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Exclusive: LinkedIn to Launch Job Application Tool

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LinkedIn (s LNKD) is preparing to launch a plug-in for employers’ websites called “Apply With LinkedIn” that will allow job candidates to apply for available positions using their LinkedIn profiles as resumes. The feature indicates LinkedIn’s increasing focus on making money by facilitating employee recruitment and hiring.

LinkedIn is currently in talks with a number of companies that will incorporate the “Apply With LinkedIn” plug-in on their jobs pages for the feature’s launch, which is slated for later this month, according to a source briefed on the feature.

“Apply With LinkedIn” is being touted by the company as a way to remove friction from the job application process by enabling people to use their LinkedIn profiles as resumes. The plug-in also bundles applicants’ data to simplify the sorting process on the employer side.

From the job-seeker’s side, the “Apply With LinkedIn” feature appears as a button placed alongside a job description on a company’s jobs webpage. When a user clicks on the “Apply With LinkedIn” button, a pop-up lightbox appears over the page with a prompt to sign into LinkedIn. The user is then given the option to edit parts of his or her LinkedIn profile and contact information and may be asked to answer additional questions. The user finalizes the application by clicking a “Submit Application” button. Finally, the lightbox displays an application confirmation, and displays either additional job openings at that company or a list of the user’s LinkedIn contacts who are affiliated with the company to which he or she has just applied.

On the employer side, companies can add as many as five additional check-box questions from a template, such as whether a candidate is willing to relocate, is eligible to work in the United States, or would like to add a cover letter. Employers can also add several customized questions. Employers can have the job submissions sent to an email address, a URL, or a JavaScript callback.

With LinkedIn’s blockbuster IPO now in the past, the pressure is on for the company to deliver solid growth on a quarterly basis and assure its stockholders that the money they’ve invested is well spent. According to LinkedIn’s IPO filings, the company currently gets 43 percent of its revenue from hiring solutions such as its job board, 33 percent of its revenue from marketing solutions such as display ads and company pages, and 25 percent of its revenue from selling premium subscriptions with extra profile features. By more firmly ingratiating itself with the job application process, LinkedIn could boost its subscriptions as well as its hiring solutions income. Job recruitment is a lucrative but decentralized industry, so it makes sense that LinkedIn is working to become a more deeply ingrained player on both the employer and applicant sides of the space.

34 Responses to “Exclusive: LinkedIn to Launch Job Application Tool”

  1. Hi Colleen,

    Great debate here! You might be interested in [disclosure: I’m the founder].

    We’re building it specifically to overcome the potential shortfalls that a LinkedIn application could have (not enough information, LinkedIn users who prefer using LI for its intended purpose as a networking tool etc.).

    A business networking tool (LI) is different to a CV, and while LI will undoubtedly see success in the job application field (purely because of their massive reach) job seekers, HR managers and Recruiters will save valuable time using a product like – a product that is being built for this specific purpose.

    Phase 1 (Job Seekers product) is almost complete and you can register your interest on the site to get early access. Phase 2 (Recruiter/HR product) will launch later in the year.

  2. This is an interesting idea but how they implement is critical for success. Some features that would help make it highly competitive would be

    1. ‘Profile customization’ to highlight key skills which are job specific
    2. Allow companies to reflect their careers page on their Linkedin company profile via a feed.
    3. Easy way to prioritize the jobs and also convert them to a Job Advertisement on the Linkedin Jobs section.
    4. All applicants to send a custom application letter along with the submission.

  3. Victor

    It’s clearly that all these inepth recruiters are nervous with this changing development. Hopefully this tool is released directly to hiring companies ONLY, instead of recruiters. This way, we eliminate the middle man, we can get the jobs we’re really qualified for, make money we deserve and send them back to the used car lots were they belong. Or, even better, to the unemployment line. Let’s turn it around and have them look for a job and see if they can find one (since their only skill is to be “sociable”). Who needs them?

  4. JT Mathis

    LinkedIn or appropriate contact:

    This looks remarkably similar to the promo packet I sent last month.

    US 61/475,256
    This invention provides a method and system for application for employment, retrieval of data for use for employment, and submission offers of employment.

  5. This is a good start, but not enough to solve the overall challenges recruiters and candidates face.

    The key is to not force candidates to choose a format. Don’t make them create a LinkedIn profile to apply for a job. Whatever form their resume is in, let them select that form to use as they apply. It could be LinkedIn, a Facebook or Google profile, or an electronic resume.

    The key for recruiters is to make sure you capture all candidate information in any format. LinkedIn is a static source limited to what information is provided by candidates. Recruiters need a living resume that constantly updates with new information available on candidates, without relying on the candidate to update the information.

    For HR IT departments,  they need to ensure candidate information is automatically integrated  into applicant tracking systems.

    We believe “Apply with Your LinkedIn Profile” is only the beginning…

  6. I’m curious to see how LinkedIn ends up faring against, or how it mashes into the mix with it. Adding a social plug-in for apply with LinkedIn through Monster could yield some results, but since a lot of places that have job opportunities through Monster have expanded application processes (P&G’s tests come to mind at first), I’d imagine there having to be some sort of patchwork being done to try and mend this on both ends.

  7. Interesting references to this on Dan Schawbel’s Forbes blog this morning:

    From a Job Seeker’s perspective, the most powerful way to get a new job may be shaping up as a 4 step process.

    1) Keep your profile CURRENT and ACCURATE.
    2) Use an employer’s job board to find the position.
    3) Use LinkedIn to find the hiring manager(s).
    4) Apply for the vacancy from all directions.

    What do you think, Colleen?

  8. Great idea in theory but I was always taught that job applications should be specific to the job you’re applying for, this just encourages generic laziness! Sure you can apply for 100 jobs in the time it would take to apply for a few manually but I’d rather go for quality over quantity!

  9. David Lynn

    I absolutely love LinkedIn, but this seems to me like a misstep in trying to show initiative to the investors. Bottom line, what this will do is to allow that many more people to “apply” (i.e. throw their profiles against an opening). There are several problems with this. 1st, a LinkedIn profile is not a resume (and for initial sourcing purposes, I’d MUCH rather use a site with profiles rather than another resume job board format). However, on the company hiring process end, this may cause significant issues in parsing those submitted profiles into their resume system and, on the hoped for back end of the process, it certainly won’t suffice as a legal document for the background check to be run against. Hence, we’re back to having to solicit a formal resume from the candidate at some point the process anyway. Also, more profiles from marginally (at best) qualified candidates just makes it that much harder for the truly qualified to get proper notice and attention.

    Like it or not, a LinkedIn profile is not going to become the new standard and replace resumes, certainly not anytime soon. In my opinion, sending a profile instead of a resume is not only creating an unnecessary step but may cause otherwise unnecessary delays and is not a value add to the process.

    As a Recruiter, I love LinkedIn and it is absolutely my favorite tool, bar none. I count on it as my best and most consistent source for quality candidates. I’m all for anything that can be done to improve on that. However, throwing a lot more unsought profiles into my in-box seems to be a move more in the direction of the results of old school print advertising, not one which truly improves the results through the use of the LinkedIn’s already existing social technology capabilities.

    LinkedIn already provides several channels for job seekers to contact, and to submit their resumes directly to, Recruiters, including through the individual Recruiters profiles, through our paid job postings, and through the postings and discussions we post in various groups. I wish I got more responses from those channels! Perhaps LinkedIn should focus more effort on promoting the use of groups to their individual members?

  10. Ray Li

    Prosperous and I like it. With LinkedIn profile why the employer bother to screen resumes written on several different formats. And LinkedIn can match profile with job requirement.

  11. Martin Moll

    Good stuff, Linkedin is breaking into Corporate Rec Process and is offering Applicants more controll and ownership about the process. Great move, as this is really adding value to the Linkedin User account in a the dominant usage area.

  12. I like the idea of having this feature in LinkedIn to help streamline the application process. I hope it reduces the application time and isn’t just another link to the corporate site where you have to spend an hour registering and filling out their online application but rather allows the corporation hiring to view the information in the LinkedIn format. Additionally, I am not in favor of the use of formulas, algorithms, keyword screening, etc. to reduce the applications they review for the position. Often times highly qualified applicants are screened out because the verbiage on their resume differed from the job description keywords and their resumes were never seen or considered by HR. There’s a human side to HR that has been eroding over the past decade as more and more are relying on computers to screen out applicants rather than a staff member looking at resumes to determine the best qualified. To rely on the applicant to retro-fit their resume for every job they are applying for to ensure keywords match, etc. makes the whole process too time consuming for everyone involved. I’m hoping that LinkedIn will be the exception and show the others on the net a better way for those applying for positions and those in HR who are screening and hiring associates.

  13. Andrew Birmingham

    With all such developments, its nice to try and predict early, the unintended consequence of the development.(The net sector is littered with them – think “free news” for starters – gee that was such a clever idea for newspaper publishers) In this case “by removing the friction” of an application the inevitable consequence is a lot more applications, presumably from many more unqualified applicants. That will result in higher recruitment costs for employers as they plough thru all those extra candidates. The same trend emerged in the early days of online jobs boards and the recruitment.coms had to build programmatic responses. Actually, I like really Linkedin both as an idea and as a transformational player, but I just thought I’d throw that our there.

  14. Instead of crying about LinkedIn stealing business from recruiters, why not utilize LinkedIn’s app as a tool and invest your energy in other services that you can provide.

    For me personally, I strongly appreciate this new service. I spend a lot of time helping people with their career paths and resumes. Keeping a live resume is extremely important on a public forum. This will put more pressure on people to keep their LinkedIn active and up-to-date.

    From a business perspective, I really appreciate the candidate data solution. Ever place an ad on Craigslist? It’s a hot mess that you end up with in your inbox. Absolutely painful. I’d love to weed out the unqualified candidates before looking at the resume.

    I love it!

  15. I wonder how many LinkedIn users will actually use this tool, and how LinkedIn expects to capture CV data if profiles are not up to date. Workable solution: if users are not required to do form filling, downside data duplication (Job-boards / iProfile) process already do something similar.

    • Job Match Flaw, ( … “Pophire learns about your experiences by scanning your Linkedin profile” ) mapping past endeavours! Human interaction between applicant/recruiter is needed unless PopHire has created a smart algorithm that can map the future as well

      • Touche Julie Williams! You hit the nail on the head! These Social Media/3rd Party Plug-Ins do a Great Job of taking out the “Social” aspect of actually getting to understand what a “Human or Job-Seeker” is looking for moving forward & what makes them tick/motivates them in their Career/Goals AND what a “Business/Company/Entity” Actually Needs Immediately & what their expectations for the career progression of this particular hire. Big Time Disconnect!!!! Human Interaction is at an all-time Low. Not so Social After All!

        Yes it’s True – this may cut out 3rd Party Agencies…as this will make a Direct-Path of a resume to employer easier if based on Job Seeker wanting to do the same function day in day out. But if that’s the case – why are they looking in the 1st Place? To do the same thing somewhere else (yes I get – easier commutes, more $ / pay – I know).

        Likewise – instead of Bogus Resumes / Way-Off Resumes and the tediousness it takes to Sift through Job-Board Posting Applications / Responses…now you have that Junk coming from a Totally Different Path – with the same amount of Influx / Electronic Paper Garbage. Who’s to say I can’t create Fake Functions & Responsibilities on my LinkedIn Profile just to get in-front of that Dream Job I want? Are there going to be Profile Monitors who go around looking for “Scammers” to make sure that person did infact do that job? Is LinkedIn going to pay for that Robot/Droid to make sure? Don’t think so…

        Unless you have a Killer Website that hits on all cylinders or have created that Perfect Job Description tailored for that perfect individual…Is an Algorithm or Bullet Point going to Sell a Job, a Company, a Future – and ultimately get to and secure that individual you seek? Not to Mention Alot of folks don’t apply for roles because the Job Descriptions aren’t 100% Realistic. They see a X-Mas List of Wants which they don’t have experience with. They cross themselves off and don’t apply. You would need the Ultimate/Simplified Job Description for every Role, for every Company to match job to profile. You would also need Sharp Enough Folks & Recruiters at every Single Company to Craft “said” posting’s or be able to Understand in an Efficient Way whom has the “Snuff” they seek, as well as the intelligence to call if they have a question to square away what they can’t gather from it. Is LinkedIn going to pay for that training for said Recruiter / Sifter…is that company? A Human Element must be involved! Who is also going to Pitch that Company Verbally if person is 100% Actively Job Searching & submitting their Profile to Multiple LinkedIn Company’s in the Area?

        Robin Williams in the Movie “Good Will Hunting” says it best…
        ~~~“You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally… I don’t give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can’t learn anything from you, I can’t read in some book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t want to do that do you sport? You’re terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.”

        Sometimes these new tools create bigger headaches than actual benefits. Sometimes they try to Create Rocket Science when it’s an X’s and O’s game. Sometimes they breed Lazier & Lazier folks… Just Pick Up a Phone – and talk to someone. Are these tools or the folks at the end of these tools Visionary’s & Certified Psychic’s? Nope. At the end of the day… its just the Job Opening & That Ideal Candidate/Fill. Simple isn’t it?

  16. Interesting move and expecting Linkedin to keep on eating further in to the traditional recruitment process and eating more of tht industry’s revenues. Looking forward to seeing what this will actually look like.