One small step for Linkedin a big step for its community

LinkedIn acquires Lynda

LinkedIn just made its biggest acquisition and bought Lynda for $1.5billions. Considering that education and recruitment has always been closely related, it is no wonder that the biggest recruitment platform and the biggest online course provider joins paths.

Understanding the acquisition:

Let’s first look at Linkedin’s business model:
  1. Premium subscription (20%) The one that allows you to search and contact anyone
  2. Marketing solutions (25%) Advertisement to a targeted audience
  3. Talent solutions (55%) Linkedin recruitment services helps companies find candidates faster with searches in the database

The asymmetry of information in the recruitment business is huge. Now with the acquisition of Lynda, recruiters have more information about candidates. For candidates, it is an opportunity to have fancy badges showing that one has learned something new.

Lynda’s business model:

Lynda has a monthly subscription model, for individual’s and enterprises, where subscribers have access to all Lynda’s thousands of courses. At this moment, the business subscriptions have been the most profitable. No wonder as it is good for providing training materials for employees.

How will it benefit Lynda’s business model?   

Massively! With every company on earth registered on Linkedin’s database, Lynda now has a simple way to get in contact and provide their learning solutions to every company on earth. Lynda will get a monopoly on e-learning materials to companies!

How will it benefit Linkedin’s business model?  

Linkedin’s business is primarily recruitment. And for recruiters, the best method to assess candidates is by looking at their experience. Then with a couple of phone calls and references, one can dig deeper into real skills and personality.

With badges showing which course candidates have taken, recruiters will now have additional information such as which courses one has taken, motivation, and if people are life-long learners.

Will it  benefit recruiters? I don’t think so

Showing that you have taken online courses is a bit like sitting on the school bench. College students spend hours and hours learning passively (not practicing their skills). Then when they finish their degree, they have difficulties to find a job. The reason is that the only have a white paper in their hand. The market wants skills, not diplomas.

At Elearnhero, we realized that our users are looking to get a set of skills to get their dream job. We, therefore, create specific business tracks to help people get these skills. (Check out our get an internship at google and become an SEO manager)

For recruiters, knowing which courses people have taken doesn’t reduce the asymmetry of information that currently exists. Which courses you’ve often taken  just don’t reflect your skills!

Today, developers get recruited by showcasing their portfolios and hence their skills. Maybe that’s the way to go for non-programming related jobs?

At this point, online courses don’t add value for recruiters. Fortunately, most people still carry with them the illusion that your diploma, the number of courses taken, reflects the skills one have.

For the e-learning industry, this is not bad. Low completion rates have been a problem for MOOCs, and with Lynda and Linkedin joining forces, people now have an extra carrot to finish online courses. Candidates will now pay a subscription to have badges on their profiles as it might influence recruiters positively. Not bad for business! And why not trick the system? Find a course on Lynda, play it in the background and then get your badge?

Do I believe that online courses will reduce the asymmetry in the job market? Absolutely not! On the other hand, millions of new people are going to have access to quality content for their life-long learning needs!  How Lynda will integrate with Linkedin, I am very curious to see. Hope it is going to be great!