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Frank Hattan from LinkedIn talks recruitment at the IRC Conference in Dublin

Frank Hattan from LinkedIn is taking questions at the International Recruiters Conference (#irc2011) in Dublin.

LinkedIn are working to make the LinkedIn profile the career profile of choice for job seekers and working with ATS’s to integrate their product to make it easier for candidates to apply for jobs with this profile.

People now add skills to their profile; even if you just use it to cross reference your active candidates you are able to find more information on candidates.

How does LinkedIn differ from job boards?  It is a different method entirely, not “post and pray”. Companies complain about posting a job application on a job board and pulling it down minutes later after receiving hundreds of irrelevant applications.  Job Boards have a place, maybe for entry level positions.  Customer Services Reps are unlikely to be on LinkedIn but maybe you can engage them on Facebook or on a job boards.  Your senior people, sales professionals etc are all on LinkedIn, this is the target audience.  You do have to have a strategy, a recruitment strategy and you need to consider all of the tools that you can be using.  LinkedIn may be part of that alongside job boards and other sources.

What do you think LinkedIn’s biggest contribution to on-line recruitment has been?  The largest uptake of their Recruitment solutions has been on the Agency side.  Recruiters know well how to use strategies and implement strategies.  LinkedIn can reduce the time spent recruiting and potentially the cost of recruiting.  If you can narrow down 30 software developers in Shannon and just speak to them, then you are likely to get a much better return for your time.  If you get to talk to 5 of these people your time spent will have been much more productive.  If you go to a jobs board or an agency your cost in terms of time and money will be much larger.

Ivan from CPL asks Frank how their Recruiter product is going in Ireland.  Frank confirms that the uptake has been slow in Europe.  They have focused more on ensuring that people create profiles first in these markets.

One of the audience members suggests that as a recruiting tool, LinkedIn isn’t recruitment friendly.  Frank mentions how they restricted the third degree search capabilities last Summer which drove sales in their Recruiter tool.  They are trying to take a piece of the fee that recruiters are charging clients for finding candidates on LinkedIn.  They are a business!

Another audience member points out that LinkedIn was meant to be a professional business network not a hunting ground for recruiters.  Frank points out that their Recruiter products do not allow you to blast the network; they still impose restrictions on how many people recruiters can contact and allows people to choose whether they want to be found or contacted.

When is LinkedIn’s referral engine coming to Europe and is it geared towards replacing agencies?  LinkedIn have pulled back the product and are testing it with a small group of companies to get it right.  It will come to Europe but not ready yet.  Bill Boorman suggests that it will be the single biggest threat to agencies as it will make it even easier for people to direct source.  Frank acknowledges that they are indeed taking business away from agencies but if they werent doing it then someone else would.

Frank talks about the JobSeeker Badge which people can have on their profile to notify employers that they are looking.  One of the audience member rightly points out that people just wont use this as it is telling your employer that you are looking.  Frank agrees that it won’t work!  Excellent; at least he is honest!

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