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At its Talent Connect, LinkedIn unveils ATS and broad strategy

LinkedIn has developed an ATS platform and acquired employee engagement vendor, Glint. Its likely goal: Become a full-service talent management provider.

LinkedIn is building its own applicant tracking system, as well as developing new and deeper integrations with existing major HCM vendors, notably Oracle.

LinkedIn also said it was acquiring employee engagement software vendor, Glint, which was founded in 2013. Its customers include United Airlines, Intuit, American Eagle Outfitters and other brand names.

The new applicant tracking system (ATS), dubbed Talent Hub, has 20 customers on the platform and will begin wider beta testing in February. The product will be available later next year to midmarket customers, LinkedIn said at its Talent Connect user conference this week in Anaheim, Calif.

"LinkedIn is on the path to build its own talent management suite," said Holger Mueller, the principal analyst at Constellation Research. They have recruiting and learning, and now engagement, he said. 

The LinkedIn ATS system, similar to other systems in this category, can be used to source, hire and manage a talent pool. Among the features in the LinkedIn ATS will be intelligence about preparing job descriptions that can avoid, for instance, limiting the talent pool through narrow job requirements.

The LinkedIn ATS will also produce a preloaded list of candidates open to new opportunities, said Sarah-Beth Anders, a product marketing lead at LinkedIn, at the Talent Connect conference.

Holger Mueller, the principal analyst at Constellation ResearchHolger Mueller

"I think they are future-proofing themselves," said Kyle Lagunas, a research manager at IDC who follows the ATS market. LinkedIn is doing this by increasing investment in next-generation talent solutions.

"It's a natural progression for LinkedIn," Lagunas said. "Their vision has been bigger than recruiting for quite a while."

LinkedIn has also improved its analytical capabilities with its recently announced Talent Insights system.

LinkedIn ATS aims at smaller businesses at Talent Connect

LinkedIn Talent Hub is a product for small businesses or firms with simpler recruiting needs, said Lee Womer, senior director of business development at LinkedIn, in an interview. 

For larger users that are on the Oracle HCM cloud platform, LinkedIn's strategy is to improve integration via its Recruiter System Connect. That "is more relevant for larger customers who basically need customized workflows," Womer said.

The Recruiter System Connect has been deployed to about 20 customers so far. But the Oracle effort takes the integrations in some new directions, including a "sourcing widget" that gives the ability to source candidates within Oracle systems if the user is also a LinkedIn Recruiter seat holder.

Integration between Oracle and LinkedIn will be deep 

Oracle customers who have a LinkedIn Recruiter seat will see this integration in Oracle Taleo and the Oracle Recruiting Cloud. Information on candidates in LinkedIn will appear in these systems, as will information that is created in LinkedIn Recruiter.

[LinkedIn's] vision has been bigger than recruiting for quite a while.
Kyle Lagunasresearch manager, IDC

Oracle is working on making these capabilities available in its cloud HCM systems in 2019. The specific time frame will be announced later.

Oracle also integrates with job site Indeed, which includes the capability of posting jobs directly on it. But the LinkedIn agreement "is a very unique integration because of [LinkedIn's] broad presence globally, and the insights that LinkedIn brings to the conversation for our customers," said Nagaraj Nadendla, group vice president of product development at Oracle, in an interview.

LinkedIn believes 3 billion workers should have profiles

At Talent Connect, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner sketched out how LinkedIn might grow well beyond the more than 600 million people it said are now members of the platform.

LinkedIn's core audience has been professionals and knowledge workers, but Weiner said the firm's goal is to "create a profile for every member of the global workforce -- all 3 billion of them," he said.

The plan is to have "a digital representation for every job that's digitally accessible and available at any given time," Weiner said.

"We're going to allow intellectual capital, working capital and human capital to flow to where it can best be leveraged in the hopes of lifting and transforming the global economy," he said.

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