Hitting the 100 Million Member Mark: Perspectives from Our Early Days

March 22, 2011

LinkedIn achieved a major milestone today: our membership passed 100 million professionals.

As we realize this landmark, it seems fitting that we pause and look back at our beginnings. We reached out to some of our first LinkedIn.com members, Hiring Solutions customers and employees to get their perspectives on how we’ve grown and where we’re going.  Here’s what they had to say.

William UrangaWilliam Uranga
Senior Director, Talent Acquisition at TiVo
Member Number: 220,386*
TiVo was one of LinkedIn’s first corporate customers.

How did you hear about LinkedIn?
I received an invitation, and I thought it was spam—not one of my proudest moments. Fortunately, I caught on. The big lesson was to remain flexible in your thinking—especially tools.  Today, LinkedIn is my professional "rolodex."

What's the biggest difference between the LinkedIn you joined and the LinkedIn you use today?
Since I've joined as an individual user and then having TiVo as a corporate customer of LinkedIn, I've noticed a tremendous amount of partnership.  TiVo and LinkedIn spent time in early concept validations, user experience and beta customer testing.  It is a standard we compare our other vendors to when it comes to recruiting needs.

How has LinkedIn impacted your career?
I'm flummoxed whenever someone asks for a resume.  A complete profile raises awareness.

225f97f2Sherman Hu
Senior Enterprise Relationship Manager at LinkedIn
LinkedIn Employee Number: 61 (Sherman holds the distinction of being LinkedIn’s first employee in the Hiring Solutions business).
Member Number: 171,153*

What’s your biggest success in using LinkedIn?
When I was looking for jobs in 2005, I knew I wanted to join a smaller company, make a bigger impact.  There were a lot of startups posting their positions on LinkedIn, so I ran a search for Sales Managers at startups in the Bay Area and found LinkedIn’s openings.  More than five years later, the fact that I joined LinkedIn, and joined early—it changed my career.  I’m here because the site existed and quality companies were already posting their jobs on it.

How is working for LinkedIn today different from working here in 2005?
When I first joined LinkedIn, we didn’t even have the Recruiter product—we were still building the platform.  My job was to get our first customers onboard.  Now, I’m working with those same customers, they’re leveraging our entire suite of tools in ways I couldn’t imagine five years ago—and we’re still innovating.

19cddc91Tim Wenzel
VP Human Resources at Chegg Inc.
Member Number: 11,419*

What’s the biggest difference between LinkedIn when you joined and LinkedIn now?
The two biggest differences are 1) nobody was on it when I joined (!) and 2) everybody is on it now, which makes it a powerful tool to track down passive talent for Chegg. My team uses the LinkedIn Recruiter product every day to research and connect with top software engineers; we are growing our engineering team aggressively as we scale our business. The custom tools and dashboards enable us to more efficiently source, contact, and recruit sought-after technical folks.

What’s your biggest success in using LinkedIn?
At Chegg, we have successfully used LinkedIn to improve our talent density and culture by hiring smart, motivated people who add to the energy and are excited about improving higher education.

What do you think will be different about LinkedIn five years from now?
I imagine LinkedIn will continue to add innovative tools to help companies connect with the right talent; it’s clear that LinkedIn has gotten very good at leveraging the data and activity in its network. The system presents me with useful information without me having to search for it; in five years, hopefully I won’t have to think at all!

2acf5944Meg Garlinghouse
Head of Employment Branding and Community at LinkedIn
Member Number: 3,821*
Joined LinkedIn as an Employee: September 2010

Why did you become a member of LinkedIn.com?
I get a lot of satisfaction from connecting people professionally and personally so they can benefit from shared interests and passions.  And I love to make these connections for all sorts of benefits:  to date, to make a positive impact on the world or to just find a new professional career.  LinkedIn seemed like a platform that would enable me to do this at scale.

How has LinkedIn affected your career?
I’m passionate about using connections to impact the world.  As the manager of LinkedIn for Good, I get to connect individuals’ skills and experiences to ways they can make an impact, in a highly scalable and efficient way.  I think I have the best job in the world.

(For even more success stories, go here and see if you can spot all of the Hiring Solutions customers.)

Thanks to all of you who have been a part of LinkedIn’s growth. We so appreciate your support, and we look forward to helping you accomplish much more in the years to come.  Here’s to the next hundred million!

*Wondering what your member number is?  It’s the number embedded in your LinkedIn profile URL
(after “id=”).