LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking site, sees potential in the 80 million professional Indian workforce, which it hopes to tap to grow from its present 18 million membership in India at present, with more professionals and companies turning to social media for job searches.
Growing at 400% member additions since 2009, India has become the second-largest market for LinkedIn in three years of its launch here.
Globally, LinkedIn, which has 200 million members, adds two members per second, gets 5.5 billion professional search queries per year, and 64% of its members are outside the US.
Nishant Rao, LinkedIn’s new India country manager, said, “The shift from print to digital medium is also driving LinkedIn growth as a way to read news and get updates about members as well as expand one’s professional network.”
Today, 70% of software professionals are on LinkedIn with 2.7 million company pages, which helps in internal recruitment, as well.
Prominent corporates like HCL Technologies hire 90% of key employees and 25% overall employees through LinkedIn, he said.
Accenture last year reported about 40% of its recruitment was through social media, while ING Vysya reported four times return on investment using LinkedIn’s direct sourcing solution
So what is LinkedIn doing different to score over traditional job portals and compete with social networking giants like Twitter and Facebook?
Rao said, “Facebook is one of our customers; people today maintain distinction between professional and personal identities, which makes other social networking sites more our partners than competitors."
LinkedIn’s primary customer engagement philosophy as well as rapid innovation that provides a more detailed, refined search with specific skill-sets and company insights also help us stay ahead of competition.”
LinkedIn reported a 3x increase in weekly mobile visitors, with 27% rise in weekly page views in 2012, versus 15% weekly page views in 2011.
Publishing houses have also reported 3-5x growth after joining LinkedIn, which automatically re-directs members to the publisher’s home page on the site, he said.
Irfan Abdulla, director at LinkedIn India, said that despite being a professional networking site, job search is the fifth reason for joining LinkedIn.
“For members, the number one reason is to search profiles. Corporates use innovative features like Recruiter, corporate and employee branding, self-serve video ads, rich media profiles and mobile apps help members to refine recruitment searches and also read up on people, say before an interview.”
Searching for the right candidate with specific skill-sets to suit an organisation’s requirements has become especially relevant in India post recession, he said, adding, “Our Talent pipeline tool automatically updates a member’s resume, after doing relevant background checks, which makes it easier for company’s and employees to find each other, whenever they need to.”