LinkedIn has been creating a lot of buzz lately for all the good reasons which could only be good for the web. Be it their first announcement of quarterly results after being public or be it with subtle changes like profile makeover or advertise yourself/firm feature or the new Apply with LinkedIn button. All of these changes are nothing new, just mere copy of Facebook’s like button/ features, but I for one believe these are significant changes which can change the way professionals and organizations connect and engage. These changes are quite different from the past for two reasons, one these mark the new era of changes i.e. after the company going public and the other being that they are leveraging the potential of the platform they have built over the past few years. The earlier changes were majorly to build the community of professionals, to get more like minded career oriented professionals to sign-up, get them to interact.
LinkedIn now believes it has achieved the critical mass to start reaping large scale benefits from the platform that was slowly but steadily built over the years since 2003. Be it with the wide scale paid access to companies/recruitment firms to Mine/Connect with LinkedIn or the LinkedIn everywhere button, they are definitely going BIG . With new the “Apply with LinkedIn” feature they have opened up the possibility for 100M professionals, to apply to a job opportunity on any website which supports the functionality. LinkedIn aims at being the standard for any job application across the web, which would make it easy for both organizations and professionals to process their job applications with ease. If this move succeeds, i.e. when companies allow people to apply to jobs on their websites likewise candidates use it religiously, don’t be surprised if job applications get synonymous to LinkedIn, like now it is synonymous with professional networking in most places.
This a welcome move for all professionals and organizations but not so much for the Recruitment firms. If LinkedIn gets everywhere, LinkedIn would be the ultimate bridge between candidates and corporations surpassing all recruitment firms, why so in a minute. Earlier companies had people or recruitment agencies mining LinkedIn for Niche/ Top notch professionals and there used to be an interaction of mails/ discussions over the phone before the resume actually got submitted for the opening and further processing, But it won’t be any more. These apply with LinkedIn buttons would replace most recruiters, may be some of them would just become coordinators. Professionals would directly apply with their LinkedIn profile, thereby making their LinkedIn profile their resume. Matching profiles to jobs would be done more by the candidates themselves and less by the recruiter. Employers would have an even scale to compare candidates. There also would be a major change in the trend people make their LinkedIn profile. Now not many people make their LinkedIn profile like their resume, they just have their titles and organization names, education, but they would be forced to update their job role, achievements, or a mixture of either of these etc. if they would want to use their profile to apply for an opening. This would marginally help the recruitment firms to connect with the right candidate with more confidence given they get a glance at a detailed profile.
In all the apply button could be a trendsetter in the way candidates and companies connect. If the trend gets set, it will affect the recruitment firms for sure, hope it is for the better. The recruitment firms do have a challenge, to stay the middleman and not lose out to LinkedIn. They would be forced to aggresively build networks offline, depend on traditional techniques and they would be forced to innovate new ways to connecting/gaining trust of potential professionals. LinkedIn has set the ball in motion, we will see where they get to, till then play along :).
By recruitment firms i refer to all firms focused on fresher’s/later hiring and it does not include executive/Senior level/CXO search firms, since its a a sub domain with its own different characteristics.