Technology has allowed the business community to be integrated in the virtual community of computers and servers. Maintaining, growing and acquiring new professional networks is easier and more effective. The virtual professional network as a result is important in the growth of business, recruitment and market analysis. Traditional business communication is seen to shift to the virtual professional networks.
Linked-in is a website that provides business and employment services to individuals and companies. The site allows companies to find employees by posting vacancies and accessing resumes posted by job seekers. Also, the site allows marketers to post their products and services which customers see. Linked in is popular because of its relatively simple user interface and credible resumes, “LinkedIn resumes were less deceptive about the kinds of information that count most to employers, namely an applicant’s prior work experience and responsibility,” (Guillory & Hancock, 2012, p. 1 para 1). Employees cannot lie in their resumes because their former companies are connected on LinkedIn. The only limit is the employees’ hobbies and interests, because these, the site cannot verify since they are personal. Through the employer’s contacts, the employer is “put in touch with prospective job candidates,” (Mckay, 2016, p. 1). Better than a physical interview, the site searches the candidates through contacts of the employer and then narrows down the search to the qualified candidates (McCabe, 2017, p. 85). This way, the employer is easily tasked with picking the best candidate. The employer is also at liberty to vet the candidates based on their profiles in the social networks.
For employees, the site is important in the advancement of their careers. LinkedIn utilizes the reference structure of communication so that, when an employer posts a vacancy, it is not only the employers’ contacts that are notified but also the contacts of the employer’s contacts with the recommended qualifications. Other benefits include;
- Provides advice to employees on new projects and processes. Because of its popularity, varied professionals are available and provide assistance to each other.
- Background information about a company and advice on the recommended etiquette during the interview process (Lotich, 2014). Employees create contacts in the site which allows them knowledge on opportunities available for them. The background knowledge is important in comprehending the expected conduct during the interviews of a particular company. The contacts are important in providing this background information from experience.
- Communication with professionals in a similar field provide information on the trends and opportunities in the particular career.
Marketing and production parts of the companies are put at an advantage in the site because it allows the customers to give feedback and advice the company. Evidence suggests that, “virtual community members are more willing than others to give feedback to marketers,” (Porter, 2006, p. 1 para 5). Most significant of the professional network is the recommended changes in products and better marketing strategies which results in higher sales. In case of introduction of a new product, the advertiser markets the product online and gets feedback from the contacts on LinkedIn.
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The professional networks are highly successful because they are “based more on mutual interest rather than physical proximity,” (Perron, Taylor, Glass, & Leys, 2010, p. 68). Technology has, therefore, introduced companies to global markets. LinkedIn is not limited to accessibility; hence, global companies are welcome to utilize its marketing and recruitment capabilities. Global collaboration between companies and employees is enabled by the mutual interests between companies and individuals that identify within the professional networks. Contacts communicate in reference to growth and formation of new business contracts. This is made possible by the formed pool of ideas and business entity contacts available.
Companies and individuals identify business leads through the networks. The professional networks provide a platform for business entities and individuals to identify lucrative business opportunities and markets (Lotich, 2014, p. 1). The contacts post businesses they are involve in, their future interests and challenges for which they require external help. From these posts, companies identify with the contacts and communicate on development of a business. From the comments these companies posts on LinkedIn, approaches to setting up new business contracts are easier because the networks allow for background information on the companies involved.
LinkedIn is significant in introducing employers and employees to each other. The site allows the connected contacts to access information beyond their already formed contacts. Through the contacts, the parties acquire information on business growth, recruitment and recommends alternative marketing. Professional networks provide the connected parties with alternative means of communication from the traditional means.
Guillory, J., & Hancock, J. T. (2012). The Effect of Linkedin on Deception in Resumes. Cybersecurity, Behaviour, and Social Networking, 15(3), 1. doi:doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2011.0389
Lotich, P. (2014). 5 Advantages of Professional Networking. Thriving Small Business, 1, 1. Retrieved from https://thethrivingsmallbusiness.com/what-are-5-advantages-of-professional-networking/
McCabe, M. B. (2017). SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT: AN ANALYSIS OF LINKEDIN. Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences, 29(1), 85-99. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/openview/f724f6a09332fbdc777aefa02693e8e2/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=2030637
Mckay, D. R. (2016). Building, Growing and Maintaining a Professional Network. The balance, 1(1), 1. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/building-growing-and-maintaining-a-professional-network-525834
Perron, B. E., Taylor, H. O., Glass, J. E., & Leys, J. M. (2010). Information and Communication Technologies in Social Work. Advances in social work, 11(2), 67-81. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3117433/
Porter, C. E. (2006). A Typology of Virtual Communities: A Multi‐Disciplinary Foundation for Future Research. Wiley Online Library, 10(1), 1. doi:doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2004.tb00228.x