Chatting with LinkedIn’s Australia Managing Director – Cliff Rosenberg

December 3, 2009

[Ed. note: This belongs to a series of posts on LinkedIn around the world. We recently announced LinkedIn's Managing Director in Australia – Clifford Rosenberg - and thought we’d pose some questions to him about, LinkedIn and Australia. This was a part of Jose Mallabo's conversation with Cliff during his recent visit to our Mountain View headquarters]

JM: What’s the state of professional networking in Australia?

CR: Australia’s geographical and time zone differences make meeting up and connecting with other professionals especially challenging.  LinkedIn provides a forum for professionals across Australia to come together in a highly efficient and cost effective manner. With close to 1 million Australian professionals already on the site and double-digit growth over the past year, word is spreading fast. Even more impressive is that Australia is one of LinkedIn’s top performing countries, particularly when viewed as a factor of professionals per capita.

JM: You have a great resume working with some big brands over your career. So, why LinkedIn?

CR: It’s a combination of reasons. What really stands out for me is how quickly LinkedIn has grown to be the largest networking site for professionals in Australia and New Zealand. Much of LinkedIn’s growth has been driven entirely by word of mouth and that tells me just how large the potential could be now that we are establishing a local presence. I am convinced that LinkedIn will be the default professional services site both on the web and on mobile.

JM: What’s your personal experience with LinkedIn over the years?

CR: I have been an avid user of LinkedIn for many years – at first, like a lot of users, signing up because someone I trusted invited me and from there I just seemed to get more and more invites. Today, LinkedIn is where I stay in touch with my peers, to communicate, collaborate and share, in a respectful yet fun way.

My favorite LinkedIn feature would have to be the recently launched Profile Organizer that enables me to keep notes and interesting facts on colleagues and contacts. I also use LinkedIn on my mobile when out and about to access colleagues’ contact details or look up someone’s profile before a meeting.

JM: You’ve been on board for about a week now, what will you be working on first?

CR: Well, in many ways we are in start-up mode in Australia, with the big difference from a typical start up being that we have a great brand and a rapidly growing and engaged customer base. Some of my key priorities include establishing our offices in Sydney, bringing on board some of the best and brightest people and most importantly engaging with our fast growing user community at an even deeper level.

JM: In 10 years where do you see professional networking and LinkedIn in Australia?

CR: Professionals no longer think of long-term careers with the same company. The world has definitely become ‘flatter’ and the concept of geographic boundaries is becoming less of an issue as technological advances enable us to be increasingly networked and connected. In my opinion today’s professional increasingly acts as a small business rather than an employee and is constantly looking for new growth opportunities. With that thinking in mind, LinkedIn provides the perfect solution for professionals to navigate this new way of thinking and operating.

As a final thought, I also think that within 10 years LinkedIn will be an essential career management course  graduates go to begin their careers.

I’d love to hear from our users in Australia what some of your successes on using LinkedIn have been lately. Feel free to leave us a note here or comment on this post.