“The workforce of today is trained for the jobs of yesterday, not the jobs of tomorrow,” said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner. In a fireside chat at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference in New York City, Weiner explained the role that recent changes to LinkedIn’s service will play in his long-term vision for the company.
Still the go-to destination for professionals to connect outside of more personal sites like Facebook, Weiner said that in the next 5 to 10 years, LinkedIn’s social graph, or map of personal connections, will evolve into an “economic graph” that shows the “underpinnings of the global economy.”
Recently, LinkedIn made upgrades to member profiles. More than just an online resume, the profiles map professional relationships up to three degrees and show only the first 500 connections that each person acquires. “It’s never been a numbers game,” said Weiner. LinkedIn encourages users to connect only with people they know.
Later down the line, LinkedIn wants to be able to map every business in the world through its business profiles, including all of the part and full-time jobs and the number of skilled workers. (It’s possible, considering that 63 percent of LinkedIn’s 187 million-strong user base is located outside of the United States. The network currently includes 2.6 million company pages.)
Toward that end, LinkedIn also gives members the option to add skills to their profiles for other members to endorse. In the short-term, these endorsements validate a person’s skill set to a recruiter.
“Being passionate about something and not having the skills to do it is not going to make you happy,” Weiner added.
Down the line, mapping the skills and endorsements will “allow human and economic capital to flow where it’s most needed,” he said, and will make it possible to identify skill gaps around which new curriculum can be built.
Said Weiner, “It’s all about democratizing access to economic opportunity.”