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What if…LinkedIn was your HR system?

Chances are your employees and recruiters are avid LinkedIn users. Imagine what would happen if LinkedIn decides to capitalize on their popularity matching job opportunities with profiles and takes it one step further:  by developing a Workforce Admin module and becoming a cloud-based HR and talent solution. It would not be the easiest module to add, but it would make LinkedIn more versatile and a strong contender in the contingent workforce space. According to their latest numbers, LinkedIn has 364 million registered members, so they hold a substantial part of the global workforce.

LinkedIn is one of the only HR systems where users voluntarily and frequently update their profile so it reflects their latest status. From a talent perspective, LinkedIn likely holds more up-to-date information than your in-house talent system; because there’s nothing better than to have your network congratulate you on your latest promotion, acquired certification and other career successes. Through the activity feed, you learn a bit more about personal preferences. I don’t think the Recommendations feature provides valuable info, as this is usually quid-pro-quo and as such meaningless. Skills & Endorsements on the other hand offer a good insight in what others think a person’s qualities are.

For those of you who think it is a competitive problem that talent information is available online, trust me when I say your employees live in the “sharing” age and have already made their info available to every recruiter who sends a Connect request. So rather than trying to dam the river, go with the flow and imagine ways to benefit from all that talent information.

In the 2020 economy, where supposedly everyone is contingent workforce, LinkedIn serves as the great Talent Broker. Instead of adding workforce information to your in-house HR system, imagine that workers have a current LinkedIn profile and allow you to add them to your Org structure (also offered by LinkedIn) for the duration of an engagement. And once the work is done, you simply release them back into the LinkedIn resource pool.

With the Lynda acquisition, LinkedIn seems to signal they are ready to branch out into the talent space by offering learning and training. It’s not a far stretch to imagine that they extend their offering by incorporating basic HR data. With Workforce Admin plus an API for the release of payment data to either finance or payroll, they could develop this into a full blown HR system that covers the needs of the 2020 workforce.

Question is: will you as HR professional feel comfortable when employee data is stored in the cloud, they own it themselves and you only have access for the duration of an engagement?

What if LinkedIn was your HR System?

Please leave a comment and share your thoughts!

  2 comments for “What if…LinkedIn was your HR system?

  1. June 23, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    Anita – this is a fascinating premise and I dig it !! Taking a social media platform liked Linked In and tying it to an organization’s talent efforts is brilliant. You’re right that people keep their LI profile more current than orgs. are aware. I like the idea of see a forum become a valid business tool and not just a social community. Well done !! Love the creativity !!

    • June 25, 2015 at 1:49 PM

      Thanks, Steve! Your idea to include the forum (or Groups) makes it even more compelling.
      I received a suggestion from someone else that LinkedIn might be forced to include other HR processes from a revenue growth perspective. I did not touch on this in my post, but it is a good statement.

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