In early June, the world was surprised by the announcement that Microsoft had acquired LinkedIn. While it is unknown how far or in what ways their respective products and capabilities will merge, here are a few ideas that have been floating around the recruiting water cooler.
Access to LinkedIn's user database through Microsoft products.
Imagine being able to import and sort LinkedIn candidates on an Excel spreadsheet, store their info in Active Directory, contact them through Outlook or Skype and keep track of their interviews on Calendar. What's more, recruiters using a LinkedIn API may find that restrictions on what types of LinkedIn data they can obtain are reduced.
Dynamics and Office 365 as recruitment management platforms.
Recruiter, LinkedIn's own attempt at such a tool, has hardly been a stellar success. But a combined venture with Microsoft would streamline the recruitment process significantly.
Bing as the ultimate recruiter search engine.
Microsoft's search engine could become the exclusive home of LinkedIn job content and enable a single search across most popular HR tech tools. Focusing on profile- rather than keyword-based searches could give it an incredible edge in the field of talent acquisition.
Better marketing insights.
Microsoft can only benefit from LinkedIn's unparalleled analytics resources. This means that recruitment ads on Bing will not only have greater reach, they'll be more accurately targeted.
Improvements to LinkedIn.
Microsoft has the financial and technological muscle to make fixes that recruiters will benefit from. These could include removing bugs, upgrading the user experience and updating the interface.
More third party apps.
Independent developers had pretty much given up on LinkedIn. But with LinkedIn integrated into Microsoft platforms, we might see a wealth of new "line of business" apps. For example, it is now possible to use Outlook to book meetings at Starbucks.
As LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in a letter to his staff, the buyout means "massively scaling the reach and engagement of LinkedIn by using the network to power the social and identity layers of Microsoft's ecosystem of over one billion customers." That power that could be a big asset in recruiters' hands.