Will Linkedin push employers' hiring button?

Hidden Significance of LinkedIn’s ‘Apply’ button

Will LinkedIn push employers' hiring button?by Rocco Tarasi

There’s something big about LinkedIn’s recent news that no one is talking about yet.

According to a report, LinkedIn is expected to announce their “Apply with LinkedIn” button (via GigaOM).  It enables companies to place a button on their websites and online job postings so that applicants can apply by submitting just their LinkedIn profile, instead of needing to fill out a separate application.  This is a great idea, and I’d be shocked if there wasn’t significant adoption of this feature, especially among professional services businesses.   In one action, LinkedIn (1) increases the volume of applications for the employer (since it is so much easier to apply) and (2) aggregates all their data (skills, positions, education) into a reportable database for easy sorting and tracking – especially important for handling that increased volume.

However, there is a bigger transformation here than just making job applications more efficient: creating an infrastructure to support the “casual job seeker”.

College football coaching is built on the “casual job seeker” model.  Many coaches have a dream job that they don’t have now, but would love to have in the future.  In an extremely small industry like that, and with the use of agents, communicating the message “if my phone rang I’d certainly answer the call” isn’t a problem.  But how about for the rest of us?

Almost everyone employed today not actively looking for a new job would still consider changing jobs if a great opportunity presented itself.  These individuals aren’t searching job boards, submitting online resumes, or filling out job applications.  But what if they could go to Apple’s website, or Facebook’s, or McKinsey’s, or Nike’s, and with one click they could effectively say “I like your company, I’m not actively looking, but if you think I’m a fit I would certainly take your call”?

That’s what LinkedIn’s button can do: create a new type of company-to-casual job seeker relationship that could alter how recruiting is done.

If this sounds familiar, the exact same feature exists today – on the the real estate site Zillow.  Their “Make me Move” feature allows people that aren’t actively selling their house to put a price on it anyway, presumably a price high enough that if someone offered it, it would be an “offer he can’t refuse”.   Zillow expands their usefulness by supporting both the active seller and the casual seller – and LinkedIn is positioned to do the same.

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Rocco TarasiRocco Tarasi was an accountant, investment banker, and CFO before becoming a technology entrepreneur. He is @RoccoTarasi on Twitter.

Rocco Tarasi




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No Comments

  1. Stephanie W on June 3, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    LinkedIn’s new Apply function is an interesting tool and will make it easier for *some* people to apply to jobs. It will be interesting to see how it gets picked up, but it’s important to remember this is not enough to solve the overall challenges recruiters and candidates face.

    The key is to not force candidates to choose a format. Don’t make them create a LinkedIn profile to apply for a job. Whatever form their resume is in, let them select that form to use as they apply. It could be LinkedIn, a Facebook or Google profile, or an electronic resume.

    The key for recruiters is to make sure you capture all candidate information in any format. LinkedIn is a static source limited to what information is provided by candidates. Recruiters need a living resume that constantly updates with new information available on candidates, without relying on the candidate to update the information.

    For HR IT departments,  they need to ensure candidate information is automatically integrated  into applicant tracking systems.

    We believe “Apply with Your LinkedIn Profile” is only the beginning… Talent Tech Blog

  2. JB Hunt on June 9, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    This will prove to be both a blessing and a curse. It will drive much unwanted traffic to each job posting. If you don’t make an applicant jump through some hoops, they will apply to anything and everything. We don’t use job boards, but I know many HR executives who screamed until Monster.com and the like made it a controllable option whether to allow people to simply upload their Monster.com and resume information with the click of one button. If you don’t make it at least a little work, with some thought put into the application process, your applicant flow will increase, but not in a good way. Every Tom, Dick and Harry who would like to live in Miami will apply for virtually every jobthey coem accross in case the company has something else they may be qualified for. Unless an HR person has nothing better to do than look at LinkedIn propfiles with zero quality controls, it will prove to be a negative versus a positive. A well qualifed, yet passive or non-active individual is no more likely to apply for a position just because it’s a little easier to apply. The applicant tracking systems will just be filled with more unqualified and thus useless information to review and assimilate.

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