LinkedIn eyeing India for its next 100 million members

‘The future of work will be about potential over pedigree’

May 20, 2023 07:43 pm | Updated 07:47 pm IST - Bengaluru

Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn

Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

LinkedIn‘s India business grew by 84% since FY20, and almost quadrupled in size over the past five years. The platform is betting high on the country for its next 100 million members, Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager of the California-based professional network and employment platform told The Hindu in an interview. Excerpts:

How do you rate LinkedIn‘s growth in India and what kind of member onboarding are you expecting in the future?

LinkedIn is celebrating 20 years globally. We launched in India in December 2009, and the country is our second-most prominent member base with 105 million, after the U.S. with 202 million. It has taken us 13 years to onboard 100 million members, half of these members came in just the last 4 years. As we set out to welcome the next 100 million members in India, our focus is on a skills-first economy. We believe, the growth here so far is a testament to the strong value the platform brings to the workforce.

What attracted over 100 million Indian professionals to LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has evolved from a ‘jobs site’ to a thriving professional community where members come together to share knowledge, exchange ideas and opportunities in careers and businesses. We’ve evolved as a trusted online professional community where people can go and support each other, even amidst economic uncertainty. During the pandemic, LinkedIn has been the trusted teammate for employees and employers to keep track of the latest developments in labor markets across the globe. Our vision of providing economic opportunity to every workforce member kept our platform agile and always innovating for the needs and requirements of professionals and recruiters today. We launched the Hindi language globally in December 2021 to build a more inclusive community on the platform.

How effective is LinkedIn as a recruitment channel in India, how much do you earn from recruitment globally?

Today, over 7,20,000 organisations in more than 230 countries use LinkedIn Talent Solutions to find, source, and hire talent. As a result, Talent Solutions continues to be a significant contributor to LinkedIn’s revenue globally. In Q4 FY22 (June 2022), LinkedIn Talent Solutions surpassed $6 billion in revenue over the past 12 months globally, up 39% year-over-year. Recruiters are increasingly relying on LinkedIn to find the right talent. Nearly 50% of recruiters in India are hiring candidates on our platform. Our goal is to help recruiters find the best talent and help professionals showcase their skills and competencies to land the right opportunity.

What is LinkedIn‘s roadmap for the next 20 years?

As we charge towards the next two decades, we are laser-focused on our commitment to building an efficient and equitable skills-first labour market. Today, we’re building a dynamic professional community that matches job seekers with jobs; recruiters with the highest quality candidates; and learners with content to help them build the skills for the future of work. Our Bengaluru R&D centre is a hub for technological developments globally with a team of nearly 1,000 product and engineering employees. We will continue to invest in the centre with a focus on building a safe and trustworthy platform for audiences in India and the world.

What are the new professional trends you see in India?

The priorities of Indian professionals have shifted over the past few years primarily toward work-life balance, flexibility, and upskilling. We are also seeing a new trend of young Indians prioritising working in companies that demonstrate a commitment to the culture and values they support. The future of work will be about potential over pedigree. Professionals who are proactive in their approach to learning new skills, be it AI or coding, stand to gain amidst this great resetting of the workplace. In 2022 alone, members in India spent nearly 4.6 million hours learning and upskilling on LinkedIn - almost twice the global average. According to our latest consumer research, 84% of Indians agree that skills are more important than degrees compared to 20 years ago in the workplace.

How are you exploring AI to make your platform more dynamic and result-oriented?

Our platform has been incorporating AI technology for almost 15 years now, and still, we continue to be amazed by its potential. We have made significant advancements in utilising AI to enhance the experience for professionals and recruiters on our platform. Our AI-powered Job Descriptions assist recruiters in quickly finding qualified candidates by providing pre-written job descriptions. We also employ sophisticated AI, machine learning, and deep-learning-based models to proactively detect and take swift action against potential harmful behavior and fake profiles. To support professionals in keeping up with the rapid adoption of AI, we have introduced over 100 AI-related courses on LinkedIn Learning.

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