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Why LinkedIn + Recruiters = Bad Turnover for HR Pros

You are a progressive HR Pro - a dealmaking, results-oriented business person who just happens to be in HR.  As a result of this association (and likely because you are good at it), you also serve as the Chief Talent Officer for your company or firm.  With this in mind, you are always on the lookout for new ways to source candidates for the businesses you support.   You pride yourself on finding innovative ways to source candidates.  Kind of like Jerry McGuire, except you have more than one client....Jerry_m

If you are on the edge as a dealmaking HR Pro/Recruiter, you likely have pondered LinkedIn as a source for candidates, especially those of the passive variety.  For those of you who haven't started using this tool for recruiting yet, LinkedIn is an online network of more than 10 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 130 industries.  As a kind of "MySpace" for professionals, the more folks you have in your network, the more job prospects, sales prospects, etc. you have access to for free.  For recruiting savvy HR Pros, LinkedIn has become a strong source of passive recruiting prospects.

But like many disruptive technologies, there's a rub...  Recruiters at staffing agencies and headhunters have as much incentive (if not more) to use LinkedIn for a fresher candidate pool.  So, with that in mind, HR Pros have to be on guard using LinkedIn due to the following chain of events:Linkedin_2

1.  When building a LinkedIn network, everyone starts with linking to folks in their own company.  This means that out of your first 50 contacts, 25 to 30 are likely to be progressive employees in your own company.  Probably among the best you have...

2.  As you progress with your network building, you'll gradually add external candidates you come in contact with who may not be right for you now, may not truly be in the market, or simply may be great referral sources to get you the candidates you need.

3.  Somewhere along the line, recruiters you know or those who have checked in looking for business will send you a LinkedIn invite (an invite to link to their network, which gives you access to their network, but also give them access to your network).  As a nice person and one who wants to network, you'll accept the invite, and.......

4.  Viola!!!  The recruiter has access to the profiles of your best employees and your hard-earned referral sources, all for the cost of a free LinkedIn account and a 15 second mission to send you an invite.  The result can be self-inflicted Bad Turnover....

Couple of notes on this trail of tears - you can't control the fact that recruiters will reach out directly to your employees via LinkedIn and gain similar access through that channel, but do you really want to make it as easy as contacting you?  Won't your LinkedIn account be stronger than most?  Additionally, all recruiters are not true threats in this battle of the war for talent - National recruiters may be lessor threats than local recruiters in your town due to the barriers of relocation, etc. 

I have many friends who are recruiters, so I like the industry.  That said, I wouldn't put my company directory on our web site, and LinkedIn access follows the same flavor...  Like Andy Grove once said, "only the paranoid survive"....



Interesting. Honestly, I had not completely understood the whole LinkedIn thing.

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