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How LinkedIn's Big Data Approach is Influencing HR

Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has steadily become the largest network of business professionals across the globe. It's become a place where people can post their resumes, build networks, interact with contacts in their field, look for jobs and reach out to new talent.

In 2012, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Werner wrote an article detailing what his company's goals were for the future. In the short term, he aimed to improve the areas of professional identity and professional insights, plus ensure that the website was accessible to anyone, anywhere.

But his main vision was to map out the world's first economic graph.

"In other words, we want to digitally map the global economy, identifying the connections between people, jobs, skills, companies, and professional knowledge - and spot in real-time the trends pointing to economic opportunities," Werner wrote.

In an effort to make that graph, the company has turned to big data. But what exactly does this mean for human resources and its lifecycle?

The big data approach
Big data analytics involves looking at large amounts of data to discover hidden patterns, correlations and other valuable information that can help a business make better decisions. Organizations collect data from a variety of sources in all types of formats to analyze and add to the bottom line.

"LinkedIn is creating a comprehensive digital map of skills, workers and jobs across the global economy."

LinkedIn has been working with several tech startups to develop its big data strategy and create a comprehensive digital map of skills, workers and jobs across the global economy. It relies on complex algorithms, profile analysis and site behavior to achieve this goal.

Learning from LinkedIn
Using all of this data that LinkedIn collects, businesses are able to develop new strategies and make their HR processes more efficient. In particular, hiring managers have a wealth of information at their disposal to make the hiring process more targeted and efficient, making it easier to recruit top talent. After all, according to LinkedIn, social professional networks are the No. 1 source of quality hires in the U.S.

Hooking up with a huge network of job seekers helps HR smooth out recruitment processes and sidestep common pitfalls that may get in the way of ensuring a happy workforce, which is HR's main goal. As a result, the whole HR lifecycle could be reinvented and modernized to meet today's economic needs.

More pressure on job seekers
What does the big data approach mean for job seekers? Not a whole lot, since it's already well-understood that social professional networks are some of the best tools for the job search. To truly benefit from these sites, business professionals have to make sure that they're carefully crafting their profiles and choosing the right information that will get them to stand out in the massive pool of job applicants.

As always, job seekers should look for ways to improve their skills and knowledge in whatever field they're in, whether it's through further education, online industry research resources or networks. Whatever they learn can help them improve their resumes and potentially lead to a job offer from those businesses that are using LinkedIn as an HR tool.

"HR departments are going to have a faster, easier time finding new, qualified employees."

Good news for companies
The takeaway from LinkedIn's big data approach is that companies' HR departments are going to have a faster, easier time finding new, qualified employees, which can eventually mean a happier workforce and an improved HR lifecycle.

If you work in HR, LinkedIn should be one of your most useful tools. If you're a job seeker, you'd better make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to snuff!

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