I am a LinkedIn connection tart. I do not feel that I am being judged for the company I keep so I don’t vet too much.
However, I am not going to accept your invitation to connect without hearing your reason behind it.
The reputation of recruiters who use LinkedIn is getting steadily worse, and on both sides of the fence.
I regularly hear complaints from people about blanket messages, group invasion and spam.
Cartoon credit: CartoonsBySpud (with humourous intent)
However, I am specifically
focusing today’s rant on invitations to connect.
Would you walk up to a stranger in the pub and say, ‘let’s connect?’ Ok, maybe some of my bolder readers would… (and I’d love to be there to see the reaction ) but in reality it won’t get you very far. So why send blank invites?
It’s like a man asking you for your number… hang on you’re the one who’s interested in me, give me your number and I’ll decide if and when I want to call!
In fairness though, Billie did point out that the LinkedIn iPhone app does not allow you to tailor your invitation. This is handy if you don’t share a group and don’t want to use the friend or we’ve worked together option but it’s also poor form and won’t help your reputation.
Deciding I’d illustrate Billie’s point, I ventured into my iPhone app and scanned my “People You May Know”
I just had to pick Michael Wright, how could I resist connecting with an Opportunity Broker?
Figuring clicking the “plus person” symbol would not allow me to the tailor the invitation, I went into his profile but even pressing “invite to connect” does not give you the option to tailor your connection request. Hopefully, LinkedIn will change that one day…
Pre experiment I sent Michael an inMail warning of the imminent arrival of my blank invite. This led to some lively emails and, as he is Head of Talent Acquisition at GroupM, it’s worth hearing his rule of thumb.
He says, ‘if:
- I know the person and like them –> will definitely accept.
- I know the person and feel neutral about them –> will probably accept.
- It’s a blank invite from a recruiter in an agency, anywhere in the world –> will probably ignore
- It’s a personalised invite from a recruiter in an agency –> will probably accept if they have made an effort.
- If it’s a prospective candidate from a related industry –> will definitely accept, even if it’s blank and even if I don’t know the person.
- If it’s someone from an unrelated industry just looking for a bigger network –> will ignore.
- If it’s about winning an iPhone or related –> will report as spam.’
The morale of the story: use a computer and tailor your invitation to connect!
…and if per chance you haven’t, and your invitee takes the time to reply asking why you want to connect, be courteous and answer them.
12th August – Ooh, ooh I have just found out something that has embarrassed me! If you go via Contacts, to Connections, to People You May Know and hit Connect you will NOT receive the option to tailor your invite… I hope Michael forgives me!
Am I alone in my rant or do blank LinkedIn invitations annoy you too?
— Sam Davis (@SamDavisCER) August 9, 2012
— Andy Headworth (@andyheadworth) August 9, 2012
— Kerri-AnnHargreaves (@kahargreaves) August 9, 2012