LinkedIn: Bridging the Global Employment Gap
In 2016, LinkedIn was the largest online platform connecting people to job opportunities and training. The company's goal was to innovate and co-create with stakeholders a stable, yet emergent online platform that could serve a global business community undergoing rapid transformation in technology, job requirements, and the structure of work itself.
LinkedIn had a leadership role in this transformation; the company vision, market penetration, and expertise promised to help address major problems of global unemployment and underemployment. The company's Economic Graph, a massive data set of employment information, was part of the response, but LinkedIn had some challenges to address. How could LinkedIn co-create with stakeholders a stable, increasingly scaled online platform that could serve a global business community, while the structures of those stakeholders inhibited interconnectivity, the skill sets for workers were evolving, and the requirements for and nature of work itself was going through rapid, uncertain transformation? How could it expand to include less educated adults and connect people in regions with different business cultures, values, and practices? How could it better coordinate open-source information among stakeholders? How could it define "soft skills" and connect people with good soft skills with hiring managers? Jeff Saperstein is affiliated with San Francisco State University.