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?