The Future of LinkedIn……

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The Future of LinkedIn……

At the Sourcecon conference in Seattle we just had the pleasure of debating the future of LinkedIn as related to the onset of Big Data. Lets face it, LinkedIn is a great tool that is both under and over utilized. The problem is that LinkedIn is all about LinkedIn. They have a goal of creating a captive audience that they can control and monetize.

We with the advent of big data and tools that can draw data from the open web, what does this mean to LinkedIn? The general consensus by many is that if LinkedIn does not change its business model, it will be irrelevant within the next 5 years. With the reliance we have on LinkedIn 5 years may be a stretch, but there is no doubt that it will need to change dramatically in the next decade to survive.

Using the term survival and LinkedIn in the same sentence almost seems like a joke – the company continues to grow, attracts more users daily, and is the daily database for thousands of recruiters across the globe. Lets consider a number of the following issues and you determine if it matters:

  • LinkedIn is a closed system – if it happens on the web, LinkedIn doesn’t know about.  Tools like Entelo and other already scrape the entire web universe, gathering information from everywhere to create even more data points.  LinkedIn drives you to LinedIn and pulls data from within Linkedin, skipping the millions of data points that exist on the web.

  • There is one recruiter for every 1800 users on LinkedIn putting the total number of recruiters at more than 110,000.   Just a short time ago this use to be 1 recruiter for every 13,000 users – recruiter license growth is exceeded user growth.  At won’t point does this growth effect effectiveness?

  • Response rates for recruiters sending InMails seems to have decreases dramatically.  Almost daily I hear complains from users that continually get “spammed” by recruiter messages touting the next best opportunity.  In some circles here at Sourcecon a 5% reply is standard.

  • New solutions that harness the power of big data are launching on a regular basis – disrupting the overall LinkedIn business model.  What will be the next tool that takes the world by storm after being developed in a dorm room al la Facebook?

I am not bashing LinkedIn as I use it often as well.  These are very interesting statistics and points that should make every recruiter and organization building their sourcing strategy around LinkedIn pause.  Do you really want all of your eggs in one captive basket?  At the rate of technology advancement are you willing to place your entire bet on this product?  Are you seeing response rate diminish?  Please send me your thoughts!

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