Unleash the Next Wave of LinkedIn Usage - How Companies Can Change The Way They Use LinkedIn?

Unleash the Next Wave of LinkedIn Usage - How Companies Can Change The Way They Use LinkedIn?

Did you know LinkedIn was first launched in May 2003? That's ~13 years old, considerably mature for a digital & social media company...

Once every now and then, I'll see or hear comments made by friends - who lamented the point that LinkedIn has relegated itself to nothing more than just a social platform where people sharing articles widely without care, make posts which is more appropriate for Facebook instead or even criticizing the Happy Birthday reminder feature.

This article does not seek to clarify whether the above is right or wrong for LinkedIn.

This article seeks to provide a view of how MNCs can change the way they use LinkedInhow LinkedIn (as a company itself) can change the way they position themselves to companies & users and unleash the next possible wave of usage.

1. Firstly, from a Performance Management POV

I recall during my time at Mondelez International, my Vice President of HR, Asia Pacific once made a remark, 'We have invested behind our Performance Management (PM) System (Success Factors). Yet whenever we have Talent Review Meetings, we have to remind people to refresh their personal Success Factors Talent Profile Report before Talent Discussions with business leaders. In contrast, their LinkedIn profiles are more up to date than the Success Factors Talent Profile!".

The HR VP and I both laughed at ourselves when we were in that conversation, but the truth is how many companies out there today can claim to have solid, well-updated Talent Profile reports LIVE? I've experienced SAP PM SystemPeopleSoft PM SystemWorkday PM system - they are great systems and served their various purpose well. Don't get me wrong - these are still great systems. But none has enabled HR or Business Leaders to have top notch quality talent and training reports LIVE and accurate as it is very onerous for the HR Shared Services team, line manager or employees to maintain. So, it is by no fault of the system providers, but the behaviour of employees at work (myself included!).

So, the HR VP and I was thinking - we should seriously consider using employees' LinkedIn Profiles for future talent discussion. We laugh it off at that point of time but till to date, I still find that an idea that could possibly and positively disrupt the way companies use talent profiles to run talent discussion during performance management.

2. Secondly, from a Recruitment POV

This came from a recent experience when I was working with the CFO of Asia Pacific to recruit externally a Finance Director for Category Finance. Clearly, we were targeting candidates with senior leadership experience.

After intensive talent mapping, we narrowed it down to a select 5 candidates pool and one of them does not have a CV. And you know what? I don't blame him for not having one. Afterall, he has an illustrious career with a leading MNC and at his age, seniority, stature + the fact that he is happy at where he is today and not actively looking out, why would he have a CV live and ever-ready for me or any recruiter?

Then, when I went to his LinkedIn Profile, there you have it - a top notch LIVE and updated summary of his experiences, education and even recommendations from his past and present colleagues.

So, I extracted his Linked Profile and used it as a CV for the CFO.

The point I am trying to make is - we have been spending years telling recruiters and line managers that we need a CV, 2 page long and we will need 2 character reference checks.

I feel that companies and LinkedIn can change the way we view LinkedIn Profiles - enhance it to such a believable extent that it could be positively disrupted and become the CVs of tomorrow for recruitment, possibly eliminating the need for that traditional 2 page long CV.

3. Last but not the least, from a Reference & Background Check POV

The standard of reference check varies from companies to companies. There are even companies that specialises in doing so, and there are those that conducts informal reference checks (which by the way, could be considered illegal in some legislations and countries).

The point I like to suggest is LinkedIn can be a way for us to assess 80/20 a person's character reference. It is not going to be 100% foolproof, but hey - when you compare it to what companies are doing today, maybe it is still comparable (and free!) or even better?

As Foo Chek Wee, Group HR Director for Zalora SEA & Hong Kong once shared in his article 'My Advice for Graduates' which can be applied to everyone, LinkedIn provides a platform for you to extend your good name:

Reputable universities are providing students with sessions on how to do up a good LinkedIn profile. That's great as LinkedIn is an useful and extensive platform which prospective employers and recruitment agencies use to hunt for talents. As you go about being the best in what you do, having the desirable intellectual curiosity in solving organisational issues, your personal brand will soar over time. Isn't it a waste if LinkedIn recommendations not be written about you?

So get out there and get LinkedIn recommendations. Do give recommendations as well. I am sure your recipient will appreciate it and reciprocate. By the way, your giving of LinkedIn recommendations further extend your personal brand as well

Through recommendations, you get a character reference sense. You may challenge this point and doubt the recommendations, but what's stopping us from also doubting the phone call character reference checks that our recruitment team/we conducted ourselves?

The crux here is - to have a balanced view, to be open to more datapoints and to use LinkedIn in a useful way that helps businesses to have better talent discussions, more efficient & practical recruitment and hiring decisions.

Lastly, I like to qualify this is not a paid article endorsing the use of LinkedIn. It's just one man's view of the way Business Leaders, HR Leaders & Professionals and Companies can Unleash the Next Wave of LinkedIn Usage by changing the way we think of and use LinkedIn.

With that, I hope you've enjoyed reading this sharing...

This article first appeared on LinkedIn

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