Over the last few weeks my attention has been drawn to some excessive - and quite frankly dumb - behaviours on LinkedIn that unfortunately seem to be increasing again! Maybe you have spotted them as well?
More about that in a moment. First I want to ask you a question:
What actually is LinkedIn in your opinion?
Professional social network? ; Social media? ; Real-time people database? ; Job board? ; 'CV' (OK, personal profiles) Database? ; Business Network? ; Contact Database? ; Marketing Tool? ; Personal Brand Builder? ; Corporate Marketing Tool? ; Corporate Branding? ; Promotional Platform? ; Content Marketing Platform? ; News & Insight Provider? <- Have I missed anything?
How many have you picked? Three? Five?
You should have gone for all of them - LinkedIn is is many, many things to all the 220 million members on it's platform. Then you factor in that 79% of the LinkedIn members are not actually actively looking for a job (LinkedIn's stat not mine), it then astounds me when so many recruiters insist on using LinkedIn like a post and pray 'cheap as chips' job board!!
[Before I go off on my merry little rant - I just want to say there is nothing wrong with posting jobs in status updates, groups and company status updates - it is the frequency and lack of thought I have an issue with!]
If you haven't already noticed, LinkedIn is fast becoming a content publishing/sharing social platform. They are actively encouraging people to post, share, comment on and like interesting articles, blogs and industry news updates. They want you post loads of content and in different places > personal status updates, company status updates and LinkedIn groups. They want you to post jobs on their platform (for a fee of course) and they even allow you to post jobs (for free at the moment) in groups.
Let's be fair here - it is a pretty damn good platform for anyone in recruitment!
YET……… there are many (recruiters) who don't seem to understand what LinkedIn is, the power of the word 'good content' and seemingly don't care! All they want to do is to post jobs, jobs and more jobs in every place that can host them….. for free! You have seen them:
- They post all their jobs in their status updates
- They post all their jobs in all the groups they are in (and many recruiters are in between 20-50 groups)
- Many have now monopolised the company status updates and are posting the same jobs there as well
- And the important thing here is they they post nothing else at all!
In other words - OK, in my words…… this is just job spam!!
I just want to point out some reasons why this habit is poor practice, stupid and can have serious implications for you using LinkedIn in the future:
- Who are your connections? Are they all in the same sector (well the majority anyway)? are they even in the same industry that you are posting jobs for? This is the biggest fail for me - recruiters posting jobs in their updates when they don't even mention that industry in their profile! e.g. I saw an IT recruiter yesterday post a job for a Marketing role. Who the hell is that aimed at? You have to actually understand who you have connected to in the first place!
- Not everyone on LinkedIn is looking for a job - in fact it is the the minority of people. Just posting jobs all the time is creating unwanted 'noise' in people's LinkedIn update stream. So what do people do? They HIDE all your updates with the click of a mouse - FOR EVER! (Just click the word 'HIDE' on the right hand side of the update to do this). So in the future when you want to share something interesting and useful with your connections, they simply won't see it!
- The same applies to company status updates. If someone follows your company on LinkedIn, then that is great news from a future marketing perspective. However, if you then fill their status updates up with job after job, then they will quickly unfollow your company. I am not sure your company owners or marketers will be not too pleased with you then! Again they have been lost for any future communications.
- Groups. This is recruitment spam heaven! What many recruiters don't realise that LinkedIn have now started to do something about this. HOORAY! If there is a jobs page in a group - use it. That is where the group owner/moderator want you to post jobs (if at all). But of course that is too easy - why not just post every jobs as a discussion - it doesn't matter if the job has no bearing on the actual group, does it?!
*Take note group owners and moderators* - if people are just continually posting jobs or content you don't think is relevant or suitable for your group, and you put the 'discussion update' back into moderation, this will then put all their updates into moderation for all the groups they are in. And the thing is the poster them-self has no idea that their 'discussion updates' are stuck in moderation!! This is LinkedIn's way of taking a heavy hand with group spam. No, it isn't ideal for honest posters who get pinged by a group owner, but LinkedIn have had to do something.
Obviously I have had many conversations with recruiters that do these practices - and many genuinely just don't give a sh*t about it - all they are focused on is making placements and money. Some defend the practice by saying that people in their networks actually refer the jobs they see to others in their own networks. REALLY? This is so easy to disprove……. When they say that to me, I get them to login to their LinkedIn profile and click on the flag at the top toolbar. The drop down box shows me all the interactions on their profile - and surprise surprise there are very few (if any) shares, likes, comments on their jobs.
Taking this a stage further I then ask how many placements they have made through jobs they have placed on LinkedIn updates, groups etc. Great question as the majority don't even track their jobs back to their careersite/ website. So then it is on to guesswork…….
Let me just re-iterate what I said earlier…
"I just want to say there is nothing wrong with posting jobs in status updates, groups and company status updates - it is the frequency and lack of thought I have an issue with!'
So what are you supposed to do then?
Candidates want to interact with recruiters that understand them, their market and their industry. They want to know that the recruiters actually have a clue what the important content to them - their CV - is understood for a start! Recruiters who just post jobs are not necessarily going to get the so-called passive candidates reaching out to them, if all they do is post jobs. However if they regularly share industry content, give insights (via blogs) on different aspects of the relevant industry, comment and share other updates from their networks then they are going along way to position themselves as go-to recruiters and experts in their sectors. These are the types of recruiters that the good and great candidates will search out and make contact with.
So carry on posting some jobs - but more importantly give your LinkedIn audience a variety of content at the same time. Give them the social proof that actually you know your sector, your industry and that you aren't just another of those LinkedIn job spamming recruiters!
We work with recruitment agencies and corporates to help them integrate social media into their existing recruitment strategy and recruitment processes. If your company has this problem above with Linked - you know I can help you! If you require guidance, advice or social recruiting training, get in touch today.
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