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The recent podcast on social and professional networking sites made me think about a current situation I seem to find myself in with LinkedIn. I have been experiencing an increase in the number of recruiters that contact me and request to be added to my network. I dont mind the contact, but not sure about accepting invites to recruiters I do not know that well.

Does anyone have recommendations on adding recruiters to your network list on LinkedIn? What are the pros and cons, best practices?

HMac's picture

I only add people I know and trust to my LinkedIn netwrok, and the same applies to recruiters. I do what I do with anybody I don't really know: I have a conversation and see if there's mutual benefit in our remaining connected.

I have maybe half a dozen recruiters (that's less than 2% of total) in my connections. They're people I want to stay connected to.

I don't link to people I don't know just because they ask to link with me. Seems...I don't know....[i]promiscuous?[/i]

-Hugh

rikt's picture

I have to agree, I only have two recruiters associated with me. Both I do business with, I have not used their services. I seem to think those with tons of recruiters on their profile seem a bit desperate to me.

AManagerTool's picture

I don't know. The whole LinkedIn thing is still kind of new to me. I don't think that I have any recruiters in my contacts. That's not by choice though and I would probably welcome a few.

What scares me about all of these recruiters on LinkedIn is the sheer volume of them. They can't all be part of a reputable firm and many of them must be part timers or people working from home trying to break into the game. I don't have any problem with that either but I don't know if I'd trust my resume to one without some kind of demonstrable record of placements. I guess with all things including this one its buyer beware.

HMac's picture

[quote="AManagerTool"]The whole LinkedIn thing is still kind of new to me....I guess with all things including this one its buyer beware.[/quote]

Bingo.

In part 2 of the MySpace cast, Mark refers to the recruiters who contact you with "I saw you on MySpace" as their introduction. In his example, MySpace (substitute LinkedIn here) is just another directory for recruiters to coldcall into. Some of them are going to be reputable, and some of them not.

And thanks to the "How to Handle Recruiters" cast, we know how to deal with them and screen them, no matter how they're coming into contact with us...

stephenbooth_uk's picture

I've got a few recruiters in my connections on LinkedIn but they're all ones who asked a question in the Q&A forum that I answered. That's the main way I make connections on LinkedIn. Whilst some of my connections on LinkedIn are in my network I don't consider my LinkedIn connections to be my network. It's mostly a combination of address book and list of people I kinda know or used to work with and want to keep in contact with who I might be able to help at some point and they might be able to help me. I'd say that of the 102 people I'm connected with I've met about 40 face to face and communicated by phone or email with about another 20 but we've never met.

I suppose a good barometer for whether you want to add a recruiter to your LinkedIn connections might be, if they cold called you on the phone would you want to keep their phone number? If not then you probably don't want to connect with them on LinkedIn.

On the other hand, what harm would it do if they did connect? The answer to that depends on how you view your connections on LinkedIn. If you view your connections as your network (as described in the networking cast) then you probably don't want to connect with them. If it's a bunch of people you just want to keep contact with who you might be able to help and might be able to help you then there's probably no harm (although personally I'd want a little more contact than just a cold request to connect, at least some indication that they'd read something I'd written or heard about me from someone I know). If you're just trying to build the biggest list of connections you can, go ahead, fill your boots!

Stephen