LinkedIn’s New Function Aims to Aid Recruiters

The economy might be in a tailspin and people are losing their jobs at a breathtaking rate, but recruiters are still expected to find the best and brightest for the job.

LinkedIn, with its brand new Talent Advantage tool, aims to help. According to recent numbers from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) report, recruiting difficulty was virtually nonexistent in January 2009 and hiring managers in the manufacturing and service sectors say they are having no problems finding talent. “Despite the increasingly bad news about the job market, the good news is that it has gotten much easier for recruiters to find top-level talent,” said Jennifer Schramm, SHRM’s manager of workplace trends and forecasting. “The question that remains is when will most U.S. companies believe they are in a good position to hire this talent.” Still, with so much talent to choose from, wading through resumes can be daunting. LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals with 35 million worldwide, recently unveiled a new suite of solutions for recruiters. LinkedIn Talent Advantage is a “viewer-aware” hiring technology called LinkedIn Custom Company Profiles, which is designed to help companies present information that is relevant based on a job seeker’s background and professional interests. In the past six months, responses to job postings on the site have doubled, no doubt attributable to the worsening economy, and that has led to more resumes for recruiters to consider and sift through and more candidates to qualify. In fact, posters to SHRM’s HR Talk board have reported that they are “drowning in resumes.” However, as most recruiters know, the most talented person for the position might be a passive candidate who isn’t even in the market for a job. LinkedIn Talent Advantage helps HR teams find the best talent to fill open positions, a growing challenge given HR resource constraints and the cost of making a bad hire, its news release states. “LinkedIn Talent Advantage lets recruiters unlock the power of LinkedIn’s extensive professional network so they can uncover quality passive candidates who are unlikely to be on traditional job boards,” said LinkedIn’s senior director of enterprise marketing, Francois Dufour. “Over 900 leading companies already depend on LinkedIn’s recruiting solutions. The hiring market has changed, and the new LinkedIn Talent Advantage is a game-changer for the human resources community.” According to a news release, LinkedIn Talent Advantage includes: • LinkedIn Recruiter: An exclusive tool for corporate recruiters to source top passive talent with extended search, full profile viewing, direct messaging and team collaboration tools. • LinkedIn Jobs Network: Job postings on LinkedIn that deliver targeting, candidate match recommendations and viral distribution of job postings throughout the network. • LinkedIn Talent Direct: InMail campaigns to reach more potential candidates faster and more precisely. • LinkedIn Employer Advertising: Advertising on LinkedIn’s site that can be targeted to specific groups of professionals. • LinkedIn Custom Company Profiles: These include an extensive company bio with viewer-aware information that can adapt to the viewer’s location, industry and function to build an employment brand. “Let’s say if I’m an engineer in Florida and I’m interested in working at Burger King,” said LinkedIn PR Manager Krista Canfield. “The Burger King page is customized toward their industry or title.” The company says that those viewing a LinkedIn Custom Company Profile can take advantage of recruitment messaging that helps HR teams appeal to candidates on a personal level; that includes employee spotlights that introduce “birds of a feather” peers; that provides interactive polling that engages viewers on the page; that offers video clips that showcase corporate culture; that provides recruiter profiles and career page links that make it easy for interested candidates to apply for jobs; and that shows jobs with “company insider” information to reveal how a job seeker is connected with the company and the job poster. LinkedIn has improved its recruiter capabilities by adding LinkedIn Talent Match, which it describes as “a proprietary technology that automatically recommends talent matches for job postings.” That includes something called “super viral” forwarding that makes it easier to forward jobs to people who would be interested or would know a good fit for the open position. “Right now the feedback from our customers is really good,” Dufour told SHRM Online. “They spend less time on job boards and with third-party agencies,” he said.

Source:, Author: Aliah D. Wright, online editor/manager for SHRM.