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The LinkedIn Talent Connect Conference - Key Notes from Day 1

LinkedIn-LogoLinkedIn’s annual Talent Connect conference, now in its third year, kicked off yesterday in Las Vegas, boasting the who’s who of Talent Acquisition directors and recruiters from over 1,100 companies. Their conference for Europe kicks off the day after TruLondon on the 23rd of October, but here’s the low-down on the LinkedIn stats and key parts of the conference from Day 1 in LV.

Employer Branding is the Key

LinkedIn have been mapping employability of candidates for the last few years, encouraging employees to boost their brand online with a comprehensive LinkedIn profile. Millions have done so, and thousands of people around the world sign up to LinkedIn every day. In fact, check out this really cool real-time Google Earth map of LinkedIn members as they sign up to the platform.

However, what’s emerging over the last 12 months (no surprise here, really) is that the employer brand is equally as important to the hiring organisation as their consumer brand. “Employer branding is the new black”, said LinkedIn. When they analysed the goals and marketing spend of 3,028 companies from around the world, the evidence was clearly pointing to a shift in priorities and results-based marketing decisions in branding their companies for hiring, not just selling.

  • 83% of global recruiting leaders say employer branding is a critical driver of their ability to hire top talent
  • 51% of companies have increased their employer brand investment in 2012, only 9% have made cuts.
  • 78% of respondents say their company website is regarded as the most effective channel for employer branding messages, followed by word of mouth (56%) and professional social networks like LinkedIn (46%), other social networks (38%) and job boards (34%).
  • Employer Branding is most critically needed in India, the United Kingdom, Canada and Brazil.

(Stats thanks to ForbesLinkedIn’s Newest Crusade: Fix That Employer Brand)

We’ve seen a huge surge in employees ranking their employers in the “good to work for” stakes using sites like Glassdoor. Employees are encouraged to rate their employers out of 5 and each company is then put in a league-table. However, like Glen Cathey (below) has tweeted, the motivation to complain publicly is often stronger than the motivation to compliment publicly. Employer branding can be a tightrope balancing act between PR and crisis-management.

And in building your employer brand? The conference reinforced the belief that less text is more – showing interactive media such as videos of the people within the company, rather than tightly controlled or edited written “testimonials” are more effective at demonstrating the real side to working at a company. As Jennifer McClure has put it so eloquently:

The Talent Brand Index

LinkedIn are now helping employers quantify their employer brand, which is extremely helpful. Measuring the level of engagement over reach, LinkedIn will come up a percentage of your “Talent Brand” and index it against your peers. LinkedIn are calling it the Talent Brand Index – check this out:

LinkedIn have also compiled the Top 100 Most InDemand Employers on LinkedIn, the top 10 of whom are:

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. Microsoft
  4. Facebook
  5. Unilever
  6. GE
  7. Pepsico
  8. P&G
  9. McKinsey & Corporation
  10. The CocaCola Company

LinkedIn say: “We analyzed billions of data points between members and companies and compared the data with surveys of thousands of members to determine a company’s familiarity and engagement score. Our analysis also weighted member actions like viewing employee profiles, visiting Company Pages and following companies.”  Essentially, they’re the most active companies on the site in terms of numbers of people who follow their company status updates on LinkedIn and who click on job ads on LinkedIn.

There were so many great speakers from amazing recruitment leaders that it’s too much to put in here, we’ll blog about them individually as they really deserve more focus and discussion than a brief synopsis! LinkedIn are live-streaming Day 2 of the conference today here from 9am PST and you can follow the hashtag #InTalent for insights from the attendees and speakers at the conference.  Videos of each speaker (including the incredibly inspirational speech by Doc Hendley, founder of Wine to Water) over the two-day conference are expected to be released within the week by LinkedIn.

Any thoughts on the conference so far, or how you feel about your company’s employer brand efforts for 2013? Let us know in the comments.

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