In this post I will review the recent interview of LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, featured on CNNMoney.com, and will try to draw out some trends for the Indian HR professionals and background verification industry.
LinkedIn is the tsunami that is just about to hit Indian recruiting if it already has not. India has the second largest number of professional profiles (15 million + as on 29 May 2012) on LinkedIn. Already most of the recruiters are using LinkedIn for searching, looking up and contacting potential candidates. While the traditional job portals like Naukri, Monster, TimesJobs and Shine are still generating substantial revenues, they are bound to see a significant drop in the future as the Recruiting Solutions from LinkedIn continue to get more popular.
As Jeff says in the interview, “Yeah, recruiters are paying for unlimited access to the entire repository. They’re paying for access to tools that you can’t otherwise get in the free ecosystem. An example of that would be what we call Recruiter, which is our flagship recruiting product, and that enables recruiters to do unlimited searches, share the results. We’ve now added an additional service to that called Talent Pipeline, which enables recruiters to manage the pipeline of prospects that they’re finding either on LinkedIn or off LinkedIn, job posts, a social layer on those job posts, so people can see who they know within a company that they’re applying to up to 3 degrees to get their foot in the door. We enable recruiters who are not at larger companies with larger budgets to purchase a subscription package so when they post a job they can get recommendations, et cetera.”
As far as background verification or representation of correct credentials is concerned, we can interpret that people are more prone to lying on their non-public resumes (that would also include the ones that candidates post on job portals or send via electronic or physical means). In contrast, there is a lesser likelihood of misrepresentation when shared on a public platform like LinkedIn. So there is a “self-policing” mechanism which Jeff feels that will keep people honest. Additional, as he mentions, “any individual member on LinkedIn has the ability to flag content on LinkedIn that they believe is inaccurate or a misrepresentation of whatever the underlying information is about, whether that’s an individual’s profile, a company profile, et cetera.”
This is good news for recruiters as they have access to somewhat cleaner and more accurate credentials. But does this do away with the need for background verification? Absolutely not! While the credentials may be relatively clean, there still will be individuals who will misrepresent their credentials in professional and academic areas. So these still need to be verified thoroughly through employment and education verifications. Additionally, elements of background verification like address, criminal history, social media and web hits and to a certain extent, references, are beyond the scope of LinkedIn as it current stands. These need to be completed for comprehensive background checks.
So, recruiters and HR professionals in India, are you fully “LinkedIn”?