Continuing my recent Linked-In stream of consciousness, someone asked me recently what advice I would give a recruiter who is looking to use Linked-In as a tool to help them do their job. Having reflected on this somewhat, I think the answer has to be that if you see it as simply a tool to help you find candidates and potential clients then it probably won’t work for you.
And that’s the whole point about Linked-In – it’s an enabler of networking and conversation. First and foremost that’s its purpose and value. To get the best out of it you have to be in it as an authentic participant, building networks and relationships. Building trust. This must be your primary goal. If it’s not, then your network, and all the benefits it can bring, are unlikely to flourish.
Think of it this way. If you are a single guy looking for love, going to Salsa classes, for example, with the sole intention of finding a suitable mate amongst your fellow dancers is probably a bad idea. If you are not doing it for the love of dance, then not only will you fail to become accomplished you will also run the risk of alienating yourself amongst the rest of the group.
My experience is that many recruiters behaviour in Linked-In is no better than the hip grinding efforts of the salsa guy hoping to get his leg over at the end of class. Flagrant self promotion, woefully hollow conversation and inappropriate approaches set them apart from the other genuine and trusted networkers.
Recruiters would do well to think about this before embarking on a crusade across the Linked-In network. Otherwise you might just find that you are on the receiving end of a rather hefty slap!