LinkedIn Corp (LNKD)’s Future: The Details

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When you think about what people were doing twenty years ago while looking for a job, you’ll probably think of newspaper classifieds. Ten years ago, people were using Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW). But where will job seekers go in the next ten years? Well, they will probably be on LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD).

The network component

The act of looking for jobs really hasn’t changed as we’ve jumped from paper to digital. You’re looking for a word. But what if there was a system that already knew enough about you to prepare and submit listings of jobs for you? LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) can already do that.

And unlike regular jobs sites like Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW), LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) has a network of people behind it, not just jobs. You link up with people in your network on the site, which can be really helpful for making the next step in your career.

Often we lose touch with former colleagues over time, losing a valuable resource for finding jobs or making career transitions. With LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD), a professional can stay in touch with people over the course of their career. Since the site has only been around for ten years, we haven’t yet seen the impact that it can have over a complete career cycle.

But, we soon will. And the results will be pretty good when you compare to other job sites. Let’s go back to Monster. While their strategy is good, they seem to be letting LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) simply pass them by. They are not making any sort of effort to link jobs with people or companies like they should.

But they aren’t worried about that. The problem that Monster has is that is does not know it is a technology company, not just a job portal. And if they don’t realize that, they will soon when they have been passed by. Revenue seems good now, but as social networking takes over, it will be harder to justify paying for job postings in an online classified ad network. Besides, you can do that on Craigslist for free.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s missed opportunity

For all the things that I think Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) does wrong, at least in job-related social networking you would think they might have it figured out. But no, instead they are letting a third-party application called BranchOut do the heavy lifting as a potential LinkedIn competitor. It’s possible that eventually Facebook will buy BranchOut if the app proves to be successful.

Facebook might not have a choice, because there is little sign that they are trying to do anything to impede on BranchOut. They seem too focused right now on trying to sell mobile advertising.

If my tone suggests that I think Facebook as an investment is a bad idea then you would be right. Stay away from Facebook’s stock. It’s not a good one. It won’t be until investors can understand how Facebook’s business model will be able to thrive many years from now.

Go for LinkedIn

But, invest in LinkedIn. Many were surprised at LinkedIn’s stock performance after its IPO, but it’s no fluke. And they only have 200 million users right now. They have a lot of growth ahead of them for the global job market.

Recruiters and companies will continue to rely on LinkedIn’s data to find the right candidates for jobs. It is expensive as it is to bring on an employee only to find out that they are not a proper fit. LinkedIn offers a valuable service to those who work in human resources.

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