LinkedIn, the Microsoft-owned professional social network, announced on Oct. 4 that it is preparing to launch a new, self-service tool called Talent Insights in 2018. The product applies analytics to its massive and continually-updating trove of career and employer data, providing recruiters and other human resources professionals with actionable insights that enable them to make timelier and more informed hiring decisions.
LinkedIn Talent Insights represents a major milestone in the company's mission "to create opportunity for the global workforce," Eric Owski, head of LinkedIn's Talent Insights division, told eWEEK. Often, potential employers deny workers career-enhancing opportunities—and deny themselves the skills of talented job seekers—because they lack clear-cut visibility into the trends that are shaping the job market and affecting their own recruiting efforts.
To remedy this, Talent Insights directly analyzes data on the 500 million members, 18 million companies and 11 million job listings on LinkedIn. Adding to this mountain of data is information on 50,000 skills and millions of job changes, said Owski.
During a live demonstration of Talent Insights, the LinkedIn executive showed how human resources professionals can use the product to explore "labor market trends [and] how talent flows between companies." With a few clicks, it generates straightforward yet data-rich reports that reflect the current state of the labor market, helping users make strategic decisions about hiring and retaining workers.
More importantly, data science skills are not required.
Although Owski acknowledged that tenacious data wonks may be able to gather information and package their own reports by exhaustively poking around the LinkedIn site. However, they shouldn't expect the completeness provided by Talent Insights' on-demand, big data analytics and reporting capabilities, he said.
Plus, it's a time-saver. He demonstrated how professionally-formatted, presentation-ready results instantaneously pop into view when using Talent Insights. This eliminates the need to fire up Excel or other data visualization software to share insights with colleagues and higher-ups, he noted.
LinkedIn Talent Insights initially offers two types of reporting options, the Talent Pool report and the Company report, although Owski hinted that more are on the way.
The Talent Pool report delivers insights on the top geographic locations and schools that produce the types of skills a recruiter is seeking or the companies they may already be working with. It also helps answer questions about how difficult it may be to find a new hire or how much a company can expect to pay to attract and retain the right talent.
Currently, talent organizations lack the reporting tools or data sets that allows for these types of analysis, Owski noted. They typically use products that rely on incomplete and behind-the-times government data that often miss key emerging skills, he added.
The Company report, meanwhile, shows how talent migrates between companies and how a company's workforce is distributed by geography or job function.
Users can also examine which skills are growing the fastest at a given company and the schools that organizations are hiring from. Based on Talent Insights' findings, it will generate suggestions, like focusing one's recruiting efforts on the cities where the supply of talent outstrips demand, for example.
Editor's Note: This story was updated to remove incorrect statistics that were provided by LinkedIn.