On a previous post I talked about LinkedIn endorsements. That made me think about where the LinkedIn is now and where it is heading. In the world of Jack Donaghy, having a LinkedIn profile might actually be a career suicide. For the rest of us it might be a good tool.
Here are three notions from the past, present and the future of Linkedin:
1. LinkedIn has replaced the traditional CV.
Updating your CV is hard job, which you tend to only do when you are changing jobs. With LinkedIn it is easier to keep it somewhat current all the time. Also as job hunt is becoming more and more about your personal brand, the public profile is gaining importance. It is not only what you have done; it is how you document it.
Based on my experience with clients utilizing LinkedIn sign-on with their own recruiting sites, the results have been astonishing. The volume and also the quality of applicants have been better. When you are trying to reach busy and wanted professionals, you do not want to waste their time.
New features: Better options to incorporate your CV from LinkedIn to various formats. Greater integration with company websites.
2. LinkedIn is replacing traditional job boards and recruitment advertising.
When I was discussing with one headhunter, he said that the most important tools for headhunters nowadays are “personal rolodex and LinkedIn Premium”.
On certain fields, the change has already happened (and on certain fields, the professionals have not yet adadpted LinkedIn). With LinkedIn-savvy recruitment manager, the pre-selection to certain role might already be done before the actual job post. The main benefit of LinkedIn applications is the easiness for potential employee to apply. This might also result to the flood of applications of various quality. LinkedIn should therefore be considered more strategic recruiting channel, than just another place to post your job ad. This actually applies to many other social media channels as well. You can exploit them just as places to post your spam or you can actually use them as strategic tools. Choice is yours.
LinkedIn will not probably ever replace all the recruitment advertising. Main reason being that many times the main purpose of them is more branding than functional. LinkedIn has not yet introduced an ad format, which rivals the front page of the newspaper or prime-time TV ads in brand exposure. Maybe luckily so.
Potential new features: Tools for employers to interview (video calls, Skype integration) and pre-screen candidates more effectively (questionaires, tests).
3. LinkedIn will become a social network for professional development
Although the motives for most people to participate in different LinkedIn groups are usually self-promotional, there are occasionally some good discussions in groups. Also the LinkedIn updates might provide good nuggets sometimes, although I prefer Twitter for those. Because of the professional network nature of the service, the updates majorly seem to be quite self-evident and overtly self-promotional lacking real point-of-view on things. Same goes with the quite recent feature to be able to follow “though leaders”.
I see professional development as a huge opportunity for LinkedIn if utilized right. You are not always looking for job, but you are hopefully always trying to develop yourself professionally.
New features: Webinars, Publications, Virtual mentoring programs, Collaboration with universities and other educational organizations.
One caveat with these predictions is good to bear in mind.They will most likely happen, but not necessarily within LinkedIn. For example in China replace the word LinkedIn with Ushi or Tianji. BranchOut seems to be the biggest challenger in the West. LinkedIn seems to be dominating the professional social network currently, but because of its high price premium, I believe there is a room for challenger. Who will build the Budget LinkedIn?
Where do you see that LinkedIn is heading?