LinkedIn Announces Move Toward ‘Holistic’ Talent Platform

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer October 1, 2019

John Jersin, vice president of product management for LinkedIn

​DALLAS—Integration is the future.

That was the takeaway from the 10th annual LinkedIn Talent Connect event for talent acquisition and HR professionals, held last week. LinkedIn executives announced that previously separate products such as Recruiter, Talent Insights and Jobs will be available on a single platform and integrated with the company's new applicant tracking system (ATS), to improve user experience and hiring outcomes.

"We've started to take a more-interdisciplinary approach to help companies build winning teams, and part of achieving that goal is bringing our products to work in a more-unified way," said Dan Shapero, vice president of global solutions at LinkedIn. "Hiring and development, learning and engagement are coming together, on top of a platform of insights and analytics that helps companies make better talent decisions."

John Jersin, vice president of product management for LinkedIn, pictured above, outlined the company's vision for the next decade: helping organizations shift away from thinking about talent as a resource and toward putting people at the center of their efforts.

"Ten years ago, we had a single product, Recruiter, to help you hire," Jersin said. "But working in single, siloed product experiences is no longer sufficient. Our vision is that these products come together to help you understand the bigger picture, a more holistic solution to help you plan a talent strategy, hire the right people and develop them into winning teams."

Recruiters Get Insights

Jersin noted that when LinkedIn created its labor market intelligence product Talent Insights a couple of years ago, "we were thinking about strategic use cases like people analytics and making major talent decisions like where to relocate."

Since its wide launch last year, 1,500 companies have signed on to use the workforce planning data extracted from the site's 645 million members, 20 million jobs and tens of thousands of standardized skills and job titles. "We can provide real time insight on supply, demand and competition for just about any talent pool in the world," Jersin said. "We can show you what skills you lack on your team, where to find the people with those skills and who you are competing with to get them."

LinkedIn Recruiter users started incorporating data from Talent Insights into their sourcing process and began to achieve better results. "Recruiters were uncovering new talent pools, seeing higher InMail response rates and were better able to build credibility with hiring managers," Jersin said.

"Talent Insights is the product that recruiters have been asking for, for years," said Lars Schmidt, the founder and principal at Amplify, an HR executive search firm and consultancy in the Washington, D.C., area. "LinkedIn talks a lot about elevating recruiters to be true talent advisors, and you need the tools to be able to do that. Having access to that level of data is empowering. Recruiters want to be able to access those heat maps at every intake meeting with a hiring manager, to be able to frame what the talent pools look like and help develop a recruiting strategy."

The two products previously had "some level of interoperability," but are now tightly integrated, Jersin said. When a user is managing a candidate search in Recruiter, she has access to labor market data including new talent pools, companies to target for passive candidates, and locations to consider. "Being able to share the size of the addressable talent pool with information on how many professionals there are, how in-demand these professionals are, or how many candidates may be ready for a new opportunity can help recruiters be more prepared in conversations," he said.

LinkedIn Recruiter has also been integrated with LinkedIn Jobs, the site's job board, in order to unify recruiting pipelines. Recruiters will be able to see all of their candidates for a role—whether they're search leads or job applicants for open roles—in a single place.

"Recruiters told us they're often frustrated by the need to jump back and forth between Recruiter search and Jobs," Jersin said. "We listened. Whenever you create a project, you'll be able to run a search and post a job all within that same project."

All three tools can also learn from each other. "Under the hood, this integration allows our AI to have better visibility into the whole hiring process," said Maria Zhang, vice president of engineering at LinkedIn. "From the AI perspective, being able to see the whole funnel, from sourcing to offer, really informs the algorithms to make more accurate recommendations matching roles to job seekers."

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ATS Updates

Sarah-Beth Anders, director of product marketing for LinkedIn, announced that Talent Hub, the company's ATS designed for small and mid-sized companies under 1,000 employees, is officially available. "Talent Hub is a single system of record for all hiring activity," she said. "It incorporates popular LinkedIn products like Recruiter, Jobs and Pipeline Builder within an applicant tracking system so you can source, manage and hire all in one place." 

Talent Hub on its own would just be another ATS with interview scheduling, feedback sharing, and recordkeeping features. "What makes it so special is that it is built in the LinkedIn platform with billions of data points at your fingertips," Anders said. "Offering everything from talent pool and candidate insights to workflow and performance metrics, Talent Hub delivers tailored insights to enable more informed and strategic hiring decisions."

Five thousand employers using other ATSs have signed up for LinkedIn's popular Recruiter System Connect (RSC) integration, which connects LinkedIn Recruiter with the leading ATS providers. News about two of the biggest ATSs on the market partnering with LinkedIn—Oracle's Taleo Enterprise Edition is now available for connection, and the iCIMS integration will go live later this year—means all of the major ATSs are now on board.

The integration "saves recruiters over three hours per week by streamlining their hiring workflow, reducing the need to toggle between systems to access candidate details, and making it easier for recruiters to collaborate while getting the most up-to-date, accurate information," Jersin said.

"You can either go with their ATS, or an ATS integration with your existing vendor," Schmidt said. "That was a smart move because ATSs—especially at the enterprise level—tend to be pretty hard-wired into companies."

Jersin previewed the next step for RSC. Called "Unified Search," the enhancement will allow recruiters to source leads through LinkedIn Recruiter and match those individuals to past candidates in the company's ATS.

LinkedIn Recruiter Mobile

Zhang received the biggest applause of the product session when she announced that the Recruiter mobile app experience has been overhauled and will be available by the end of the year for Android and iOS systems. "Our revamped mobile app includes a better messaging experience, notifications when you need them, and easy management of your projects and candidate pipeline," she said.



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