SAN FRANCISCO---The most successful, fruitful talent pool often stems from people connected to existing employees.
That was one of the mantras uttered by LinkedIn executives at the company's ConnectIn recruiting summit at the St. Regis Hotel on Thursday morning.
But being the largest professional social network worldwide, constantly publishing new products for job seekers and employers alike, who you know (and who they know) is really the backbone of LinkedIn's business strategy overall.
Dan Shapero, global vice president of talent solution and insights for LinkedIn, argued that the hiring market in Silicon Valley is more competitive than ever -- not just for applicants but particularly for recruiters.
"It's pretty much a jungle out there right now," Shapero surmised.
Before the current tech boom (or bubble, depending who you ask), Shapero cited some of the more outlandish recruiting methods he had seen in the Bay Area, including custom ice cream delivered from Bi-Rite Creamery and Bakeshop to free (not to mention rare and expensive) San Francisco 49ers memorabilia.
That kind of strategy was fine in a world where recruiting was limited to the executive ranks, Shapero reflected, but that is not the reality of the world -- at least as far as the technology market is concerned.
Shapero highlighted some of the most in-demand skills range from social media advertising to programming proficiency in Perl, Python, and Ruby.
"If you're going to bring a red carpet experience to a much broader range of people, think of it as a sales process," Shaprio advised.
Thus, Shapero outlined three strategies for approaching recruiting in the current economic climate, which arguably varies dramatically based on industry verticals and geographies.
Those strategies boil down to connecting through talent, leveraging social capital, and targeting senior management.
To help recruiters hit these targets, LinkedIn introduced a trio of new recruiting products. Barrile boasted that these releases are designed to "take the work out of retaining and finding top talent."
- New recruiter profile: Simpler and cleaner user interface, which LinkedIn admitted is meant to look more like a consumer product. Adjustments include calls to action for sending a message and saving candidates to the clipboard for follow-ups. Documents and media are also called out more in order to encourage users to add not just work history, but work product to their profiles. Rolling out to all recruiting users over the next few weeks.
- Mobile: Barrile declared that "LinkedIn is approaching its mobile moment," with more than 41 percent of visits to the platform stemming from mobile devices. LinkedIn is now bringing Recruiter for Mobile to Android devices, which consists of the same functionality available on iOS. That includes being able to shake the smartphone for talent recommendations.
- Recommendations: Bigger focus on promoting talent recommendations from within side companies for internal promotion, vertically and across departments. Already tested with a handful of companies, Barrile boasted that recruiters saw two times increase in internal job views and applications.
"If you're going to bring a red carpet experience to a much broader range of people, think of it as a sales process," Shapero advised, reiterating the importance of big data as well as LinkedIn's bigger, global economic graph goals.