Monday, July 17, 2006

100>1M and Growing

This past week, I reached a milestone on LinkedIn, 100 1st Degree connections and 1,000,000+ connections out to the 3rd Degree. Of course, these are still lightweight numbers compared to many LinkedIn users, but I've been diligent and targeted (maybe even a bit cautious) so far in how I've grown my network, so reaching these milestones have felt like an accomplishment. In reviewing my virtual network on LinkedIn, I realize that I really do know and trust a vast majority of my 1st Degree connections, and am pretty comfortable in asking them to pass along an introduction for me.

I feel like I'm still just getting started with my use of LinkedIn however. The larger my network grows, the more reach I get to potential candidates from around the world and in all disciplines. I've made a couple hires, as well as a number of other good connections that may pay off in the future. Recently, I found a candidate there for a hard-to-fill job that's been open for months, and I expect to move forward with an offer this week. Every new job I have now, I'm searching my network to see who to reach out too, it's truly becoming one of the more powerful tools in my toolkit.

LinkedIn is often called a "social networking" tool, but the context here is truly business-related. Users who identify themselves as being open to being approached about 'career opportunities' are people who are waiting to be 'tapped on the shoulder'. Safeguards exist if someone doesn't want to be approached about that subject, and those who are not interested or not available anymore almost always respond to let you know. This is powerful stuff, bringing together people and career opportunities in a targeted and structured way that no other tool can.

LinkedIn has a way to go though, more people should broaden their profiles, it should be easier and more efficient to pass along introductions, and the public in general needs to be educated better as to how they can use a tool like this to make connections to jobs in companies through people they already know.

Next steps for my use of LinkedIn: Reaching out to more people outside of Recruiting/HR? Absolutely. Upgrading my membership? Possibly. I'd be curious to hear from anyone who has seen a marked improvement in their results from doing the upgrade. The free membership is great on it's own, and used to it's potential, can be a powerful tool for those of us in the trenches.



At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Canadian Headhunter said...

Benny, I went to your linked in entry and tried to download your contact info so I could request a link. But it won't open upsky. What be wrong, man?


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