LinkedIn announced the rollout of LinkedIn Referrals this week. LinkedIn Referrals, which is being called the next generation of LinkedIn Recruiter, is where recruiters use profiles of their superstar managers and employees to find other applicants with similar traits and expertise to add to the rock star employee roster. So instead of trying to write a candidate profile or job description to capture the essence of that top notch employee to find another one, now a recruiter can use the profile content of the superstar employee, within the tools of LinkedIn Referrals, as the basis to find the next key hire.
LinkedIn Referrals: What Recruiters Need and Want
According to this article from LinkedIn’s Head of Talent Solutions, Eduardo Vivas, about 80% of recruiters say the best channel to recruit quality candidates is employee referrals. “We asked ourselves two simple questions: How can we empower almost anyone who recruits to be a data-driven recruiter by making our products more intuitive? And how can we tap into our more than 380 million members’ relationships to help everyone who recruits identify and hire the right talent faster?” Vivas said.
LinkedIn Referrals: The Recruiter Solution
Recruiters want to hire employee referrals. In this review of LinkedIn Referrals by Venture Beat, it cites a 2013 report by Deloitte where they state that employee referrals are a successful source of hire for them. Venture Beat quotes the report stating, “According to solutions provider ZALP, 46 percent of employees hired through employee referrals stayed on their jobs for more than a year, as compared to 33 percent and 22 percent of those hired through career sites and job boards, respectively. In addition, 42 percent of referral hires stayed for more than three years, as compared to only 14 percent and 32 percent of those hired through job boards and career sites, respectively.”
LinkedIn is giving recruiters the solution they wanted to find the desired applicant without having to craft complex Boolean search strings.
LinkedIn Referrals: Why is this important to job seekers?
If corporate and search firm recruiters are using LinkedIn Referrals to write their search strings, this tool has the potential to have a wider-spread use. As it becomes adopted by corporate and search recruiters, job seekers will need to pay more attention to the proper optimization of their profile and the right use of keywords in the LinkedIn Profile to maximize their opportunities to be included in recruiter searches for the jobs they want.
LinkedIn Referrals: Will this be good or bad for the job seeker?
Clearly, it remains to be seen the effect this will have on the mission of the job seeker. On one hand, it can help active LinkedIn users be found more readily, if their profiles are properly optimized and they are doing the LinkedIn activities that tend to make a profile rise to the top of a search. On the other hand, if recruiters are seeking profile traits of certain employees and not evaluating the applicants on their own merits, will that adversely affect diversity initiatives or the personality varieties that contribute to the culture of the workplace. Is more of a good thing necessarily better?
Let’s wait and see….In the interim, it’s important for job seekers to play the game and get their LinkedIn profiles up to speed, as that never hurts.