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A Business case study on LinkedIn



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Got tired of being asked if I knew how to do "Product Management" or even the eternal question of "Road-maps" et al from recruiters. Here is the answer :)

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A Business case study on LinkedIn

  1. 1. Case Study : "LinkedIn - The Business Network" by Mayank Banerjee 2nd Aug 2013
  2. 2. Content • Background – LinkedIn Story • SWOT Analysis • Talent Acquisition Trends – Social Network Usage for Talent Acquisition – Market Study: APAC Staffing Challenges – Market Study: APAC Hiring Other Trends 2
  3. 3. Background THE LINKEDIN STORY “Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful” 3
  4. 4. Registered Members by Region -2013
  5. 5. User Demographics - 2013 More than 50 million unique visitors each week 2.6 Billion pages viewed in one month 1% of the addicts are responsible for 26% of all traffic The average user spends 7 minutes and 22 seconds on the website 25% of all employee profiles views are from co-workers. Three out of four users want to be approached for other job opportunities. Over 2.8 million businesses have a LinkedIn Company Page
  6. 6. Service offerings: Free and Monetized
  7. 7. LinkedIn– Products & Service Offerings Talent Solutions Marketing Solution Premium Subscriptions 7
  8. 8. LinkedIn– Revenue Stream: 2013 • Talent Solutions: Recruiters and corporations pay for: – – – • Marketing Solutions: Target, Publish, Extend – • LinkedIn advertisers pay for pay per click-through targeted ads. Premium Subscriptions: LinkedIn users pay for: – – – – • Branded corporate page on LinkedIn, complete with careers section. Pay per click-through Job ads that are targeted to LinkedIn users which match the job profile. Access to the database of LinkedIn users and resumes. LinkedIn Business for business users LinkedIn Talent for recruiters LinkedIn JobSeeker for LinkedIn users looking for a job LinkedIn Sales for Sales Professionals Some elements of the various subscription services are also on a pay per use basis like InMail. 8
  9. 9. LinkedIn Target Users 9
  10. 10. Recruitment –Traditional Process 10
  11. 11. LinkedIn Differentiator – 3 in One 11
  12. 12. What could go wrong? 12
  13. 13. Growth Opportunities, Solution Overview, The Approach and Guiding Principle BUSINESS SOLUTION 13
  14. 14. LinkedIn: SWOT Analysis • Diversified revenue streams • First mover and leader • International presence • Growing Asian market • Web branding • Increased global web usage Strengths Opportunities SWOT Weaknesses • Security vulnerability | Privacy issues • Cultural barriers (NonUS) • Inadequate niche representation Threats • Competitors with large user bases • Unreliability of data • SNS eating the market 14
  16. 16. Social Network Usage Twitter Facebook Linked IN 45% 55% 47% 54% 55% 78% 66% 87% 2010 2011 93% 2012 Learning: Twitter Usage has grown 8% from 2010 to 2012 Source: Job Vite Facebook Usage has grown 11% from 2010 to 2012 Linkedin Usage Has grown 15% from 2010 to 2012
  17. 17. APAC Staffing Challenges Skilled worker availability High Expectation of Employee Coemployment issues Branding Competency Challenges International MNC/China MNC India Staffing Challenges China Staffing Challenges Turn over Rate High Agency Fees Contractual Agreements Attrition Issues Economy Slow Down Lack of standardization in schools and universities Learning : • China and India Two Most Populated countries • LinkedIn is one of the few social networking sites allowed in China • Chinese who understand basic English use LinkedIn, however it is not used by people who prefer Simplified Chinese •50% of all companies surveyed in India use data to make hiring and employer branding choices
  18. 18. APAC Hiring : Other Trends Companies Planning for Social Media Hiring Budgets Employers are investing in social media to recruit talent In Singapore,17% recruiters rejected a candidate based on social media So did 29% of recruiters in Hong Kong Social media in the region is mainly used for Candidate sourcing (73%) Managing employer brand (73%) Lowering overall recruitment costs (71%). Australian HR use social media to help source candidates
  20. 20. Content • • • • • Nominal Dimensional Analysis Overview LinkedIn Functional Coverage: Gartner 2013 Functional Coverage and Global Presence : Other Vendors Findings – Top and Bottom 3 Functional Areas Growth Area/ Opportunity for LinkedIn 20
  21. 21. Approach Overview • In a bid to understand the closest competitors and their service offerings, I undertook an analysis of the market using Nominal Dimensional method. A scoring of LinkedIn Vs. Peerscompetitors based on: – – – – Weighted average cumulative scoring based on service offerings Data culling on dimensions of geographic presence, market cap. Regional biased scoring for emphasis in APAC/MEA. Final consolidation of clustered ranked peer organizations with market leaders • In addition, Gartner reports on LinkedIn’s functional coverage area as well as it’s peer vendors, was also used as an input to arrive at the top & bottom 3 functional areas for global players as well as in the APAC/MEA market 21
  22. 22. Peer – Competitor Scores and Clustering 22
  23. 23. LinkedIn Summary (Gartner 2013) 23 Source : Gartner Report
  24. 24. Final consolidated list of Vendors 24
  25. 25. Final consolidated list of Vendors 25
  26. 26. Findings : Top & Bottom 3 Functional Areas Strongest 3 functional areas for Global players Weakest 3 functional areas for Global players TOP 3 functional areas for ROM (rest of the market) Bottom 3 functional areas for ROM 26
  27. 27. What are the growth opportunities? • Based on the trend analysis on the market, few areas of growth stood out for LinkedIn: – – – – •Improve Job Posting Board •Sourcing •On boarding and Interview Management •Applicant Work Flow •Workforce Planning Engagement Proposed roll-out (next 1 year) Short Term ( < 3 months) Job Board Posting (Internal, External, Corporate) •Social Software Posting/Integration •Candidate Relationship Mgmt. •Job Description Mid Term ( 3-6 months ) Applicant Workflow Customer Value Branding Increasing user engagement Improving customer value Monetizing Brand value Providing analytics based services Analytics •Background Checking Long Term ( > 6 months ) • Workforce Planning • Background Checking • Job Descriptions/Vacancy Management • On boarding/Interview Management 27
  29. 29. Content • • • • • Solution Overview The Approach Guiding Principles Business Opportunities Solution Details – Usability Improvements – Premium: LIVE (LinkedIn Verified Entities) – Dashboards • Reference & Supporting Documents 29
  30. 30. Solution Overview Talent Solutions (Recruiters & Jobseekers): • Usability Enhancements – A minor set of changes made in the InMail, Notifications , Job application Workflow . Targeted at adoption by recruiters, increasing engagement and improving customer satisfaction • Dashboards – Involves providing Competency Matrix reports for all user roles. Long term returns are envisioned via increased user adoption of LinkedIn as de-facto vendor of choice. Premium Subscription (NEW) : • LIVE: LinkedIn verified entity (new feature : Addresses one of the key pain points in APAC i.e. Background Verification) 30
  31. 31. The Approach Following is the approach I have used for the current proposal. It is a flexible yet powerful approach that enables the organization to choose the right long term strategy and still deliver short term value to the organization. Note: Only the items highlighted in orange have been covered. Business needs Inception (1-3 weeks)* uncover user and business needs Design and implement (2-8 months)* Roadmap Define assess operational readiness Design Build Test Roll-out Roll-out Roll-out develop business case User needs Consolidation and roll-out (ongoing)* Roll-out Pilot Consolidation / migration Result: • lower cost • increased value • improved customer satisfaction define solution concept(s) Covered Partial Out of Scope * timelines not to scale
  32. 32. The Approach | Uncover user and business needs Uncovering user and business needs informs the underlying strategy and approach – what do users and the business really want? What do users and business really need? Understanding these needs can involve everything from interviews, work sessions, surveys to in depth user research. Questions to be answered • What are user’s real needs? What are their current frustrations? • What information is of most value to users? • What is important for you and your team/business? How can LinkedIn help? • What is working well and what is not? Example activities • Stakeholder/User interviews • Secondary research: Map functional areas to skill sets of people in network. Filter by limiting to Top verticals with highest employee turn over trends in APAC. i.e. IT, Consulting, Healthcare, Advertising/Marketing, Recruitment • Scenario research (online and interviews) • Gathering business requirements, user stories • Whiteboard user journey Example deliverables • Target audiences • User Stories • Business drivers • Business opportunities • (Prioritized) business requirements
  33. 33. The Approach | Define Solution Concept The solution concept is the initial definition of how to address the user needs and realize the benefits presented by the business case – it represents the executable vision for the solution and covers user experience, process, organization and technology. The solution concept informs the business case and roadmap. Note: I have not covered the technical solutions in detail. Example questions to be answered Example activities • What kind of API do we need? • Technology/IT research • What processes will the technology support? • Business user interviews • Industry best-practice analysis • What kind of organizational structure and work flow will support the solution? Example deliverables • Solution scenarios (user, content, process, people and technology) • Consequences of solution scenarios (effect on business, how will solution meet drivers and requirements) How all tracks feed into the solution definition • Concept for operational model(s) • Technology options & solutions
  34. 34. Guiding Principles • LinkedIn already has a market advantage, however based on the approach defined earlier, I propose that the following opportunities be addressed : – Quick win : Any enhancement that can be made on an existing product feature with minimal resource requirement and maximum customer value – Do not reinvent the wheel: Consider existing APIs and platforms. – Listen to the customer: Based on the user interviews done as part of this assignment, key pain points were captured and they should be given priority – Show me the money! : Monetizing the research findings. 34
  35. 35. LinkedIn Business Opportunities Customer Engagement & Value Customer Engagement Increase user base of 225M significantly by  enhancing usability , actively training users  adding new premium services LIVE : LinkedIn Verified Entity  providing “Free-mium” value added services Usability Usability  Site navigation in LinkedIn is not intuitive at times  Call to action buttons and notifications need enhancements  Job application improved workflow can provide increased customer satisfaction and increase engagement Analytics Monetizable Analytics  LinkedIn has ventured into the analytics and business Business Value intelligence space ,however additional Dashboard features are not available to recruiters and members . This could be easily implemented providing greater customer satisfaction Premium Service - Background Verification Leverage Linked in global brand equity and financial strength to counter first mover advantage and increase market share. Business Risk : currently provides BGV services (APAC). 35
  36. 36. Other areas considered Key Finding : “80% of Customers polled for user stories were unaware of LinkedIn’s training resources and capabilities.” Recommended : Investment in advertising, public evangelism, training events around LinkedIn capabilities required. Recommended for further exploration : – Branding Enhancements – User Productivity plug-ins app store. 36
  37. 37. Concept- 1 USABILITY IMPROVEMENTS 37
  38. 38. List of Enhancements • Simplifying the “Connect – to - Call Candidate” multi-step process for the recruiter • Simplifying the “Interview scheduling” process • Removing the “Phone screen / data collection” step for the Recruiter • Simplifying the “Communicate Status of Job Application” for the Job seeker and the Recruiter 38
  39. 39. Benefits Recruiter •Less Time consuming process • Scheduling is easier as system based • Less number of calls to be made for a Single Job Position • Easier tracking method instead of Multiple excel sheets • Access to update tracking through Laptop, Android, Apple devices . Job Seeker • Receives regular status of the candidature hence avoid multiple calls and discontent • Calls received at a convenient time
  40. 40. Typical recruitment process Problem •It’s a Time consuming process •Prefer to skip the connect step by getting contact info from other Job Portals •Connect only if and when they have spoken • Low adoption because contact info not readily accessible •Job Description not visible upon acceptance of Connect 40
  41. 41. Typical recruitment process Problem •Time consuming process as needs to connect multiple times to obtain information for e.g. Skill set clarification • Recruiter calling at inconvenient time • Repetitive questioning 41
  42. 42. Typical recruitment process Problem •Calls directly with no regard to availability of the candidate •Recruiter calling a inconvenient time 42
  43. 43. Typical recruitment process Problem • Manually Updating tracking sheet • Has to keep calling/emailing for updates. Waste of time for everyone which is annoying 43
  44. 44. 44
  45. 45. 45
  46. 46. InMail Enhancement : Call-to-action button Recruiter JOB ID: URL Recruiter JOB ID: URL Company Website : URL Accept Call me, Now. Call me, Later. 46
  47. 47. New InMail : Schedule a Meeting I’d like to schedule a Meeting with you Recruiter JOB ID: URL Company Website : URL Face to Face Telephonic Mr XX Interview Available Slot Available Slot Available Slot 47
  48. 48. New InMail : Status Update Recruiter Job ID Application Status Custom text For Eg. “ thank you for your patience” Mayank Set Periodicity 2 days 5 days 7 days Job ID Application Status Custom text For Eg.“ We thank you for your patience” Recruiter Open Closed In Progress Set Periodicity 2 days 5 days 7 days 48
  49. 49. Status : What do stake holders see? Mr. XXX has requested a Status update for Job ID Recruiter has updated Job ID status. Email Notification sent to recruiter and job seeker 49
  50. 50. Removing the screening call step Problem: For a recruiter, the Skill Set information needs to be embellished as their Client’s/Hiring Manager’s request for “Number of years of Experience with skill XXX”. This results in multiple calls to collect information. Solution : 50
  51. 51. Feature- Additional User Stories As a Want to So that CANDIDATE Wants to have the ability to Job seeker is able to plan day better without the fear of losing out on set a preferred mode of calls. communication (Phone, Skype, Chat) and a time slot of availability. Business value Solution (desired outcome) Higher engagement. Passive high end candidates are more comfortable. System should provide fields for selection of time slot and mode of communication. CANDIDATE, RECRUITER, Ability to integrate a ORGANIZATION scheduled/accepted meeting/call requests into calendar of preference. Reminders can be set, in a calendar of my choice. Planning is more efficient and seamless. Provide calendar Widget. Or add to Outlook/Gmail (any mail client of choice) for recruiter and candidate, mobile (Android /iOS) calendar integration for both. CANDIDATE /RECRUITER Connect with recruiter/candidate and provide /receive contact details in one step It is less time consuming User engagement Implement an embeddable call to action button. Backed by One-time Use URL ‘s as per regular LinkedIn implementation CANDIDATE Provide a preferred time slot for discussion To avoid multiple calls from recruiter User engagement at inconvenient times Implement an embeddable call to action button. Backed by One-time Use URL ‘s as per regular LinkedIn implementation CANDIDATE Upon connect job description to be saved under the saved jobs sections Easy navigation and availability of historical information User engagement Implement an embeddable call to action button. Backed by One-time Use URL ‘s as per regular LinkedIn implementation51
  52. 52. Background Verification LinkedIn verified - Trusted choice of recruiters Get LinkedIn verified & win recruiter's trust! PREMIUM SERVICE: “LIVE” LINKED-IN VERIFIED ENTITY 52
  53. 53. Feature- User Stories As a Want to So that Business value Solution (desired outcome) CANDIDATE (undertaking Advance level verification) Wants the resume to be verified once (at all levels) and stamped with a seal of approval. Wants the verified resume to be then retained with LinkedIn for future references. Candidate is able to provide a preverified BGV report to the prospective employers authenticating his/her resume. Due to which the employer saves time, effort and money required for such an investigation. Trusted seal of approval brings a new level of confidence in the candidate. This increases the chances of the candidate being contacted by the employer as against someone not verified. System should retain Background Verification information of the candidate for nominal annual charges. RECRUITER/ ORGANIZATION (conducting Advance level verification) Wants to conduct a thorough background verification for each candidate. (For senior level hire) To avoid adverse selection and resultant loss of time and money. Making the right hiring decisions and reducing avoidable risk are two of the most crucial success metrics for employers. Both offer the potential to have immediate and lasting effects on a business. BGV through LinkedIn provides the solution to this. The recruiter/ organization pays LinkedIn for verified resumes of each potential client they intend to hire. CANDIDATE (undertaking selective levels of verification) Requests for individual or a set of checks. Candidate acquires clearance on selective levels of verification as per his/her specific needs. The candidate gets a BGV report, summary of rights prescribed by the Federal Trade Commission, statement that LinkedIn is not the decision-maker, statement of right to dispute report. System should retain the requested check information of the candidate on nominal annual charges and allow a more thorough verification to the candidate. RECRUITER/ ORGANIZATION (conducting selective levels of verification) Wants to request BGV To avoid adverse selection and package when engaging in resultant loss of time and money. bulk hires. (For mid and beginner level hires) LinkedIn creates a list of the uploaded verified The recruiter pays LinkedIn documents along with a digitally signed consent as per the levels of checks it form from the candidate and sends it to the wants to engage in. recruiter /organization. 53
  54. 54. Background Verification Process 54
  55. 55. Badge of Honour Gold (L3 Certified) Silver (L2 Certified) Bronze (Partially ) 55
  56. 56. As a Recruiter/ Organization You need to conduct a BACKGROUND VERIFICATION during the hiring process for Source: 2012 HireRight Employment Screening Benchmarking Report 56
  57. 57. As a Job Seeker Benefits of Undergoing Employment Screening •Resume once verified may be retained forever and the same may be used every time for any new job. •Knowing that the new employer has taken steps to build a working environment of You need to undergo a BACKGROUND VERIFICATION during the hiring process High Integrity, Competence, Security, Safety 57
  58. 58. Concept- 3 DASHBOARDS 58
  59. 59. Analytics and Business Intelligence • Getting the right information to the right people at the right time to support better decision making and gain competitive advantages” (Waite, 2006). In a survey by Gartner, over 59 per cent of CXO’s surveyed, identified Business intelligence (BI) as a key aspect subject to increased investment during 2014.
  60. 60. Dashboard and the Competency Matrix To present information in a way that people can rapidly monitor, fully understand, and effectively respond to, we cannot format the appearance of information nor lay it out on the screen in just “any ole’ way.” The impact of visually appealing dashboards • Lets the data tell their own story. • Helps present data in a more efficient and pragmatic method Solution Recommended: The Competency Matrix app would be generate an online dashboard for those looking to connect the dots between qualifications, units of competency, skill sets and job roles , be it a recruiter, a job seeker or an organization for its internal staffing. 60
  61. 61. Feature- User Stories As a I want to So that Business value Solution (desired outcome) BUSINESS HR(competency level matrix) Want to identify and understand competency levels of all employees Functional, Managerial & Behavioral . Can understand competency gaps, identify training needs, design company programs basis this information. Can identify who is best fit for a role. Can do effective succession planning as well. If readily available, will ease the time and effort involved in getting this done. If the solution offered is one which can give a report with limited time spent, then this will be seen as something that can be adopted with ease. RECRUITER(competency level Want to understand matrix) competency level of prospective candidates with ease. Can map competency level of potential candidates against given job description. Therefore be able to identify who is best qualified for a particular role. Due to which the recruiter saves time and effort required for such an investigation. For a charge if this information is made available and recruiter is able to do a more effective search and closure of positions they will readily avail such an offer. CANDIDATE (competency level matrix) Understand clearly his/her career path because candidate then knows where his/her strength lies and which areas have room for improvement. The right recruiters can approach the candidate for a given role. The candidate is also confident about his abilities for taking on the role. Will be able to develop and grow career in a better manner with such a tool which is in-built. If the candidate gets more suitable calls from recruiters also sees better match of jobs in the LinkedIn option due to this they may opt for it as a premium solution. Understand individual competency level to be able to assess right fit for a role/job. 61
  62. 62. References & Supporting Documents • References – faberNovel, LinkedIn, The Serious Network, June 2013 – Gartner Reports 62
  63. 63. Author’s note and Disclaimer : Most of the content used to build this presentation was sourced from online articles and resources, and was displayed in the spirit of a "Free-Use", not for profit. Author has tried his best, to attribute original content to its source and any infringement of copyrights is accidental in nature. Please reach out to me at : mayank[dot]banjo[at]gmail[dot]com, in case you the reader, find your original content in the presentation. I would be more than happy to attribute it to you. 63