During the last week the good folks at LinkedIn announced the launch of the “Apply For” button within the channel. None other than Mashable reported on the launch. The post was retweeted 2926 times and was liked 646 times.Other bloggers rushed to announce how this could be the death of the CV, well documented in Matt Alder’s excellent Recruiting Futurology.

Now, any feature that makes it easier for job seekers to apply for a job is a good thing in my book.I’m just not sure that what we are seeing is new here. As I read it, the apply for tab enables advertisers to post the tab on their ad within LinkedIn on partner sites. I’m guessing that the partner sites are going to be the same partner sites as already integrate with the JobsInsider toolbar. These are primarily U.S. centric, being Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, Craigslist, SimplyHired, Dice and Vault. I don’tknow this for certain, so if i’m wrong I stand corrected. A number of the leading European job boards already have the functionality to sign up and integrate details on registration from the LinkedIn profile. This registration enables applications using this data and alerting potential employers of matches.

The way it looks like the button is going to work is to extract info from the profile and put it through a candidate funnel that acts as a client A.T.S. The hiring company can add extra questions and request a covering letter etc, so there is some customisation possible. Whilst this is a new feature within LinkedIn, being able to push a LinkedIn profile through an A.T.S.in order to apply for a job. earlier this year Bernard Hodes announced the launch of the excellent Social Job Matcher. The Hodes product sits on any career site or web site, and enables candidates to apply for jobs using the detail from their profile.   The difference between Social Job Matcher and the new LinkedIn feature is that the Hodes offering spans both LinkedIn and Facebook, giving wider reach.

A number of existing A.T.S.’s such as Caliber and Arithon already integrate with the LinkedIn A.P.I. for candidates, accepting applications via LinkedIn profiles. This functionality is nothing new, and I’m unsure how the LinkedIn button is any different. Whilst LinkedIn will filter and sift candidates for hiring companies using the tab, is this any difference to the A.T.S.integration that already exists?

It is possible that LinkedIn will record the data on who is applying for jobs using the tab, and use this to promote active candidates, (those applying) higher in the rankings when recommending profiles to hiring companies advertising jobs. (LinkedIn currently recommends 24 profiles to advertisers, matched via the LinkedIn semantic matching engine). Matches are currently prioritized according to 1) Location 2)Skills 3)Job Title, in that order. I’d be interested to know if the LinkedIn algorithm has changed or if it is based on the same formula.

I’d be interested in knowing from LinkedIn how the information is extracted from profiles when candidates apply via the button. I ask this because if you change the order of your profile using edit (as many people do, moving contacts to the top), then this knocks out other automated LinkedIn features like ¬†business card, resume maker or e-mail header. Information is extracted by position on the profile page rather than heading. I will be interested to see if the button extracts and exports information by category heading or position on the profile. If it is position on the profile, then this will necessitate removing the functionality to reposition sections of the profile.

What LinkedIn have achieved with the button is plenty of attention and good PR.At the moment I can’t see anything significantly new that does not exist in other applications already in use, the benefits offered by the app’s like Social Jobmatcher, is that you can incorporate both LinkedIn and Facebook, not LI exclusively.

Am I calling this wrong? Do you see this as more than a smart bit of marketing?




Matt Alders RecruitingFutureology

Social JobMatcher