MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—LinkedIn Corp.'s online professional networking service is becoming a hot spot among college students and recent graduates looking for a job. The company says people within that demographic group are setting up LinkedIn profiles at twice the rate of its overall membership.
That raised a question about whether LinkedIn is doing anything special for this younger generation so they stick around for years to come. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner addressed the subject during a Thursday conference call with analysts.
QUESTION: You talked about an interesting growth area with students and recent graduates .... When you think of the opportunity there, how does it present differently than what you have seen with the rest of your demographic? Are there monetization opportunities that would be different or more interesting than what you are seeing with your core market?
ANSWER: I think it's consistent with the existing business model. I think one of the areas where we can be of help for kids just coming out of school is helping them to gain their first job, and that clearly falls within our hiring solutions model.
You know, it's interesting when you are talking about that particular demographic, there are nuances that mean we really need to understand the segment. By way of example, there are some kids coming out of school that don't have a deep body of work experience. And so, we have modified the profile to enable them to represent their own identities within a professional capacity that would be unique for a student versus a general professional who has been out in the marketplace for years.
We also recently rolled out an alumni product that enables kids coming out of school to see all the folks that went to that particular college or university, all of the alumni, and if they are on LinkedIn, what they are currently doing in terms of which companies they are working for, their functional roles, their geographies and how a student would know them up to three degrees. It's a wonderful way for kids to get a sense of what career paths are possible and then to reach out and build the connections that can ultimately help them get the foot in the door for that first job.