After LinkedIn made changes to its back-end functions in November, promising faster implementation of updates, the platform has recently announced a slew of new features and improvements to existing services. These include an update to Job Alerts, a new dashboard and company hashtags.
These may be the first in many shake-ups to the platform, as LinkedIn continues to make a concerted effort to become a better tool for recruiters and candidates alike.
So how will these new updates affect the platform?
The first change to LinkedIn is the expansion of the Job Alerts feature. For those unaware of this, it notified users when relevant jobs were posted for companies that they followed on LinkedIn. This meant, in theory, you could get the drop on other candidates for your dream job at Google or Apple (although this doesn’t work for the job of playing centre for the England Rugby Team – believe me, I’ve tried).
However, this feature has been updated to allow candidates to tell recruiters at specific companies that they are interested in working for that company before they have posted a role. Employers can access this list at any time, and this feature allows them to build up a talent pool for various roles, and gauge the amount of interest in a potential job posting before going live with it.
This could be a great feature enhancement for both candidates and employers, as proactive candidates can get to the front of the queue for applying for the jobs they really want. Also, employers can easily gauge the type and volume of candidates that are interested in working for them, as well as having a handy talent pool of enthusiastic candidates to draw from when needed.
LinkedIn’s new dashboard feature is aimed more towards potential candidates than employers, as it allows users to view ‘insights’ at companies they are interested in. These insights are mainly about current employees at the company, such as where they studied, where they are based, what their job functions are etc.
However, the best feature for candidates is that this dashboard will tell you if you have any connections with employees at the company, giving candidates a possible conversation starter and a way to get an ‘in’ into the company.
Another great feature is that it shows candidates what skills and qualifications current employees have, so it can provide information of what attributes would be desirable for their dream employer.
Again, this could be a fantastic feature for candidates looking to break into certain companies. It gives them plenty of information on what the company looks for in its employees, as well as potential connections that could help them land their dream roles.
As part of LinkedIn’s push to become more of a conventional social media network, it has embraced the use of hashtags. This new feature allows companies to adopt three specific hashtags to their company page, allowing them to like, comment and reshare posts on these hashtag feeds.
While this is useful for companies looking to increase their presence on LinkedIn, by helping them stay up to date on relevant discussions and ensuring their content is seen by interested users, it’s also useful for candidates. As Warren Quach, Principal Product Manager at LinkedIn states, it’s a good way for candidates to do some interview prep:
‘Let’s say you’re preparing for an interview – you can now see the hashtags a company is promoting and the conversations they’re participating in to get yourself more in the know.’
This is another update that has the potential to help both employers and candidates, and whilst maybe not to the same extent as job alerts or dashboard, is still a nice feature to have on the platform.
Good News all Round?
So, in summary, recruiters and candidates alike should be embracing these new changes with open arms, as they have the potential to make LinkedIn a much more effective tool for recruiting and job searching.
Employers and recruiters should find it easier to create and maintain talent pools, as well as having the ability to test the water for interest in certain roles and keep abreast of relevant topics. Candidates will find it easier to register interest in companies they like, as well as find out more information on companies they are applying for, and possibly have connections introduce them to their dream employers.
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