What Has LinkedIn Evolved To? Very Interesting Comments from Recruiters

November 1st, 2012 | by Jason Alba |

LinkedIn used to be a place employed people, business owners, etc. would go to “network” professionally.

Over time, with changes in their perceived brand, features, users, marketing, and how LinkedIn was actually used, things have changed.

What I’m hearing now is mostly that LinkedIn is the next-generation job board.  This is good and bad.

It’s good because there is a ton of money to be made here (and since LI is public, that’s a huge issue, more than any pure strategy they might have had).  Good because there is money, and Monster and other job boards seem to be sitting there saying “take money from us! We’re not innovating, and job seekers are figuring out we don’t care about them!”

It’s bad, though, because so many people are saying “that person just got on LinkedIn” or “they just updated their profile” … “SO, they are in a job search!”  That perception trumps the idea that the person might simply be there to network with other professionals.  This brand evolution is making people think that you shouldn’t be on, or don’t need to be on, LinkedIn unless you are in career turmoil.  The non-job seekers from 5 years ago are not finding purpose, or their place.  If LinkedIn does become Job Board 2.0, the dynamics of who they are and their value proposition will, I think, cause they to look like Monster does now.  Is this a sustainable strategy?

Check out Jeff Dickey-Chasins’ blog post: Is LinkedIn the future of job boards? Maybe…or maybe not

In his post he gives six reasons why they might be the future of job boards.

He also gives six very good reasons why they might not be.

Most interesting to me are Jerry Albright’s comments, starting with (but there are more):

“We’re already moving “beyond” Linkedin for lack of a better word.  We recruit IT people – and they’re already setting up shop in other places rather than LI.  It’s almost as if LI is old school now.  Just gotta keep up with it!”

If that is what people are thinking, seeing and saying, this will cause problems for LinkedIn.

Unless of course they are happy to just be Job Board 2.0, and go after the money.  Which is a very different course they were on when they first launched.

Business and strategy evolution is crazy, isn’t it?

  1. 3 Responses to “What Has LinkedIn Evolved To? Very Interesting Comments from Recruiters”

  2. By Barry Deutsch on Nov 8, 2012 | Reply

    Good post asking the question of whether LinkedIn is nothing more than an advanced job board.

    Here’s my perspective as a executive recruiter, speaker, author on the subject of hiring, and social networking expert/trainer.

    The job board concept of LinkedIn is mistaken. Their job board is no more effective than traditional job boards like Monster or Careerbuilder.

    What is powerful is the foundation of their site – networking. It used to be “back in the day” when I was recruiting 25 years ago, 99% of all candidate placements came from a second to third level referral. Rarely would the first person contacted be the person who got the job.

    My search work today is 10X more effective because I can leverage interactions and referrals on LinkedIn at scale that was unimaginable a few years ago.

    LinkedIn leverages this concept for recruiters, sales professionals, and anyone else attempting to reach someone – connections allowing warm-to-hot referrals instead of cold calls.

    Seeing LinkedIn as a job board is a waste of time. Not using LinkedIn as a networking tool is a waste of time.

    Here’s where I see LinkedIn evolving:

    It’s moving from simply a networking tool for connecting and gaining referrals to content publishing and engaging with your network through groups, status updates, great content, and questions/answers. The better LinkedIn does with this “engagement” and “content marketing” element, the more powerful the tool will become.

    Barry Deutsch
    IMPACT Hiring Solutions

  3. By Thea Kelley, GCDF, CPRW on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    I certainly hope LinkedIn moves in the direction Barry is suggesting. The perception that being on LinkedIn means you’re looking for a job is enough of a problem already; it would be sad to see it get more so.

  4. By Jason Alba on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    I think the issue you bring up is huge, Thea. If LI continues down a path of branding where people see it as the next Monster, just for job seekers, that will likely be detrimental to where they have been going, and where they want to go.

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