LinkedIn’s Success Tied to Recent Layoffs Surge
A typical LinkedIn feed at this time of the year might be filled with postings on year-end reflections on leadership and professional objectives and advice for the coming year. For good measure, there may also be a few posts from CMOs offering advice on brand strategy.
These posts remain online. However, there are also a lot more concerning job searches, support for friends and coworkers who have lost their jobs, and suggestions for overcoming professional obstacles in an unstable economic climate.
Some LinkedIn users who have recently been laid off have started groups on the platform to offer support, plan for signing separation documents, and help with connections for new jobs.
For instance, one LinkedIn group of workers impacted by the layoffs at Facebook-parent Meta in November has grown to more than 200 members. Even those in charge of firing employees have turned to LinkedIn to defend their actions and ask for help or counsel, as one marketing CEO did in a post last year that was accompanied by an emotional selfie.
The jobless wave caused by the pandemic
The first year of the epidemic was characterized by significant layoffs from lower-paying retail and service industries, but in recent months, the threat of a white-collar recession has taken center stage.
Even if there has been a recent wave of layoffs in the tech and media sectors, which just so happens to make up a significant portion of LinkedIn’s user base, the employment market overall is still solid. The typically reticent professional network has unexpectedly evolved into a crucial lifeline for recently laid-off individuals as well as a surprisingly active social platform.
The increase in usage seems to have benefited LinkedIn’s operations. According to the most recent earnings report from parent company Microsoft, the platform experienced a 17% increase in revenue year over year for the three months that concluded in September.
In the October results call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella informed analysts that LinkedIn’s 875 million members were engaging at “historic levels” with growth accelerating particularly in international markets.
The momentum of LinkedIn may have started before the flood of layoffs. Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in LinkedIn usage, according to Syracuse University associate professor and social media expert Jennifer Grygiel.
There was a change in real-life networking opportunities since people had to practice social distancing, we were under quarantine, and people were working from home.
LinkedIn stepped up to the plate, and it appears that it will do so again soon.
Unrest and layoffs in the social media sector
The social media environment has had a turbulent year, even without layoffs. Users have attacked Facebook and Instagram for competing with one another to mimic TikTok.
Due to worries that user data might fall into the hands of the Chinese government, TikTok has come under fire. And after Elon Musk took control of Twitter late last year, the social media site has come under fire for potentially becoming a safe haven for its most inflammatory users.
According to Grygiel, many people who work in the media or academia are probably looking for alternatives to Twitter where they may create and participate in professional groups.
The network effect that comes with a legacy platform’s large user base is still absent from upstart Twitter competitors like Mastodon, despite their recent rise.
In recent years, LinkedIn has put greater effort into recruiting content creators who consistently publish on the platform, potentially providing users with additional reasons to visit.
The platform has also been expanding its “learning” area, which offers video courses given by different industry experts and which the business reports saw a 17% increase in hours spent as of November compared to the previous year. However, in light of a recent wave of thousands of layoffs, it appears that consumers have more than enough motivation to utilize LinkedIn.
Social media chaos
The evidence of LinkedIn’s new aim that was perhaps the most obvious and widely seen came from competing for social networks like Twitter.
Many former and current employees turned to LinkedIn rather than the platform they had established in the wake of Twitter’s huge layoffs in November, in which half the company was terminated, followed by subsequent firings and exits.
One group of Twitter employees utilized LinkedIn to make sign-ups easier and generated a spreadsheet listing the company’s laid-off employees alongside recruiters working for other companies. A second pair of ex-Twitter employees created a mechanism to link job seekers with recruiters willing to volunteer to analyze resumes and prepare candidates for interviews. They promoted their system on LinkedIn.
“We fully comprehend how the job-search process can be intimidating and daunting…” according to Darnell Gilet, a former Twitter senior technical recruiter, wrote in a LinkedIn post: “While we can’t guarantee where or when your next chance will come, we can offer assistance so you’ll be ready for that opportunity when it occurs.”
Approximately 28 different recruiters and talent acquisition specialists had agreed to participate in the system, according to Gilet, who was impacted by the mass layoffs at Twitter in November after Elon Musk’s takeover. Gilet also revealed that nearly two dozen job seekers since shortly after he was laid off to offer support and advice. According to him, LinkedIn felt like the best place to advertise the service.
“Someone will benefit from chaos, right?” said Gilet. “People are losing their jobs, and a recession is near, making it the perfect time… The platform that would benefit the most from that would be one that is geared toward careers, like LinkedIn. Thus, everything makes sense.”
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