The similarities between dogging and recruiters on Linkedin

June 02 10 Comments Category: Opinion

Recruitment Dad's OpinionI have been walking around with this blog in my head for a number of weeks now. A recent Tweet from @ExpertDan made me realise that I am not alone with this thought. I have spoken to Recruitment Mum (my other half) about it and she thinks it would be a terrible idea. Having listened to, and thought about what she said, I have decided to write it.  If you are reading it then I managed to get her to agree and it reads cleaner better than the idea sounded.

Linkedin Advice from Recruitment DadEditors Note: In no way shape or form does Recruitment Dad endorse dogging. It is merely being used as an analogy to describe how many recruiters behave on Linkedin.

Advice on how recruiters should conduct themselves on LinkedinSo, for those of you who do not know what dogging is, I recommend you Google in a safe place to find out. Safest search is probably define:dogging.

For those of you who do not know what recruiters do, or what Linkedin is, your keyword search has brought you to the wrong website. Please try again with safe search off and sorry to have distracted you from your web activities.

What are you talking about Recruitment Dad?

OK, let me get down to business. What am I talking about? Here is what I see happen every day on Linkedin:

  • Linkedin Advice from Recruitment DadRecruiter on Linkedin specialises in a certain discipline such as Silverlight Developers, SCRUM practitioners, Forensic Accountants, Marketing & PR, Telecoms or whatever. It doesn’t really matter what their specialism is.
  • Said recruiter searches Groups on Linkedin and joins ALL they can which are relevant to their industry.
  • Aforementioned recruiter then does nothing in the group other than either: Posts jobs willy-nilly OR searches group members and sends “intro” emails starting “As a specialist recruiter in this area…”
  • Does nothing else within the group, much to the annoyance of group members
  • Recruiter then bemoans REC to REC practitioners in the Recruitment Groups for constantly trying to headhunt them for jobs they don’t want and spamming them with jobs. Hmmmm.

Now, as far as I can see, the reason a Silverlight developer joins a Silverlight group is to interact and network with other Silverlight developers. If the group were a “real” face to face networking session, wouldn’t it appear a bit weird for a room full of IT bods to have a bunch of recruiters just watching them through the window, pointing at them and now and then sticking a job advert up on the wall??

That is how I can draw the analogy between dogging and Recruiter behaviour on Linkedin. Many recruiters peering through the window of the groups they are interested in, watching others interact with each other.

What should a Recruiter do in a group?

  • How Recruiters should behave on Linkedin | Recruitment DadInteract with and join the community
  • Contribute to discussions and introduce yourself warmly
  • STOP selling to all and sundry as they are mostly not in buying mode, otherwise they would be in one of the job seeking groups! (or calling you to give you some requirements!)
  • Add value through participative conversation
  • Offer to help those who may need it
  • Invite them to visit your blog or follow you on Twitter
  • Post jobs in a controlled fashion!
  • Use your network to help others

I fully expect there to be a tirade of “we haven’t got time!!!” “We need CVs now, now, now!” Just stop and listen to what your prospective candidates and clients are saying about your profession on Linkedin, Twitter and blogs. If you are truly in this for the long term rather than short term gains then it is possible to build communities or at least join and be accepted in them.

Stop looking through the steamed up windows and get involved. It’s a lot more satisfying!

Related Articles:

Candidate Care, It Makes Money

The Power of Relationships

5 Serious Recruiter Screw ups on Linkedin

and don’t forget:

Recruitment Dad Reveals His Identity

Recruitment Jobs and Careers

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10 Responses

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  1. Good article, and well done for getting a mention for dogging – nice analogy. I would go further though, and say that people who join a public forum, do so in the knowledge that others will be lurking and watching. They have discussions in front of everyone, and have a range of reasons for doing so. Some are showing off their expertise and prowess, some just want to be included in any way, as it’s the only action they’re going to get. From the lurkers (recruiter’s) perspective, they often don’t want to go the full “Rio Ferdinand”, lest they be found out to have no ability in this area of expertise.
    I used to specialise an a couple of distinct areas of engineering recruitment. As a result, I joined the Institute of Chemical Engineers (not a qualified member) and the Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association (SPRA – still a member). Initially I would attend meetings with a pocketful of business cards, looking for candidates, but I soon realised that in order to get anywhere, I had to join in. Of course to join the conversation, I really had to know the subject, and this forced me to learn much more about these sectors.
    Whilst I wasn’t a qualified engineer, I did have expertise and knowledge of their industry that most individuals didn’t. I knew which companies were hiring, had direct contact with decision makers, and knew of most movements within companies. I also gained a lot of product knowledge along the way. In the 1990′s, I was involved in every single plastic moulding company in Scotland, to the exclusion of almost all competitors. All of this meant that when I turned up, I wasn’t just another spotty geek steaming up the window.

    Stephen O'Donnell 3 June 2010 at 9:47 am Permalink
  2. As an ex recruiter, I can 100% associate to this and couldn’t agree with it more!

    Ex Recruiter 3 June 2010 at 4:54 pm Permalink
  3. PS. Is that a pic of the old fella, who nodded off at the Social Media in Recruitment Conference?

    Stephen O'Donnell 3 June 2010 at 5:20 pm Permalink
  4. Job title aside, an excellent blog! So few seem to understand that the candidate they’re mistreating now could well be a client one day. Well done Recruitment Dad for tackling another tough issue.

    Katrina Collier 3 June 2010 at 9:11 pm Permalink
  5. It never ceases to amaze me how recruiters bow to the pressure of the next “deal”. So short sighted. Becoming a valued resource is definitely what brings longevity in this industry. Lasting impressions are made by giving, even when it looks like we may may never get anything out of it. Negative news travels fast, and it seems like the good stuff never gets talked about. Still, I’d rather not have all the negative press and come to mind when someone really needs a recruiting professional. Thanks Recruitment Dad.

    Raymond Gooch 5 June 2010 at 4:11 am Permalink
  6. Brilliant and underlines the attitude which took me out of conventional, mainstream recruiting. Now where was that site I was trying to find

    John Hill 11 June 2010 at 1:40 pm Permalink
  7. Yeah, it’s good, very useful, thanks :)

    Tilgner 16 June 2010 at 10:21 am Permalink
  8. another great article Recruitment Dad! Love the link to ‘dogging’. Forgive the pun but recruiters who dont ‘give’ are barking up the wrong tree.

    Roy Ripper 30 June 2010 at 8:58 am Permalink
  9. Not sure about the dogging analogy but the sentiment is perfect. I am just about to start a crusade in our own business to remove the “experts” that have appeared on Linked In within my own company – some of them joined our graduate /academy scheme 4 weeks ago!!

    we run a number of networking events through the year where we invite employers and candidates to meet, talk and sometimes work together – we don’t charge a fee but we do increase our knowledge and we offer something more that just a traditional recruitment service – our clients love it (well they would wouldn’t they) and and spend their money with us on something else.

    Our consultants are driving the car – not just peering through the window………is that worse???

    Andy Lord 29 February 2012 at 12:56 pm Permalink
  10. Great blog, so true. You should only join a group that you are willing to contribute to. Well said!

    Jo Dionysiou 10 October 2012 at 10:40 am Permalink

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