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Fish where the fish are

Zafar Anjum | June 14, 2011
LinkedIn and the art of targeting ‘passive’ talent in Asia.

Arvind Rajan

Arvind Rajan, LinkedIn's MD and VP for Asia Pacific and Japan

The world’s largest professional network with more than 100 million members, LinkedIn opened its Asia Pacific HQ in Singapore just last month. We caught up with the man heading it, Arvind Rajan, for a private chat. The newly anointed LinkedIn MD and VP for Asia Pacific and Japan, shared with us his thoughts on the needs of the market that his network’s offerings serve and what developments he expects to drive in the near future.

Why do you think LinkedIn is becoming so popular in Asia?
Arvind Rajan: We’re excited about the growth we’ve experienced in APAC over the past year; according to ComScore, our visitors were up 132 percent from March 2010 to March 2011. We now have over 18 million members in the region.

However, this isn’t a new phenomenon. Back in 2009, we began seeing early signs of accelerating growth in APAC, and we decided to establish offices in India and Australia, ahead of any other overseas markets except for the UK.

Professionals in Asia are joining LinkedIn for the similar reasons as professionals in the rest of the world. Through LinkedIn, they are managing their professional brand online, building and leveraging their professional network, and gaining business opportunities and insights.

Economies are booming across Asia, and demand for skilled talent is on the rise. Hiring sentiment amongst companies is strong, but conversely the ability to find skilled talent and retain staff is a major concern. For recruiters, LinkedIn connects talent with opportunity at massive scale. It allows them to fish where the fish are by targeting ‘passive’ talent—those professionals who are currently employed who may not be actively seeking a new job opportunity, but might be the best suited for key roles.

Your readers are probably familiar with how LinkedIn can help professionals find new jobs or business opportunities, but perhaps they are less aware of how they can use LinkedIn to get essential business insights, so let me touch on a couple of examples.

Professionals are increasingly being exposed to so much content on a daily basis that it is becoming increasingly difficult to sift through the noise to get to what is truly important. This is the reason that we introduced ‘Signal’ and ‘Today’—two products that enable busy professionals to extract real-time insights from the large stream of information shared by their network of trusted connections.

LinkedIn Signal makes it easy for professionals to make sense of the never-ending stream of status updates and news shared by others in the network. Professionals can discover relevant information they are interested in through dynamic filters, searches and trending topics.

LinkedIn Today in beta is a new product that surfaces the top headlines and stories being shared the most often by LinkedIn’s trusted network of professionals. It offers a customised and tailored way to consume the top trending news relevant to a particular industry by determining what is being shared the most frequently by those industry professionals.

When LinkedIn launched its IPO on 19 May this year, its valuation and share price surged. What does it mean for LinkedIn? What is the reason for this kind of investor confidence in your company?

 

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