News & Views
One tiny step for LinkedIn - a giant statement and a UK first (possibly) for us

We're a small but merry and dedicated band here at HARBOUR HQ. We generally prefer to keep things pretty low key (publicity wise) and just get on with our job, building the business one client at a time, doing the very best we can every day. We're quite late coming to the ATS market, which we believe has great plusses for us (no unwieldy legacy codebase; no expensive infrastructure; years of learning from others mistakes) but also means that driven 95% by client needs (under our guidance ;)) we don't have an R&D arm to play with sexy stuff and launch “industry firsts". And I'm not grumbling  just saying that's all.

Anyway the other week we picked up that LinkedIn had been refining a new feature with a couple of US based ATS. In short “Apply with LinkedIn allows an applicant to circumvent the standard application form and puts their profile into the ATS  in this instance replacing the application form and/or the CV. And we thought “well that's pretty cool  how about we integrate that?. So we did.

Now I'll be straight and say that it's definitely not for everyone  and even then it's frustratingly limited (the ability to load your own screening questions, ideally dynamically according to which role is being applied for, would be a boost rather than the limited “set it once check box facility that's offered for us to use  although we think we may be able to work around that given some time), but it's still a very interesting development.

Does it make it “too easy for people to slap an application in without considering their appropriateness for the role? Yup. Does this mean the CV is dying? Nope  not at all. Well at least not IMHO. Great post about this (& other related stuff) with good comments (& one from me) here: http://garethjones.me/2011/09/06/linkedin-profile-vs-the-cv-face-off-2/

So what's so great about it then? Well firstly I firmly believe that you shouldn't knock something til you've tried it (well  for most things that is). And if Recruitment is about kissing frogs (you know, to find your Prince and all that  nothing xenophobic intended in that analogy!) then who knows, maybe you could pull in that application from that very busy certain someone who could be your ideal candidate. And of course if the persons not right then you've got access to their LinkedIn profile to see if someone they know might be  :)

But the biggy for me the real game changer  is what this means to people accessing your careers pages and application facility from a mobile platform. Now I'm sure I don't have to wax on about how mobile is changing the face of our internet interaction, and whether you're a“mobile is 100% where it's at or more a it's a channel with massive potential, but still very much just part of the mix kinda person then we all agree that it has to be considered more and more. And the problem to date is “how do you get someone to apply when they don't have their CV on their phone/iPad/Tablet? Well here's an answer. Simples.

What you'll see accessing yell.jobs from your mobile/tablet

And with a bit of clever behind the scenes magic we've also configured the page so that people accessing the site from a mobile don't even get the option to “Apply" in any other way why add to their frustration when they wouldn't be able to upload a CV anyway (which of course they can always do from their PC by sending themselves the job using the send to a friend facility)

So there we have it a nice little feature for one of our nice clients (and one or two more to come close on the heals)  and you can see it all here: www.yell.jobs

Oh  and our claim to being the first? We don't know of another UK based ATS that has yet got this running for any client. We like to think that's because our size and focus and all round awesomeness means that this kind of quick turnaround and client / candidate focus sets us apart. But if you know of another UK ATS that has done this then do let me know  pretending we're something we're not or claiming kudos for something that isn't deserved really isn't our style. We'll leave that for the competition ;)