In April, LinkedIn launched new customizable plug-ins, which are features from the professional social network that can be customized and embedded on websites with minimal effort. LinkedIn plug-ins launched with the ability to add Member Profiles, Company Info, and the LinkedIn share button to websites. And today, LinkedIn is rolling out a major plug-in to companies—Apply With LinkedIn.
The new plug-in (initial details on the feature were originally revealed by GigaOm in early June), puts an “Apply with LinkedIn” button to any company website. Companies can customize the look and feel of the “Apply with LinkedIn” module to feel like part of a specific branding. And companies can manage submissions by routing applications to email address or a web app for applying for a job. The plug-in can also integrate with Applicant Tracking Systems, and only involves a small snippet of code to embed on a site.
Some of the first companies to debut “Apply with LinkedIn” button on their company websites include Netflix, TripIt, and Photobucket. LinkedIn says another thousand companies will be rolling out the Apply With LinkedIn button.
From the job applicant’s perspective, you’ll see a description of job and company, and once you click on the “Apply with LinkedIn” button, you’ll be able to preview and update your profile in real time. Once you apply, LinkedIn will also show you your professional connections that work at the company in case you want to reach out to these individuals about the job. You’ll be able to send a note to these connections from the module.
If you don’t know anybody at the company, LinkedIn will show you connections who can introduce you to someone there (LinkedIn says that on its network, referrals are the top source of external hires at companies).
Finally, LinkedIn will record all “Apply with LinkedIn” submissions in the “Saved Jobs” tab so you have a record of all the jobs you’ve applied to, even off of LinkedIn’s site.
Considering how frequently LinkedIn is used for job applications, research and networking, this plugin provides real value for both companies and job seekers. And the ability to add personal data to job applications (i.e. connections who work at a company you are interested in working for) is compelling.
The company is ramping up advertising as well, debuting new social ad formats that leverage members’ actions on the site to serve more targeted ads. Considering how Facebook is minting money off of social ads, it makes sense for LinkedIn to maximize revenue from this channel.
What’s unclear is if the “Apply With LinkedIn” tool will have any financial benefits for the social network.