News From the Front (LinkedIn TalentConnect)

On October 11, 2012, in HRExaminer, by John Sumser

News From the Front (LinkedIn TalentConnect) - by John Sumser - HRExaminer

By the time you read this, the embargo will have passed and Linkedin will have announced its new product releases.

By the time you read this, the embargo will have passed and Linkedin will have announced its new product releases. Besides a new version of the Recruiter product with 50 ish improvements, the company is launching four new services

  • Talent Brand Index
    By mining their statistics, the LinkedIn team proposes that they can tell you the relative desirability of an employer. It’s a good idea that’s only missing the whole critique part. The company said that their Talent Brand Index would be slice-able to regional jobs by profession. If so, that means employers will really be able to understand the quality and quantity of the competition. In what appears to be a competitive nod to Glassdoor, LinkedIn’s metrics are based on indicators rather than commentary.
  • Top 100 Employers Lists
    LinkedIn will be publishing a series of top 100 lists (our readers will understand this familiar concept). The lists start with the ‘100 most sought after companies” and will move into other areas over time. There’s nothing like a good horse race and companies will be lining up to buy their LinkedIn service set so they get considered. (It’s hard to be sought after on LInkedIn if you aren’t there)
  • Sponsored Jobs
    LinkedIn is moving to a model that allows companies to sponsor their job postings on specific pages. There’s a bidding process. One side of the team said that employers would be able to buy a lockout so that competitors could not buy ads on the company’s page. Another side wasn’t so sure. It’s a good revenue move (even if it’s a bit coercive). Like the Top 100 lists and the Brand Index, companies that want to be successful in this particular setting will need to pony up. It’s good for revenue.
  • Follower Search
    For the first time, LinkedIn is allowing (as a part of a Recruiter license) the searching of the profiles of people who have followed your company page. That way, you can hunt for people who have expressed an interest.

I’m at the LinkedIn TalentConnect conference. It’s the largest recruiting conference in the world. It has a very different feel than the competing events.

First, 2400 recruiters is a lot of recruiters. Breakout sessions are the same size as the keynote sessions in other venues.

Because it’s a users’ conference, the drinking of Koolaid is a competitive sport. The really nice thing about conferences on the public market is that they keep the self-serving corporate fluff to a minimum. I sat in on one session where a customer was interviewing a key leader.

Customer: “Now I’m going to ask you a hardball question. I’m in awe of your complete awesomeness. How do you manage to be awesome while working for an awesome company that makes some really awesome products”

Executive “Well, thanks. That’s awesome. I’m not really so awesome, but the products are definitely awesome. So’s my awesome team”

Still, you sort of expect these things to be that saccharine. The real question is are recruiters getting what they need and is LinkedIn doing something interesting.

The answer is yes… a big yes. Even though some of the new products are arm twisters, the truth is that they identify the competition that really exists and create a platform for it. It’s a level of courage that none of the original job boards were able to muster.

That may define Job Board 2.o: the ability to put employees first and employers a distant second. LinkedIn is really clear about three things:

  1. They will never breach a users’ privacy for an employer.
  2. Ad space is ad space.
  3. The stats are what they are.

The new features make it clear that LinkedIn is settling into the recruiting marketplace in a permanent way.

Disclosure. In order to have me at the conference, LinkedIn gave me a ticket to the event. They also comped one night of my hotel bill because I’m a speaker (on Social Media Policy on Friday).


Employers can own the ad space on their company pages. Position on other pages are completely governed by bid. Your competitor can always displace you.


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