidates) have good ways to look at an organization, but the LinkedIn traffic by candidates is still problematic. LinkedIn has to find ways to tap into LinkedIn groups and increase adoption of those platforms for it to really drive utilization by the population that recruiters want to capture – the passive canaidate that is interested and engaged with their work. Until then, technology remains a good enabler, but without people to enable, it’s nothing.
LinkedIn does have around 35 million members, so it’s a platform ripe for a explosion of activity. Compared to Facebook, I’d guess that LinkedIn members are much less active on the platform that Facebook members are. For now however, LinkedIn is still the best professional network out there and their efforts at engaging the recruiting community are continued steps in the right direction.