I am not an advocate for social media, actually far from it. I outsource as much as I can in this space and I am rarely found updating my ‘status’ on facebook, or tweeting outside of my own association and industry needs or networking opportunities.
In saying this though, I am an advocate for LinkedIn and drive the engagement of LinkedIn across every professional that I meet. Whether it is for immediate job search requirements or for increasing personal branding and development opportunities, LinkedIn is a solid platform that people are migrating too at a rate of knots. Yes, they have a solid marketing strategy and an excellent opportunity to fill a gap in the market, but honestly they are going about it the right way.
Talking to many HR professionals, they are seeing the benefits from LinkedIn both through improved integration as well as substantial cost reductions in their recruitment and talent management needs. LinkedIn Recruit as it is known, provides the recruiters access to profiles within their allocated regions, profiles that may align to the specific needs of their business. Doing a simple keyword search, they can look at a profile that matches their needs and immediately send an “inmail” to start to network with that professional.
Whether that professional is in the market for a new opportunity or not, what they bank on to a degree is that either they know someone that is or can be used in a pipeline of prospective candidates for future engagement. Reading a marketing presentation from LinkedIn targeted at HR professionals, they identify that since 2012 there has been a 58% increase in the engagement of social media for marketing to job search candidates. This is predominantly taken up by the extreme engagement with LinkedIn rather than other less professional social media platforms.
This transition continues, and I dare say that even in the last 12 months there has been an even further increase to the use of this tool. I myself have many a client, and family and friends for that matter, that if they have not been directly approached through LinkedIn for job opportunities they have at least seen engagement in this platform support their own professional brand development and increased their network. Through simple activities such as responding on relevant forums, or engaging in interesting topics of discussion, they have identified and connected with other professionals that have become a sounding board for ideas and career thoughts.
Those that have been contacted have either been able to use the tool to decipher their own fit to the role, or connected with HR professionals and Recruiters that specialise within their industries. Ultimately, LinkedIn is a professional networking platform rather than a social media platform, and it has great benefits to all individuals. Aside from job seekers, business professionals are seeing excellent outcomes by building their own brand through the use of LinkedIn as part of their online marketing strategy. LinkedIn is not replacing the traditional approach to networking, which is extremely important still in job search and career prospects. It is however allowing professionals to increase the globalisation of their career and start to play more competitively in a global market. Connecting online for many simply allows them to build the relationship needed to eventually network face to face.
This is why every professional needs a LinkedIn account.