An Open Letter to Microsoft

A computer screen displaying the LinkedIn logo in front of a wall with Microsoft displayed on it

Congrats on acquiring LinkedIn. This is big news and an exciting opportunity for you. I know you probably haven’t figured out exactly what you are going to do with the social media giant and a lot of questions still remain unanswered. I don’t know if you are interested in getting seriously involved in the HR Technology space or not. I don’t know if you plan to keep the vision for LinkedIn or to shake it up a little. I don’t know if you just don’t know. But I want to ask you a favor or two before it gets too late.

Staffing and Recruitment is a $400+ billion industry and it’s growing. It is filled with a lot of opportunity, a lot of challenges and a lot of people invested in a market that directly impacts organizational growth. A lot of my friends and colleagues are sourcers and recruiters and feel very passionate about the work they do. Most of these people are active LinkedIn users and now your customers. I thought you might want to know a few things:

  • LinkedIn is a recruitment tool. Yea, it had a lot of issues with growth in 2015 but it is still used by over 70% of recruiters. It does some things well and some things not so well. Recruiters are not shy. They have voiced their concerns and many of them have gone unanswered. Many of them have built their connections using LinkedIn. Please pay attention. Listen to your users. Create a customer advisory board and make changes.
  • Think about partners more strategically. Most of the recruitment technology providers partner with LinkedIn some way or are trying to partner with LinkedIn. ATS providers allow candidates to upload LinkedIn profiles. Other solutions allow candidates to view connections and information about a company without having to leave their platform. LinkedIn has not made integration with existing providers easy. Please try to make it better. Make it easy for candidates and recruiters to find people, engage people and provide that insight to the systems they use.
  • Candidates need more tools. You have an opportunity to educate candidates. Provide them with relevant information about companies they are interested in and tools they need to be successful through the hiring process. Help them make compelling profiles that can be used outside of LinkedIn. Companies want to improve the candidate experience and you have an opportunity to help them do that.

I know you are excited. But we are still trying to make sense of the announcement and still have many questions. This could be great. I hope you think so too.

Madeline Laurano

Madeline Laurano

Madeline Laurano is the founder and chief analyst of Aptitude Research. For over 18 years, Madeline’s primary focus has been on the HCM market, specializing in talent acquisition and employee experience. Her work helps companies both validate and re-evaluate their strategies and understand the role technology can play in driving business outcomes. She has watched HCM transform from a back-office function to a strategic company initiative with a focus on partnerships, experience and efficiency.

Before founding Aptitude Research, Madeline held research roles at Aberdeen, Bersin by Deloitte, ERE Media and Brandon Hall Group. She is the co-author of Best Practices in Leading a Global Workforce and is often quoted in leading business publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Yahoo News, The New York Times and The Financial Times. She is a frequent presenter at industry conferences including the HR Technology Conference and Exposition, SHRM, IHRIM, HCI’s Strategic Talent Acquisition conference, Unleash, GDS International’s HCM Summit, and HRO Today.

In her spare time, she is a runner, an avid sports fan and juggles a house full of boys (where a spontaneous indoor hockey game is not unheard of!).

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