Friday, September 30, 2011
LinkedIn and The New Hire
My friend Leslie recently started a great job as Marketing Director at a cool Silicon Valley start-up. On her first day the CEO sent out the typical email to the entire company announcing her arrival and welcoming her to the team.
Then it began. Within minutes she started getting LinkedIn requests from the other employees. Some came by or emailed first, but others just tossed the link requests over the wall.
I have mixed feelings about this. I have written in detail about my belief that LinkedIn is not a way to connect to anyone with a pulse, and profess the "Coffee, Meal, or Beer Rule" (which basically means I want to know you before we connect on LinkedIn or Facebook).
In this case she works for a small company. Since it is an intimate group and she will be working closely with everyone, the relationships are guaranteed to follow. However, if she was working for a big company the amount of LinkedIn requests could have little meaning. I used to work for Wells Fargo Bank and I still get requests from random bank employees from around the country who say "I see you once worked for Wells Fargo, I think we should connect". Huh?.... that is just not enough of a reason. They might as well say, "I see that you breath air, I think we should connect".
Leslie's company has ten sales people and several of them immediately combed her LinkedIn connections to see if she had contacts at any of their prospective client companies. This was smart. She has worked inside many technology companies as a marketing employee or consultant and has developed a wonderful reputation throughout the tech community. Using LinkedIn to discover who are the first degree contacts of the "new hire" is a great idea. It is a win for the company and a chance for the new person to add value right from the start.
This is another reason to be judicious in your linking policy. If your new employer comes to you on week one and says "WOW, I see you are connected to Ryan Terrell, can you make an introduction", and your answer is "WHO?", it does add value!
I do believe that Linking with co-workers (with whom you know) is an important way to utilize LinkedIn. It not only helps those inside the company find contacts that can lead to new sales opportunities, but someday when you move on you want to make sure that those who worked closely with you know how to find you!
What do you think?
Have A Great Day.