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New Link in the Chain

The latest in creative destruction on the recruitment front.

By Madeline Laurano
The future of sourcing lies in an organization’s ability to build and foster talent pipelines. This approach should not come as a surprise. With an increase in the number of candidates and the growing reach and complexity of social media, savvy recruiters have been looking for ways to become more active in the way they build talent communities and manage a large database of talent sources. Those organizations looking to gain competitive advantage need to build a unified, dynamic, and sustainable talent pipeline. No small task, especially for organizations that rely on multiple tools to manage an increasing number of talent leads.
The benefits of talent communities and talent pipelines extend beyond the sourcing arena. In fact, Aberdeen’s 2011 Talent Acquisition Lifecycle Report, found that building a candidate pipeline is one of the top two strategic actions to achieving recruiting excellence. Despite the many advantages of such pipelines, organizations have faced limited technology options for them, relying on spreadsheets or stale systems to maintain their talent sources.
Fortunately, there is hope. LinkedIn’s Talent Pipeline solution, announced in October 2011 and available in early 2012, offers organizations a new option to grow, track, and engage with talent leads.
What differentiates LinkedIn’s new solution:
• Socializing the Resume. The idea that the LinkedIn profile will, one day, replace the resume has been discussed at length during the past few years. Talent Pipeline is another step in this direction. This product connects stagnant resumes and leads with extensive profile data familiar to any LinkedIn user, including information on status updates, recommendations, skills, and updates. It also connects resumes with a broader social graph to provide insight on shared contact and groups. By linking the resume to the “person,” LinkedIn is providing context to the experiences, background and insights of the candidate and providing recruiters with an easier way to engage these individuals.
• Search Capabilities. Without a way to source a talent pipeline, organizations are unable to track and manage their talent leads. LinkedIn’s Talent Pipeline users can search LinkedIn’s database of contacts, along with all imported leads, using keyword and Boolean search strings. Users can also include tags and status updates for quicker searches.

• Reporting & Analytics. According to Aberdeen’s 2011 report, a lack of data integration is the number one barrier to identifying the source of hire for top performers, an issue that will prevent companies from effectively repeating past successes. LinkedIn’s reporting capabilities have the potential to link hiring to other talent and business metrics, including engagement and identification of critical skills.
What organizations should consider:
• Current LinkedIn Recruiter Users. Existing LinkedIn Recruiter customers and future customers have little risk when investing in the Talent Pipeline solution, since it is included in the LinkedIn Recruiter seat package. LinkedIn also plans to sell Talent Pipeline as a stand-alone solution for those organizations that do not have a Recruiter seat.
• LinkedIn’s Stake in Recruitment. LinkedIn continues to
present solutions that address the top pain points faced by recruiters. With more than 120 million users and an extensive portfolio of recruitment solutions, they are well positioned to partner and even compete with the current talent acquisition technology landscape.
• Succession Planning. Although not positioned for succession
planning, LinkedIn’s tool can help organizations not only identify external talent but also help to build a talent pipeline around hiring and promoting internal talent by leveraging the same profile data. Aberdeen’s talent acquisition and succession management research identified similar themes between the two areas, including the need to identify talent early, to build relationships externally for future hiring, and to provide visibility into what talent is available now and in the future.
As recruiters look to become more strategic in their roles, building a talent pipeline will not only benefit talent initiatives but also help drive organizational performance. LinkedIn has once again disrupted the talent acquisition technology market. This solution will likely show value in the corporate recruiter solution and help solve a gap in the talent acquisition technology market that exists today.

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