Not a week goes by when someone doesn’t ask me about LinkedIn etiquette.
- “I don’t connect with people I don’t know.”
- “Tell me again why I should connect with someone I don’t know. This person sent me an invite without personalizing it. We have no connections. And she doesn’t work for any company that I’ve ever worked for.”
I feel like I need to take a step back and talk about how LinkedIn — a career-oriented social network — operates.
- You connect with someone you know (or don’t know).
- They connect with other people.
- You are peripherally connected in a spiderweb of connections that looks like this.
Why is it important to connect? Well, the largest source of hire in America (and in much of the Western world) is through referrals. As a regular Joe who might need a new job at some point, it benefits you to connect with as many people as possible in order to reach hiring managers.
Don’t you want an easy way to connect people when a job is available? The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the easier it is to find someone who is hiring and get their attention.
As a Human Capital professional, I connect with people on LinkedIn because my clients are always hiring. I want free and easy access to talent. And as a human being, I connect with everyone who asks because there is no reason to say no. I am an adult and I realize that my value in the world isn’t increased or decreased based on the quality of my connections. And I like the idea that one of my connections might have a job available. Someone might tap into my LinkedIn network of connections to get hired!
Is there any greater duty — as a Human Resources professional or an American — than getting people back to work?
Well, okay, yes, there are greater duties. But I say yes to all connections on LinkedIn and I’ve never regretted it. Find me here.