The 1 big winner from the pandemic.

05 Mar

Post pandemic, who will be the employment winners and losers? From a people perspective, the lessening of the need to actually work from a physical office means the clear winners are likely to be the white collar, office based employees who can now save up to 2 hours a day not having to commute, and the exodus from city centre or even suburban life has already started in almost all industrialised countries. In addition, the willingness of employers to rely on freelancers (exhibit a: the growth of sites like Upwork and Fiverr) means that companies which previously sought to hire within 20 miles from the office, are now actively considering hiring from anywhere. This is a way of working candidates seem happy to oblige as indicated by the number of searches using the remote filter on Linkedin increasing 60% during the pandemic, a trend that will surely continue. These have huge implications for how and crucially where, hiring managers source the best candidates from. So from a corporate perspective there is going to be a clear winner from all of this: Linkedin.

The reason is very simple. Think about it, if you can hire whatever you need from Brazil, Australia, who knows, maybe even China, you need a job board that is truly international. If you run a job board and the boundary of your core audience stops at the border, your site is only going to be of limited help to our new borderless hiring manager. Let’s be honest, the vast majority of traditional post and pray job sites operate in a defined geographic area, usually the country they were founded in. Put another way, 95%+ of the people who could be suitable for your job will never see it because they will either never have heard of that job board as they don’t live in that country (never seeing the localised advertising that is done for it) or they just can’t be bothered to search dozens of different sites. Clearly there are some jobs where local expertise or at least a strong knowledge of that country’s laws, business norms and culture will be essential. For those, the local job board should suffice, but there are an awful lot of jobs, particularly in the technology space, where this is not the case. Pretty much anyone who has a technology focused job can work trans nationally without any problem. Java is the same in France as it is in the US. Customer service is the same in Brazil as it is in Portugal. So if you’re an employer and you’re happy to build a remote team, here’s what you ideally want to do: either post your job onto dozens of local sites in 30 countries or preferably post on 1 or 2 truly international ones.

The problem with the former is twofold: 1, it would take so long to post the same job to a job site in 30+ countries and 2, it’s going to cost a huge amount to buy that volume of advertising. This is where a site like Linkedin has a big advantage as it has (very shrewdly) moved to a pay per click model. What this means is that you can post the job in multiple locations throughout the world and since you only pay for clicks you can stop the jobs any time you want and only pay for those you’ve incurred. If you only want to spend $500 it’s incredibly easy to set that as your budget. To get the same coverage with a single advert on a leading national site in 30 countries would probably cost 10 times that amount.
In addition, Linkedin is truly international. As an example, a job posted recently through our software for a UK employer was a senior HR manager to be based in southern Spain. It received 10% of it’s applications from 2 of the UK’s leading job sites that offered Spain as a searchable area and nearly 85% from Linkedin. Unaware of which local sites to use and unwilling to spend a ton of cash on untested local Spanish sites, they had little choice but to post onto Linkedin. A lot of sites claim they have international coverage - almost none do, so along with Indeed, Linkedin is really the only option companies have for a truly international site that they know, they trust and can give them easy coverage for ‘borderless’ jobs. Now I can hear the howls of protest from up and coming aggregators and your howls of protest are noted but until you can match the consumer awareness levels of either Indeed or Linkedin, you are most definitely playing catch up with candidates and just as importantly, clients. Google jobs obviously has great potential but as yet the traffic levels we are tracking from it are not even close to those provided by Indeed or Linkedin.

So overall Microsoft (which owns Linkedin) has had a pretty good pandemic. It’s Teams video service is fast becoming the default tool for 1st, 2nd and 3rd interviewings and Linkedin is increasingly becoming the dominant player in the job posting space. Now we just need some more big boards/other players to step up and give them a little competition. Hey Zuck, I talking about you !

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