Accepting LinkedIn invites from recruiters you don't know
June 28, 2012 10:34 PM   Subscribe

What do you do if you receive a Linkedin invite from a recruiter of a company that you've had dealings with in the past, but not with the recruiter themselves?

I have 2 invites--one is a generically worded one, the other doesn't even contain any words, with that particular recruiter even indicating we were "friends" which I'm shocked about--how can I be friends with someone I haven't even spoken to before?

As previously mentioned, both companies are of use to me, but don't have as much potential as other agencies which I've signed up to. Thanks!
posted by glache to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Recruiters use Linkedin to find candidates and network. The only way to connect to someone (and thereby be able to use and maybe see a list of their connections) that you don't actually know, is to invite them in the category of "friends."

If they wanted to recruit you, they'd have emailed you directly. They want to use your contacts.
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:05 PM on June 28, 2012

I always accept LinkedIn invites from recruiters. Their networks tend to be huge, so connecting with them has an exponential effect on your own network.
posted by COD at 5:17 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you feel weird about it, then don't accept. If you feel like the person can do you some good, accept them.

That's how I roll.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:46 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would say it depends on how you use LinkedIn and what utility you want to extract from it. If it's basically just a "business Facebook" for you, then sure, link to as many people as you want.

Personally, I view LinkedIn as an inroad to establish an advantage over other job candidates. Therefore I only link to people whom I feel have some familiarity with my skillset and would make positive comments about me if asked. That way when I mention "Oh hey, I notice (contact) works at your company - how's he doing? We've worked together before" then I don't risk that they'll talk to (contact) and have him say "Who? No, never heard of him."
posted by wolfdreams01 at 5:47 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

It depends if you are a depth or breadth user of LinkedIn. I go for depth and decline connections from people that I know tangentially. There are good reasons for both approaches, but I would likely decline the connection unless I was actively working with the recruiter and had an expectation of working together more.

Another reason to consider declining is if you are currently employed. Others people's updates will show that you made a new connection. If you colleagues or boss see that you connected with a recruiter will they question your present loyalty? Hard to say, but it seems possible.
posted by dgran at 6:16 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

If they wanted to recruit you, they'd have emailed you directly. They want to use your contacts.

This is not always true. Nowadays, often the recruiters who are working with LinkedIn are not the same ones who you'd be speaking to if you called in or submitted a resume. This has been my experience on both sides of the desk, but it sounds like this particular recruiter is clumsy. At any rate, is easy enough to block people from viewing your connections and most people do this as LinkedIn is prone to a lot of profile mining and spamming. I am often surprised by how much information people put out there, myself.

As for what you should do with it, that's up to you. Accepting the invite does nothing but give you an additional contact with the company and perhaps imply you might be interested in their services. Declining it means you probably won't hear from that particular recruiter again (although I wouldn't count on it), but if you're still interested in their services then reach out to your prior contact.
posted by sm1tten at 7:56 AM on June 29, 2012

A while back, I asked a recruiter friend why so many other recruiters--who I've never heard of before--used the 'let's connect' feature to ask me if I'm interested in a job, not the messaging functionality. I only connect with people I actually know, so I was annoyed and puzzled by this.

He explained that you have to pay extra to get more than just a few messages a month. So, they're cheaping out by abusing the 'connect' functionality to send messages. He said that his firm pays for the messaging functionality and that they use the 'connect' functionality as intended.

I figure if the recruiter thinks it's a good enough fit for me and/or wants me badly enough, s/he won't stop at just a LI connection request--but I have that luxury; I'm employed, etc...
posted by tippiedog at 1:38 PM on June 29, 2012

Depends on how you want to use LinkedIn. Personally I accept their invite so I have a nice long list of (vaguely) proactive recruiters to email my CV to when I want to change job.
posted by mr_silver at 4:25 PM on June 29, 2012

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