Business networking website LinkedIn is continuing to hire more staff in Brazil as it expands its physical presence and client base in its third largest market.
The company has recently moved from a temporary base in São Paulo, in operation since November 2011, to its own brand new home in the west of the city, which will also serve as a hub to support its activities in Latin America.
LinkedIn, which currently has 13 million users in Brazil, currently employs 50 full-time staff, the vast majority being salespeople focused on what it calls Marketing Solutions and Talent Solutions.
The marketing products are information services to B2C and B2B clients, who can target certain niche areas according to criteria such as age, location and job seniority. The talent offerings are focused on HR clients and include services such as tools that help companies keep track of interactions with potential recruits.
LinkedIn will be looking to boost its headcount across these two areas: for the Marketing Solutions team, candidates must be experienced in selling online advertising, while the talent solutions roles demand sales expertise as well as knowledge of the human resources market.
"Overall, we are looking for professionals that have a positive attitude, can-do spirit, that are ethical and honest. People working at LinkedIn should be constantly exceeding expectations, have a strong teamwork spirit and the ability to lead and inspire others," a LinkedIn spokesperson says.
The company didn't say much about what's in store in terms of general strategy, but I can tell you they are not doing too badly in terms of their client portfolio here: since it started out in Brazil, LinkedIn's clients include Lenovo, IBM, HSBC, and education and research group Fundação Getúlio Vargas for Marketing Solutions. On the Talent Solutions side, they serve construction giant Votorantim, as well as Dell, Facebook and L’Óreal.
A closer look at LinkedIn's trajectory in this part of the world will show that the company is clearly placing its bets in Brazil and it is developing its business here quite fast.
After all, the Latin America business was managed out of Canada until recently. And it was only March 2011 when some of the company's key representatives held a workshop focused on getting feedback from Brazilian users on the service and networking behavior.
At that time, the company was yet to make a decision about opening a Brazil office. Eight months later, it commenced operations here and in November, it announced the appointment of ex-Microsoft executive Osvaldo Barbosa de Oliveira as its country manager. Canadian staff from areas such as communications and PR also helped getting the company started in São Paulo and hired local professionals.
As the third largest slice of LinkedIn's membership pie, with 13 million users, the website's Brazilian user base is only surpassed by India, where there are more than 20 million users and the USA, with over 77 million users.