Ben Woodhead Deputy editor - digital

Ben Woodhead is deputy editor - digital at the Financial Review Group. He writes on business, technology, politics and the economy and can be found on BRW, The Australian Financial Review and Smart Investor.

View more articles from Ben Woodhead

Take that Facebook – LinkedIn is making a mint from your personal information

Published 29 June 2012 06:17, Updated 30 June 2012 02:29

+font -font print

For every hour a single user spends on its site LinkedIn racks up $US1.30 in revenue. Facebook, with its many hundreds of millions of users, manages just 6.2 US cents.

Those numbers are from ComScore and they show precisely how much more the personal information of LinkedIn’s more highly-qualified audience is worth.

In the face of a surging LinkedIn shareprice (up more than 60 per cent this year), Forbes has taken a close look at why your information on the professional networking site is worth so much more and how LinkedIn is thriving in a way that Facebook could only dream of.

According to the business website, the key is the social network’s efforts to turn the resumes and work histories its more than 160 million users have uploaded to LinkedIn into an indispensable tool for the recruitment industry.

“Rather than try to wring 20 bucks here and there from individual users, [LinkedIn chief Jeff Weiner] refocused the company on selling a vastly more powerful service to corporate talent scouts, priced per user at as much as $US8200 a year,” Forbes explains.

“Today thousands of companies use LinkedIn’s flagship Recruiter product to hunt for skilled achievers. In human resources departments, having your own Recruiter account is like being a bond trader with a Bloomberg terminal – it’s the expensive, must-have tool that denotes you’re a player.”

According to Forbes, LinkedIn’s success has enabled it to double the number of sales people it employs over the past year and the company now massively out-spends far bigger tech companies (including Microsoft and Facebook) when it comes to sales and marketing.

The upstart website is also taking a toll on traditional recruiters and it hopes to do more damage with its pursuit of the mobile market. Says US recruiter NPR’s head of talent acquisition Lars Schmidt: “Recruiters don’t stay in the office anymore ... You need to be much more externally focused”.

For more, along with examples of how LinkedIn is working for companies such as software maker Adobe Systems, go to Forbes.

READ NEXT:

Comments