LinkedIn has constantly suffered from the label and perception that it is a glorified resume bank versus an integrated and engaging network. The intention of the much-criticized new desktop user interface was to increase engagement and use of the platform. However with numerous glitches, 'deprecated' features (a term LinkedIn likes to use to explain retired features) and general confusion as to what is where users may be getting turned off, versus turned on.
On top of all this was the recent announcement from Facebook of the launch in Canada and the US of their job posting service and the immediate doomsayers predictions of LinkedIn's demise. See TechCrunch's announcement here.
This might be a bit premature.
- The job applicants profile information that they have agreed to be open in their privacy settings can be used to populate their application. This goes beyond the hiring manager taking a quick scan of your Facebook posts.
- There is no sophisticated search feature, it's basically geographical, so there may be a lot of irrelevant positions to plough through.
- The positions typically posted are at a junior or part-time level not the mid to senior type positions often posted on LinkedIn.
At the moment Facebook does not have the job applicant awareness needed to generate good quality applicants for companies. But with their ability to gather a lot of information about users it is not going to take long for the brands you love and have liked on Facebook to suddenly start appearing in your news stream with job postings.
How should LinkedIn be reacting to this?
- First and foremost, don't copy. They have regularly copied features from other social media platforms, in particular, Facebook, appearing to have minimal strategy behind it. This leaves the experience far from optimal. They should not be tempted to enter a race to the bottom, Facebook will come after the higher paying jobs eventually. This is a perfect opportunity for LinkedIn to double down on the mid to senior level professional job market and become THE destination.
- Bring back the robust search features that they had before but now only seem to offer the highest costing premium accounts. The Advanced search on LinkedIn is an excellent and a true differentiator that they need to leverage not take away from its users, an opportunity to live up to their often quoted commitment to the customer coming first.
- The new user interface has also coincided with a change to what you see in your newsfeed. LinkedIn now works much like other social media platforms like Facebook where your feed is based on engagement, connections, and interactions. This gives them the opportunity to sell more sponsored ad's, helping people become aware of job openings they perhaps had not thought about. There are, after all way more passive job seekers than active.
LinkedIn should welcome the competition and use this move as an incentive to up their game and rid the perception that they are a static resume bank.Click to tweet