How You Can Benefit From LinkedIn Becoming a Professional Publishing Platform

August 5, 2014

There’s been some talk recently about LinkedIn becoming a “professional publishing platform.” I’m willing to bet that lots of recruiters – perhaps even you – don’t know exactly what becoming a publishing platform means, or how our recent acquisition of Newsle comes into play. So, I’d like to take a few minutes to explain and to show how you benefit as a member (assuming you’re a member), and as a recruiter.

How and why LinkedIn is becoming a professional publishing platform:

LinkedIn has always been a network for networking and finding jobs. That hasn’t changed. But now we also want to give members:

  • Access to content (like news stories, best practices from industry leaders, articles their contacts are mentioned in, etc.) that can help them better do their jobs
  • The ability to publish their own content (like blog posts, photos, videos and presentations) to showcase their professional brands

So, in 2011 we introduced Pulse (a news app). The following year we kicked off the Influencer Program (about 500 business leaders sharing best practices, career advice and lessons learned). More recently we started giving members the ability to post photos, videos and presentations and publish blog posts on their profiles. And when Newsle joined LinkedIn a few weeks ago, we made it easy for members to know more about the people in their network – like when they’re mentioned in the news.

How you can benefit from the publishing platform as a member:

  • Garnering professional insights that can help you do your job better. The Influencer Program, Pulse, Newsle and members publishing blog posts give you access to lots of useful recruiting info. For example, you can follow Lou Adler -- a LinkedIn Influencer -- to ensure you avoid the top 10 dumbest hiring mistakes top people make. Or, you can connect with Stacy Zapar to get her take on the trick to recruiting purple squirrels. And of course you can always see what recruiting-related stories are trending across the Internet by subscribing to the Pulse Recruiting & Hiring channel. Will everything posted by Influencers and members, and everything published on Pulse be brilliant? No. It’s up to you to follow, connect with and subscribe to the Influencers, members and channels you find most useful.
  • Showcase your professional brand. Over the past couple months we’ve also introduced several new features that help members showcase their professional brands. And as I mentioned above, we gave members the ability to post photos, videos and presentations andpublish blog posts on their profiles. Taking advantage of these new features can help you advance your career. Plus, as you can see in this video, some members are reviewing your profile, so adding content to your profile can’t hurt.

How you can benefit from the publishing platform as a recruiter:

I’m going to be frank. For some recruiters recruiting is merely a numbers game … If I send cold InMails to 100 members, I’ll get a ~10 percent response rate, which means a pool of ~10 prospects. For recruiters to take full advantage of LinkedIn becoming a professional publishing platform, they’ve got to be willing to put in a little extra effort. If you aren’t, there’s no reason for you to read beyond this point. And on behalf of all recruiters who are willing to go the extra mile, thanks for making it easier for us to recruit against you.

Everything I mentioned in the “Showcase your professional brand” section above not only benefits you as a member; it also benefits you as a recruiter. Think about it ... prospect info is the recruiting industry’s most coveted natural resource. We all mine and hoard it. And the recruiter with the most prospect info typically wins.

We all conduct searches and review member profiles to determine which members have the required skills, expertise and experience for a job. Here’s where the extra effort comes into play: what you may not realize is that you should also review the posts, photos, videos and presentations prospects posted, InShared, commented on and ‘liked,’ the Groups they belong to, the Influencers they follow and, if you’re connected, the articles they’re mentioned in (via Newsle). That info can help you better gauge a prospect’s smarts and professional interests. It’s one thing for a prospect’s profile to say she’s smart and an eCommerce expert, it’s another for her to share a favorite Fast Company article on Square and exchange comments with another member about whether or not the startup will be able to topple traditional payment processing networks, like Visa and MasterCard.

But perhaps most importantly, reviewing all the content a prospect has shared on LinkedIn, and their mentions in the news, can help you craft personalized InMails that generate high response rates (click here for more tips on how to increase InMail response rates). Generic bulk InMails garner 37 percent lower response rates than personalized InMails, and they can cause some members to be less responsive to other recruiters’ InMails. Long story short, everyone loses.

On the other hand, personalized InMails, high response rates, more candidates accepting job offers -- sounds like a win to me.

4 Tips For Writing LinkedIn Blog Posts:

Now you know LinkedIn lets all members to publish blog posts. But do you know what you’ll write about? Here are some tips to help get you started:

  1. Share your professional expertise. Whether it’s your take on recruiting best practices or trends impacting your company’s industry, post on topics that underscore your professional expertise.
  2. Offer tips to jobseekers. You can probably recite (in your sleep) countless things you wish jobseekers knew. Don’t keep them to yourself! Share them with your network. Chances are it will make your job easier.
  3. Share an insider’s view of your company. We recently asked 18,000 professionals across 26 countries what most influences their decision to accept a new job offer. And guess what…56 percent said talent brand. Showcase your company’s talent brand in your posts because, as this video shows, prospects are checking out recruiters’ profiles.

And last but not least, don’t simply hit “publish” and walk away. Interact with members who comment on, InShare, and ‘like’ your blog posts. They can help broaden distributing of your blog posts beyond your own network.

Brendan Browne is Sr. Director of Global Talent Acquisition at LinkedIn 

content marketing for talent acquisition