Missing the Link

One of my favorite magazines for keeping up on the business and entrepreneurial world is Forbes magazine. Between the print edition and Flipbook, there is never a lack of good content to read. One article yesterday caught me attention.

The title is Recruiters Say: Avoid LinkedIn At Your Peril. It was about recruiters reinforcing how important a good LinkedIn profile has become for job seekers. I agreed with everything the article said, but they missed an interesting aspect. Job seekers are also using LinkedIn to check out employers and the people who will be interviewing them.

Prior to joining Credera, while I was resume fishing for interesting jobs, I had an interview with JCPenney. The HR recruiter was extremely sharp, and obviously very passionate about her company, so that passion sparked my interest enough to do a phone screen with the hiring manager. We set a date and she gave me the name of the person I would be interviewing with.

My first stop was LinkedIn, where I searched for the hiring manager. The search came up empty. This was a huge red flag. An IT professional and manager, at at a major corporation, who doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile, implies that the person is either an idiot or doesn’t care about their career. When it came time for the interview, the person didn’t disappoint — he was a total bonehead who pretty clearly demonstrated how poorly IT is run at JCPenney. I wasn’t a good match for the job, but this idiot actually made me hate JCPenney.

I could have probably written this guy’s LinkedIn profile after talking to him for 15 min. “10+ years at JCPenny. Project manager with zero technical skills or instincts. Promoted through the ranks via a game of political survivor. Always on the lookout for someone new to blame.”

So LinkedIn is a tool that cuts both ways. In the tech job market, as things heat up, future employees will be using LinkedIn to vette their future prospective employers just as much as recruiters are using it to find future employees. Any company that expects to hire good people needs to ensure their own people put on a good face for the company via LinkedIn, especially the hiring managers. And not having a profile speaks the loudest of all.

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