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The difficult choices LinkedIn needs to make

LinkedIn’s mission is to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”. However, is it living up to this or has it become more of a social media platform?

LinkedIn currently has over 830 million members, with over 58 million companies – which equates to a lot of potential connections. While this is a large number of people, not all of them use it. From personal experience, I know that there is an expectation in college that you should create a LinkedIn profile. But do all of these students use it? Probably not.

In fact, only 40% of users claim they use the platform on a daily basis, spending only 17 minutes on it each month.

This article will talk about LinkedIn’s purpose and if they’re following through with what their users want. The internet is starting to adapt to the metaverse, but is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn’s purpose

Provide learning opportunities

LinkedIn supplies a wide range of learning courses on a variety of topics that provide career-boosting opportunities to users. There are courses for many disciplines, ranging from teaching skills, mindfulness, and how to use certain tools.

However, the problem is, few companies value these training courses. Would completing a LinkedIn course be the make-or-break decision for a recruiter’s hiring choice? If so, then the answer should be a resounding yes. But it’s not a necessary requirement for any job posting.

Also, are these LinkedIn courses relevant to the current job market trends? They tend to be general in nature, and in an ever-changing job market, will outdate very quickly.

It may be concluded that these courses can be a useful tool for professionals to test their knowledge and learn the basics of new skills. However, with no real qualification earned, as a result, it doesn’t benefit them in landing a new job.

Help job seekers find jobs

LinkedIn is a highly used platform for people looking for new job opportunities. Job seekers can apply for roles posted on LinkedIn and employers can view candidates’ profiles to recruit new workers.

LinkedIn can massively benefit talent in finding a new job if they use it correctly. Employers look at candidates’ profiles to see their interests, education history, and past work experience.  It’s a great tool recruiters can leverage to find out what type of person they are. 

It often is one of the first places jobs are posted. Candidates can set alerts for companies and roles they are interested in and receive daily notifications to update them on new vacancies.

In this respect, LinkedIn’s role as a job board is a useful one to any job seeker and any business looking to hire.

Build professional networks

LinkedIn’s basic function is to help build your professional network and build a range of career based communities. You can easily search for people you work with or have worked with in the past and begin to build your network. With there being 830 million members, it could be said that it does this quite well.

However, while LinkedIn allows you to build ‘connections’, are these going to be connections that can impact someone’s career? Well, that depends. In recent years LinkedIn has become much more of a social platform. Now it can be argued that it presents a lot of ‘social clutter’. We read more about what people did that day, instead of gaining professional insights from them. It’s increasingly difficult to build a substantial connection with people. As a result, LinkedIn has become a swarm of impersonal connections, rather than professional ones.

Emphasis on social

It can’t be argued that the expression and knowledge of social justice is a bad thing. Diversity in a business is a hot topic in the world of work and deserves to be discussed. LinkedIn also allows businesses to demonstrate what diversity and inclusion initiatives they have in place, and showcase their company culture.

The issue with LinkedIn becoming more of a social platform is, as previously stated, ‘social clutter’. We hear more about people’s holidays and less about their business achievements. There is nothing wrong with sharing inspiring messages and images, however, it seems that LinkedIn’s original purpose has been corrupted. Its focus on professional networking and discussing business topics has been overtaken by social posts.

LinkedIn groups

LinkedIn groups are one solution to this emphasis on social. Through these communities, you gain access to content you are interested in. However, not many users join and engage with these groups.

Also, LinkedIn is very good at allowing its users to block content they don’t want to see. It allows users to tailor their news feed and notifications to suit them. However, the administration of editing out content you don’t wish to see and checking your groups to see what’s being discussed is perhaps off-putting to many.

Is LinkedIn falling behind when it comes to metaverse?

The metaverse is possibly the epitome of what the internet will look like in the future. But how will it impact LinkedIn?

Meta (ex Facebook) has shifted its focus from a social media platform to the metaverse and how it will impact our lives. Without doubt, it will present a shift in how we socialise, network, and what the future of work looks like.  However, LinkedIn has not yet stated its metaverse strategy. The internet is evolving and LinkedIn would benefit to evolve with it, or it runs the risk of falling behind.

LinkedIn has 3 choices:

  1. Evolve with the metaverse
  2. Become more of a recruitment platform to fulfil the needs of their users
  3. Fall behind

Additionally, LinkedIn executives need to ask themselves if they want to prioritize their platform as a place for knowledge or connections. Realistically, with the number of users they have, it’s unlikely they will be able to sufficiently do both.

Final thoughts

Overall, LinkedIn has progressed more into a social platform rather than a professional connecting platform. Yes, people can still network but it’s a lot harder now to build the connections that could leave a lasting positive effect on their careers.

LinkedIn still benefits many with its job portal. However, in order to stay relevant, it is crucial that LinkedIn adapts to the future of work and recruitment in the age of the metaverse. 

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