A LinkedIn study shows New Zealand's professionals act a little differently to their overseas peers in the job market

More than one million Kiwis use LinkedIn but we like to do things a little differently to our colleagues in other countries.

A LinkedIn NZ Talent Trends report, based on feedback from New Zealand professionals, shows that Kiwi professionals are more cautious than their 450 million or so global counterparts when considering changing jobs.

Whereas an overwhelming 84 per cent of Kiwi professionals on LinkedIn want to hear about new job opportunities, they are significantly more wary than their global counterparts when looking for new employment.

The report noted New Zealand professionals' concerns. These include:

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Not knowing what it's really like to work at the company (New Zealand 37 per cent, global 34 per cent)

Not understanding what's really expected of the role (New Zealand 32 per cent, global 27 per cent)

Not hearing back after applying to a company (New Zealand 29 per cent, global 26 per cent)

Lack of career advancement opportunities (New Zealand 37 per cent, global 43 per cent)

Unsatisfied with the work environment culture (New Zealand 36 per cent, global 27 per cent)

Want more challenging work (New Zealand 34 per cent, global 35 per cent).Also, compared to global professionals, New Zealand professionals crave much more information about a company before making the decision to switch jobs. A company's culture and values (80 per cent) and leadership (63 per cent) rank as the highest concerns.

Kiwis are habitual - 60 per cent suggesting that a new office location is a main concern when moving roles.

Another point of difference is that New Zealand professionals work their networks. Compared to their global counterparts, professionals in New Zealand are more likely to land their new job through an employee referral (New Zealand: 45 per cent; global 39 per cent).

Once LinkedIn members hear about a new job, they are more likely to research a company's website and update their resume, compared to global professionals. (Look up the company's website: New Zealand 66 per cent, global 59 per cent. Update their resume: New Zealand 51 per cent, global 46 per cent. Look up online articles about the company: New Zealand 29 per cent, global 34 per cent.)

Regional growth

News that LinkedIn's member base across the Asia-Pacific region has passed 100 million, reinforces how useful and essential the world's largest professional network on the internet is for New Zealand's professionals.

That 100 million figure represents a doubling of its member base in the Asia-Pacific region in two years. The area now represents 22 per cent of LinkedIn's global member base of more than 450 million.

And although every day more Kiwis add themselves to the one million-plus members on LinkedIn, across the Tasman, over the past six years, LinkedIn Aussie member base has grown from one million members to eight million members.

Olivier Legrand, managing director, LinkedIn Asia Pacific and Japan said, "The rapid pace at which we doubled our [Asia Pacific] member base from 50 to 100 million members makes this milestone more special.

"It also reflects a growing understanding of the economic value of personal branding and a global professional network. At this scale, LinkedIn is in an even stronger position to help members connect to economic opportunity, whether it's a new job, a promotion or other business opportunities."

He added that with 40 per cent or 280 million of the world's professionals living and working in Asia Pacific, there's still plenty of runway for LinkedIn to grow, particularly in the segments related to students and young professionals, the fastest-growing demographic on LinkedIn.

With 37 million members, India retains its spot as the second largest market in member base terms, after the United States, and the largest market in Asia Pacific. China accounts for more than 23 million members, whereas Australia has eight million members. The member base across Southeast Asia also continues to rise, hitting 18 million, including six million in Indonesia, four million in the Philippines, three million in Malaysia, and one million in Singapore.

Prominent Asian-Pacific thought leaders are also on the platform as LinkedIn Influencers, including Piyush Gupta (group CEO, DBS Bank), Hiroshi Mikitani (CEO, Rakuten Inc), Tony Fernandes (group CEO, AirAsia), Andrew Penn (CEO, Telstra), Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (chairman and managing director, Biocon) and Narendra Modi (Prime Minister of India).

Professionals are predominantly using LinkedIn as a tool to grow businesses and careers. Salesperson has emerged as the most common occupation on the site across markets such as Australia, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore, followed by business owners. Professionals report that LinkedIn makes networking easier, allowing them to initiate "warm introductions" by building relationships with prospects and customers rather than "cold-calling".

"Social media," "employee engagement" and "design thinking" are among the top topics in which professionals are interested.

Along came Microsoft

It's been a significant year for LinkedIn; the networking platform has launched a new version of its mobile app that has led to increased member engagement; acquired an online learning platform called Lynda.com; and rolled out a new version of its Recruiter product.
And, of course, the biggest news was Microsoft buying the social networking platform for professionals for US$26.2 billion - "the coming together of the professional cloud and the professional network", according to Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella, who said the move was key to the company's bold ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes and open new horizons for Microsoft Office and LinkedIn, which have saturated their markets.

Jeff Weiner will remain chief executive of LinkedIn, reporting directly to Nadella.

Eventually Microsoft Office could be combined with LinkedIn's network. This would allow Microsoft to do such things as serving up suggestions through LinkedIn when the software recognises users trying to complete a specific task, or allowing LinkedIn to plug into Office to detect the kind of project users are working on, which the social network would then use to infuse relevant articles into users' LinkedIn news feeds.