LinkedIn’s got a lot of data on working professionals and companies alike. Lately, the networking platform, which boasts some 500 million users, is turning some of that data into features aimed at helping users reach more people and businesses in an increasingly targeted way. Since July, LinkedIn has rolled out a tool to let marketers see what types of professionals are clicking through to their websites, and a feature that pairs users with professionals for “light mentoring.” Now it’s testing another new feature called LinkedIn Talent Insights, which is geared toward helping recruiters and hiring managers find their next employees.
LinkedIn’s head of product for Talent Insights, Eric Owski, says it taps near real-time data to show recruiters where the most talented workers are by location, employer, industry, and skill set. A recruiter plugs in their requirements, and the analytics dashboard will display the findings based on those criteria. The data is aggregated and anonymized, but LinkedIn users who have opted in to a feature called Open Candidates on the platform can be matched with employers who are using LinkedIn Recruiter.
Talent Insights also parses professionals by school. This has been problematic, particularly in tech, but across other industries as well, as recruiters faced with a high volume of jobs to fill resort to choosing from a small, predictable selection of top universities and exclude candidates from nontraditional schools.
Owski explains that Talent Insights is designed to show recruiters “hidden gems” such as areas that have a high concentration of workers with certain skills but where the local job market isn’t demanding them, or a counterintuitive choice of school that is producing qualified graduates.
Although the proof that this will actually work in real time is still a long way off, Dan Shapero, LinkedIn’s VP of talent solutions and careers, maintains that as diversity becomes more of a business imperative, recruiters will naturally want to see how their hiring measures up. Shapero believes the intent to hire more people from nontraditional backgrounds is there, “but no one has the data to prove their instincts are right.”
The feature will be beta tested by 20 to 25 companies of varying sizes from a representative sample of regions and industries. A full rollout across the platform is planned for next summer. Pricing has yet to be determined.