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Can LinkedIn really help internal talent management?


It goes without saying that LinkedIn is a major player in the recruitment and talent industry, and you’d probably have to go a long way to find a user that hasn’t been approached by a recruiter of some kind via the site over the last few years.  As with most social networks, a big part of their unique selling point is that they have a decent chunk of data about each of us, and this data allows them to make more informed connections, whether that’s around people we might like to connect up with or jobs we might find interesting.

A survey published by the company recently however suggested that this role may have greater implications.  The survey queried around 7,500 people on their reasons for moving jobs in the last few months.  It revealed that 42% of these people would quite happily have stayed with their previous employer if only they could have been placed in a role that better suited their skills and interests.

You can imagine the light bulb going off in the heads of LinkedIn staff at this news, so it is no surprise that the site will soon begin showcasing not just potential jobs at external companies for each user, but also ones within their existing organization.

The kind of roles recommended to a user will be based upon an algorithm that detects traditional transition patterns between industries.  You may think that such a function is not really required, but the LinkedIn survey suggests that as many as 3 in 4 of us are unaware of internal opportunities.

It kinda suggests that there is still a good deal of work to be done in both identifying the kind of talents contained within a company, and how best to utilize those talents.  I remember attending an event last year on open innovation within organizations, and whilst it was great that several of the organizations present were using open innovation to identify previously hidden talent, it was rather sad that none of them were using that information to better make use of these newly discovered skills.

It could be argued that this level of insight into the kind of talent at ones disposal is the hidden gem in the open innovation approach.  Whilst I’m not sure LinkedIn’s new feature will be any better at correctly assigning talent internally than the open innovation competitions, it does at least provide yet another reminder of how far we still have to go to truly maximise the skills at our disposal.

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