In this second installment of our “In Talks” Panel Series in partnership with Morgan Stanley, we discuss challenges facing Detroit as it grows and evolves. Panelists include leaders, innovators, experts, and startups, with whom we will provoke and entice new directions on financial and business topics pertaining to Detroit. The purpose of “In Talks” is to expand an entrepreneurial mindset as many are looking for the right tools for both their professional and personal wealth management needs.
We sat down with Laron Johnson, Head of Linkedin Detroit, to figure out what drove their decision to move to Detroit.
John Bozick: Can you explain the role that the LinkedIn office plays in Detroit?
LaRon Johnson: The LinkedIn Detroit office plays an extremely significant role in LinkedIn’s overall vision of bringing economic opportunity to every member of the Global Workforce. We knew that in order to truly manifest this mission, in a time where people aren’t moving for jobs as much as they previously have, we would need to commit time, talent, and resources to communities/cities that are a lot different from our existing offices.
Currently, we have about 60 employees, most of whom are in sales, taking care of clients across North America. Also, our team in Detroit has been a standard-bearer for what it means to truly contribute from a Social Impact standpoint, with over 90% of our office volunteering over the past 12 months.
JB: Are there any community organizations that your office is working with? If so, what are they?
LJ: We’ve been extremely blessed and fortunate to have hired such a dynamic group of people at LinkedIn Detroit. With over 80% of our employees coming from the Metro Detroit area, we’ve been afforded a chance to leverage their recommendations on community partners.
Over the last two years, we’ve partnered with several dozen fantastic organization, but as an office and a Leadership Team, we selected Midnight Golf as our signature partner. We’ve helped them with some curriculum design around LinkedIn and have done some other mentoring and coaching. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time.
JB: What are the three essential traits that you would look for in a strong employee/business leader?
LJ: We’re looking for purpose-driven people that are authentic, hard-working, and extremely nimble. There’s no playbook for creating a new office from scratch, so we’ve been learning a lot of things on the go. If you have these characteristics, plus a bit of resilience we’d love to have you at LinkedIn.
JB: Any tips for success for those entering Detroit’s job market?
LJ: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. LinkedIn allows you to carve out your own piece of digital real estate and highlight your accomplishments, goals, and aspirations. I would make sure to follow Companies on LinkedIn that interest you and engage with content that interests you on the platform. With 70% of the world’s employees being “passive talent,” it makes a huge impact when recruiters can get a sense of who you are based on viewing your profile.
JB: Anything that you can tell us about the future of Detroit’s LinkedIn Office?
LJ: The future of LinkedIn Detroit is great. We’re planning to continue hiring from now until the end of the year with about a half-dozen roles open. Additionally, we are looking to host more community-based events in our space. We’re an inviting organization, and we are eager to partner with like-minded companies to continue to play any part we can in seeing Detroit continue to thrive.