#SoMe, Brand, Uncategorized

Accepting (Or Rejecting) LinkedIn Invites

I love connecting with new people online. I often make connections through Twitter (especially Tweet Chats), conversations in groups on LinkedIn, via comments sections on websites/blogs, I’ve met people via Periscope and Blab and recently discovered HipChat (how cool is that!? Thanks Melissa!).

However one thing I don’t generally do is accept LinkedIn invites from people I don’t know or haven’t had a conversation with previously. There have been a couple of exceptions – when the request has come with a short message about why the person wants to connect I’ve accepted and then had some great conversations, both online and in real life (or IRL for those of you that remember MS Messenger).

My main reason for this is that I like my LinkedIn feed being relevant to me. I get a huge amount of my own professional development from seeing what my connections and groups share and I believe the platform would lose relevance to me if it became a feed of 1001 different irrelevant posts.

When I receive an invite from someone I know I always accept, and if I don’t know them I will go through a couple of steps before declining:

  1. Have they written a message about why they want to connect? If they have and it makes sense to me I’ll accept and send them a message to start a conversation.
  2. If there is no message I check out their LinkedIn profile – have I met them somewhere/worked with them in a past life? It can be easy to dismiss people too quickly, especially if they’ve change their surname or it’s been a few years.
  3. I also do a quick Twitter search – have I interacted with them on that platform?
  4. If something about their profile intrigues me I will send them a message (thanks Helen Blunden for this great LinkedIn email responses article, I’ve adapted the suggested messages and used these myself) asking what they’re looking to achieve out of the connection.
  5. If none of these things are true I will decline the invite.

LinkedIn is a professional network, not a popularity contest. LinkedIn groups (which have gone through a great facelift recently) provide an opportunity for open networking – my personal connections do not need to be that open network.

How do you judge who you accept connection requests from? I don’t believe there is a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to use this platform – just the way that works best for you.

 

First published on LinkedIn

#SoMe, Brand, Personal brand, PKM, Social Media & Learning

What No-one is Telling You About Navigating Your Company’s Employment Brand Online

Are you hearing this a lot?: “future of work…blah blah blah…. millennial… blah… technological shift”?

Yes yes, it is true, it’s real, and we do need to prepare for change in the world of work. But something I’ve noticed is that we aren’t so great at preparing for is what’s just around the corner.

No I’m not talking about Generation Z – I’m talking about the critical role of social and new media in how we manage our employment brand.

You’re reading this – so I know you can use LinkedIn, Google… maybe even Twitter? I love social media for professional development (and those that know me hear me wax lyrical about it all. the. time.) – but social media for PD is an option for business folk. You might use it, you might not, but it won’t really impact on your ability to do your job (yet).

Something that is right around the corner (and already here if you’re in a big market like the U.S.) – the proliferation of employer review websites and apps. The potential impact on employment brand from social and new media is huge.

You might have heard of some of these review and information sharing platforms: Glassdoor, Vault & JobAdvisor, and apps like Whisper and Canary. If you haven’t, you will.

The likelihood of your organisation getting reviewed or spoken about on one of these platforms in the next year? Growing exponentially.

The likelihood of most HR professionals and business owners knowing how to navigate this tricky topic? Not great.

These sites are to the world of work what TripAdvisor is to the travel industry: an incredible opportunity, but a force to be reckoned with. Just one negative review might dictate 100% of your organisation’s rating on such a platform.

So wait… what?

The platforms I’m speaking about are already common in the USA… and due to the global nature of technology and it’s impact on trends in the workplace it won’t be long until your CEO or investors are asking you why weren’t you on top of this?!

A bit of a rundown on the kinds of platforms I’m referring to:

Glassdoor         
One of the most well-known of these sites, Glassdoor is a US-based site where employees (and former employees) anonymously review companies and their management and can post salary data. Glassdoor includes options for employers to pay for an enhanced profile.

Vault 
Vault is all about ranking and reviewing companies, internships and schools. With a wider scope than Glassdoor it seems to be more focused on the graduate market.

JobAdvisor 
This Australian based site is similar to Glassdoor (except I like the interface better) and has a few more Australian employers listed – similar to Glassdoor & Vault it uses a ratings system and gives you information from individual reviewers based on ‘pros’ and ‘cons’.

Whisper 
Whisper wasn’t originally billed as a site to review employers – but it is increasingly being used in reference to user’s jobs, the base concept being it is an anonymous secret sharer where users post their secrets online. It is possible for workplaces to feel the heat from this app (as there’s nothing stopping users naming their workplace in their confessions).

Canary 
Billed as ‘anonymous company chatter’ this app allows users to ‘share insider news, thoughts and rumours with your co-workers’. Aside from the potential intellectual property and privacy concerns Canary is designed to facilitate gossip, which, when it’s anonymous, is potentially an HR  (and PR) nightmare.

Don’t panic:

Just start by getting familiar with these platforms, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook along with any other collaboration systems your organisation uses if you aren’t already comfortable with them.
Conversations are going to happen, disgruntled employees are going to post damaging things online. We can write all the policies and procedures we want, but the idea of completely mitigating the risk in this space? Impossible.

What do I need to do?

  • Get familiar with these platforms yourself.
  • Asses whether your organisation is already being talked about.
  • Get out ahead: encourage your star staff to engage in this space – next to 20 stand out reviews, 1 negative review won’t look so bad. But if potential employees, stakeholders or customers just see the 1 negative one? Not good.

wordcloud future of work

Repost from LinkedIn article published 6 September 2015