LinkedIn plots more points for Economic Graph, talent product roadmaps

LinkedIn's Economic Graph continues to grow as the social network now retains more than 313 million users and counting.

SAN FRANCISCO---Two people join LinkedIn every second, feeding LinkedIn's goal to collect profiles spanning the entire global workforce.

Yet while the professional social network's vice president of talent solutions, Wade Burgess, reflected on this statistic with pride, he admitted it feeds a challenge for recruiters: finding the right person for the right job at the right time.

"LinkedIn's vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce," said Burgess. "I can't think of a vehicle that empowers individuals more than economic opportunity."

Burgess broadly outlined LinkedIn's recruiting product roadmap for the next year during the fifth annual LinkedIn Talent Connect summit on Tuesday, which drew approximately 4,000 attendees from 28 countries. 

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner stressed talent is the social media brand's "most important operating activity."

LinkedIn connects talent and opportunity, according to Burgess, at a massive scale through the social network's evolving Economic Graph, which he defined as "a digital mapping of the global economy."

The Graph grows with each new profile for individuals and companies, which stands at more than 313 million and counting. LinkedIn also now hosts profiles for over 25,000 schools with three billion endorsements logged and "billions" of updates posted.

Burgess reiterated LinkedIn's goal to retain profiles for three billion employees worldwide, insisting that the Economic Graph could change how the world works. He later added that "the function of IT" in relationship to CIOs and CTOs increasingly more influential.

Pat Wadors, vice president of the global talent organization at LinkedIn, touched on feedback she has received from many hiring managers grappling with a recurring problem of trying to understand increasingly changing skill sets.

Weiner acknolwedged dealing with evolving skill sets can be consuming, but he warned not to let ego get in the way of the recruiting process.

"It's not about selling. It's not a sales process," Weiner advised about recruitment. "To me, it's about the fit. People can become so focused on an outcome that they lose sight of why they are having those discussions to begin with."

The Economic Graph continues to be a work in progress. Burgess offered a peek into what the Mountain View, Calif.-based company is planning for its talent acquisition userbase through 2015, starting by building a real-time data visualization tool for searching and prioritizing job candidates.

LinkedIn is also piloting a new search experiencing to spot patterns, such as top schools from which that a company tends to recruit and employees that were contacts before joining the business. Burgess insisted these people are much more likely to respond to InMail, LinkedIn's version of direct messaging, among other traits, which Burgess posited will make for a better fit in the long run. 

These enhancements are scheduled to be available during the first half of 2015.

Historically, Burgess postulated, LinkedIn helped recruiters find people who are a good fit for a given job role. "What we are doing now is finding people who are a good fit for your company," he continued.

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