RealTime IT News

LinkedIn is on the Job

It's not what you know but who you know. That's particularly true with job hunting.

Social networking firm LinkedIn is hoping to capitalize on that axiom. The Mountain View, Calif., company has launched LinkedIn Jobs, a bulletin board job service where degrees of separation may be as important as degrees from universities.

The idea was to create a site where job seekers could capitalize on their past experiences and build relationships with others who may help advance their career, said Konstantin Guericke, LinkedIn's vice president of marketing. The process involves making connections with former colleagues, peers and business associates, he said.

"When you're looking for a job you want to know which of your contacts knows someone who is hiring," he said.

Unlike Monster or Careerbuilder, LinkedIn Jobs shows how you're connected to a person who may be in charge of recruiting for example. The service gives the names of employees, who have agreed to post their information, within a company and ranks them by degrees of separation based on information the user has input.

Guericke said by taking advantage of these personal connections, job seekers can distinguish themselves from the pack. He cited a recent study by CareerXroads that shows 28 percent of hires are from referrals, while only 2.8 percent came from the big job bulletin boards.

"A referral can really be the difference in getting the job or not," Guericke said.

And those who have been using the beta seem to believe in the network theory. In a recent survey of LinkedIn users, 58 percent of the 1,400 respondents rated having an inside connection to the hiring manager as very important; 51 percent rated it as somewhat or very likely that they will find their next job through LinkedIn Jobs.

Guericke says company has about 300,000 job postings listed and expects 1 million by summer. So far, 75 percent of all listings on the site have been for mid-to-senior level positions, and 7 percent have been senior executive positions.

Although there is $95 a month charge to list jobs on the site, it will remain free for job seekers.

The company says it has registered 2 million users since LinkedIn launched its social networking site in May of 2003.