Canadians have decided they want their résumé and work history in digital form, with about half the country's work force now using the online networking platform LinkedIn.
There are now 10 million Canadians on LinkedIn, the company announced Thursday, up from about 2 million when the website launched here in 2010. Canada is one of the world's most active countries on the site, which has 300 million members globally.
"I happy to see it, for sure," said Brian Church, country manager of Canada and head of sales solutions for North America at LinkedIn Corp. "Ten million is a substantial number."
The reasons by the growth here are threefold, he said. The Canadian population is an early and high adopter of Internet technology and social media; LinkedIn has added a number of features in recent years to both its free and paid services; and LinkedIn has become "the de facto" way to find a job in today's market.
"Over the last four years there has been a very strong shift from paper to digital résumés," he said. And with so much information on the Internet about each person, a LinkedIn profile "provides them a place [where] they control that narrative," with what they decide to highlight and share with their network about their skills, job and educational history.
In addition, as of Sept. 30, there are more than 150,000 active company pages on LinkedIn that represent businesses located in Canada, the company said, and many post their available jobs on the site.
The vision for LinkedIn in Canada is to have every member of the Canadian work force on the site, all the companies in the country, all their jobs and the skills that are needed to fill them, Mr. Church said.
Then the site can use all that data to help workers, institutions and governments know what skills are in the highest demand, and where there are skills gaps. And students can find out how well graduates from various schools have fared in the job market.
"As we create this large data set – specifically in Canada and then globally – it will be something that changes the economic landscape for all. It is a big goal. To be clear, it's a vision statement. This is something that we're looking at manifesting over time."
Being able to use that real-time data to improve the economy and the outlook for the work force, "it's not science fiction anymore," Mr. Church said. "Now it's just taking it to scale."