LinkedIn Courts Smaller Businesses with Candidate Matching, Job Targeting Features

LinkedIn Courts Smaller Businesses with Candidate Matching, Job Targeting Features

LinkedIn’s latest round of updates to its job posting tool includes features designed to help smaller organizations without dedicated recruiting functions to more easily source and track qualified candidates, Monica Lewis, Head of Product at Linkedin Jobs, announced on the professional networking platform’s Talent Blog last week:

Now, when you post a job on LinkedIn, these new features will work to deliver a pool of relevant candidates who you can’t find anywhere else. … Once you’ve posted a job on LinkedIn, Recommended Matches will scour our network to find candidates who have the experience and skills you’re looking for. And, most of these candidates are exclusively on LinkedIn: 57% of our users in the US did not visit the top three job boards last month.

We put these potential candidates right in front of you, giving you access to their full profiles. In one click, you can indicate if you’re interested in a candidate and start a conversation with them about the job opportunity. Based on how you rate candidates, our algorithm learns your preferences and delivers increasingly relevant candidates.

LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, has also reconfigured its matching algorithm and given organizations the ability to add their own targeting preferences, giving them more control over who sees a job post. The update also makes it easier for users to keep track of candidates they are considering or wish to contact.

The new features are deliberately designed to encourage smaller and medium-sized enterprises to use LinkedIn as a job board. ERE’s Joel Cheesman calls this “a smart move at the right time”:

Small business hiring is incredibly tight and remains a largely untapped opportunity for sites like LinkedIn. With competitors like Facebook and Google going after small biz in a big way, LinkedIn has extra incentive in addition to sites like ZipRecruiter doing well. Startups like Uncommon providing similar matching technology turn up the heat as well.

There’s evidence LinkedIn is putting money behind tackling the SMB market. I heard a radio spot in Indianapolis today touting Recommended Matches, for instance. Additionally, LinkedIn is targeting small business hiring on Google … and even producing content on YouTube highlighting small business hiring.

The news comes at a moment when other big tech companies are beefing up their job search offerings with AI enhancements to help level the playing field between large employers and smaller organizations that can’t afford to devote significant resources to sourcing candidates or building custom applicant tracking systems. Google Hire, the search giant’s applicant tracking system, was launched last July as part of the company’s G Suite of enterprise software offerings, but only for US businesses with under 1,000 employees; just days before LinkedIn’s announcement, Google revealed a series of updates to Hire that use Google AI to help recruiters scan résumés, schedule interviews, and get in touch with candidates more easily.

In April, Google Hire added a “candidate discovery” feature similar to the matching system LinkedIn is now rolling out. Facebook, meanwhile, recently expanded its job search functionality to 40 more countries and redesigned it to put more emphasis on local and small business job listings, leading one commentator to describe it as an aspiring “blue-collar LinkedIn.” This latest move, however, suggests that Microsoft and LinkedIn have no interest in ceding this segment of the market to their competitors. The platform has recently been adding new features on the candidate side as well, including one that lets job candidates calculate what their commute would look like to a potential job.