Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

When Recruiters Won’t Network
October 18, 2007, 5:44 am
Filed under: Networking/Social Media

I use LinkedIn all the time when I conduct research. It has become one of my first resources when handed a new job req. I was under the impression that everyone in the recruiting industry understood the importance of networking on sites like LinkedIn. Apparently, I was mistaken in this assumption. Just about a week ago, I noticed the option for me to choose how I knew a potential new connection had been taken away from me. Instead, now every time I want to send a new invitation I get the slap-on-the-wrist notification:

You are now required to enter an email address to send invitations from this page because several recipients of your invitations indicated they don’t know you.

What? I always take the time to personalize my invitations to people who I’m pretty sure don’t know me yet. How could this have happened?

You can now check out who noted that they ‘don’t know you well enough to connect’ on LinkedIn. I saw a couple that seemed legitimate. There was one who was also a graduate of the same university as me who, incidentally, had requested that I add him to the Gator Alumni LinkedIn group (which I did so we’re connected anyhow), and I made sure to write him a kind note letting him know that we’d be connected anyhow through that group. Then, I was surprised to see….a recruiter!! A recruiter who had refused to network – AND…one who lives right here in the same city as me.

I ask you this – what kind of a recruiter refuses to network? What kind of a recruiter turns down a new connection? In my humble opinion, one that hasn’t figured out the value of making connections just yet. Someone who doesn’t understand that recruiting is developing new relationships, even though they may not seem relevant at the moment, because they may be beneficial later down the road. Someone who, to be honest, unless they grasp the concept of networking quickly, will not be recruiting 2-3 years from now.

You’re entitled to your own opinion on this. I know many people out there do not believe in making LinkedIn connections with people unless they’ve ‘had a meal together’ or something else of the sort. Truth of the matter is that I actually interviewed at this recruiter’s office about 6 months ago. I met his boss for lunch one day, and he convinced me to come in and meet another recruiter (who quickly accepted my invitation to connect and has corresponded with me since then, by the way).

Perhaps my invitation was not compelling enough. Perhaps I should have referenced the connection to this recruiter’s boss in my message. Or perhaps my shock is completely valid. Recruiting IS networking – and when you don’t participate in the practice of your own business, you’re just shooting yourself in the foot.


6 Comments so far
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This from a woman who doesn’t really “like people” all that much… 😉

I know, I know. I’m the same way.

I’ve gotten e-mails from people requesting connections on LinkedIn and then, when I sent them, they said “Don’t Know”.

It’s a crazy little network out there…


Comment by Dan Sweet

Amybeth – I completely understand your pov and have seen this behavior before…but I’ll have to share the story with you over another dinner :). This would be an interesting question to pose to the LinkedIn network and see how they respond. The diversity of the group could produce some interesting insights.

Comment by Susan

Sad, that many still dont know the power of Networking. I agree totally with Amy.
I just stopped sending invitations nowadays. But still show respect if someone invites me for Networking.

Comment by Selly Nat

online social networks are not the only way to get referrals out of recruiters. try picking up the phone and calling them. the top recruiters i know who make 350-500k annually don’t use a web based Rolodex sharing system. 😉

don’t get so hung-up on the high-tech that you forget about the high-touch!


Comment by JeremyLanghans

I use LinkedIn to. I noticed this feature about three months ago. I cannot understand it. 6 months ago I ended a contract position with a company. My supervisor and the Director of Human Resources both said that they would give me great recommendations. I decided to use the recommendation feature on my LinkedIn profile, they have yet to provide a recommendation.

“Everyone” emphasizes networking when it comes to finding jobs, clients, etc. It seems that this “network” is more of a “clique.”

Comment by Nick

Great article. Networking is definitely an art – something a lot of people miss out the on the importance of.

Comment by Jason

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