When I first heard the news last week about Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn for $26 billion, I was in a state of awe, especially after recently interviewing Kevin Delaney, the Head of Learning and Product HR at LinkedIn. To listen to our episode with Kevin Delaney, click here.
LinkedIn has experienced major transformation from being recognized as a SaaS (Software as a Service) social people record system, to becoming a competitive Talent Acquisition provider, to then further expanding in offering learning solutions and more through their acquisition a little over a year ago of Lynda.com. Most of our discussion focused on how Kevin is leading HR and learning to organize these functions efficiently to support growth, and develop teams and individuals to be more adaptable, innovative and sustainable.
After the acquisition by Microsoft, Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Analyst Team deliberated about how Microsoft’s acquisition might impact the market. You can probably imagine the analyst speak with the different scenarios that we played out – who might be next for buyouts and how fast will these companies grow or even become obsolete if their technology and vision are not ready to immediately take on the future. The news articles coming from financial analysts on the LinkedIn acquisition – not surprisingly — revealed a broad mix of opinions:
- Microsoft paid too high of a price – will this lead to its demise?
- The drastically different cultures from traditional, to edgy and creative, will be difficult to integrate.
- Tremendous opportunity for Microsoft by entering the HCM arena with a potential of $131 billion in HCM total addressable market, according to The Starr Conspiracy’s Enterprise HCM Brandscape.
You will find other insights from financial analysts in articles published here.
I’m anxious to see how quickly Microsoft will be able to integrate with LinkedIn and benefit from LinkedIn’s innovative and progressive talent. Will Microsoft have a major impact on the HCM market or what types of plays will Oracle, SAP, and other major players make? What else may arise that is not on our radar to disrupt or level out the market?
Don’t forget to listen to our podcast that took place right before the acquisition with Kevin Delaney, who is an HR leader with 20 years of experience in Fortune companies, start-ups, and high-growth technology companies. During my interview with Kevin, I learned a lot about his focus in his current new role at LinkedIn, the corporate culture, and how LinkedIn was structured for hyper-growth. Some of the general insights I walked away with:
- Talent decisions are highly data-driven
- Learning products are designed, delivered and marketed similarly to how you would go-to-market externally
- Audience experience is critical
- Finding a balance between creative and sustainable is paramount to success
Furthermore, to be able to support and execute LinkedIn’s, Kevin shared the following three levels of engagement that are essential:
- Stabilize – set proper expectations
- Create and cultivate a highly creative environment for ideation
- Sustain – always look ahead and keeping things moving in a continuous fashion
You can download the show anytime at the HCMx Radio site.