Last week, LinkedIn announced they had launched a new ‘plug in’ that would enable job seekers to apply more easily for job opportunities. All you do is click ‘apply with LinkedIn’ and your LinkedIn profile page is sent off the employers.
I am sure I’m not alone in thinking there are more than a few problems with this concept.
An employer is looking for someone to fill a specific role at their company. They design an application form to extract the information they want to know, in addition to the applicant’s CV, to screen the candidate effectively. They have specifically designed that application form, complete with questions that if answered incorrectly will automatically discount that applicant, to ensure that they find an appropriate group of candidates. By having this application form, they want to make sure that the candidate who is applying wants to take the time and effort it takes to fill in this application form as it shows their enthusiasm for the role.
Introduce the ‘apply with LinkedIn’ button.
Suddenly, people’s LinkedIn profiles are popping up in the Recruitment Manager’s inbox, 80% of whom are completely unqualified or unsuitable for the role. There is no screening process that they go through; they simply clicked the button on the page. Also, from my experience, some people’s profiles don’t always contain that much relevant information and don’t always fill out everything. Some people’s employment history only goes back so far, some people haven’t put their employment history at all – there are no dates of birth, no addresses, no email addresses, no phone numbers. How would you contact the applicant should they prove to be suitable?
The LinkedIn apply button also lends itself quite dangerously to applications ‘on a whim’. A candidate is browsing jobs and, because it is so quick and simple, clicking the application button for 30 jobs in the time it would have taken them to do just one application form. Surely it gets to a point where the candidate is barely even taking the time to properly read the job description or research whether they’d want to be part of the company, so easy is the application process.
By having the LinkedIn ‘plug-in’ on a job application, is the company in question merely swapping candidate quality for candidate quantity?