Friday, March 16, 2012

Linkedin and the Talent Economy: Every Employee is a Recruiter

Posted by Jorgen Sundberg

This is a post written by Dan ShaperoVice President, LinkedIn Hiring Solutions.
Like many functions in the organization, the way in which companies identify and recruit talent has changed more in the past 10 years than it did in the last century. According to Jobvite, 89 percent of companies planned to use social media to recruit in 2011, a source of talent that didn’t even exist at the start of the century. This trend has big implications for both the recruitment profession and the ways companies compete and win overall. But what forces are driving this change, and what can we learn from the companies pioneering this age of recruiting?

Over the past 100 years, there has been a fundamental shift in the way companies compete. 
Historically, the market winners were those who had access to capital and financing. With capital, you could build the biggest plant, make the largest IT investments, or run the most impactful marketing campaign. Capital was important because size, not speed, was how companies won. Today the basis of competition has switched, as technology and the global economy both continue to accelerate the rate of change for businesses worldwide. While in the 1920s and 30s companies could expect to stay in the S&P 500 for 65 years, by the end of the 1990s this tenure dropped to 10 years.

In a world where speed wins, talent is the critical asset. A high performing workforce can see what is on the horizon, reacting and adapting to the environment before the competition. Even in a world of high unemployment, high quality talent has never been in such fierce demand.

At the same time, the tools and services available to professionals to help them take charge of their own careers have never been so prevalent, or so powerful. Professionals have flocked to online networks like LinkedIn, built their professional brands, connected to their peers and, critically, are updating their profiles even when not looking for a job. For the first time, recruiters have access to quality information on passive talent at scale. This has vastly increased the potential candidates available to recruiters beyond the minority who are active job seekers and, according to a recentLinkedIn study with Lou Adler, make up a mere 17 percent of all professionals.

These two trends have come together to change the face of recruitment, and are shifting the recruitment function within the organization. With talent as the critical factor, the best recruiters are becoming strategic assets to the business, and the leaders of talent acquisition close advisors to their executive team.

We recently announced that there are now more than 9,000 companies worldwide using LinkedIn Hiring Solutions: companies like Wal-Mart, which was able to source and on-board an entire senior team in Asia in two months, and companies like the communications provider Polycom, which saved $3.1 million in one year by recruiting through LinkedIn. These companies all offer some vital lessons on how to embrace these trends.

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