checkGigaOm reported last night that Linkedin is launching a way for candidates to apply to job postings with their Linkedin profile. Much like a Linkedin Share button or a Tweet button, an Apply with Linkedin button would simply authenticate a user’s Linkedin account and then transfer selected data to the application process. The system would help propagate Linkedin as a standard job application method and shorten the application process for candidates. [Update: the new service is available here.]

What does the Apply with Linkedin Button mean for candidates?

  • A candidate’s Linkedin profile would matter more. If candidates are actively seeking jobs, it is yet another reason that a fully fleshed out and updated Linkedin profile is essential.
  • It might speed up the process. If candidate’s can fill out one profile through Linkedin and then use that profile around the web, they won’t have to fill out lengthy job application forms each time.

What does the Apply with Linkedin Button mean for Linkedin?

  • Linkedin could become a web standard instead of a website. Linkedin’s lofty IPO valuation presupposes a greater calling for the popular social network. By moving Linkedin profiles more toward a standard for job applications, it is possible for Linkedin to have much greater distribution and usage.
  • Linkedin could head further into the enterprise recruitment technology space. Linkedin gets 43% of their revenue from hiring solutions such as their job board. However, the real money is in the enterprise space, and to do so requires integrating with major applicant tracking systems and corporate processes. If Linkedin starts slowly becoming a method of hiring versus a way to post a job, they could move further up the software food-chain.

What does the Apply with Linkedin Button mean for recruiters?

  • Recruiting departments should take note of the Linkedin job application tool. Linkedin profiles are easy to search and find using the website. However, the issue is that they are not easily compared, sorted, and stored. The new tool would allow Linkedin profiles to be a standard part of your resume database. For major organizations, the standard fields could provide a highly efficient method of ranking and sorting applicants.
  • Recruiting departments need to be on Linkedin. If your recruiters are not using Linkedin or if your recruitment firm has a love-hate relationship with Linkedin due to its being “outside the ATS,” it’s time to get over it. Develop policies around its use and an incorporation into your sourcing and applicant process. With the recent massive influx of capital, broad consumer use, and upcoming job application process, Linkedin is here to stay.

What could it mean in the future?

  • Right now, the Linkedin apply button is a simple method of transferring text fields. However, the exciting part is the social graph. You can imagine a time when the connections that a candidate has are transferred along with the profile and are used for assessment purposes.
  • Job boards are currently integrating Linkedin authentication protocols into their application process. If the trend continues, it will become a real standard process for the web.
  • You can imagine the entire elimination of the job application process. The job application process is currently a matter of filling out data and sending it to companies and employers. What the Linkedin apply button suggests is that job application should really be a simple statement of preference. If Linkedin does the work for the candidate, all that is left is for the candidate to say that they want to work for a particular company. When that statement is received from the candidate, Linkedin just transfers the profile to the company. When you think about it, there would really be no reason to even leave the Linkedin website…

The new Linkedin job application tool is certainly an interesting (although expected) development. Does the new tool forecast a major transformation in online job search or is it just another little widget to save a few seconds? Of course, we’ll have to wait to see what it all means.

in Using LinkedIn]