The big news of the week, the thing that has everyone in HR and Recruitment debating and discussing, is of course the news announced in LinkedIn’s blog that Microsoft has officially acquired LinkedIn. If you are among the recruiters for which LinkedIn is your go-to place for new talent, connections and industry information, you’ll be wondering what this means for you and the way you do your job. Will things change for the better? For the worse?
In this article we look at 5 changes likely to come about following the acquisition.Integration, integration, integration!
The CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, yesterday publically released the email he sent to the LinkedIn workforce, which spoke about integration of the Microsoft and LinkedIn platforms. For recruiters, this could be hugely beneficial – imagine being able to call a prospective candidate via Skype directly through LinkedIn, without needing a phone number or email address, or scheduling meetings directly into a connection’s Outlook calendar.
- Potentially reducing the skills gap
Another thing mentioned by Weiner in his email is the rise of the machines and how he hopes to combat the recent trend of people losing their jobs to robots by creating increased “economic opportunity”. The possibilities of this include using the Microsoft tools to link people to knowledge leaders in their field to learn from, suggesting qualifications and skills they could learn to make them more employable in their chosen field, or simply growing the reach of LinkedIn using Microsoft’s huge user base to improve people’s connections.
- Validation of credentials and details
We have written in the past that there is a great deal of mistrust in LinkedIn profiles – in fact only 8% of HR Heads believe what they read on the site. Information is submitted by the user without any checks or guarantees, allowing people to self-title as “ninja”, “guru” “genius” and other words not usually found on a company authorised business card! If LinkedIn were integrated with programmes like Outlook, information from accredited company sources could be used to verify people’s profile information.
- Adverts with targeted precision
Whether you have run LinkedIn ads yourself, or have just seen the adverts targeted to you, I’m sure you’ve experienced an advert mismatch. Irrelevant adverts waste budgets, frustrate parties on both sides of the relationship and take attention away from more relevant and useful information. Using the increased investment and the wealth of knowledge and information from Office 365, pinpoint accuracy of targeted advertising will no doubt be one of their top priorities.
- Opens possibilities of the Gig Economy
Something else we have discussed quite a lot in the past is the increasing trend of the contingent workforce. If this is to be as popular as many believe, LinkedIn would become an invaluable tool for looking for new work, managing business contacts and reaching out to people to further their careers. Linking Microsoft’s features such as Skype, Office 365, Outlook, etc. could mean that the contingent worker could plan their whole life through LinkedIn, planning meetings linked to their Outlook calendar and paying for promotion of their profile to the right people.
Not only would many of these features aid the recruitment industry and those looking for work, the possibility of monetising premium features, as LinkedIn does already, gives Microsoft a number of ways to get ROI on their latest investment. While we are not sure what form LinkedIn will take in the future, we are very interested to follow all the developments!