How Will LinkedIn Impact Recruiters’ Use of Technology?

LinkedIn’s IPO spawned much debate about its broader significance beyond the re-inflation of the Internet stock bubble. Most interesting to us here at Bullhorn, how will LinkedIn’s rise impact the way recruiting and staffing professionals work and the tools they need? Bullhorn’s yearly trends survey found that 88% of recruiters already use LinkedIn. So obviously it has already made its mark. But is it another arrow in the recruiter’s quiver, supplementing older tools? Or will it replace existing technologies? Dan Schawbel and others already wrote obituaries for job boards and the resume. But what about that other go-to recruiting tool, the ATS? If LinkedIn profiles replace resumes and candidates can “Apply with LinkedIn,” will recruiters still need a separate applicant tracking system? Yes, for at least two important reasons.

History and The Long Tail

The need for a separate ATS only disappears when LinkedIn has a monopoly on candidate profiles. History suggests this is unlikely. Not even the most powerful tech giants won similar degrees of market power. Not IBM in computers, Microsoft in PC software or Netscape with browsers. And none of those companies had a competitor as powerful as Facebook. Instead, online profiles will live across a variety of geographic and industry-specific hosts in addition to LinkedIn such as Xing in Europe, Orkut in Latin America, RenRen in China, or Behance for creative workers. The situation will mirror job boards, where the rise of CareerBuilder and Monster did nothing to crowd out thousands of specialist boards. So most recruiters will still need a system that can work across multiple profile sources. They’ll just want it to integrate nicely with LinkedIn, as Bullhorn does.

Beyond Applicant Tracking

Recruiters also rely on software for far more than just storing and searching resumes, and letting applicants apply. Bullhorn is as much a staffing and recruitment CRM system for managing candidate and client relationships as it is an ATS. Workflow capabilities streamline and automate all the steps involved in filling jobs. Metrics and analytics give managers insight into performance to run the business more intelligently. Providing mobile access, publishing to career portals, supporting billing and financial processes, and on and on. If anything, the growing importance of data, speed, and automation to the success of staffing and recruiting businesses increases the value of a great software platform.

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