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.
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.”
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.
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 â€¦ 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.