Microsoft-LinkedIn release tool that helps HR find candidates

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A year ago this month, Microsoft finalized its deal to buy LinkedIn for $26 billion, and HR executives are starting to the see some of the results of the acquisition.

One particularly interesting development is Resume Assistant. The Microsoft-LinkedIn tool, released last month for subscribers to Office 365 (subscriptions begin at $6.99/month), is primarily designed to make job hunts and resume creation a more seamless experience. But the application has the potential to ease HR’s recruiting burden by better aligning job candidates with open positions.

The key to Resume Assistant is its interactivity. Instead of drafting resumes based merely on templates — which is a design issue — Resume Assistant works hand-in-hand with LinkedIn’s massive career resources to help job seekers craft their curriculum vitae. When creating a resume in Microsoft Word, the application pulls from LinkedIn suggested text examples of the skills and work experiences employers are seeking. And, while they interact with LinkedIn to build their resume, job seekers also see the service's 11+ million active job notices.

For HR, the interesting feature of Resume Assistant is Open Candidates, a service that quietly alerts recruiters using LinkedIn’s Recruiter product about candidates' availability.

Microsoft said elements of LinkedIn profiles like work experience tend to drive the most interest from human resources teams. And since appealing to human resources is one of the main goals for job seekers, Resume Assistant aims to bring "these [HR] insights to professionals as they embark on their job-seeking journeys,” the company said in a statement.

Microsoft wouldn’t reveal when it will release other MS/LinkedIn offerings, but did say that the partnership holds potential for more products to help HR and job seekers.

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