On the Call: LinkedIn CFO Steve Sordello

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — As its online professional networking expands and helps more people get new jobs, LinkedIn Corp. is also is steadily expanding its own payroll. After adding more than 1,100 workers last year to end December with 2,116 employees, LinkedIn began hiring at an even more rapid clip to start this year.

That prompted an analyst during a Thursday conference call discussing the company’s fourth-quarter earnings to inquire about LinkedIn’s hiring plans. Steve Sordello, LinkedIn’s chief financial officer, provided some insight.

QUESTION: If you saw signs of the overall jobs environment improving, would that affect at all your (hiring) pace?

ANSWER: We definitely take that into account and we are already quarter to-date in excess of 200 hires. Many of those were obviously recruited in the fourth quarter. So Q1 will definitely be our largest (hiring) quarter in the history of the company … I would say in the first quarter probably about two thirds of those hires will be in the sales category. And that is an indication of the market opportunity that we are still seeing out there.

But we are not necessarily looking on a quarter-by-quarter basis. We are focused on the long-term opportunity of what we see in front of us and so we are going to continue to invest.