Last week Microsoft agreed to fork out seriously big bucks for LinkedIn. A $26 billion mistake? Or Microsoft World Domination Here We Come?
Regardless of the outcome for Microsoft, you can’t help but wonder how this acquisition might affect your job as a recruiter.
During their presentation to investors, Microsoft and LinkedIn executives shared the ideas they have for how these 2 companies could be working together. Here’s what they are, and how it might play out for us.
Big Brother meets Office 365
One of the most significant changes that could come about is the integration of LinkedIn profiles and user information inside of Outlook, Skype or even when using an Office 365 product like Word, Excel, or Powerpoint.
Let’s take candidate paperwork as one example. When the candidate returns it to you, their profile pops up in your email, but also inside the document as well to remind you who they are.
If you’re collaborating on a project with a client and are sharing a spreadsheet, you can see who else is contributing to the data – and useful information about them.
Engage through learning and development
You know that Help search section in your Microsoft products? This could, in the future, provide suggestions of co-workers, connections, companies and courses from LinkedIn that can give the help that you need.
This could make an interesting shift in the way that recruiters present their offerings in an attempt to come up in these searches for clients and candidates.
Genuinely useful newsfeed
Your LinkedIn newsfeed could be tailored to what is relevant and useful to you right now. Yes, they say they are doing that already, but this will be very specifically related to the things you’re currently working on.
Think about all the information contained in those appointments in your Outlook calendar; the information in your job order forms, candidate reports, tenders and proposals. It could all be extracted to help filter your news feed into information that you could genuinely use as part of your research and preparation.
Personal assistant in your pocket
Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPA) are all the rage now. Speak into your mobile device with a question and the IPA software will trawl through the information stored on the device and the internet in order to speak back a response. They can also pre-emptively alert you to information it thinks you might want to know. Apple users have Siri, Android users have Google Now – Microsoft has Cortana.
The integration with LinkedIn could mean that Cortana could announce to you:
“Hi Chantal, you’ve got a meeting with Greg from ABC Constructions in half an hour. You and Greg both went to the University of Queensland and you both know Maria Lindeman. Good news, the Brisbane Lions won on the weekend.
Do you want to look at Greg’s profile?
Do you want to see your meeting history with Greg and Maria?”
One source of truth
Many a recruiter’s database is riddled with outdated information, or has conflicting information within our contact lists elsewhere.
This integration could bring everything into a singular source of truth (assuming users keep their LinkedIn profiles up to date, I assume).
Knowing your team better
Raise your hand if you enjoy reviewing sales activity reports?
This integration could help managers gain a better understanding of their recruiter’s business development activity; exactly who they are connecting with, where, when and for how long.
A pessimist might say this will help uncover where numbers are being fudged to meet KPIs or consultants are shouting their mates a game of golf. The optimist might see it as a (performance management) tool to help provide coaching and advice.
Well if it all goes off as they’re suggesting, I’d say we’re in for more productivity in our recruiting day. Which is great. But I do get a little edgy about the collection of data. I will certainly be undertaking a fresh tutorial on setting my privacy and upping the ante with personal data control.