Will LinkedIn disrupt the recruiting industry?




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LinkedIn, the biggest professional social media platform

Today the social media platform for professionals, Linkedin, is counting more than 467 million users. It is present in 200 countries and sees the engagement of its users growing, recording an average of 106 million profile views per month.

Since a few years already, Linkedin has attracted the attention of Recruiting Companies who saw the potential residing in the platform early on, understanding how much of a powerful tool it could be for them to adopt Linkedin in their everyday activities.


Outdating recruiting company’s value offer?

Indeed, Linkedin enables workers and job seekers to publish an active and always up to date CV online that Recruiting Companies can freely access. The platform also offers the access to a filter system which allows anyone to sort professionals according to their skills, educational background or working experience.  We could therefore assume that recruiting company’s services are now outdated as anyone can use the platform to find the right candidate for a certain position.

However, against what one could think, so far Linkedin did not take any considerable share of recruiting companies’ customer base. By customers, we are here referring to those companies which decided to outsource their human resource activities to a third party, namely the recruiting companies.


Why didn’t that happen yet?

The LinkedIn filter system is not precise enough yet, if a human resource manager decided to look for a marketing specialist, who has a minimum of 5 years working experience, at least a couple of thousands profiles would appear. That is why only recruiting professionals can make sense of big pools of candidates and only then have the know-how of matching the right profile to the right position. Therefore, recruiting companies see this new professional social media platform as a tool with which partnerships could be established instead of seeing it as a direct competitor.


Linkedin future

Nonetheless, Linkedin filters are getting more and more precise, and users are getting more and more active, publishing content, following company’s actualities or even inspirational leaders. The day that Linkedin disrupts the recruiting company might not be that far away. Imagine what will happen once Linkedin will come up with smart filters, using AI to reveal the perfect candidate according to its likeliness of fitting a company’s culture, processing its center of interest and the whole range of activities it has taken on the platform.

When such an algorithm is developed, the recruiting power will be at the hand of anyone and it is certain that recruiting companies will start to lose a consequent part of their market shares. However many AI professionals argues that it will take decades before AI learns “common sense” and learns how to detect the actual potential, personality traits and emotions of a candidate.

What is your point of view, will a machine ever be able to perfectly match the right candidate with the right position?




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7 thoughts on “Will LinkedIn disrupt the recruiting industry?”

  1. I agree with you that when LinkedIn get all the features you writing about it will be really dificult for recruiting companies to stay around there. But when LinkedIn will take over their jobs new jobs will occur. The employees of recruiting companies need to step up, aside, in, narrowly or forward and it will not have huge impacts on their lives

  2. Hey Sven,
    Interesting Blog-Post!
    I think that it will take a while until algorithms are capable of selecting the best candidate for a specific job as good as well trained human resource employees are doing it right now. There are specific components which cant be covered by, even extremely, smart, algorithms. Just think of the personal attitude or charisma which cant be evaluated by machines. Therefore the need for face to face interview will stay present and LinkedIn will, at least not completely disrupt the HR industry.

  3. Goodevenning Sven,
    I am glad i found your blogpost.
    I think the question you are posing right now is quite interesting and lots of us probably already had thought about the infamous future of recruiting.
    At present time, I do believe that LinkedIn is a facilitator for the industry. It enables job-seekers and job-providers to gain direct information about the job market (position, required skills…).However, I do not perceive LinkedIn as a recruiting agency per se yet, but more as an important tool that one should use to make a first impression.
    I will also have to agree with Fabian about that algorithm. Even though we might develop such a system in the future, this kind of technology will also require a change of mentality as I believe employers will still want to meet the candidate face to face. Even though skills and capabilities are extremely important (especially for a first step, where LinkedIn is pretty useful), having a good “feeling” about someone depends a lot more on how the candidate will introduce him/herself; his/her charisma, behaviour… Companies are not only looking for the best skills, but also the best fit with an organisation’s culture and other employees. I doubt that an algorithm will replace that “feeling” anytime soon. However, considering how fast technology has developed lately, it would not surprise me that soon enough recruitment will be more and more digitalised.

  4. Sven, thank you for this interesting post.
    LinkedIn has many competitors like Facebook at Work and Monsterboard. It is not clear yet whether or not LinkedIn will be able to successfully compete with these. Especially Facebook could become the market leader in this space given its current global strenght as a social media platform.
    With regard to your question about Artificial Intelligence being able to perfectly match the right candidate with the right position the answer can be simple: perfection in this area does not exist and will never exist. The most important question to be answered about the candidate is: Do I like this person? For this a face-to-face meeting, perhaps via Skype, is absolutely necessary.

  5. Dear Sven, thank you for your blog post! I agree with Fabian that I think it will take a while before algorithms take over the jobs of recruitment companies. A lot of people, for example, are on LinkedIn eventough they have a job. Hence, even if LinkedIn is able to make the perfect connection, maybe the person who is deemed perfect will not even want the job! Thus, I believe that while LinkedIn is a great tool and its search can definitely be optimized, I also think it lacks the human interaction part. However, if the tool can match several candidates that could potentially be interested in a job, then perhaps recruitment agencies will have less work to do .

  6. Hi Sven,

    Interesting post! I agree with the fact that some of the filters are not precise enough and actually I think that it is almost impossible to find the perfect candidate for the right position with only the help of LinkedIn. On the other hand, I do think that LinkedIn is becoming a more important recruiting tool for companies.

    Over the years LinkedIn will probably show filters as company fitting, accurate achievements and references for several jobs. These filters will give a better image of a person, but I am not sure if these information could not be manipulated. For example the rate system of websites for their products and services, a lot of these references are from friends and family and therefore these outcomes cannot be trusted. How can LinkedIn make sure the information on the profiles are trustworthy?

    Since so many people are using LinkedIn, there are also advantages for the recruitment of companies. Currently a lot of companies scan people if they applied for a job and they also find people and ask them to apply for the job. Otherwise people are finding jobs through LinkedIn and they have more options to apply for. They even get in contact with companies they probably didn’t even know.

    So in my opinion LinkedIn is getting more and more important in the recruitment, but I don’t think their tools will be accurate enough to simply suit on person for the selected job. LinkedIn is a tool to improve the recruitment instead of doing the recruitment.

  7. Hi Sven,

    Really interesting post! I believe it is very likely that LinkedIn in the foreseeable future will disrupt the recruitment industry, sufficing that the company adopt new trending technologies in the HR industry. Recently, LinkedIn Talent solutions published a research regarding recruiting trends for 2016. Among others, what was really interesting was the fact that for employees in Benelux countries social professional networks like LinkedIn was considered the first source for quality hires, leaving behind recruitment agencies and companies career websites. So up to a degree many companies already acknowledge LinkedIn as a facilitator for recruiting desired and talented candidates. On the other hand the Hr industry in general moves from talent management to people analytics. The latter (through predictive analytics) can answer questions like “Will a certain candidate be a great match for this job position/project? etc.”. Hence, machines that accurately match candidates with positions/companies are already being developed and in some cases used in trial. Should LinkedIn adopt similar tools and combine it with its already established reputation, it will not be long before it disrupts recruitment industry.

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