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LinkedIn adapts to job seeking while social distancing

For CNET's Now What video series, LinkedIn exec Tomer Cohen describes how employers and job seekers are adjusting to remote hiring and how AI is playing a part.

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The coronavirus pandemic has hit the US job market hard, forcing businesses to close and a historic 21 million of people to file for unemployment since the middle of March. And though the number of new filings have begun to slow in recent weeks, the unemployment rate in June was 11.1%. The same period last year it was just 3.7%.

With so many people looking for a new job in an age of social distancing, you might think that a company like LinkedIn has seen changes in how both job seekers and employers are communicating. And you'd be correct. Tomer Cohen, LinkedIn's global head of Product, recently sat down with VidCon's Jim Louderback for CNET's Now What series to share the evolving priorities and strategies of the world's largest professional networking site.

Cohen said there's been a dramatic shift in how hiring and talent is being done. Applicants are looking to take more courses in order to learn new job skills and the site has seen a 150% in postings for remote work.

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"The notion of remote job always existed, but you can see that taking off in pretty pretty amazing way," he said. "You also see the need for facilitating online interviews because you can't come to an office like you used to."

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For employers used to meeting people in person, establishing a rapport with an applicant in a remote interview can be challenging, Cohen said. That makes referrals through professional networks and communities even more important. 

"Now when you hire someone, you may not actually be able to see them in person for months. So there's kind of a level of trust, you want to build on the platform," he said. "We talk a lot about building a community that can actually get people to the right jobs."

Artificial intelligence is powering many of LinkedIn's new community tools by making sure the right people connect with the right opportunity or information. The more information people are willing to share -- for example, if they're actively looking for a job -- the better role AI can play.

"In almost any interaction on LinkedIn, AI plays a role," Cohen said. "AI thrives when you give it data."

Cohen and Louderback talked about much more including LinkedIn's Live events, which have been hosted by the World Health Organization, BMW and Mark Cuban. Watch the video for the full story.

Now What is a video interview with industry leaders, celebrities and influencers that covers trends impacting businesses and consumers amid the "new normal." There will always be change in our world, and we'll be here to discuss how to navigate it all.