If you’re looking for a job—whether you’re a recent graduate or an experienced software engineer in Silicon Valley looking to make a change—how should you start your job search? Or as a small business or recruiter how to do start your search for a new candidate?
Here’s a suggestion from Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn’s co-founder and executive chairman:
“Take job hunting. The Networked Age has radically changed this activity, and yet when you ask people how they look for a job, a surprising number continue to say they ‘search the job listings.’ That’s the Information Age approach! In the Networked Age, you should look for people with connections to companies you’re interested in, trace the best path from those connections to people who can share useful intelligence, and then ask for introductions to those people.”
However, despite Hoffman’s vision, LinkedIn itself fails to deliver!
To help us find a better way here at Fridge Magazine we thought we should bring in Alex Ren from Linkr. He is the lead recruiter and co-founder of Linkr, a Silicon Valley startup aiming to transform the job hunting experience. In his guest article below he sets out the new way to recruit new employee’s and get jobs.
Consider this scenario: after registering a LinkedIn account and completing your profile, you might enter a keyword into the search engine only to find hundreds or even thousands of open positions. If you’re interested, you can easily click the link and apply in seconds. But what isn’t obvious is that hundreds of people before you have already clicked that link and applied! After painstakingly crafting your LinkedIn profile, asking for and securing recommendations, and connecting with as many coworkers as you could, you were hoping to stand out from the crowd. In fact, you must stand out because LinkedIn’s success means there already is a crowd ahead of you in line.
And so you wait: days, weeks, and months pass. And all you get in the end is an inbox full of rejection emails, most of them boilerplate generated by software.
But what if you used the technique suggested by Reid Hoffman?
In most cases, the gatekeepers for the jobs posted on LinkedIn are professional recruiters, or perhaps Human Resources staff — and they aren’t impressed when you contact someone else in the company first. So, the “best path” Hoffman describes winds up being one path: you have to connect with whoever posted an available job—usually the recruiter or someone in HR.
But here’s the problem: even if you manage to stand out from the crowd, how is a recruiter going to fact-check your work history and recommendations? This isn’t easy to do on LinkedIn.
This has been a big problem for recruiters and HR for a long time: Job seekers need to talk to job posters, but job posters need to verify work history. As a public social network, LinkedIn suffers from common weaknesses easily exploited: any one can create a fake or exaggerated employment history, and anyone can pretend to know anybody—adding strangers indiscriminately into their network. Further, anyone can endorse anybody without knowing anything about an endorsee’s actual skill or competence.
These are big challenges for people hunting for a job on either LinkedIn or other job networks.
People are so frustrated!
Several Silicon Valley entrepreneurs want to challenge the status quo and disrupt the career industry with some new ideas. They built Linkr, a mobile-only app designed to solve the problem that the big giants like LinkedIn and Monster can’t.
Yes! You read that right; Linkr is a mobile-only app.
Back in the day, before social networks or even the Internet, a job search meant talking to your friends and asking them to also check with their friends to discover opportunities. You had to work your “network.” Of course, you could never involve all your friends in your job hunt, and it would be extremely unlikely for all of them to also check with all of their friends on your behalf. So basically, pre-Internet, a job hunt was a job-sourcing problem and an efficiency problem.
Odds are, your next job will come through a contact in your network of relationships—despite the promise of LinkedIn and other job search sites. Because job search sites focus mostly on job posts, it’s very difficult to take advantage of your real-world network of relationships. But Linkr solves both the sourcing and efficiency problems by looking for opportunities through your circle of actual friends.
This is why Linkr is mobile-only: a cellular phone number is required to register, verifying your identity. Plus, the app allows you to connect with your personal contacts as you begin your job search.
Most of us have fewer than a hundred contacts in our phone book — this isn’t a broad enough circle of relationships to uncover many opportunities. But Linkr breaks the wall of that first layer, allowing you to interact with your second layer of connections (the friends of your friends). For example, if you have fifty first-connections, and each of them also has fifty connections, then you could potentially have access to 2,500 contacts within Linkr. That is a lot—enough to find at least a few opportunities.
This solves the job-sourcing problem.
Now, here’s the most important part: once you’ve found a job opportunity, you’d also be able to discover who the job-poster is as well as the common friends between you both. Now you can ask your real-world friend (not your virtual “friend” on LinkedIn) to make introductions.
This solves the efficiency problem.
You might object that LinkedIn can do the same thing—but considering how easy it is to add strangers into your network and how worthless “endorsements” are, would a recruiter even trust a LinkedIn referral?
By focusing on references from your first layer of phone book connections, your Linkr referral is much more credible than any other job-search website. Because of this contacts-based relationship, a Linkr referral is like a positive rental reference, or a job reference from a colleague or close friend.
Like any other good idea in its early stages, Linkr may present a few hiccups when you first register. Initially, your network will be sparse—or even empty—until more users sign up and more and more friends are invited—the app’s user base is growing rapidly. Nevertheless, the app will still be useful immediately since Linkr staff publish job opportunities every day.
Start tapping the power of your network today and install Linkr. Your next job could be waiting right inside your contacts list!