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Location VS. Aggregation: What is the Future of Recruitment?

What is the future is recruitment? It’s a question that’s been asked time and time again in the last year or so, as the technology surrounding our industry has begun to play a greater part in our day-to-day recruiting activities. It’s been debated at some of the industry’s leading conferences including SourceCon, ERE and iRecruit with, some of the world’s finest recruiting minds have weighed in on the topic, and there have been numerous blog posts dedicated to the question (we even had our say last year). And now LinkedIn are having their say.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Wiener recently sat down with The New York Times to discuss the company, the world of work and recruitment, and how he envisages LinkedIn’s role in the future.

According to Jeff, the biggest problem faced by the recruitment industry at present is the ever widening skills gap i.e. there is a shortage of people with the right skills to fill the type of jobs that are currently being made available. And in true LinkedIn fashion, they want to be the ones to help fill it. In fact they already have a plan for how to do so, which could be the answer to our question.


future of recruitmentIn order to fill the widening skills gap, LinkedIn want to get to work on digitally mapping every working person in the world, every company, every available job, every skill and every university, and use that information to transform LinkedIn into a giant professional hub which has the ability to alert each different facet (college, company, individual etc.) of what it’s surrounding facets are doing in order for them to take action. In other words, for example, LinkedIn will have enough information about an area and the skills it needs to be able to tell universities which courses they should be running in order to train people for the gaps that need filling.

LinkedIn are also keen to ensure that we become more of a collaborative economy i.e. we all start sharing our professional knowledge with each other on a regular if not daily basis, and the opening up of their publishing platform has been their first step towards encouraging this kind of behaviour across the board.

But will it all be about location, location, location in the years ahead? Well, it would appear that LinkedIn are not alone in their vision for the future of recruitment. Glassdoor’s recently released ‘Job Explorer’ would appear to be the product of the same channel of thinking as LinkedIn. Job Explorer is a free interactive job search mapping tool that is set to help bridge the gap between those looking for work and those with jobs available. By mapping job opportunities (currently only in North America) and showing you where there is demand for your skills, Job Explorer allows job seekers to pinpoint the best job opportunities by city, county and state and to explore what other jobs they may be qualified for. In other words, it helps job seekers identify where they have the best odds of finding a job and it does so in two key ways:

1. Job Map & Opportunity Scale

The job map and opportunity scale displays the level of job opportunity in each area based on number of job listings and other key factors like unemployment rate and population in each area. The darker the highlighted region on the map, the greater the opportunity to find work.

For dual-income households, Job Explorer also allows job seekers to determine the best location for the couple, based on two job searches at the same time. In the example below, you can see that nurse jobs are more widely available in the blue regions, teacher jobs are more widely available in the yellow regions, and both jobs are more available in the green regions.

2. Career Progression Tool

Using Glassdoor’s resume database, the career progression tool suggests similar jobs the job seeker could apply for based on the career paths other job seekers with the same skills have taken. It also provides job seekers with practical information like the base salary they can expect in these alternative roles and the percentage of people with their skills who successfully made the transition to that type of role.


future of recruitmentBut wait, haven’t recruiting heavyweights Monster just rebooted their entire business strategy to centre around talent and job aggregation? Yes they have. Earlier this year, the organisation announced they would be completely overhauling the way they do business and they introduced us to their new strategy – one with job and talent aggregation at it’s core.

Like Glassdoor’s Job Explorer, Monster’s new strategy is set to play out in a number of ways (or pillars as they call them):

1. Pillar one is called Monster Reach, which refers to the increase in the number of jobs Monster will now be offering to it’s job seekers, as well as the increased social media distribution and targeting of those jobs.

2. Pillar two will be known as Monster Connections which describes Monster’s broadening of their candidate pool by way of candidate data aggregation. It also refers to new methods for directly communicating with those candidates Monster will provide (which is badly needed).

3. Pillar three is Monster Solutions and will be the name given to Monster’s new analytical tools, CRM and the various cloud-based services the company will employ.

No mention of any location based features here!

Location Vs. Aggregation

So, location or aggregation? They are not mutually exclusive and are part of the same drive to solve the world’s recruitment supply chain issues through the use ‘big data” and the linking of the different components of what makes up the talent supply chain. LinkedIn are moving well beyond the idea of a Professional only network because they see the immense value in the greater integration and socialisation of all of the components of the recruitment supply chain. If an idea is born in California and a baby is born in Mumbai how do these events now impact each other in the global economy?

LinkedIn, Monster and Glassdoor are all trying to use big data and the power of socially connecting the different parts of the recruitment supply chain to meet the needs of todays employers. While Glassdoor and Monster have gone to some lengths to proactively adapt to the needs of tomorrow’s job seeker and tomorrow’s recruiter, albeit in different ways, neither of their offerings are the all encompassing product they hope to be. Glassdoor’s network is just too small to pull off what they’re hoping to achieve – there aren’t enough people using the site to make the product a game changer nor are they likely to expand anywhere else other than the USA. And while there are plenty of profiles in the form of CVs on Monster plus they are aggregating social profiles now with their Talent Bin acquisition they are not connecting the pieces of the puzzle in the way that LinkedIn is planning.

With 316 million profiles and rising and the ability to connect all of the components of the recruitment supply chain, LinkedIn have the opportunity to not only bridge the gap between the two approaches but to connect the dots between the birth of ideas, companies, college courses and ultimately to understand why that baby in Mumbai will matter to an economy thousands of miles away and 20 odd years down the road.

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