HAS LINKEDIN BECOME THE CV OF THE WORLD?

HAS LINKEDIN BECOME THE CV OF THE WORLD?

Why not listening to good music while reading? My inspiration for this article is Around the World – Daft Punk. Play it now!

What would you do if you had to look for a job right now? You would probably work on your CV, subscribe to specific job-searching websites to create an online version and make the most of social networks, especially LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a professional social network created in 2003 which has over 546 million members in more than 200 countries. It plays such a key role in people’s professional life that some people do not bother with creating a classic CV anymore. Taking this into account, one can easily wonder: has LinkedIn become the CV of the world?

The power of LinkedIn

Evolution of LinkedIn

One of the main reasons we can consider LinkedIn as “the CV of the world” is its evolution. Five years after its creation, it launched a global strategy by introducing Spanish and French versions of the website. In 2010, it counted 90 million members. In 2013, 2 new members subscribed per second and more than 225 million people were active on the network. Today, with its 546 million members and availability in 24 languages, it is the biggest professional network in the world. People around the world can exchange and look for professional opportunities worldwide – even in China where other social media such as Facebook are prohibited.

Evolution of the number of LinkedIn's members

Evolution of the number of LinkedIn’s members – Author: J.C. – Source: Statista 2019

From a static CV to a dynamic one

Compared to classic CVs, a “LinkedIn profile is different, it’s an active document that can be regularly revised” and from which people can interact with other members, which is amazing both for recruiters and job seekers. Most importantly, they can provide and receive recommendations. As comments come from someone else, there is a much higher level of trust, making profiles much more valuable.

With LinkedIn, people are not only judged on their competencies anymore. With LinkedIn, social abilities are now integrated into the CV and become crucial to show who you really are. With LinkedIn, you are not limited by one page, the tone used can be informal, you can present your information as you wish and you can add content, links and media (photos and videos). It is the perfect professional tool for someone who needs to demonstrate her/his creativity and for those who want to present an authentic persona.

Social and economic graphs

According to Techopedia, the social graph is a representation of “all the members, organizations, groups and other user-end components of a social network and the relation/connection between them”. It portrays who people know, how they know them and the group of influence they have. Following this logic, LinkedIn is built on our own professional graph. Add this to the data-driven culture of the social network, and the notion of the classic CV is totally redesigned in such a way that the world can easily be connected.

A whole world to conquer

A whole world to conquer – Author: J.C.

The economic graph, as defined by LinkedIn, is “a digital representation of the global economy based on over 546 million members, 50,000 skills, 30 million companies, 20 million open jobs and 84,000 schools”.The company has based its entire vision and strategy on it, aiming at gathering all workers, companies, institutions, jobs and skills of the world on its platform. A great example of its application is the partnership with Les Hauts-de-France, set up to understand and highlight the needs and offers that are specific to this region to revitalize its economic activity. This is just one region in France, so imagine what the results could be if it was applied on a worldwide scale!

Microsoft’s help

In 2016, Microsoft bought out LinkedIn. Together, they launched Resume Assistant, a new tool in Word that helps people conceive better CVs thanks to similar LinkedIn profiles. It can either suggest work experience descriptions or skills and competencies to match a particular job offer.

Why is it a strength for LinkedIn? To use Resume Assistant, people do not need a LinkedIn profile but simply a Microsoft 365 subscription. In other words, the social network found a way to reach the few who decided not to use its platform. It found a way to collect their data and connect it to others’. So far it is only available in a few select countries but if the concept works, the entire world may be concerned very soon.

Learn more about the partnership by watching this video:

Still a long way to go

LinkedIn might be powerful but it seems to be evolving without taking into consideration some important facts.

Do not forget the discrimination debate

To be successful on LinkedIn, it is mandatory to put a picture of yourself and give your real name; the exact opposite of what is recommended to avoid discrimination. Other criteria to remove are nationality and birth date. A study conducted by O. Aslund and O. Skans in 2017 named Do anonymous job application procedures level the playing field?reached the following conclusion: “women and ethnic minorities, who are disadvantaged elsewhere in the economy, do not experience a penalty in the interview selection stage when applying to jobs using AAP (Anonymous Application Procedure)”. Knowing this, it makes perfect sense that some people may choose to not be part of the LinkedIn mania. The social network will have to consider the discrimination debate if it does not want it to become an obstacle to its growth.

Access to the Internet is still a dilemma

As explained before, LinkedIn wishes to gather all universities, workers, companies of the world on its platform thanks to the economic graph. But how does the company expect to achieve this when many countries are still very far from having a complete access to the Internet? The last digital report by We Are Social and Hootsuite reveals that 57% of the world population are Internet users and 45% are social media users. Reading the numbers the other way round: 43% of the world population do not have access to the Internet and 55% are not on social networks. It is clearly not enough for LinkedIn to reach its economic graph objective.

South Africa poverty

South Africa – Author: J.C.

South Africa poverty

South Africa – Author: J.C.

LinkedIn is a powerful professional network. Spread worldwide, it is definitely becoming the first tool used by people around the globe to find their next professional network. Nevertheless, it has to be aware of the world’s reality and take it into consideration to be sure to meet its expectations.

So, has LinkedIn become the CV of the world? Hard to say yes for now even though it seems quite right to say that LinkedIn is becoming the CV of the world.

If you are interested in the subject, here is another article (in French!) you might like, published by Visionary Marketing: https://bit.ly/2XuNprH

Read this article by Nathalie Espenel about How to keep people engaged: https://bit.ly/2C2XNOd

Check my previous articles:

Ethics and Digital: Friend or Foe?  https://bit.ly/2R87UG1

Social Media and Digital: Changing the World Online https://bit.ly/2ErTXi8

Digital strategy: dare to fail and be proud!  

Digital strategy: dare to fail and be proud!  

 

Have you already heard about “test and learn” approach, one of the well-known action levers of the Management 3.0 ? Today, we are in an era in which flexibility, adaptation and performance determine success. It is therefore impossible to conceive innovation without going through test phase. This is why you absolutely need to integrate testing in your digital strategy, and your customers have a huge role to play!

WHY TESTING NEEDS TO BE PART OF YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY ?

In a rapidly changing world where information is increasingly accessible, competition is tough to make your customer loyal. Digital customers have a wide choice of services and products, which increases the effort of companies to satisfy their customers and convince them to buy.

As Pascal Picq points out in his book Un paléoanthropologue dans l’entreprise : s’adapter et innover (A palaeoanthropologist in the company: adapting and innovating), a change of culture is necessary in traditional organisations which still have a vision too linear and hierarchical, especially in France.

You can no longer conceive innovation as it has been in the industrial era with a classic development framework, moving from R&D to sales, with each department operating in silos.

Now you need a demand-driven vision, to co-design with the main stakeholders: your users. You must be fast enough and responsive to find a place in a highly competitive market and adapt quickly to demand. To do this, put aside your certainty and listen more to the users, rely on experimentation rather than purely rational decision!

TEST AND LEARN MAKE HAPPY CUSTOMERS

You certainly know this famous expression which is sure to bring about some teeth-grinding: customer is king! Really annoying isn’t it? But sadly, it is right… Nowadays, even more than ever, customer experience is the key to digital success. With a consumption which is more and more multi-channel and digitalised, integrating the user in your development process is essential! So, be prepared to experiment and interview customers.

Some businesses with a success story have understood it very well. For example, Dropbox encourage their users to take a tour of the functionalities, and send a text of ninety characters of feedback about the service by rewarding them with megabytes of extra storage.

Another example is Décathlon. Since March 30, 2017, in a co-design approach, the brand has set up the Décathlon Creation test platform after using it to allow users to suggest improvement ideas for their products.

Users feel therefore more engaged with the brand. They can help you to find the strengths and weaknesses of your idea. Don’t be afraid to be challenged! Finally,  this way, you take fewer risks, your user experience can only be better.

HOW TO PROCEED?

  1. Develop a Minimum Viable Product

When you have an idea, you certainly have a global vision of the final solution, whether you want it or not. But how to be profitable before that? This is where the MVP comes in!

It is a first draft of your idea (product, service or else) but a functional version. It forces you to confront your users as quickly as possible at the lowest cost. Step by step, experience will help you improve your solution and add new features or services. No need to spend a huge budget if your solution does not fit to your customers’ needs!

One of the most famous MVP is Airbnb. The two founders, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbi, validated their product by offering mattresses in their living room during the Industrial Design Society of America Conference (IDSA) in 2007. They found three guests willing to pay for this and validated their first assumption: people pay to sleep in strangers’ house! Not so obvious at first sight… Today, the platform has changed a lot – for the better – since its first roll! You can find a lot of other MVP examples.

  1. Measure and analyse: no test without data

Tests require a certain analytical rigour. Your test must absolutely not rely on your intuition but on reliable data. Be particularly careful to the bounce rate, the conversion rate, time spent on your website. All the data that could help you understand your customer’s behaviour and identify what the factors or elements scrambling their experience are. Assessing these issues can have an important impact on your turnover! Then, you can use, of course, these figures to measure the potential of an initiative.

  1. Organise test

First tip: unlearn everything you think you know and be user centric! A test can verify very different aspects: the value proposition/the landing page/the call-to-action of your website, a customer journey, the usability of your app and many other things…

For this, there are a lot of test methods like the A/B testing, method consisting of comparing two versions of a page or an app to see which one is more efficient.

Second tip: always do the test by small keys so that it is not skewed because the change is due to only one factor.

  1. Learn and improve

A testing strategy is a continuous improvement process. You have to proceed by iterations. These are short development circles that enable to take feedback into account before launching a new one. In this way, you make regular checks on what is valuable for your user and every new cycle helps you to improve your solution. Sometimes tests fail, but do not give up, be perseverant! You can learn about it. Once again, it is better to realise it as quickly as possible in your cycle of development!

Keep in mind: your digital success depends on your capability to forget what you think you know by confronting you to your clients regularly! Small tests can solve important business stakes. So integrate them as much as you can and try new things!

If you want to know how to launch your first test, go take look on the article Getting Started with User Testing for Website Optimisation!

 

Digital strategy: dare to fail and be proud!  

SOCIAL MEDIA AND ACTIVISM: CHANGING THE WORLD ONLINE

Why not listening to good music while reading? My inspiration for this article about social media activism is Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2. Play it now! 

Protest in Buenos Aires for the International Women's Day

Protest in Buenos Aires for the International Women’s Day – March 08, 2017 – photographer: Julie Compagny

Activism is “the use of direct and noticeable action to achieve a result, usually a political or social one”. If going to the streets used to be the only way to protest, the rise of the Internet has changed the game. Today, 4.028 billion people are Internet users and 3.196 billion active social media users, representing 53% and 42% of the world population, respectively. In 2017, we counted an additional 248 million Internet users and 362 million social media users. Just imagine: it is 5,4 times the French population.

Activists, just like anybody else, take advantage of new opportunities brought by the Internet. But is this new form of expression really efficient?

WHEN SOCIAL MEDIA EMPOWER PEOPLE

 

Social media brings confidence to many people who are not scared anymore to say what they really think. A study by the Pew Research Center demonstrates that around half of Americans have engaged in some form of political or social-minded activity on social media in 2017. This phenomenon is particularly true when it comes to minorities: social media platforms are very important for half of black social media users in the USA, whether it is to express their political opinion or to engage in situations they feel concerned about.

What could encourage them to rely on social media? Well, let’s say… hashtags. First introduced on Twitter by Chris Messina in 2007, hashtags are now everywhere. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +… all platforms have incorporated them, allowing users to see what the new trends are and to add importance to their posts. Because here is the true power of hashtags: it gives people the chance to feel united and strong while talking about a specific topic.

#BlackLivesMatter

One of the most significant examples is the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. Created in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman – a policeman who shot to death Trayvon Martin, a 17-years-old black man – this hashtag was used approximatively 30 million times on Twitter with 17,002 mentions per day on average. The reason for this success is the black community’s wish to be seen, listened and understood. It is the desire to show they are numerous even though they are considered as a minority. Behind this hashtag, there is the opportunity for them to prove that strength lies in numbers and that they can act to make things change. Behind this hashtag, there are millions of people doing activism online.

#MeeToo

A more recent illustration is #Metoo. One year ago, the famous Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano encouraged all women who had ever been sexually harassed to write ‘me too’ as a status. Soon, thousands of women answered her tweet worldwide. Employed more than 2 million times in 85 countries in only 2 days, #MeToo has been adapted in many languages: #YoTambien in Spain, #QuellaVoltaChe in Italy, #BalanceTonPorc in France or even #أنا كمان in Arab countries.

 

If Milano’s aim was to have a vision of the scope of this problem, gender equality supporters began to jump at the chance to voice their beliefs and make the impact even bigger. Suddenly, it was not only about denouncing but acting together to make things change. One year later, many activists feel optimistic about the future such as Rebecca Amsellem, founder of the newsletter Les Glorieuses. In an interview for Francetvinfo, she states that it is the beginning of something bigger such as the coming of a true gender equality. For others, like Aija Mayrock, a bestselling author and activist, the fight is not over, and social media are still a perfect place to talk. For the Day of the Girls, she broadcasted the following video on Youtube and Twitter:

 

SOCIAL MEDIA YES, BUT NOT ONLY

 

Would these examples of activism have had the same impact without social media as a support? Certainly not. Yet, it is important to highlight that even though social media is a great tool to amplify the impact, no change can be entirely made by staying online.

Trends are only for a time
#BringBackOurGirls

#BringBackOurGirls – photographer: Julie Compagny

Four years ago, 276 girls were kidnapped in Nigeria by Boko Haram’s armed forces. Various associations and NGOs around the world immediately reacted on the Internet and, with celebrities’ help, the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls appeared. This time, the movement consisted in taking a selfie with a piece of paper on which the hashtag was mentioned. The engagement was high but unfortunately, as trends are short-lived, it lasted only a time before moving to the next subject. Also, online activism engendered a global awareness but did not trigger a military response from other countries worldwide that was strong enough to solve the situation.

Government regulations

Another reality is that some countries impose strong barriers to online activism. China, for instance, punishes all forms of activism and massively regulates online activities. As mentioned by Hervé Fischer, “the Chinese government attempts to maintain control in spite of everything, and in 2000 it proclaimed three laws in quick succession to curtail expression”(1). A real obstacle for activists who cannot fight using digital assets. For those who try, the consequences are serious: people such as Gup Qinghai – a man who spread articles about democracy on the Web – are condemned to prison or even worse, to labour camps.

Today, social media and the Internet are not sufficient yet to create real changes; even though they are crucial for a worldwide movement. Without the protest marches, the intervention of experts on TV sets or during radio shows, and the intervention of other media, there are a few chances that governments finally react.

So, online activism? Yes, please! But do not forget: “Online and on-land activities augment one another; they have to in order for social change to happen” (2).

 

To go further, watch this TEDxTalk by Zeynep Tufekci about “How the Internet has made social change easy to organize, hard to win”:

 

(1) Hervé Fischer, Digital Shock: Confronting the New Reality, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, translated in 2006 by Rhonda Mullins.

(2) Beth Kanter & Allison H. Fine, The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to DrivChange, John Wiley & Sons, USA, 2010.

The limpid and floating “Privacy by design” concept

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been enforced since 25 May 2018 and applied to organizations across the world. In a data-driven society where analysing and understanding data is a competitive advantage for companies, GDPR serves as a legal safeguard to protect the privacy of all European citizens.

The “Privacy by Design” framework is one of the key concepts of this regulation and was developed by former Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (Canada), Ann Cavoukian, in the 90s. She proposed a model that can be seen as almost medical, which would favour preventing privacy “diseases” over curing them.

Five years after E. Snowden’s surveillance disclosures about the NSA’s wiretapping, companies are more than willing to embrace this concept to regain customer trust. But is the concept of “Privacy by Design” as limpid as it seems?

“Privacy by Design”, 7 principles

The “Privacy by Design” framework is introduced in article 25 of GDPR: companies  should design every project in such a way that they ensure personal data privacy. If a project is “designed by privacy”, then the risk attached (data breach) to any personal data will become very low. To appreciate its scope in the best possible way, this concept relies on 7 principles:

Proactive, not Reactive; Preventative, not Remedial

By anticipating, companies should be able to ensure the highest level of privacy for every action that will collect, process or destroy personal data. In this way, they will also ensure a high level of security.

Privacy as the Default

Individuals are automatically protected. They do not have to ask or carry out any action to ensure they and their personal data are private and protected.

Privacy Embedded into Design

A product should be designed to respect the privacy of personal data that it will process. Ways of ensuring privacy for personal data are fully integrated at the beginning of the creation process for a new project, product or service.

Full Functionality — Positive-Sum, not Zero-Sum

The goal is to build a balanced relationship where users and companies benefit from the situation (win-win model). It is possible to create this situation with a high level of privacy and security where no parties will suffer any loss.

End-to-End Security — Lifecycle Protection

Personal data should be highly protected during its entire life cycle. Each action that collects, processes and even destroys the data should ensure the highest level of security for individuals.

Visibility and Transparency

A user should be able to verify their data, how it is stored, processed and secured.  Thanks to this, trust between the user and the company should be strengthened.

Respect for User Privacy

In a user-centric approach, the companies’ first concern should be to protect the users’ personal data as much as possible.

 

All these principles should be applied to companies, according to their purposes of processing personal data.

GDPR briefly presents some measures that can lead to implementation of the “Privacy by Design” concept into businesses. Here are some examples:

  • Data Minimization (article 5), the concept of collecting only the data that is needed
  • Pseudonymisation (article 25), the technique that replaces the identifying fields of personal data collected to ensure that a user cannot be identified by an external individual
  • GDPR also establishes specific deadlines for the conservation of personal data depending on its type

 

A floating implementation

 

Nevertheless, the instructions presented in GDPR are not sufficiently detailed and cannot be simply applied. Even if companies apply these measures, it will not be enough to consider a project as compliant.

The concept of privacy by design is not a checklist that can be ticked quickly and easily. There is no handbook or detailed process to follow.

For R. Jason Cronk, Author of “Strategic Privacy by Design” and Privacy and Trust Consultant, there is an explanation behind this vagueness: “Unfortunately, part of the strength of her 7 Foundational Principles of Privacy by Design are also their weakness. She (editor’s note: Ann Cavoukian)  purposefully made them robust and flexible to allow organizations to find their own methods to achieve them. However, privacy by design has remained frustratingly vague – its flexibility might be a virtue in some respects, but it is a curse in other respects.”

 

A case-by-case application

Privacy by design is a concept that must be applied case-by-case. Organisations should study and apply measures to comply, according to their use of personal data. In this case-by-case application, companies can sometimes feel “overwhelmed” and willing to turn to a qualified third-party if they have the financial means or they can count on their personal search or on associations (i.e. the AFCDP in France) where they can share their experience and practices with other companies. In France, the CNIL provides a guide for SMEs, to lead them up to a GDPR compliance.

The concept therefore remains vague and difficult to apply for companies. But if they have the opportunity to work with a qualified third-party or already have the structure to find a way to apply it properly, they have an incontestable asset.

 

The DPO, the weakest link?

The challenge can also be human. Indeed, applying this concept during the creation process of a project that aims to process personal data implies an organizational effort at all levels. “Privacy by design” should be the first and not second thought for every service implicated, at their respective level, in order to ensure that Data Protection Officers or relays are designated at key point services whose role it is to verify and advise the company on how to collect, process and store personal data to comply with the GDPR. Being compliant with GDPR is an ongoing process in the life cycle of a project and the DPO follows the evolution of the project and the legislation. The designated DPOs must be, above all, motivated. They oversee the application of GDPR in the activity of their service and its relay.

If one of the DPOs or relays does not feel concerned enough by applying it, then the creation process designed by privacy is weakened. When a relay is not applying it properly at their level, then there is a certain risk that some data is not processed properly according to GDPR.

One of the DPO’s main tasks is to advise his company. In order to advise it in a better way, the DPO should develop and “grow” a legislative culture around the regulations in force. A DPO should be curious and interested in the subject. If the DPO does not care enough about his responsibilities, the company will suffer because of this lack of knowledge.

 

Implementation and awareness are keys

 

“Privacy by Design” may be easy to understand but companies that try to apply it may feel like they are walking on eggshells. Because it is in the experimental stage, it remains hard to know where to begin but over time the best practices will emerge from this experience and will lead to a simple implementation.

Also, raising awareness is necessary and essential for ideal application. Malakoff Médéric’s DPO, Johanna Carvais-Palut, explains that in her company DPOs receive a formation from the CNIL, a monthly informative newsletter on the legal evolution and participate in monthly meetings.
Today, “Privacy by Design” is essential to ensure the life privacy for all individual but it is up to companies to make sure it happens, thanks to the resources they will gather.

 

 

Further reading: