LinkedIn, the business and career-oriented social network now owned by Microsoft, wants to help small businesses attract the right talent using a dash of artificial intelligence (AI).
Unemployment rates are currently at levels not seen since 2000. According to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate hit 3.8 percent in May 2018, slightly lower than the previous month (3.9 percent) and half a percentage point lower compared to May 2017.
Naturally, some labor markets are tighter than others.
According to the agency, 13 states currently have unemployment rates that are lower than the national average. They include Hawaii (2 percent), Iowa (2.7 percent), North Dakota (2.6 percent) and Wisconsin (2.8 percent).
This means that smaller companies and startups are facing an uphill battle competing against larger enterprises and the sophisticated recruitment resources at their disposal for skilled workers, particularly in states where there many more open jobs than people to fill them.
Leveling the playing field for small businesses, LinkedIn has revamped its jobs posting service, part of the company's Talent Solutions suite of employment tools.
The LinkedIn Jobs Posts tool was recently upgraded, injecting a bit of Netflix-like recommendations to the processes of filling open positions. Upon posting a job, the AI-enabled Recommended Matches feature will seek out potential candidates based on the skills and experience levels that users include in their listings.
Granted, that's a common capability among online job boards nowadays, but it's what happens next that can help small business owners zero in on just the right candidates.
Over time, the LinkedIn's job matching technology "learns" what users are looking for in a potential new employee based on how they rate those suggestions. Rather than wade through profiles that don't quite measure up, LinkedIn will surface job candidates that are a better fit right off the bat.
Even the best recommendation engines sometimes fall a little short. For users who want to take an even more surgical, somewhat proactive approach, Linked Jobs now supports customizable job targeting.
"In addition to Recommended Matches, we've overhauled our jobs matching algorithm and given you the ability to add your own targeting, providing you with greater control over who sees your job post. This means you'll spend less time combing through applications from job seekers who aren't a match for your position," blogged Monica Lewis, head of product at LinkedIn Jobs.
"You tell us the skills, industry, education, function, location and years of relevant experience you're looking for, and we'll promote your position via email and across LinkedIn to members who meet those criteria," continued Lewis.
After finding potential new hires, employers can use LinkedIn's one-click messaging feature to get in touch with candidates and send a personalized InMail.
Because hiring decisions often require the input of multiple people, the LinkedIn Jobs dashboard allows users to share candidate profiles with their coworkers so that they can put in their two cents. The interface also shows how many candidates have gone through the various stages of filling an open spot, including initial contact, interviews and formal offers, helping employers better manage the hiring process.
LinkedIn's new intelligent job posting capabilities are now live. Businesses are only charged for a job post when it is viewed by candidates. For some insights on crafting an effective job post, LinkedIn recently published the results a job description heatmap study that reveals where candidates focus their attention.