About 500 million individual professionals now use LinkedIn — some to network and stay connected, but many to look for new job opportunities. Fortunately, that number also includes plenty of human resources professionals and recruiters seeking not jobs, but job candidates.
“Pretty much every company uses LinkedIn these days,” said Peter Vincent, a New York City-based human resources executive. In such an enormous pool, how do candidates and companies find each other? Three recently released LinkedIn products promise to make it easier to match seekers and recruiters, and could upend more than a few professional lives.
One will allow job seekers to let recruiters know they’re open to new opportunities without tipping off their current employers. A second can help determine the true salary range for a position in different cities. The third is a matching service targeted at the exploding freelancer marketplace.
As with anything bright, shiny and new, it pays to unpack these new toys carefully to see their true value:
2) LinkedIn Salary takes on the strong cultural taboo against talking about money, which makes it challenging to know what a fair salary is for any given job. “With LinkedIn Salary,” says the company’s career expert, Blair Decembrele, “we’ve tapped into our network to provide deep insights into salary, bonus, and equity data for specific job titles.” Also factored in are experience, industry, company size, and location. LinkedIn Salary is available only to LinkedIn premium subscribers (monthly fee starts at $29.99) or to those members who share their salary with LinkedIn. (Learn more about LinkedIn Salary.)
LinkedIn Salary has better privacy protection than Open Candidates, since the company says salary data is encrypted separately from identity. It’s not even added to your LinkedIn profile.
Burriss is bullish on LinkedIn Salary, as is Vincent, who found it to be a potentially useful database. Its value, of course, will depend on how much data it eventually includes. LinkedIn says 2 million members have submitted salaries so far.
My advice: Use it. It’s most beneficial for common job titles, because — as Vincent points out — the more unusual a role is, the harder it is to amass data. Vincent also noted that job seekers shouldn’t forget traditional salary surveys, such as those provided by professional organizations and alumni associations. And, of course, use your own network.