LinkedIn Groups are going through some changes

24 03 2011

If you are a member of the worlds most recognized professional social media site you have most likely noticed some changes lately. I’ve been using LinkedIn now for about two years and within the last 6 months upgraded to a premium account. Over the last two months or so I’ve been noticing a lot of changes, mostly in the group sections. I’ve noticed things like Public Groups, new fancy icons for new discussions within my groups list, and even a new tab in my groups for jobs and job discussions.

First, I’ll talk about the Public Groups. There have been countless blogs out there discussing if they should make their LinkedIn groups public or keep them private. It doesn’t really mater to me because LinkedIn has taken a lot of the power from group owners. I used to enjoy being the group owner and it provided special perks for me to build my network and touch base with targeted members of LinkedIn.

For example, If you were the owner of a private group you could actually see the email address for each person who requested membership in your group. This gave you the opportunity to contact them regardless of your connection status on LinkedIn, truly making it pay off to own a group. This feature has now been removed, what a bummer.

Also, the Jobs and Jobs discussions issue is shaking things up. As a recruiter I post targeted jobs in groups that I’m a member of. It used to be great because if someone was seeking opportunities they could easily click on the jobs tab and browse recently posted opportunities from fellow group members. Now there is an extra step. While the extra click is quite easy I fear that many infrequent users will not notice the additional job opportunities and essentially make the site less effective for professionals to use as a tool in their career search.

I can why LinkedIn is making the changes. They see opportunity to make more money from the great community that they have developed. They want to close loop holes and put more information out on the web, via public groups, to pull more professionals into the system, Well, that may work but only time will tell.

I just hope that if they are going to make these changes that they will increase the benefits for preferred members. I don’t see LinkedIn slowing down anytime in the near future but I’m interested to see if something better will be out there 5 years from now.

What are you comments? Have you noticed other changes lately? Is there something else out there already that compares? I’d love to hear from you.





Are you speed dating or job hunting?

13 01 2011

Speed dating rarely results in long term relationships. How many of us have heard a married couple answer, “Oh, we met at a speed dating night down at the bar”, when asked how they met? Not many of us, I would imagine. With internet sites becoming extremely successful for matching ideal couples and the old tried and true method of old school dating the success rates are much greater. The reason is that the later methods take time establishing the needs of both parties involved and allow each party to get the sense of overall compatibility.

I like to think of the job search as the dating process. While some things are purely chance success if generally a result or an initial compatibility along with communication, effort, and compromise from both parties. If you think of your career search like you do dating, or did for those of us that are already married, you’ll find it much easier to stay focused in your search, gain more from interviews you attend, and ultimately have better results.

RESUME: Asking someone out on the first date

You approach needs to be suitable to match what the other person is looking for… you have to be dressed properly and be able to project yourself as a person worth spending time with. All this must be projected in a quick and to the point way, usually on the first attempt.

PHONE SCREEN:The first Date
This is a meeting that doesn’t take too much work on the part of either party. Both parties have said yes, I”m open to the possibility of investing time in this person. This is where both people typically try to only talk about the positives but sometimes, previous dating experiences, why past relationships didn’t work and so on. Both parties typically end with something like, That was fun we should talk again, regardless of actual intent to follow through.

IN PERSON INTERVIEW: Dating for the long term
This is the moment that we’ve all waited for. A meaning full sacrifice by both parties to go out of their way to spend meaningful time together. You really find out if it’s worth going on or should you break up and and look for a more suitable partner that better matches your needs and who’s current situation and future plans are similar to yours.

OFFER STAGE: Engagement
This is the stage where you decide that you are in it for the long run. You are dedicated to moving forward because you have seen everyone else who’s out there and you are confident enough you’ve found the right person. You then go to the jewelery store to pick out a ring. This decision is based on a lot of factors. Tradition is often taken into consideration (industry standard pay) along with Budget, Payment Options (benefits), and a few other things. You also have to take into consideration how desperately you want this person to say yes. If this person says no, will it crush you or do you think you can find another person who’s a better fit given enough time. If you don’t think you can replace the person you always buy a little bit nicer ring than you can really afford to help seal the deal.

There is always a budget for salary (the ring). This budget can sway sometimes in either direction for many reasons. The Dating (Interviewing Process) is you chance to ask important questions. Make sure you, as a hiring manger or potential employee, get the answers you are looking for throughout the process as well as share with your potential partner. If the answers aren’t going in the right direction take a step back and if they are “deal breakers” walk away in a professional manor.


FIRST DAY OF WORK: Wedding Day.

While you may think that the marriage is the acceptance of the offer, like engagements, we all know runaway brides. The first day of work if the first time you are officially married and you can update your LinkedIn or Facebook status with the great news of your new job. Like marriage each and every day after is based on communication, effort, reward, compromise, loyalty, along with all of the typical requirements to make a solid long lasting relationship.





Is recruiting Luck or Skill?

15 10 2010

I am constantly looking back at my successes in order to attempt to duplicate practices that work and eliminate those that don’t. Sometimes I look at the recruiting business as pure chance.

I spend a majority of my day tracking down candidates that are possibly qualified to find out that many of them are just off the mark, not interested in the position, or totally the wrong candidate. Then out of nowhere I find the perfect candidate who wants the job and is exactly what my client has asked for.

What I realize when looking at my past success and failure is that every placement I’ve made is a lucky situation for me. Something inevitably makes that candidate want another job. I’ve placed candidates that needed a new job because they had been unemployed for two years while taking care of an ill family member. I’ve placed candidates who have been told they are being laid off in 90 days. I’ve placed candidates who I’ve called one week after they were passed up for promotion at their annual review. All of these situations were by chance and lucky for me and my clients.

What is all comes down to though is Skill. I would have never spoken with any of the candidates that I’ve placed if it was not for taking the time to know my clients, their jobs, and my candidate’s situations. I would not have placed any of them if I didn’t put in the effort to conduct a search and continue to search after 90% of the candidates that I spoke with were not able to be considered for one reason or another.

In the case of my largest single placement to date I knew who the ideal candidate was within two days of searching. I called the candidate and established a relationship. He indicated that his employer was just purchased by a major competitor and, at his senior level, stood to gain a lot by staying for a while and cashing in on his stock options. There was no way that this candidate was going to leave and potentially give up significant earnings.

Well, I stuck with him and contacted him on a regular basis asking for referrals for the same position that I knew he was ideal for. He gave me a few but they were not the polished diamond that he was. Almost two months past and my client began getting frustrated because they couldn’t find the perfect candidate and time was closing to find the right candidate for their project.

In one of my follow ups to the ideal candidate he finally said, “Hey, is the position still open. I’d like to be considered if it is” The rest of the story is that he was interviewing within a week in person and received/accepted an offer a week later. It seemed like the easiest placement I’d ever made because it went so smoothly.

What recruiting comes down to is skill and persistence. You must be able to maintain relationships. It’s not so much luck and chance as is it skill. You must know when to back away from a candidate and when to keep following up. While luck will always have to fall in your direction, you have to know what you are looking for in order to find it.