CW500: How IT leaders can make best use of LinkedIn?

Social media is revolutionising the way people interact online, and as such presents many opportunities for IT leaders to help their organisations engage with customers, to improve internal collaboration, and to develop their own profile to help boost their career. But how should CIOs makes the most of those opportunities?

Computer Weekly editor in chief Bryan Glick talked to Ariel Eckstein, managing director of LinkedIn’s European hiring solutions division. Ariel talked about how IT leaders can make best use of the professional networking web site as part of their recruitment strategies.

Read the full transcript from this video below:

How IT leaders can make best use of LinkedIn

Bryan Glick: Hello, and welcome to the CW500 Club. I am
here today with Ariel Eckstein. Ariel is the managing
director of Hiring Solutions, the social media site LinkedIn.
He has been talking to our network of IT leaders today
about how they can use social media, in particular how a
site such as LinkedIn, can help them in their everyday jobs,
as well as in developing their own careers. Ariel, thank you
very much for coming along. Welcome to CW500.

Ariel Eckstein: Thank you Brian for having me.

Bryan Glick: What sort of things could IT leaders and CIOs
turn to LinkedIn to use? I think a lot of people are already on
there, they have established quite informal connections with
people they know. How could people really get the most out
of the service you are able to offer to them?

Ariel Eckstein: I agree. We have quite a large base, we have
over 65 million members globally and over 3 million in the
United Kingdom and one of the largest constituencies is in
technology and the technical fields. From a CIO perspective,
the key areas where they would turn to LinkedIn, the primary
one would be in attracting talent, in finding talent, not just the
talent that is looking for an opportunity, but what we call ‘passive
talent,’ people who are very happy with their jobs, who CIOs
and their staff may be interested in building a relationship with.
We think the talent market is not about a hunter, where you get
a requisition, wait until you get a requisition, and then go hunting
for that person, it is really about farming. When we talk about
farming we talk about cultivating relationships, using your company's
brand and things that your company can do to build mind space
within potential candidates, so when the call does come, it is not a
cold call, they have already an impression of the company, so you
really have cultivated, or farmed, your relationship with them. That
would be one which is really around talent.

The secondary one is there are over 500,000 groups on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a professional network; it is not a social network like
some of the other ones that are quite well-known, like Facebook
or Twitter, for example. The people are there to help advance their
careers and find solutions and answers to business problems. A
CIO may want to start a discussion about something his company
is facing or look for people who are like-minded around a certain
technical or technological issue, and start a group or participate in
a group on LinkedIn that helps them.

Bryan Glick: Could you give me some examples of the people or
companies that have used LinkedIn to meet some of those targets
that you talked about, in particular, some of the recruitment areas,
for example?

Ariel Eckstein: One of our most important clients is Accenture. In
A cover article in Fortune Magazine last month, Accenture's efforts
on LinkedIn were featured where they are looking to hire 55,000 people
over the next 12 months, and are looking at social media and LinkedIn
being a major component of that, to hire almost half of them. We have
a very extensive relationship with Accenture, and they are really realizing
that a large base of people on LinkedIn enables them to decrease
their spending on agencies, decrease their spending on job wards,
and find the right people. I would give that as an example of a really
leading-edge company that is thinking about how the next wave of
talent management is developed on the web. We have other
companies, like Microsoft. Microsoft was looking to recruit
developers into its network, into a very specific network initiative
they had, and what we did with them is do what we call a Talent
Direct Campaign. They gave us very specific parameters around
the type of developers that they were looking not to hire, but to
cultivate a relationship with, and a long-term relationship. We
were able to target those to join a Microsoft-sponsored group to
engage in discussion about a certain technology. Those are two
examples of global leaders in their fields using LinkedIn.

Bryan Glick: From the perspective of an individual CIO, an
individual IT leader, some of the other people who have
been talked to tonight have talked about what they do on
Twitter, and what they do with blogs, and in various
other aspects of the social media space. For an individual,
how would you suggest that LinkedIn would fit into that whole
range of different ways they are looking to use this technology
to engage with people?

Ariel Eckstein: I think they are all complimentary. People ask
me about this all the time, and I think if you are using Facebook,
if you are using Twitter, they fill different needs. As I mentioned
before, LinkedIn is very much a professional network, it is where
you build and communicate your professional persona, your
qualifications, and your aspirations as a professional. Facebook
is more of a social network; Twitter is a 24 hour, 365 day a year
conversation about topics. What I would see, and what we are seeing
CIOs and executives using LinkedIn, is around a number of different
things. The first is from a personal basis, by building and enhancing
their network, not about the pictures of their children or what they did
in the weekend, but where they have presented, what books they
have read, what their ideas are in current fields. The second is, as I
mentioned earlier, how they are sourcing talent, how they are
cultivating talent, and how they are building their company's
recruitment media for their own technology groups. They are working
in very large corporations where the IT and the systems and the
information technology departments that they run have their own
personality and they want to communicate what it is like to work
at those. They are using a product we have called LinkedIn Career
Pages, which is able to target members of LinkedIn based on their
own profiles. If you are an Oracle database administrator, versus an
SAP consultant, and you have identified yourself as such in your profile,
when you go to see a company's LinkedIn career page, the information
that is there is targeted to you, so it is a very relevant conversation that
the CIOs are able to have with these candidates.  Lastly, I mention
groups, they are able to use, from a sourcing perspective, from a
recruitment media perspective, and from their own executive networking
perspective to make sure they are up to date and connecting with their
peers around the world.

Bryan Glick: Good advice for people. Obviously, there are plenty of
opportunities people need to look into, in terms of how to use some
of the services you offer. Ariel, thank you very much for coming on to
talk tonight, and for that great advice. I very much appreciate it.

Ariel Eckstein: Thank you. My pleasure.

Bryan Glick: That is all the time for this video. Thank you very much for
watching. We will see you again soon. Bye.

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