LinkedIn: Leveling the Playing Field for Workers
Posted by b0bryan
I think I like LinkedIn even more than FaceBook. From 9 to 5, there is no site that is more useful than LinkedIn. I think that what a lot of people miss is that LinkedIn isn’t just a job search site. Yes, you can create a resume-like profile and actively search for work, but it is more than that.
As Maureen Crawford-Hentz stated in Erik Qualman’s book Socialnomics, “Social networking technology is absolutely the best thing to happen to recruiting–ever” (p. 228). I’m not a big job hopper, but I like to keep my options open so I used to load my resume to the usual job sites. Occasionally, I would get an email from a recruiter, or I might check the listings on the site, but that is just about all I ever got out of it. I checked those site maybe two or three times a year.
On LinkedIn, however, I check it two or three times a week. Not because I’m looking for a job, but because I want to check-in on old colleagues, or see stories that are related to my skills and interests, or post a question to one of the groups that I’m a part of. It doesn’t just connect recruiters and job seekers, it connects like-minded professionals with each other. And, the recruiters get the benefit of seeing all that interaction and can use LinkedIn members to help them to recruit the right person.
A couple of months ago I got a message from a recruiter about a job that wasn’t really right for me, but I knew someone that was a perfect fit so I talked to her and gave her my friend’s info. She called him, and within a week he had an interview. He was actively looking for a job the “old-fashioned” way and never saw this lead, I wasn’t looking at all and it found me, and I found him for the recruiter.
Also, as Qualman points out, job seekers also have the power now to get inside information about potential employers. If I don’t know someone that works for a company, there’s a pretty good chance that I know someone that knows someone.
For the important relationships in our lives–family and friends–social media could be responsible for decreasing the depth of our relationships, but it actually increases the depth of most professional relationships. In the past I would have had zero relationship with most of the people that left the company I work for, so any connection is an improvement.
As we have all probably noticed, there isn’t much in the way of corporate loyalty. Layoffs are a regular occurrence and sites like LinkedIn can help to level the playing field for employees. If companies can walk away from their employees at a moment’s notice, it’s only fair that employees should have the same freedom.
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