GigaOM leaked the news recently LinkedIn is getting ready to launch a plug-in for employers’ websites called “Apply with LinkedIn,” which will allow job candidates to apply for available positions using their LinkedIn profiles as resumes.
Game Changer for Corporate Recruiting
Depending on LinkedIn’s pricing and packaging strategy, this has the potential to be a game changer in the recruiting and hiring world. Not only could it drive standardization in the front-end of applicant tracking systems, but it will virtually eliminate two of the biggest pains of online job application processes (the need for applicants to cut and paste into predefined boxes, and the need for HR folks to try and fix resume parsing errors).
I also anticipate that this move could seriously cut into the profits of job boards such as CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, especially if LinkedIn creates an attractive bundle that combines access to LinkedIn job boards with the application plug in for corporate career sites.
Game Changer for Job Seekers
For job seekers, the “Apply with LinkedIn” app could be a game changer too, especially if corporations move to “Upload from LinkedIn” as their preferred option.
For any job seeker who has ever labored over the cumbersome cut-and-paste requirements of some corporate career sites and wondered why they have to upload everything when they’ve already attached their resume, the option to point and click will come as a welcome relief. The ability to set up job alerts and immediately apply using your cellphone will speed up candidate time-to-market.
As much thought and strategy will need to go into creating your LinkedIn profile as has traditionally gone into your resume, and it will become even more important that your profile be 100% complete.
The biggest downside I see is the potential for higher incidents of spray-and-pray job applications, which is a no-win for everybody. In fact David Zax with Fast Company has suggested this will make “Apply with LinkedIn” a non-starter.
For job seekers, the one-size fit-all format for LinkedIn profile will limit their ability to tailor their application to the specific information needs of each company, which goes against the grain of job search best practices. Further, a fully developed LinkedIn profile is announcement to the world that you are open for business, job-offer wise, which you may not want your current employer to know.
How Will this Play Out?
LinkedIn has probably redefined recruiting and job search best practices more than any other platform, so it will be interesting to see how the business model rolls out. Unfortunately they have a recent history of alienating their core base by monetizing member services that have previously been free, and creating fee structures that price casual users out of the market.
The plug-in may end up being a tool for large corporations only, and its ease of use may make it more of a liability than an asset it when it comes to candidate screening and selection. But with the right business model it could become the must-have tool for applicant-employer interface, no matter what the company size. How do you think this will play out?
Karen Siwak, founder of Resume Confidential, is a Canadian certified resume strategist with 10+ years of experience in coaching & counseling.
Photo credit: Shutterstock