Thursday, March 14, 2013

LinkedIn Recruiter Connects

Last month, one of my business associates sent me a note about constantly getting contacted on LinkedIn by recruiters. I thought her comments on what they are doing right and wrong are relevant to anyone trying to expand their network on LinkedIn.  Here are Bridget’s thoughts, including a compliment to me. Always have to keep those in right? She wrote:

You know I think you're the cat's meow as a recruiter, but have you noticed how some of your kin in your industry are not as savvy as they should be when it comes to using LI (LinkedIn) to recruit?

This year, I've come in contact with three recruiters who have no previous connection to me, yet they've sent me canned candidate search e-mails via the "InMail" feature, and they're usually mis-categorized as an "expertise request."  The most recent one sent me this long, chatty request to reply to her to inquire directly about and available position at her company. I responded right away, since she specifically asked me to get back to her with a time when she could call me to tell me more about the opportunity. I hear nothing back for two days, and then she replies with a single link to the position on their website.

The sad thing is, these recruiters were legit - in my case, all of them were HR department employees of the companies with positions to fill. Just a little anecdote for you that illustrates how the poor homework isn't always the fault of the candidate, LOL.

Some common issues I've noticed with recruiters using LinkedIn:

1. Spelling/grammar errors. Really?  If I'm taking the time to spell-check and punctuation-check an inquiry before I hit send, why can't they? 

2. Improper use of InMail. Only premium or enterprise account holders have unlimited InMail access - That feature gives you the ability to e-mail LI members without having to clear the hurdle of getting a connection first. The rest of us regular folk have to purchase the right to *send* InMail, so when we *receive* one, we tend to take it seriously. If you're a recruiter using InMail to attract a candidate, don't waste our time if you don't intend to contact us or formally ask for a resume. In addition, you're not asking me for my "expertise" or a "consulting request." If you can't find the right category to enter on the drop-down menu of the InMail recipient's contact preferences, don't use InMail. Make the connection request and scrap the generic LinkedIn greeting for a proper, personal introduction and request to connect.  

3. LinkedIn "party fouls." If you’re a recruiter that keeps lurking our profile and your settings aren't set to "anonymous," we can see the last 5 days worth of profile views without paying for a premium account. Quit being a creep and either make a connection request and CONTACT us, or stop stalking us! Seriously, it just gives a hungry job seeker a false sense of hope when you re-visit the profile, but take no action. :-)

4. If you are a recruiter who has already taken the time to become a first-level connection, ask for a resume, and perhaps even invite that connection to become part of the interview process, don't turn into a jerk the moment the candidacy process hits a wall or favors someone else. Case in point: I once had a recruiter "court" me from initial connection through five (YES, FIVE) in-person and phone interviews with her company, only to become a total cyber-ghost, failing to return any e-mails or calls about my status. 
I compare this to online dating. Sure, it's considered only slightly rude if you don't respond to a "wink" from a potential mate, but if you've taken the time to talk over e-mail/phone, or maybe even meet for a first date, it's rather tactless to vanish without a trace if you're just not feeling the love after the first meeting.  A simple, "Sorry, I think you're nice (sharp candidate), but I don't think we're a match (the right fit for what my hiring manager needed)," will suffice.
[Check out this video on You Tube - It’s a funny parody on a Gyote song about lack of recruiter love.] 
Thank you. That concludes my little LinkedIn gripe of the day. :-) I'm sure you're not guilty of these moves, right? LOL

My response to Bridget: "Love your comments! I get a lot of candidate complaining about lame recruiters and how they use LinkedIn. Me, I’m just super direct on it – asking for help and stating exactly why.   I might check a candidate out twice but that’s it.  I think Dave has instilled in everyone over here to respect the candidates even though we don‘t work for them. Eventually they may become a client and/or a great source for information. Bottom line treat people with respect and kindness and it will come back twofold!"