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Game Changers

LinkedIn says big data helps small firms reap big rewards from its recruitment services, but rival Connectifier vows better results

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 December, 2015, 2:55pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 December, 2015, 3:21pm

Big data has levelled the playing field for large corporations and small companies in terms of hiring talent, a LinkedIn executive said on Thursday.

Companies and recruitment agencies who pay for the professional network’s talent solutions services have access to LinkedIn’s database of 400 million members globally.

“Big data helps not just the big [corporations], but the smaller guys as well,” said Eric Yee, head of talent solutions at LinkedIn for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

“If they want to look for people, we provide them with the same type of services as the big companies,” Yee added at the South China Morning Post’s 4th Game Changers conference in Hong Kong on Thursday.

LinkedIn has over 1 million members in Hong Kong. About half of all working professionals in the city are members, Yee said.

Yet it is not as popular in Asia as it is in the United States, its largest market where it claims to have 122 million users. Around a third of the US population uses the network.

Despite the lower penetration rate in Asia, Yee believes LinkedIn’s user base is poised to grow in the region.

“If we just look at Hong Kong, one million seems to be pretty good for a lot of companies to find talent,” he said.

“We could be better and we will be better. We’re focusing on initiatives to attract more entry-level workers.”

Companies can also use LinkedIn’s career page feature to build their brand and showcase their strengths to potential employees.

“By creating a career page, you can differentiate yourself from the others and talk about all the great things you do in terms of culture, and why is it so fun and exciting to work at your company compared to your competitor,” said Yee.

READ MORE: Top car-hailing app Didi Kuaidi teams up with LinkedIn to improve user experience, give both brands a boost in China

Meanwhile, start-ups like US-based Connectifier are giving LinkedIn a run for its money.

Connectifier, founded by two former Google engineers, also offers big data solutions to companies that are looking to recruit.

While LinkedIn relies on members to update their professional profiles, Connectifier claims to use artificial intelligence technology to trawl social media sites so it can build up-to-date profiles.

The start-up claims to have 30 per cent more data points per person than LinkedIn, despite both companies having roughly the same number of people on their respective databases.

Connectifier said it is delivering between two and four times the number of potential candidates to recruiters as LinkedIn does.

LinkedIn will always have competitors, but the company sees its role as being much broader than simply helping people to find a job, said Yee.

“We’re a platform for professions to network and establish their own identity.”