Hidden Significance of LinkedIn’s ‘Apply’ button
There’s something big about LinkedIn’s recent news that no one is talking about yet.
According to a report, LinkedIn is expected to announce their “Apply with LinkedIn” button (via GigaOM). It enables companies to place a button on their websites and online job postings so that applicants can apply by submitting just their LinkedIn profile, instead of needing to fill out a separate application. This is a great idea, and I’d be shocked if there wasn’t significant adoption of this feature, especially among professional services businesses. In one action, LinkedIn (1) increases the volume of applications for the employer (since it is so much easier to apply) and (2) aggregates all their data (skills, positions, education) into a reportable database for easy sorting and tracking – especially important for handling that increased volume.
However, there is a bigger transformation here than just making job applications more efficient: creating an infrastructure to support the “casual job seeker”.
College football coaching is built on the “casual job seeker” model. Many coaches have a dream job that they don’t have now, but would love to have in the future. In an extremely small industry like that, and with the use of agents, communicating the message “if my phone rang I’d certainly answer the call” isn’t a problem. But how about for the rest of us?
Almost everyone employed today not actively looking for a new job would still consider changing jobs if a great opportunity presented itself. These individuals aren’t searching job boards, submitting online resumes, or filling out job applications. But what if they could go to Apple’s website, or Facebook’s, or McKinsey’s, or Nike’s, and with one click they could effectively say “I like your company, I’m not actively looking, but if you think I’m a fit I would certainly take your call”?
That’s what LinkedIn’s button can do: create a new type of company-to-casual job seeker relationship that could alter how recruiting is done.
If this sounds familiar, the exact same feature exists today – on the the real estate site Zillow. Their “Make me Move” feature allows people that aren’t actively selling their house to put a price on it anyway, presumably a price high enough that if someone offered it, it would be an “offer he can’t refuse”. Zillow expands their usefulness by supporting both the active seller and the casual seller – and LinkedIn is positioned to do the same.
Rocco Tarasi was an accountant, investment banker, and CFO before becoming a technology entrepreneur. He is @RoccoTarasi on Twitter.