LinkedIn’s “Apply” button has arrived. Are you cheering or fearing?

by Rich DeMatteo on July 26, 2011 · 11 comments

28 Flares 28 Flares ×

 

LinkedIn’s latest social hiring trick has arrived and whether you like it or not, it’s coming to an employer near you.

credit -- http://news.cnet.com

The brand new, “Apply With LinkedIn” button should further LinkedIn’s comfortable position as the top social recruiting and professional networking website. According to a survey completed by Jobvite Inc., 87 percent of U.S. firms use Linkedin as a recruiting tool. While other social giants such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ can be used as valuable tools to job seekers, but just cannot match up to LinkedIn in this arena.

Career experts, recruiters, bloggers, and HR professionals continuously share stories about the effectiveness and power of LinkedIn. Still, many soon to be graduates and recently graduated folks haven’t heard of, or avoid using LinkedIn. It’s baffling.  I’m baffled.

This new button, which resembles the Twitter “tweet this” or Facebook “like this” button, will be easily integrated into company job descriptions. Job Seekers will need to decide if they’d rather apply through the company website and go through their probably long application process, or click LinkedIn’s button and submit their LinkedIn profile. This answer comes easy to those with a solid LinkedIn profile, a strong network, and a hefty list of recommendations.  Folks without LinkedIn profiles may go as far as creating one after this button pops up more and more in their job hunt.

While this is a humongous move for Linkedin, it’s difficult to say how this will play out for Job Seekers and Recruiters.  There are serious reasons to cheer, and also some to fear.  Before going into those reasons, here’s a quick outline of how the button works.

How does it work?

It’s just so very simple.

For the recruiter/company, once they’ve added a few lines of code from LinkedIn, their new button should be integrated and they are done!  Then all they need to do is sit back and watch as applications pour in.

For job seekers, the process has just a few more steps.  Since each company career site is different, you won’t find the Linkedin “apply” button in the same spot everytime.  This is what it looks like on the NetFlix career site.

Once clicking the “Apply with LinkedIn” button, another screen will surface, showing that user their LinkedIn profile and asking for one more click before submitting to the company.  Here’s a preview from my screen:

Once you’ve gone through this step, there is really just one more thing left to do.  LinkedIn will automatically pull up people that are in your network that work at the company you’re applying to work for.  With a simple click, you can send that person a note, asking them to write you a quick referral for the position.  It’s really that simple, and it is really that cool.

Why I’m Cheering

For Social Savvy job seekers, this is a no brainer.  One of the long standing frustrations for job seekers has been lengthy online application processes, which this easily eliminates.  With a couple clicks (and hopefully a few referrals) your application is off to company.  Many job seekers hate having to put together a resume, but find it somewhat easy to create their LinkedIn profile.  If this becomes a great success, the 87 percent of companies using LinkedIn should increase, and folks won’t have to worry about sending a resume at the first step.  

While many of my friends believe the resume may fully become extinct one day, I don’t believe that day is very soon.  Even after the LinkedIn application is reviewed, I believe many employers will ask candidates to supply a resume, even if just for HR record keeping.

As for the company, this can bring a stadium of cheers for a few reasons.  The first being that resumes are really quite awful to read.  Recruiters today have stacks of them to go through, and it’s really no fun.  With this Linkedin “apply” button, they’ll be able to save applications as PDF’s and choose to print them out if they’d like.  Also, not only is it easy to set up, but it should integrate with their Applicant Tracking Systems easily, and if not, I’m sure it will soon.

Why I’m Fearing

 As my friend Miriam at Keppie Careers says in her post about the “apply” button,  “Easy isn’t always the best approach for job seekers”.  Like Miriam, I believe that this button will create a surge of applications through LinkedIn.  The lengthy application process that job seekers hate so much, may almost serve as a screen in itself.  Being that, if you make it through the 25 minute application process, the company knows you’re very interested in their position.  With this Linkedin button, there isn’t much stopping job seekers from applying to anything and everything they see.

While it may seem like an easy win for job seekers, keep in mind that a busy recruiter means the chance of having your application reviewed has reduced.  If this incredible surge of applications does take place, using LinkedIn references and recommendations will be more important than ever.

If you’re looking to start up, or beef up your Linkedin Profile, check out the “Ultimate Beginners Guide to Linked In” that I wrote!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
10 comments
Joel Targill
Joel Targill

I am Cheering! LinkedIn profiles can communicate far more about a candidate than a static resume: professional recommendations, affiliations/honors, and active links for a personal blog/social media account. In many 2011 jobs, your "social resume" will go a long ways. I got hired for a major copywriting gig largely because of my "tweets" from a personal account. I think this is a "win" for employers and employees alike!

Steven Rothberg CollegeRecruiter.com
Steven Rothberg CollegeRecruiter.com

For virtually all employers who are federal contractors (basically any employer with more than 50 employees), the federal government has a "guilty until proven innocent" policy with respect to anti-discrimination practices. Employers must prove that their employment practices are not designed to be discriminatory and also that those practices do not have a discriminatory effect. Many and perhaps most of those employers have decided to shield themselves by not resume searching as they can't feasibly record each and every search, the people who came up in the search results, and the resumes those people had at the time of the search. Similarly, those employers require all candidates to apply at the employer's web site using the same process. If some candidates can apply one way and other candidates another, then the employer will have the burden of proving that the candidates in both groups are the same as far as race, gender, age, etc. go or that the minority candidates were put at no disadvantage. Good luck proving that. So I question how any employer which is subject to an audit by the OFCCP (the federal office which regularly sues large employers and makes them prove they aren't discriminating) can use this LinkedIn universal apply button. Third party recruiters (headhunters) will love this as it will make it easier for candidates to apply to their job postings. Rogue corporate recruiters or organizations which are ignorant or have chosen to ignore the law will also love this button. But for the vast majority of Fortune 2000 and federal government employers, this button is going to need to go unused.

jen
jen

I don't really care one way or another. I see both sides of your point here. What I wanted to comment on is why you are baffled about people not using LinkedIn. The reason I joined was because I moved 400 miles away from my last employer who was bought out by a giant company. So unless you were from the tri-state area- you never would have heard of Happy Harry's. In the beginning it was just a place where I could keep all of my co-workers and info for people that I might need a reference from. Kind of like I was keeping my personal (Facebook and back then Myspace) away from my professional. And believe it or not Rich, for those of us who aren't constantly self-promoting (and not that I'm saying it is a bad thing, I just don't own my own business so I don't have to be doing that all of the time) we prefer to keep work and personal separate (or at least I do). LinkedIn has come a long way, but back when I first joined, it was also new and from my perspective there didn't appear to be much you could do on there except "link" with people. It is definitely better now- so I do agree that more people should at least sign up, especially career minded folks, but it is geared to a lot of corporate minded career climbers and again believe it or not, everyone doesn't fall into that category. And it is excellent for those who are self-employed, but if I lost my job today, I wouldn't be updating LinkedIn, I'd be walking into the next company that I want to work for resume in hand and making a good impression, or I would be asking my friends if their companies are hiring or I'd go to my local temp agency and see where they could place me. I just don't care that much about where my career is going (and it helps that I don't actually have to work). I'll take a job anywhere as long as I like the people and feel like I'm learning something new. Another aspect for me anyway is that I am EXTREMELY shy (yeah you'd never guess online), but I feel terribly awkward trying to link to people who I may know through someone who knows someone. That just isn't me. I mean what if those people don't remember me? What if they didn't like me? I am not sure if I'm explaining my perspective correctly, but here is something else that I just noticed when I logged into LinkedIn (first time in 4 months) I have request to give recommendations for people that I barely interacted with or people who I honestly don't think were very good workers. Why would they ask me for this? Then there are people who I know, and did work with on some level, but they would have no idea how well I did my job nor I theirs, so why would I want to connect with them? Just because we worked at the same company, that doesn't make sense. I guess what I'm saying is that LinkedIn does have some value, but it is being turned into something less than what I think it should be. It is turning into Facebook. And there I am back at my original point of keep work and personal life separate. I don't want to have to update LinkedIn all of the time and connect with people that I barely knew and recommend people that I don't think are good workers. I feel like it is fake. So maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, but the people that I use for references (all former bosses who love me to death!) are not even on LinkedIn. So what does that say (other than the fact that they are old).

Beckles
Beckles

Huh. Maybe I should pay a little more attention to linkedin. I really don't even know what's missing from my profile at this point. Also I came here via The Middle Finger project, but I knew something about you seemed familiar-name maybe? I went to Cabrini too.

SA
SA

I am cheering here! For me though as a job seeker, not for the recipients of an application, not sure if it makes it easier for them or tougher? Although, I am hoping the the recipient side have "refine results" Search tools on hand as well, to be able to narrow down the pool of applicants! Now more than ever, it is important to have solid network on LI! Kudos though to Jeff Weiner!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Steven - Thanks for adding your thoughts here. Yep, I'm pretty sure those needing to obey the OFCCP will be fearful and won't add the button to their posts. Boy am I glad I'm not in corporate recruiting right now. That certainly wasn't very fun. Many will need to avoid, but hopefully some creative companies find a work around. Is it possible? Don't know. Do I hope so? Yes and no. I do know that Groupon, Netflix, and others are already using it, so we shall see.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Jen - Thanks for your comment and perspective. I do think you used a bad analogy though. Happy Harry's and it's local presence, is far different than a globally known career tool that folks should learn about when searching for jobs in college. Far different. And yes, there are a ton of people on Linkedin who don't self promote. I started off as a recruiter and used linkedin in 2005 as a huge tool to find candidates. Back then, it was hardly used for self promotion. It was a business and career tool, which it still is now more than ever. And yes, believe me, I know not everyone is meant for the corporate ladder. I think everyone knows that. But, I've seen teachers, psychologist, doctors, dog walkers, and everyone on Linkedin. Non-corporate folks should be on it as well. And yes, I'm still baffled even with your explanations. It's the #1 career resource in the world. It's far more effective than Monster and Careerbuilder, and even non-corporate types have heard of those websites. Thanks.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Beckles - Small world! Yes, definitely pay attention to Linkedin, it's fantastic. Hunt me down on Facebook!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey SA - Time will tell, but it may be tougher on the person receiving. Easier at first maybe, for those who hate reading resumes, but it may add a step in the process for companies that still need a resume. We shall see!

Steven Rothberg CollegeRecruiter.com
Steven Rothberg CollegeRecruiter.com

No doubt that some large organizations are using it and also no doubt that some large organizations (like every other entity) choose to break certain laws because the cost of complying is higher than the cost of not complying. In other words, if we break the law, what are the odds of getting caught and if we get caught what are the odds of there being a fine and if there is a fine how much is it likely to be? It isn't all that different from the decisions we all make when we speed on the freeway. If we drive three miles over the speed limit, we're choosing to break the law but the likelihood of getting caught and fined is very, very small so we almost all do. Yet except for NBA players, few go 50 miles over the speed limit as they know the chances of being caught are high and the fine would be high too. I'm not saying that Groupon, Netflix, and others are breaking the law but it is too early to know for sure whether using the button is legal or not for federal contractors. A relatively small number of employees within those organizations have likely done a quick risk-reward analysis and decided that the risks are outweighed by the rewards.