This week, LinkedIn is holding its annual Talent Connect conference, where more than 4,000 global HR leaders will gather to hear the latest recruitment industry news and trends, and discuss new solutions and tools to help them maximize their efforts.
And a key focus of this year's event will be inclusion, and diversifying professional networks. According to LinkedIn, more than 70% of professionals get hired at companies where they already have a connection.
"And on LinkedIn, applicants who are referred to a job by a current employee are nine times more likely to get hired."
In terms of hiring trends, that's important to know, in relation to how talent is being sourced, but it also highlights the potential inequality of professional opportunity, which may be holding many people back from reaching their career goals, and providing the best results for businesses.
In order to address this, LinkedIn has called on professionals to take the Plus One Pledge.
As explained by LinkedIn:
"We believe that two people with equal talent should have equal access to opportunity. But some people don’t have the right connections or community to help them land the job they want. That’s why we’re inviting our members to take the Plus One Pledge. If we reach outside of our networks, we can level the playing field and help close the network gap."
The idea, essentially, is for people to make some level of commitment to intentionally share their time, talent, and connections with someone outside their network.
It's a good initiative from LinkedIn, particularly given these additional stats around how the network effect can impact your career opportunities:
- A member in a zip code with a median income over $100K is nearly 3x more likely to have a stronger network than a member in a lower-income zip code
- A member at a top school is nearly 2x more likely to have a strong network
- A member who works at a Top Company is almost 2x more likely to have a strong network
According to LinkedIn, this adds up to these three key factors - where you grow up, where you go to school, and where you work - potentially giving you a 12x advantage in gaining access to opportunity.
We often look at elements like these from an analytical standpoint, in order to help streamline our hiring processes, but you can see how the same could be narrowing your field of view, and potentially keeping you from top candidates - and top candidates from your company.
"With roughly 151 million workers across the country, imagine what could happen if each of us committed to opening doors for people outside our networks. Even if only 10 percent committed to taking the Plus One Pledge, more than 15 million people would be connected to opportunity."
It's worth considering the impacts of these trends, and how you might be able to contribute through your own use of LinkedIn, or in the direct hiring process.
You can read more about LinkedIn's Plus One Pledge initiative here.