LinkedIn is what lots of people know as the “Facebook for business.” A professional social networking site that has over 690 million members across the globe, LinkedIn is a staple for many businesses and professionals alike.
Initially, LinkedIn was known for its job listings & postings. While this still is a prominent feature for many (with an estimated 20 million job postings on the site), LinkedIn has become most well-known for networking, employer branding, and B2B connections in recent years.
Recruiting is still a focus, but mostly as a networking and connections site — not as a job board.
This shift in purpose is evident when you examine the additions and changes of the recent LinkedIn redesign. This is LinkedIn’s first major redesign in the last 5 years, which is an eternity in the web design world where most people agree a redesign is necessary every two to three years.
Thus, this redesign was a long time coming and truly shows the shift in priority for LinkedIn as a platform. These changes can also inform job seekers and recruiters & employers alike of how to get the most out of the site.
In this post, we’re going to take you through the major changes in the LinkedIn redesign, what these mean for the platform, and how this can affect recruitment. Let’s get started!
New Features in the 2020 LinkedIn Redesign
Most of the features we’re going to discuss here seem to have the goal of making the platform more streamlined, inclusive, and easy-to-use.
Truly embracing the “Facebook of business” moniker, LinkedIn is positioning itself as a true social networking site that happens to also have job posts.
This is similar to Facebook with their new Facebook for Jobs platform.
Without further ado, here are the top new features from the LinkedIn redesign:
The idea of “stories” (aka short pieces of content that are only available for 24 hours) was initially popularized on Snapchat and Instagram with almost all major social media platforms following with their own version within the last few years.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube all have their own version of stories. Now, so does LinkedIn.
LinkedIn stories are visible for 24 hours. Users can send replies or feedback to these stories, similar Instagram stories — which reach over 1.7 billion accounts daily.
Stories are mostly used by employers & businesses as they can be used for recruitment marketing, employer branding, and even keeping your team connected.
LinkedIn has said that they plan to make ads a part of their story content, meaning that ads can appear as a user looks through stories on the platform. This opens up paid advertising opportunities (more on this later).
LinkedIn Stories are a great way to boost your image and reputation via employer branding. Learn more about employer branding here.
Improved Direct Messaging Features
In an effort to protect the user base from harassment, LinkedIn has implemented “flags” or “in-line warnings” on new incoming messages to protect people from inappropriate, incendiary, and hateful content.
Users are also now able to edit and delete sent messages as well as adding emoji reaction support.
Video Conferencing Integration
With so many of LinkedIn’s users now working remotely, they’ve implemented Zoom, BlueJeans, and Microsoft Teams video chatting integration for LinkedIn messaging. You can start a video conference with a single click directly from a LinkedIn direct message.
This could make it easier for recruiters to connect instantly with job seekers (and vice-versa) as well as allow for the potential of video interviewing directly on the platform making recruitment a bit more streamlined and efficient.
Better Search Tools
Perhaps one of the biggest updates of the redesign, LinkedIn is rolling out improved search features that make it easier to get targeted and relevant search results on both the desktop and the mobile platforms.
Now, when you search something on LinkedIn, you’ll see results for posts, jobs, learning courses, companies, and groups in separate and organized results. You now have the option to easily filter these results as well.
Want your job posts to rank higher on Google for Jobs? Jobiak can make it happen using the top Google for Jobs ranking signals. Learn how here.
What Does This Redesign Tell Us About LinkedIn and Recruitment?
Now that you know the major updates, we can look into what these things tell us about LinkedIn as a platform.
LinkedIn Is a Social Networking Site
Our biggest takeaway from this is that LinkedIn is positioning itself as a primarily professional social networking site — not a job board or job listing site.
Besides the upgraded search tool, the updates that LinkedIn chose for their first major redesign in half a decade all emphasize networking, connection, and communication. They’re mirroring features seen on major social networks like Instagram and Facebook, not features seen on major job board & listing platforms like Google for Jobs, Indeed, and Glassdoor.
Something that’s unchanged is that LinkedIn still integrates with Google for Jobs. The improved search features on LinkedIn could potentially help your jobs target people more easily and be found by your target audience.
New search features are what people have been wanting for years from LinkedIn.
But, in a way, it’s too little too late — other platforms are able to optimize job listings better and with more targeting than LinkedIn even after this new redesign.
For example, Jobiak can optimize your job listings with hundreds of different Google for Jobs ranking signals and have them appear on Google for Jobs where the majority of job seekers start their search in the first place.
Not to mention that it’s still quite expensive to post a job on LinkedIn while there are other options that are much less expensive and are more effective.
LinkedIn does have ways to post job listings, but not for free. Learn how to post a job on Google for free here.
Content Is Overtaking the Platform
Most peoples’ home feeds on LinkedIn are filled with content from companies they follow — or content from people who work at these companies posting about the place that they work at.
Almost none of the homepage (even with the redesign) emphasizes the jobs platform and virtually no job listings are seen on the homepage. The new search tool could make it easier to find jobs, but with all the other results a search gives you, jobs are definitely not the focus.
The same idea applies to LinkedIn stories.
Stories are meant to bring more communication & informal networking to the platform. While these can in theory be used for job listings & postings, the main use of this feature will likely be for inter-company communication, recruitment marketing, and employer branding.
Job seekers may find jobs on stories, but probably not frequently or easily.
LinkedIn’s assertion that ads are to come on these stories is also indicative of a shift towards content & networking vs direct recruitment & listing jobs.
Individuals shelling out good money for LinkedIn story ads is not very likely compared to businesses with sizable advertising budgets. These ads will likely speak to other businesses or business professionals because that’s the main user base of LinkedIn.
All of this could hinder a job seeker’s experience using stories since much of the content will be irrelevant to them or clogged with B2B agendas.
In fact, this aligns with how LinkedIn has been operating in recent years with 94 percent of B2B marketers using LinkedIn as a content marketing platform, and LinkedIn having 15 times more content impressions than job postings.
LinkedIn Redesign & Features Emphasize Social Networking & Communication — Not Jobs
The new LinkedIn redesign does make the platform more streamlined and fulfills some needs that users have been asking for for years. These new features can help with recruitment in some ways — namely for recruiters & employers to help with employer branding and finding potential candidates.
While it’s early to tell how much this will impact the number of jobs posted to LinkedIn, these features aren’t candidate focused and they are not jobs focused.
If you’re looking for a platform that centers the candidate experience and emphasizes jobs, LinkedIn is not the go-to. For that, we’d recommend Google for Jobs.
Jobiak works to optimize listings for Google for Jobs to help employers and job seekers alike streamline the recruitment process without unnecessary content or B2B agendas. We work to center the job listing and get it in front of audiences who are looking for it.
Learn more about this process on our recruitment technology & Google for Jobs website. You can also contact us for more information on how optimizing for Google for Jobs can help you reach your recruitment goals!