Lab Dreams to Real Solutions @ LinkedIn HQ

I was honored and excited to be asked to lead a session at the May 2011 Recruiting Innovation Summit at LinkedIn HQ.  ERE (and specifically @TheLance) put on a great summit and all the presentations brought exciting and thought-provoking ideas the attendees.

I enjoyed putting this presentation together and had a blast presenting with Tomya Ryans, who shared some dynamite thoughts and answers during Q&A.  If you couldn’t attend or just want to review, here is an overview of the session Innovation for Digital Talent Acquisition: From Lab Dreams to Real Solutions.

The theme is taking ideas from the lab into real, live solutions.  Instead of only talking about high level concepts, we actually walk thru what we can create and the “why” behind what we wanted to do.  Four distinct areas are covered:

  • Personalized Candidate Experience
  • Facebook Innovation
  • Mobile Innovation
  • Live Twitter FAQ
Personalized Candidate Experience

There are three things we know: 1) A massive number of people have LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. 2) Internet users are becoming more comfortable with the idea of “logging in with your social profile.” And 3) the data in those profiles contains a goldmine of information we can use to create personalized experiences on career sites that are tailored to each visitor’s individual work experience, education, skills, location and more.

Let’s leverage that information intelligently and start offering visitor’s job recommendations, talent areas, content and more, based on their OWN profiles and not simply generic hot jobs or opportunities. You can see this concept in action by going to and clicking on “Job Recommendations for You.

Facebook Innovation

We talked about two concepts in this section: Personalized Custom Sections and playing in the stream on Facebook. We’ve all seen beautiful custom sections and we’ve seen not-so-beautiful custom sections on company Facebook Pages. What we haven’t seen much of are sections that leverage social profile data. Custom sections can allow user authentication in the exact same way as Facebook Applications. Instead of simply presenting the same info to all users, allow them to authenticate the section and then personalize the experience by leveraging their location, work history or any other piece of their profile.

Shameless plug: The Innovation team @ Hodes created The Instream Jobs Facebook App to demonstrate how companies can “play in the stream” more intelligently and we demo’d it live. The app transforms traditional wall posts about job opportunities by posting a dynamic, branded application with full job details that keeps the user on Facebook instead of forcing them to leave. Instead of basic text and a link, this app allows the branding, company info and job details to show up in the newsfeed of people who Like your company. It doesn’t have to be just be jobs (and it doesn’t have to be our app), you can play in the stream in a number of cool and interesting ways.

Mobile Innovation

I’m going to sum up the mobile innovation section quickly … now is the time to mobilize your recruitment strategy. If you need some supporting stats, check out the first slide in this section, it should be all you need. Since we know our mobile phones are personal and what we do with them is social, let’s start personalizing the mobile experience by leveraging social data. Mobile is about utility and this concept packs a ton of utility.

This section also covered integrating Twitter and Foursquare to build interesting mobile event pages, and creating unique search experiences by leveraging Augmented Reality. There is so much to be done, so much to talk about when it comes to mobile recruiting, that we could spend days talking about it.

Live Twitter FAQ

The last section was more of an experiment than anything else as we discussed using Twitter to replace live FAQ pages on career sites. To demonstrate the concept, we asked everyone to use various hashtags thru out the presentation when they asked questions. During the Q&A, we pulled up a live demo of what Twitter FAQ pages might look like packed with actual audience questions and answers. Showing job seekers information asked and answered by the community of job seekers and company brand ambassadors – instead of static, old info – has the potential to really showcase (in a good way) what life is like inside your organization and attract the calibre of candidates you’re looking for.

Slides and Video

Below is the deck and video from the presentation. The video includes live demonstrations of all the products/concepts in the presentation. If you have any questions or just want to talk more about any of the concepts presented, I’d love to hear from you.

About Me

I'm the Vice President of Digital Innovation and Mobile, which is probably the coolest job title out there. You can learn more about my work in emerging technology on the About or Work Pages.

As for this site, it's a place where I can jot ideas down and share some of the stuff I'm working on. The views are my own and some of them might not make much sense, but hey, that's part of the process. I'm also working toward being a single digit handicap golfer, so I post a lot about my golf game.