Social Media – LinkedIn – Lets Not Ruin a Good Thing – Etiquette

Social media business networking sites are a big thing here at the Origin Forward office every consultant who joins our company is immediately told of the benefits of Social Media and how it can be used to build your candidate pool of passive candidates and also to identify potential clients. It’s fair to say that the Social Media sites, such as LinkedIn, Xing, Viadeo, Naymz, Ryze and the list goes on, have had a big effect on the recruitment market as a whole.

The king of the business network sites in the UK is definitely LinkedIn and like all good things that arise word has spread quickly across the recruitment world about the potential a networking tool like LinkedIn can do for your business. The result is a swarm of recruiters joining LinkedIn approaching candidates on a mass scale, joining groups with the sole aim of advertising  at the same time trying to build a network. To some people it has now got so bad that the feeling is that there are now more recruiters than candidates on LinkedIn. Sometimes I’ve tried putting in a search for a candidate and the first 2 pages are filled with recruiter profiles. I’ve also heard people stating that for every recruiter there are only 4 candidates. Well that’s not true the official statistic is that there 91 candidates for every recruiter but how long it stays that way nobody knows. But at those ratios I still think LinkedIn is a great tool for attracting passive candidates.

The primary reason for writing this LinkedIn article is not tell of the benefits of LinkedIn but because I have recently read a number of comments from candidates angry and upset about the behaviour of recruiters on LinkedIn.

Heres a snippet of the article I read from Jessica the link to the whole article is at the bottom of this blog post. “….In the past week I have had several people I do not know try to connect with me on LinkedIn and on the invitation they put an untrue connection. Meaning, they said we worked together at ABC company and I never worked there or we’re affiliated through XYZ organization and I’ve never even heard of the organization. People, it is NOT OK to lie about how you know someone just to gain a connection on LinkedIn…”

So the bottom line is Recruiters lets not ruin a good thing as when one recruiter does something wrong the person effected tends to tar the whole industry with the same brush. So what can we do, I have written a list of rules which I think all recruiters should follow when using LinkedIn.

(1)    Don’t send invitations to people you do not know

(2)    If you’re not going to follow rule number one, at least when you invite that person don’t send the standard invitation, write some blurb about why you want to connect and who you are so the connectee can choose whether they would like to link with you or not.

(3)    Do not lie to get an additional connection, if you’ve never worked with a person before do not say you have. If a relationship is built on a lie you will get found out and that connection will probably disconnect with you.

(4)    Do not join groups with the sole aim of advertising jobs, try to add some value to the group

(5)    If you do not believe in rule 4, then at least post your jobs in the jobs section, not the discussion section. LinkedIn have given you a section in the groups to post jobs, why not use it?

(6)    Don’t send messages asking people to invite you, the fact is if you have to do this you have been banned from sending invites which means you’ve probably been using LinkedIn in the wrong way anyway and are probably not a connection worth having.

(7)    Don’t get all your recommendations from your colleagues, having your colleagues recommend you are a good thing, but having only your colleagues recommend you means nothing. If I recommend you will you recommend me, we can all see it, nobody cares.

I’ll leave it at that if we all follow the above rules we can at least keep our candidates happy which will make for happier head hunting for years to come.

On another note I saw a great funny video about LinkedIn last week, it is done from the candidates perspective and I think there is an element of truth to the whole comedy. I’ve always thought if a candidate is not looking for a job what does LinkedIn actually do for them?

Enjoy the video below. Link to Jessicas article and another article on LinkedIn Etiquette are below.

http://greatresumesfast.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/a-big-linkedin-no-no/

http://greatresumesfast.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/linkedin-invitation-etiquette/

Linked In… To What?

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4 Responses to “Social Media – LinkedIn – Lets Not Ruin a Good Thing – Etiquette”


  1. 1 djhornsby December 2, 2009 at 22:44

    I like the approach a social media acquaintance uses when making connections: “…if we didn’t have a conversation at the water cooler or in the hallway, I’m not connecting with you.” Just because you work in the same building with someone does not automatically qualify your connectivity. Good rule of thumb.

  2. 2 originforwardsolutions December 3, 2009 at 11:49

    I agree @djhornsby I think proceeding an invite there ideally should be some form of previous communication. LinkedIn clearly states not to invite people you do not know. If you can’t talk to someone while getting a coffee in the hallway its fair to say you don’t know them.

    The issue is workers and recruiters use LinkedIn differently.

    Workers should invite colleagues they know and have worked with as well as people in their technical or interest areas.

    However, recruiters invite anyone and everyone if they’re an “Open Lion Networker” (whatever that means) or they’ll try to invite potential clients they have never spoken to or potential candidates who they have never spoken to but match an open requirement or even worst still just invite someone because their in their market place and have nothing to offer the person they want to connect to.

    Some recruiters will ruin a good business tool for everyone if the invite service gets abused.

  3. 3 Simon @ physio jobs December 7, 2009 at 04:51

    Social networking for business is not such a far out idea, it lets businesses network and form relationships that could both benefit staffing and opportunities.


  1. 1 Tweets that mention Social Media – LinkedIn – Lets Not Ruin a Good Thing – Etiquette « Origin Forward Solutions – Leaders in Oracle Recruitment -- Topsy.com Trackback on December 2, 2009 at 22:56

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