A recession is bad news for everyone who has a job. You work just as
hard as normal, but your pay packet doesn't go as far. Also, there's
the distant but suddenly very real prospect of inflation taking your job
Luckily, for most, redundancy isn't going to happen. But for an unfortunate few, it's already a reality.
It's a logical progression, then, that during a recession, people become more creative about job seeking. There's a resurgence in the use of recruitment agencies and a consolidation of existing networks.
LinkedIn almost seems like a default service in this situation. Prior to the global economic troubles, interest towards the site was tepid at best.
Now, LinkedIn is coming back.
Of course, it would be facile to assume the resurgence of the site is solely dependent on the dire state of the economy and burgeoning redundancies. As Sarah Lacy quite cleverly observed on her blog, LinkedIn ticks a number of the most essential ‘emotional response' boxes that are so hotly debated and sought after in the world of social media.
Firstly, it's convenient; infinitely moreso than a recruitment agency. It costs nothing, and is incredibly time efficient assuming one already has a reasonable social network or email contact list. All the user needs to do is to complete a profile that details their experience and skill set accurately, and then nudge your contacts' contacts to connect you with networks that are likely to lead you to employment.
Importantly, LinkedIn also satisfies the user's need for a professional context. Following a redundancy, this is one of the first things that takes a blow in the mind of the person who's been laid off. By establishing a professional network on LinkedIn, users are presented not only with a contextual definition of their skill set (which will have been shaken by the loss of their job) but also an accompanying sense of value.
This leads to what is perhaps the most vital aspect of the service, and of all social media: the re-affirmation of your relevance and value both on a social and professional level.
From a social perspective, you are able to facilitate your colleagues' search for a desirable new job. From a professional perspective, the person seeking the job is presented with potential endless possibilities (implied by the estimated size of your network) and therefore a simple way of setting themselves goals.
The site was reasonably popular upon its inception, but its growth was stunted by the popularity of certain other infamous social networking sites, most of which have passed their peak. Now that the (not inconsiderable) initial groundswell of users continues to be supplemented by the recession-fearing newbies, the site presents a considerably richer and more diverse tool for both recruiters and job-seekers alike.
And, whilst some recruiters are understandably still sceptical about relying too heavily on this 'professional' strain of social media, they'd be foolish to ignore it now; especially given that there's no telling how the enormous developments in mobile tech over the next year will further impact upon LinkedIn's usefulness.
We'll be keeping a keen eye on it, that's for sure. #