We Learned These 14 Things at the LinkedIn Conference

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Oct 12, 2012
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

LinkedIn launched a few new tools and tinkered around with some existing ones at this week’s 2,000+ event in Las Vegas.

But that’s not all we walked away with from the user-group conference, including this:

  1. LinkedIn seems to get recruiting: It has sales associates try out recruiting as part of their sales training. Some LinkedIn recruiters would like to hold on to them!
  2. Companies are trying to figure out what skills their employees have — but they can’t. In one session, most everyone raised their hands when asked if they have some sort of intranet aimed at keeping track of employees’ skills. Few said it’s really working.
  3. Companies are racing to get their employees on LinkedIn. One company we heard from has been buying other companies, and trying to get their new employees from acquired firms to change their profiles to say they’re a member of the big parent. Other companies are also trying to increase the percentage of employees who are on LinkedIn, acting as brand ambassadors of some kind.
  4. But, they’re nervous about the above. One Houston recruiter is torn, because she wants people to be visible as mini-recruiters for her company’s employment brand, but know that means they’re visible to hungry competitors.
  5. Companies want LinkedIn to talk better to their other systems. Recruiters have to update too many things, and find it cumbersome to keep doing one thing on SAP and then the same thing on LinkedIn.
  6. LinkedIn is still incredibly concerned about getting non-job seekers to regularly update their profiles. One mechanism they are using is endorsements, which they claim get up to 8 million endorsements a day.
  7. Another is the newer feature of following industry influencers and experts. They have 150 now and there are now 2 million of these follows across their entire network.
  8. It’ll also have an update to the consumer-facing platform in “the next couple of weeks,” according to CEO Jeff Weiner. Best guess — and it was made in the context of keeping non-job seeker profiles up to date — is it is a more update-driven interface like Facebook or Twitter.
  9. If there is a big theme of this conference, it is about employer brand. But, the tools that LinkedIn has released really don’t adequately address the question. The index, derived from determining the percentage of people aware of your company from people interested in working at your company, is a bit simplistic.
  10. The InDemand index is more of a LinkedIn optimization measuring stick for enterprise-level organizations than an employer brand measurement tool. Actually, incredibly useful for understanding your presence on LinkedIn but not necessarily getting a broader sense of your brand.
  11. The conference theme is about branding; but, the “Sponsored Jobs” is the outlier, a pure-play for eyeballs, straight advertising for positions.
  12. A couple of sessions focused on using LinkedIn data in some uncommon and unconventional ways. For example, they showed how well LinkedIn employees were connected to technical talent in New York versus Seattle. It is a switch to get higher-level insight versus a transactional search.
  13. Even at a conference about LinkedIn, put on by LinkedIn, not everyone is a power user. One Orange County, California, attendee says she doesn’t have a photo up, despite all the data showing the benefits of one. A healthcare recruiter in Arizona says he’s still trying to convince his company that it should use LinkedIn, and until recently it pretty much banned social media altogether.
  14. Even in bone-dry desert of Las Vegas, it can rain.


This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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