Thursday, September 4, 2014

Product Management Mistake #1: Linkedin "Do what I say, not what I do!" (and 3 ways to solve it)

Recently, I was browsing job offers on Linkedin and I got quite surprised by what I discovered:

"LinkedIn sells a job posting/application service but does not use it for its own job vacancies!"

As you can see below, these 2 job offers (offer1, offer2 and I have put the screenshots because the links might soon be invalid) are for the Linkedin Parisian office and surprisingly you cannot apply to Linkedin positions directly on the current page!

Linkedin job offer in Paris
Linkedin job offer#2 in Paris
To apply you need to go the company website. I can understand why several companies do that (even though I hate it as an applicant) because it enables them to get more information about you and feed their information system. It is also a way to check about your motivation.

Nevertheless, I find it is a mistake for Linkedin to do that (they don't do it for their US-based position ;)) because it indicates they do not totally believe in their own application system.

As a potential customer, I would find it disturbing to have the job board selling me its application system and finding out that it does not use it itself!

To make some analogy, it would be like Apple enabling its appstore for 3rd-parties and using a dedicated appstore for its in-house applications (such as Garage Band). 

Nevertheless, Linkedin is great for networking and suggesting job opportunities. I find their application system great and it's a shame they do not use it for their own job vacancies.

In addition, here are some suggestions I have regarding their application system to make it even greater for job applicants:
  • Be able to add more than 1 file in your application. As you can see below, you can only add 1 supporting file (either CV or Cover letter, not both :()
    Linkedin job application pop-up

  • Store cover letters and be able to modify them inline. To make the Linkedin application system even more efficient, I would suggest to enable applicants to store cover letters from past applications. From there, you could edit them inline while applying to a job and send them to the recruiter. I would love that, especially for the mobile application!
  • Filter jobs offers with apply now feature. I can understand recruiters would hate it because it would force them to use the full Linkedin package but as a job applicant, especially when I use the mobile application, I would love to be able to display only offers I can apply directly from the Linkedin app
Indeed, having access to offers I can only save to my account is really, really frustrating! Do Linkedin people really think I am going to click on the "apply on company website" button from my mobile phone? REALLY??

There is no way I am going to apply through company website on my phone!
As a conclusion, I would recommend Linkedin to stop forwarding its own applications to their company website and enhance at least their mobile application so it would really take into account the context you are in when using your mobile phone.

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