A Rebuttal to the following two Dutch posts:
My Compliments to HRlog.nl
@ Jorrit, therein lies the difference in our views. I believe as you already stated, that there are indeed are several angles to the debate. Today I spoke with Dave Mendoza, and he takes pride in his 10,000 + connections and being one of the top 50 linkedin connector position. I would not, because you know that he hits a lot of people he does not know. I admit there is a way for people to get to know each other but even then, I am often overcome by the sheer magnitude when a network gets that large. However, I shall not engage in mass connections (and thus a link to left), but simply developing contact relationships (email, etc), cup of coffee to drink and then a connection to continue. The link adds nothing for me, but there are several visions to debate from.
The funny thing is that many of the first generation linkedin users (myself among the first 1000 Dutch, perhaps the first 100) were more focused upon the question, ‘Who has the biggest network’ race, and many of them have since come back to the quality of relationship argument – with their networks being reduced 2,500 all to a mere 450 men who they judged to really know. With the second generation (early adopting recruiters) you see right now, the trend has reversed.
Although Thursday Don Ramer best one point, it is my experience in just one angle. And that concludes another not. I met this week with another American (Dave Mendoza-www.sixdegreesfromdave.com) an experiment we performed together on the topic of mass invitations through LinkedIn. My “network” has since doubled as a result. And I must say, if you viewed Linkedin beyond a fixed view of your personal network, but more so as a marketing platform in order to obtain new relationships, – it indeed also works very well. It just depends upon your goal. It surprised me how many people sincerely did NOT know of me after my request for a connection yet still were motivated as networkers to send a separate e-mail expressing their sincere desire to share knowledge, and in some cases, initiated discussions on some very interesting business proposals. When you get to an event like the one Bas described, the Otys Event in particular, a lot of people shake your hand but there are limits to each others availability to one another, even in a personal setting.
Each of these people is thus a greater or lesser extent, part of your “network”. With some people hold active contact, with other less, until the time comes that such contact is intensified. There must be a reason for it. LinkedIn gives you not only a “reminder” about who that person again, it also gives rise regularly to someone you do not know very well once again approaching for a somewhat more direct contact. For example, through LinkedIn you can be informed that this person just added another person to his/her contacts where you also have a good contact which ties your respective networks together. I think, therefore, that Thursday’s ruling is a bit of nuance. You do not always need an active contact with everyone in order to maintain each other’s networks to benefit.
Bas It was a sincere pleasure meeting you at ERE Global in Amsterdam.
I want to take this opportunity to disagree as friends are privileged to do.
I think the perspective that is missing in this old argument is in the context of how Linkedin is being utilized, and this can be applied from both a Business Development and more importantly – as a recruitment professional.
The world you describe of personal contacts is that which lives within my contacts within my Outlook or other contact manager. What possible purpose can Linkedin provide that browsing your rolodex already provides you in asking one person to refer you to another?
In another scenario, to suggest the lack of intimacy or established relationship as a basis for not connecting – it bears the same type of awkward social setting in which someone comes up to you at ERE Global, for instance, offers you his/her card and handshake and you refuse to offer your hand in similar gesture because – as you say – you do not know them already. It would be awkward for both parties would it not?
Networking by definition is not about who you already know but who you may befriend tomorrow. The extent of the relationship depends entirely on either party, the burden or benefit is laid out. equally.
Now in the context that I am a recruitment professional, what each person who shares the contrarion view has missed is the powerful aggregate people search capability that numbers and value in the Power Connector community supply themselves and by extension to those they connect with by 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree,
When I displayed the experiment to Jorrit I was able to demonstrate that by formula – you can double if not 10x extend the number of people search results in a keyword search. We can all argue the abstract about the degree of relationship or its value – but as a recruiter providing product value – we fail our customers and ourselves if we are fixed to the boundaries you suggest because our job is to find passive talent specifically and talent in general and to fold oneâ€™s arms and suggest we will not open connect to extend that boundary of what we see and don’t see with our network ties your hands.
The argument from a recruitment perspective is simple. CONSIDER THIS SCENARIO from the vantage point of a prospective client seeking your agency services: Which recruiter would he retain as a principle supplier of CVâ€™s?
It’s a matter of readily available resources to bring to the forefront of your battle. Would you choose the recruiter Being proud of 55 or 501 connections but having only 1.5 Million or 3 million by third degree and having the results display only 25 Java Developers OR say for example, that as your competitor I can personally see 387 developers within Amsterdam using a Linkedin or Xing platform as someone with nearly 8 million by third degree in comparison?
Numbers tell a story and we are discussing the wrong environment. I am not suggesting you hire someone you donâ€™t know, loosely analogous to the relationship value you tie to every connection – I am referring to the actual number of search results Linkedin displays BECAUSE OF the power of your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degrees.
I was misunderstood to suggest that I am simply proud of 10,500 connections by the sheer simplicity of a number, but by the amount of effort I research in targeting specific niche talent groups of hard to find passive talent and the strategy in which I proceeded to network to achieve my end goal – a far broader boundary of displayed search results of the types of talent I seek. I do this globally and my tactics feed the overall strategy to add to the broader supply of quality product.
Summary: It should be emphasized that you can have 50 connections with up to 15 contacts each whereas someone else has chosen qualitative quantity with 50 connectors who have 501 connections each – huge difference in the power of your respective networks in that instance. I want to be clear that I am NOT simply arguing QUANTITY as you suggested I implied, — that is simply not the case. There is a Qualitative aspect to the Quantity I am referring to, — but here you focus solely on the “Quality of Relationships”, – which is ideed subjective, one to one of each connection – AS OPPOSED to the “Quality of Their Networks.” It is a key distinction. We are looking at two different Math Charts – if not equations.
We can discuss who to invite to coffee another time, but as a sheer business proposition, I will take all three: my sheer quantity, quality and depth of network in developing candidates and approaching them by both email and phone and invitation any day to 126 I recall by name in my contact management system.
We have to think out of the box if we are to be well armed in the War for Talent. In the meantime, I can safely say, I look forward to coffee with my friends Bas, Jorrit, Michel, and Marc in Holland.