The unfortunate stigma attached to utilising social media outside business purposes has been somewhat alleviated by the rise and proliferation of the professional networking site ‘LinkedIn’. A concept compiled from the uploading of online CVS for profiling and applications, the idea was first proposed in the winter of 2002 but did not receive full maturation until 2003. The site predates Mark Zuckenburg’s revolutionary development of ‘Facebook’ in 2004 and Jack Dorsey’s development of ‘Twitter’ in 2006.
The website utilises and embraces the concept that it should exploited by self-selling consummate professionals in order to detail accordingly their activities, achievements and extensive work experience. It is thus an extension of an online CV with added professional benefits in the context of networking and hitting a wider reach of professionals.
Why should we care about LinkedIn?
The universal scope of the site’s raison d’etre has become increasingly popular with professionals; such to the extent that it’s users has increased almost exponentially from a paltry 20 million users in 2006, to a phenomenal 259 million in the year 2013. The context for such a development of a site in the advent of a worldwide recession serves as an interesting paradigm highlighting the shortfall of job opportunities inspiring worldwide networking, in an online driven context.
It may be proposed that proliferation of users is concurrent with the 2008 banking crisis which caused by overly liberal standards of mortgage lending to excessive levels of sub-prime mortgages, that went on to contribute to a worldwide recession. The recession in turn led to an influx of population level of paranoia, proportionate with a decline of consumerism and a universal unemployment crisis which all led to the reliance on social media and networking to find employment.
A new avenue to explore job employment prospects in a digital attempt to market professional attributes whilst maintaining the credo of professionalism with regards to employment, LinkedIn served as extension of ‘contributing’ for the active ‘Jobseeker’. Similarly for those in employment, it is one of the many factors that contribute to form a cohesive whole of not only employment security and stability, but prospect of networking beyond their company’s jurisdiction. The worldwide recession that severely dented employment prospects of the UK, means that no job is safe or permanent.
Therefore those in employment cannot afford the luxury of stability in the current recession, in the same ways job seekers cannot afford disregarding diligence when job seeking. LinkedIn, in this context, opens another portal and avenue for transition from one employment situation to another whilst smoothing the process in the interim.
Networking seems to be an interesting process for companies to advertise vacancies through their LinkedIn. General recruitment processes employed by recruitment consultants means that with their ever-growing list of connections, they can network in a rhythmic process that eases the heavy burden of the process that is headhunting. Indeed the rise and proliferation of LinkedIn has resulted in the redundancy of candidate databases in recruitment firms who seek instead to exploit the large vast ongoing market of the LinkedIn site: a site rich in professionals hungry for employment.
Additionally job vacancies that are not advertised elsewhere can derived from LinkedIn, with a larger number of growing companies frequently alleviating their indolent recruitment process by bypassing major and expensive job boards and utilising LinkedIn instead as a portal for their job vacancies. ‘30 day’ job vacancies can be posted for a reasonable $195 compared favourably with the hefty $325 on Monster.
But more often than not the general concerns of social media mar the professionalism of the site. Hence in the same way LinkedIn can extend professionalism, it can also impede it.
The irony of misconduct on a site that deplores it can make the recruitment process more intensely degrading when a particular candidate can be ruled out by something as poor picture selection, or an impromptu written biography. Needless to say minimal information can be an advantage but sloppily written profiles can obstruct the recruitment process, disadvantaging the candidate in an intensely competitive job application.
More often than not privacy or lack of it can instil a sense of dread within a prospective employer. A lack of connections to a prospective employer could indicate a work history that has not encompassed network accordingly. Conversely over five hundred connections and ‘over 350 endorsements’ could indicate networking that is largely scattershot and not placing direct emphasis on quality over quantity.
With these concerns in consideration, users of LinkedIn may be challenged with a more professional form of social media. However its tendency to misused and underexploited can result in grave consequences for the prospective user, more so than any other of its sister social media sites.