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LINKEDIN:JOBS – “DEAR NURSE RECRUITER, CAN YOU REFER A BIRD TRAINER?”

Posted on September 12, 2006
Filed Under Branding, LINKEDIN, Networking, Recruitment Industry, Sourcing Techniques | 13 Comments


My friend Jason Gorham was on the money with a recent object of frustration filling your inboxes daily, at times more than five to ten in a day, and many of them often from the same person. The emails I am referring to are Linkedin Job broadcasts from people within my Linkedin network promoting jobs that they are trying to fill and seeking referrals that lead to hires.

Let me preface, as JG did, “Linkedin is a fantastic tool” and when its management embraces the suggestions of recruiters and its customer base as a whole, it will be even better. I spend 1 to 3 hours daily on Linkedin on average, so if you are wondering if it’s worth anyone’s time …. there is a volume of commentary on my part that, despite my particular critiques, I emphasize time and again that no day is without my trusty networking companion.

ABOUT LINKEDIN:JOBS

The referral-based system, upon which Linkedin Jobs is based, is wholly well intentioned and premised on worthy principles. Difficult-to-fill openings often find a solution in referral-based platforms, such as H3. Recruiters select referral trees that are specific to the audience best informed and positioned to provide referrals, esp. if a reward based system acts as a complement. The problem with Linkedin:JOBS is that user-error too often tends to misdirect targeting to entire networks with varied and often irrelevant talent origins when it could be far, far more effective if it was targeted specifically at relevant audiences.

* If you have a java engineer position, best not to send a referral request to a nursing recruiter
* If you have an sea monkey exterminator position, I am probably the least likely to have a direct referral
* If you need to hire a talking bird trainer for the San Diego Zoo, despite rumors to the contrary, Jason Gorham would likewise not be your man with an appropriate database for raptor experts, …nor would I for that matter.

If I specifically clicked the box of only java engineers in my send out preparation for a Linkedin Jobs announcement – I would be perfectly within the boundaries of what this tool has to offer. If I send Shamu’s trainer a referral request email on behalf of IC Design engineers, however, bets are I am wasting Shamu’s trainer’s time (Not to mention your pissing off Shamu, a killer whale who does not like his fish to be late while his trainer is “ARCHIVING” your requests.)

Don’t get me wrong, I love to refer people. I love to network with my fellow colleagues, in fact, it is my passion.

The manner in which Linkedin:Jobs is configured allows for abuse in the amount and redundancy of emailed requests, and broadcasts to too many of the wrong people and most often when in the hands of those not well versed in how to best leverage Linkedin.

Jason Gorham put it best:“When you are creating a job and sending it to your network make sure that the people that you are sending the specific job to are in the know or run in circles with the people that you are trying to find. As my position and background lends itself to recruiting than feel free to send me recruiting jobs, however … It seems that the product is a shotgun blast, whereas you could walk outside your office with a megaphone and shout these positions out to see if anyone walking by might know someone.”

ABOUT ARCHIVING

Bad idea. Both LINKEDIN JOBS & Endorsement requests do not provide for a delete option as opposed to simply archiving either request. Yes, you can delete it in your Outlook inbox, however, you cannot delete them within the Jobs and Recommendations “received” options within your Linkedin INBOX. I would rather delete outdated or non relevant requests rather than sift through several unnecessary pages to find a prior request that I may have missed that was of interest to me. The Archive option allows clutter to gather and creates a disincentive to give prior requests the attention they deserve when the amounts become unmanageable. A simple “DELETE” box would be ideal to administer your online inbox on the platform in a precise and effective manner and would allow you to give other requests the attention they deserve.

ABOUT TESTIMONIALS

I should add that I included the topic of Endorsement/Testimonial requests for two reasons:

1) I received at least three requests from individuals asking for an endorsement at their present employer, despite the fact that I did not work as a colleague with either acquaintance. Unfortunately, a few people missed my post, “The Significance of Being … Endorsed. ” Try as I might, I found no way to delete the request after replying – I was only provided a means to archive the message.

2) I wanted to take this opportunity to strongly agree with my friend, Harry Joiner’s post “How to Leverage Linkedin” and this aspect in particular:

“Increasingly, I am seeing resumes in Word format that contain testimonials about the candidate at the end of the document. Great idea. The most effective testimonials have live links to the Linked-In profiles of those people providing the endorsements. These same testimonials are also embedded into the candidate’s Linked-in profile.”

The resume clips and testimonials featured on member profiles is, indeed, by far one of the strongest attributes of Linkedin.

Where I disagree with my friend Harry is on the issue of the authenticity of Linkedin endorsements. Harry contends:

“By now most HR and marketing professionals know that Linked-in testimonials are impossible to manipulate. All a user can do with an average testimonial is not add it to their profile — they cannot change it. That lends an air of authenticity to Linked-in testimonials, which I love.”

I love that aspect pf Linkedin Testimonials too Harry, however, at present, Linkedin doesn’t provide a means to remove your endorsement on behalf of a colleague/business partner, etc. unless you completely sever the connection. We all have colleagues we thought highly of until circumstances unveiled unflattering aspects. You don’t mind the connection, and you don’t mind the friendship, – you may even embrace both, however, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be free to subtract the endorsement from the equation. Severing the connection altogether is overkill, in my opinion and adds insult to injury when you intend to retract the endorsement.

I can state from personal experience that fellow recruiters have voiced the same observation. Robert Merrill‘s responded to concerns cited here, in “Linkedin Enabling Spam” and clarifies the mater precisely, “Since these jobs are being PUSHED to users (by email, no less) rather than simply posted to a site for interested parties to browse, LinkedIn should build in tools for senders and receivers to manage their communication stream.”

This is a particularly simple quirk that Linkedin’s excellent design team can amend. Today, I would like to encourage LInkedin to consider each of the following suggestions:

* Add a delete button on the Job Requests and Recommendation requests and a means to decline emails to either feature, specifically.
* Offer a reminder while setting up the Linkedin Jobs referral requests to select recipients precisely and sparingly
* Provide a means to delete an endorsement without deleting the connection.

I look forward to additional enhancements. Watching Linkedin evolve as it has the last two years has been a fascinating experience and my personal relationships and recruitment profession has prospered dramatically in every respect due to Linkedin’s innovative model. We should all take heed as fellow recruiters to provide insightful suggestions to enhance the overall user experience, even more, and by doing so, we strengthen its status as a critical, daly, component of the Social Networking for Talent process.

PS: If you happen to be at the ERE Conference this week in Hollywood, FL – say hello, I am the charming fellow they call El Dave. 🙂


Checkout nursing jobs in Las Vegas, Nevada at NVJobSearch.

Comments

13 Responses to “LINKEDIN:JOBS – “DEAR NURSE RECRUITER, CAN YOU REFER A BIRD TRAINER?””

  1. Glenn Gutmacher on September 12th, 2006 9:19 am

    All great suggestions, Dave. How fast LI responds is key. I already know many people (esp. non-recruiters) who aren’t heavy LI users (and thus receive few benefits) and feel increasingly turned off by the number of irrelevant job posting forward requests they receive. LI risks losing these members altogether, and then we all suffer.

    P.S. Now that you have relocated to Colorado, can I suggest an alternative to “El Dave”, which also captures your ‘fighting for change’ approach? Rocky Mendoza!

  2. Greg Le Noue on September 12th, 2006 10:52 am

    Well put Dave. The one thing everyone, I’m certain, realizes here is that we network because our personal search talents on some level have failed to produce. Sure it’s not always a comfortable thing to admit – however, that’s not my point here – Time is. Our professions core function is effective time management, and if we’re spending valuable time weeding through Sea Monkey Exterminator positions and trying to decide whether to delete or archive, the one commodity we all have in this business is losing it’s value.

    Take heed LI, “El Dave” (Rocky Mendoza) has a valid request – “Correct it, and they will stay”

  3. Jim Stroud 2.0 - I recruit, therefore I am on September 13th, 2006 12:54 am

    LinkedIn, oh how I love thee, yet perfection eludes you……

     
     

  4. Shally on September 14th, 2006 1:25 pm

    If you are frustrated with some of the networking pitfalls on LinkedIn you would benefit from digesting our recently launched Networking Tips for Recruiters. It includes 30+ tips that will help you build and groom your network. Its free, when you purchase the $9.95 LinkedIn CheatSheet at http://www.jobmachine.net.

    Cheers,
    Shally

  5. Konstantin Guericke on September 14th, 2006 6:48 pm

    There are new targeting options we could provide, but we would much prefer if users would not blast their jobs to 500 or 1,000 connections, but pick the ones who are most likely to know a candidate. If a member is not willing to carefully select who they ask for help, I think other people may start disconnecting from him.

    For 99.9% of our users, this is quite easy since they have a manageable number of connections they know well. However, those who are connected with strangers will have to be more careful.

    Please also note that recipients also have control over whether they want to receive these job notifications via email:
    https://www.linkedin.com/secure/settings?jobf=

    You can choose to hide recommendations you make completely from your recommendations list or show them to just your own connections. I have never used it, but I also see a link to withdraw a recommendation when I click on “edit” on this page:
    http://www.linkedin.com/recommendations?prs=

    I’ve never used it since I only recommend people I know extremely well, but it looks like you could withdraw it if you wanted to. Of course, breaking a connection is another way to do it. My guess is that it’s kind of rude to withdraw a recommendation and that you’d usually want to disconnect anyway.

    -Konstantin
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/konstantin

  6. GoodRecruits on September 14th, 2006 10:25 pm

    LinkedIn Enabling Spam…

    LinkedIn Jobs is helping to fill your inbox with spam these days in the name of networking.  Dave Mendoza says it like this: The manner in which Linkedin:Jobs is configured allows for abuse in the amount and redundancy of emailed……

  7. Dave Mendoza on September 14th, 2006 10:41 pm

    Konstantin,
    I am confident that the links you provided will be exceptionally helpful. I am confident my colleagues would agree that an information campaign is in order to ensure that the LinkedIn membership is aware that such options are available.

    Many of my colleagues were unaware of the links. It is a good start and I encourage my colleagues to initiate an effort to spread the information campaign.

    We hope to see more public attention drawn to these options for a more enjoyable experience.

  8. Dave Mendoza on September 14th, 2006 10:49 pm

    Konstantin says: \”I’ve never used it since I only recommend people I know extremely well, but it looks like you could withdraw it if you wanted to.\”

    I should emphasize that I agree recommendations/endorsements SHOULD ONLY be used to people you know extremely well … no one is in disagreement, we all want their significance to be upheld, not diluted. My issue is that social realities provide that it is not unlikely that the relationship status can change for whatever reason between endorser and recipient.

    Best friends or confidants have momentary or lasting disputes that render the original intent meaningless, hence the need to provide the option to remove the endorsement and to likewise inform the membership that such an option exists. I am glad we had an opportunity to do so today.

  9. Nick Roy on September 14th, 2006 11:42 pm

    When recruiting using LinkedIn, I think the best way to go about it is to use good old fashioned head hunting skills. Look that position that you have, create job opportunity, and look within your network. Is there anyone in your network that would meet these requirements? If so, contact that person. Explain to them that you have great opportunity that will utilize the skills and talents better. This is what I like to call getting after the passive job seeker, those job seekers that are not actively looking but can be persuaded to a better opportunity if one comes along.

  10. Daily itzBig Links 2006-09-15 - The itzBig Blog - Serving the Unserved – Recruiters, Job Seekers, Quiet Working Professionals on September 15th, 2006 1:09 pm

    […] Six Degrees from Dave: LINKEDIN:JOBS – “DEAR NURSE RECRUITER, CAN YOU REFER A BIRD TRAINER?” “…a recent object of frustration filling your inboxes daily, at times more than five to ten in a day, and many of them often from the same person. The emails I am referring to are Linkedin Job broadcasts from people within my Linkedin network promoting jobs that they are trying to fill and seeking referrals that lead to hires.” […]

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  12. Utah Tech Jobs » Blog Archive » LinkedIn Enabling Spam on October 24th, 2006 9:01 pm

    […] LinkedIn Enabling Spam September 14th, 2006 by Robert Merrill LinkedIn Jobs is helping to fill your inbox with spam these days in the name of networking. Dave Mendoza says it like this: The manner in which Linkedin:Jobs is configured allows for abuse in the amount and redundancy of emailed requests, and broadcasts to too many of the wrong people and most often when in the hands of those not well versed in how to best leverage Linkedin. I can see how this problem will become exponentially problematic when you are more, uh, promiscuous with who you connect with. But, since these jobs are being PUSHED to users (by email, no less) rather than simply posted to a site for interested parties to browse, LinkedIn should build in tools for senders and receivers to manage their communication stream. Help us, LinkedIn! […]

  13. JimStroud.com » Blog Archive » LinkedIn, oh how I love thee, yet perfection eludes you... on October 6th, 2007 1:24 pm

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