SourceIn London; Recruiting in 2015

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David Cohen, LinkedIn EMEA's Senior Sales Director shares some of the key challenges from LinkedIn's Recruiting Trends Survey 2013 and highlights the opportunities ahead for staffing firms. We also feature LinkedIn clients demonstrating best practice in building relationships, talent pipe lining and employer branding as we look ahead to what we believe the most forward thinking agencies will be doing to prepare for 2015.

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  • For those of you who are new to your LinkedIn relationship, as well as for those of you who have been with us for quite some time, the first thing to understand about us as an organisation is that the first value of the company is members first. You could ask any employee of LinkedIn: what is the most important value of LinkedIn? – and they would say, “members first.” And the reason is because – although we’ve built businesses in different areas of the economy and we work with clients all the time – we understand, first and foremost, that the way that we create value for the world is first with the individual member. Any time we want to do something new with our strategy, the first question we ask is, “How will this impact the individual member around the world?”- and if it’s not a positive way, then those ideas are cast aside.
  • The way we manifest that “members first” value is through three core value propositions to our members: identity, insights, and everywhere. Identity is all about LinkedIn being the professional profile of record for people around the world: the place where you represent both your current and future capabilities as a professional, where you’re found by others, where you find people you’re looking for, and where you connect. The second is insights. We believe – because we have this sense of who you are – that we can deliver relevant content to you as a professional that can make you better at your job or chart the next stage in your career. And finally, everywhere. We need to work everywhere that our members work. Whether that be at their desktop, mobile, in the public domain, but also allowing you to use your professional identity on LinkedIn elsewhere on the web, for example with sites that allow you to sign in with LinkedIn, or Apply with LinkedIn on company career pages.These are the three core value propositions for our company. What I’ll do next is give a couple updates on specific things that we’re doing to further these missions – because at the end of the day, for us to be successful in working with you, we need a vibrant ecosystem. It always starts there.
  • One of the identity launches of the past year is endorsements. Who in the audience has been endorsed by someone?This is one of the most viral features in LinkedIn’s history. In less than a year we have seen over 2 billion endorsements on LinkedIn profiles. This is a very interesting moment for us: for the first time, at scale, your profile is no longer solely about what you say about yourself, but what other people say about you. And we think that endorsements is the first step in a broader strategy of thinking about your professional identity and your profile in a much more holistic way.
  • A recent Insights launch is LinkedIn Influencers. Who’s read an influencer post on LinkedIn? These are the posts written by business luminaries who have decided to share their thoughts on LinkedIn. People like Richard Branson, Deepak Chopra, and Meg Whitman have adopted LinkedIn as their platform for sharing their thoughts about how the professional world works. Specifically in the world of talent and recruitment, people like Alistair Cox, the Chief Executive of Hays, and Lou Adler are now using LinkedIn as their platform. It’s become a place where these people, who have so much to share and so much to add, are able to scale their voice. Now, if Lou has something to say, for example, 281K people hear it. That’s pretty amazing.
  • And finally, some exciting recent news aligned with our “everywhere” core value proposition. Over 30% of members who view jobs on LinkedIn come from mobile, and we wanted to make it easier for members to fully complete their job-seeking experience from their mobile device. So last month, we launched the ability for LinkedIn members to directly apply for jobs from their mobile devices. And as a result of our highly personalised job recommendations in the mobile feed – the recent ability to search jobs on mobile as well as the “Jobs you may be interested in” feature – we’re seeing members who never view jobs on the desktop viewing and saving jobs on mobile. This is particularly great news for this audience – it means your LinkedIn jobs are working harder for you and reaching more qualified candidates – but at its core, we launched this initiative because we realised that our members are on the go, and we want to make them more productive and successful wherever they are.
  • And so to sum up: LinkedIn’s network is incredibly healthy. We are at all-time highs across our key metrics. Whether it be unique visitors, page views, the number of searches that are happening on LinkedIn, and increasingly companies representing their brands and their identity on LinkedIn through Company Pages, these numbers are growing at astounding rates. Some details on these numbers:Average 143M monthly unique visitors during Q2 (not including Slideshare) – 34% YoY growth11.7B page views, excluding mobile, in Q2 – 25% YoY growth5.7B professionally oriented searches done in 2012More than 3M Company Pages, representing over 140 industries
  • Perhaps the most astounding number is that recently we crossed 238 million members on LinkedIn from around the world. In fact, people are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second
  • 2 members per second join LinkedInWith 86,400 seconds in a day That equals 172,800 new members joining the LinkedIn platform every 24 hoursThat’s enough to fill Wembley (to capacity I might add!)almost twice over
  • To expand on that, it’s not just 238 million members, but the vast majority of people in the recruiting industry are now on LinkedIn. That creates a different dynamic. Because that dynamic puts us in a position, if we listen really well, to capture the general sentiment of what’s going on in recruiting and how people are solving problems and how those problems are evolving.I want to spend the next part of my talk sharing some of the themes that we’re hearing, and discussing how they might spur some thoughts for you on how you want to guide your firms going forward.
  • The first thing we’re hearing from you is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of quality talent out there – or at the very least, that quality candidates are tough to find. In fact, we conduct an annual survey of your peers to understand trends in the market – and this year, you ranked “availability of quality talent” as the #1 biggest obstacle you face in recruitment.The feeling is that “the number of people out there that I can go after is shrinking” – which is amazing, because in fact our access to talent has grown tremendously – and yet everyone feels that talent pools are getting smaller. The reason for that…
  • …is that competition is heating up dramatically in the world of recruitment.You’re seeing this competition raise its head in a number of ways:It’s a candidate’s market. If you have the skills that are so in demand, you have a lot of options, and you get to call the shots in terms of things like compensation, benefits, and offer terms.“Counter-offers and cold feet”– we’re hearing from you quite a bit that candidates are increasingly “wishy-washy” and unreliable.Competition from other agencies! You’re often up against a host of other firms – so you’re trying to find better candidates that others don’t find, faster, and at a lower cost to your client.Now let’s think about Emerald Technology – an exclusive head-hunting firm recruiting passive talent in emerging global markets, Emerald are using LinkedIn to tackle this challenge head onThe Head of Marketing is leading the charge & working across all lines of business resulting in an active & engaged team of marketers, new business professionals and recruiters2) Emerald see the platform as a business wide tool vs. simply a recruiting tool. They use Recruiter to ‘Map’ new markets and provide added value to clients advising on new market entry strategies3) Finally, knowing that one of the keys to success in their area of recruiting is in depth industry knowledge, Emerald immersed themselves in the technology sector via a dedicated LinkedIn Group –now with over 13,000 members. The group features discussions on advanced technology solutions for businesses and it’s turned into a smart engagement and pipelining tool for candidatesThanks to Ian Mullen the Marketing manager has been good enough to share this insight
  • The bottom line? Building and maintaining client loyalty AND candidate loyalty are a real challenge in today’s market. This is what you’re up against every day.I’d like to take a moment here and deep dive on one of our most forward thinking clients, Impellam. The ImpellamGroup operates more than 15 speciality brands across a broad range of staffing sectors the names include: Carlisle Staffing, Austin Benn and Blue ArrowAlison Recordon, Impellam’s Business Improvement Manager told us that theyunderstood that for their subsidiaries to be perceived positively by candidates & clients they needed to polish their online presence “Just as companies benefit from polishing their recruiter brand on LinkedIn with company pages and attractive content, recruitment firms can also use these tools. ‘LinkedIn lets us build a picture of our brands and typical vacancies’ to share with potential candidates”So if we take just one of the Impellam Brands, SRG Group, two months from launch SRGwas seeing around 1,500 visitors to its Company Page and Career Page every month, with a large proportion of senior managers and executives, and by NOW in Sept 2013, the group has grown to 3,500 followers. http://www.linkedin.com/company/241214?trk=vsrp_companies_res_name&trkInfo=VSRPsearchId%3A243218181379330384999%2CVSRPtargetId%3A241214%2CVSRPcmpt%3AprimaryThis helps the company build a relationship with these people and the more than 1.5 million people in their networks.And gives candidates a personalised introduction to career opportunities at SRGPlus at the moment we’re seeing that if a member is engaged with your brand expect to double your InMail responses.For SRG the result is an engaged community of targeted talent for future prospectingThis Follower Ecosystem + Company Page on LinkedIngives Impellam a set of powerful tools to improve its processes, build a recruiter brand and deliver a better service to its clients 
  • So to summarise: you’re dealing with a limited pool of quality talent, a lot of competition in the market, and diminishing loyalty from both clients and candidates. Which is not to say that the story is all doom and gloom – in fact, we believe that’s there’s never been a more exciting – challenging, yes, but also exciting – time to be in recruitment. The technology and tools you have at your fingertips are providing you with an incredible opportunity to innovate on the way that you recruit as well as the way that you market and grow your business.But it requires a different approach. We believe the opportunity lies in building relationships: in carving out a niche, putting a stake in the ground and focusing on becoming really good at something – and then weaving that into the way that you market, brand, and grow your business – into the way that you position yourself as a trusted partner to both clients and candidates.
  • Now – to make this more actionable, we wanted to leave you with some next steps or takeaways. These are our recommendations for how you can be thinking about this key theme of differentiation to get ahead of that really competitive market in the coming months.
  • To engage the worlds best passive talent, you need to have a strategy in place that allows you to ‘segment’ ‘target’ and ‘position’Engaging the right professional with the right brand message requires identify the right person engage them with content that is compelling; and spur them to an action. This is what LinkedIn enables, better than anyone else. Your peers are telling us that social professional networks have already changed the way they find talent for their clients. In a recent survey that we conducted for the UKthey named social professional networks the #1 long-lasting trend in recruitment and identified them as by far the #1 source of quality placements.
  • Second – engage the 80%.Around half of you say that passive talent is central to your recruiting strategy. The rest of you focus either exclusively on active candidates or on some combination of active and passive. We believe that passive talent is critical to overcoming the challenges in today’s market – a lot of competition and what feels like a very limited pool of quality talent, in particular. Our research shows that 21% of talent is active…15% we classify as tiptoers…44% as explorers…and 20% are super passive. And we believe that if you focus on that 80% who are to some degree open to hearing about new opportunities – if you build relationships with them, if you put the right opportunity in front of the right person at the right time – you’ll be providing a differentiated candidate slate to your clients. We’ve seen so many of our clients be really successful in digging into that 80% - that passive talent pool – on LinkedIn, and making the network work for them so they’re effectively “activating” candidates. If you’re interested in learning more I’d encourage you to attend our training session next with Lindsay Browning, where you’ll learn some best practices for building a pipeline of candidates, leveraging our job targeting, and more.
  • Finally: embrace the power of data. You’re probably hearing a lot about “big data” right now – it seems like that term is everywhere. And what we’ve found from talking with our customers is, while there’s a lot of talk about data, not a lot of people feel like they’re using it effectively for recruiting. We think there is a huge opportunity to up-level everything you do as a recruitment firm – the way you build relationships with and find candidates, the way you market and grow your business – with the right data. We’re really lucky to have our Senior Data analyst, Lindsay Ahearne, here today to share with you some really practical advice for how you can leverage data that’s already at your fingertips, whether you know it or not, to be more effective and strategic every day.
  • I’ll leave you with a closing thought. LinkedIn Talent Solutions’ mission is to connect talent with opportunity at massive scale. That’s what every single one of you does every day. You’re helping people find their dream jobs, and you’re helping your clients achieve great things through the right talent. It’s an important mission, what you do – and we’re really excited to help you on the way, in whatever way we can.
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