One Stop Apply

On July 25, 2011, in HR Technology, HR Trends, HRExaminer, Job Boards, John Sumser, by John Sumser

The news hit the streets this morning. Though insiders have been chattering about it for months, the public discovered LinkedIn’s new apply button today. For the simple addition of 8 lines of code, any employer can facilitate the use of a single, universal application. LinkedIn has built the right relationships with ATS vendors and more are coming online.

From the job-seeker’s side, the “Apply With LinkedIn” feature appears as a button placed alongside a job description on a company’s jobs webpage. When a user clicks on the “Apply With LinkedIn” button, a pop-up lightbox appears over the page with a prompt to sign into LinkedIn. The user is then given the option to edit parts of his or her LinkedIn profile and contact information and may be asked to answer additional questions. The user finalizes the application by clicking a “Submit Application” button. Finally, the lightbox displays an application confirmation, and displays either additional job openings at that company or a list of the user’s LinkedIn contacts who are affiliated with the company to which he or she has just applied. (GigaOm)

Talk about a slam dunk.

With the bulk of people who use resumes to apply for work already in their database, LinkedIn’s move sets them up as the alternative resume. Once the kinks are out of the ATS integrations, the world will have changed. LinkedIn will own the point of application for professional job seekers.

That’s about 30% of the North American workforce and 10% of the global base.

Then there’s the rub.Apply with LinkedIn

The linkedIn move is brilliant in its simplicity and its reach. But, it is anything but social. By cementing itself at the heart of the transactional parts of recruiting, LinkedIn is threatening its own long term growth.

The internal team at LinkedIn must be doing a happy dance. Each company that uses the new one stop apply program has immediately volunteered to be a part of the LinkedIn sales team’s lead flow. In a single move, the company has saved themselvers Billions of dollars in market development.

But, it isn’t social, it’s transactional. What LinkedIn has done is to change the locus of the battle. What was once a question of timing and data is about to become a question of investment in relationships. The new LinkedIn apply button will force the competition out from the point of application and into the talent pipeline.

It’s really good news for the market even if it’s bad news for Monster, CareerBuilder and Dice and only moderately good news for LinkedIn. (I say moderate becasue the gains, though handsome, are pretty short term.)

I wonder which job board will be the first to embace the new era? There will be a stampede, to be sure.

So, hang on to your hats. Now that the point of application problem is solved, watch for the innovation that this sparks as vendors and candidates adapt to the new reality.


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