I’d say that I am in the top percentile of users on LinkedIn, in that I use it every day with the majority of my placements coming from this source. I certainly find myself more and more plugged in during these post lockdown times. When I was running a conventional desk, it would be used to post the odd add on or indulge that scrolling muscle memory that most millennials have developed in order to pass time. When I see some of my friends back home with LinkedIn accounts I ask why?? These are pals that aren’t likely to move from the job they’ve had since I left home and since they left school! In my mind, LinkedIn is best used by job seekers when looking for a job. I mean, you wouldn’t have a Tinder profile if you’re in a relationship, right!?! In the same way that Twitter is mainly used by journalists and politicians in a co-dependent dynamic, Recruiter and Job Seeker meet on this virtual platform. LinkedIn self describes the platform as the “world-leading professional network” but how often do we see the lines blurred between professional and social? All the time! It can be a virtual soapbox for all sorts of loons to say their piece knowing that the comment section will be, by internet standards, very, very tame.

Like how your 10th Jagger bomb at end of period drinks will blur the lines between professional and social, LinkedIn is introducing Stories. In an attempt to capture the imaginations as well as the limited attention spans of the up and coming Tik Tok generation we will see these on our feeds in the coming months. I don’t know about you but recently I’ve had it up to the gills with this condescending thought that ‘we’ are all in this together from huge corporations. I’m a little over seeing a Dell technician juggle a newborn while on a zoom call with what I presume is a United Colours of Benetton casting call. It’s cringy and smacks of desperation with a hint of trying to stay relevant. Do you remember when various celebs sanctimoniously vowed to take responsibility in a painfully scripted and insincere video about BLM? Well, get ready for more contrived bullshit from a marketing department/agencies direct to your feed. The level of squeaky cleanliness and polish those stories will need in order to get the greenlight totally defeats the idea of having a behind the scenes look or a snippet into someones/company life, in my opinion. Take a look at this in action with Cisco’s latest drive to recruit interns and you tell me if the multinational networking hardware and software telecommunications equipment expert is trying a bit too hard to be ‘down with the kids?’

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Another new feature that firmly tips the scale back to the professional side is LinkedIn’s Quiz feature. It may have slipped under the radar but if you check your profile under your Skills & Endorsements section you will see an option to take a skill quiz. It covers a plethora of topics; Revit, Ruby on Rails, HTML, AutoCAD etc. Each quiz lasts about 15 minutes with up to 20 timed multiple-choice questions. You must finish in the 70th percentile in order to pass and if you fail you can retry, in three months. This is pretty impressive if I’m honest. I used to ask consultants to grade themselves out of 10 when it came to their software prowess. I couldn’t fathom the nuances of the tech having never operated it myself so this brings a level of credibility that I could’ve only hoped for. If you manage a B grade then you will be awarded a badge, for those super swots out there, unfortunately, the badge doesn’t display score or percentile, it will also only be visible on your profile for 12 months. I think this is an awesome way for a candidate to stand out from the pack and shows a bit of initiative on their behalf. Also, it’s free so what’s not to like

Now, this has been a long time coming. This has to be the most confusing and creepy feature of LinkedIn. Internally referred to as the HC algorithm, it ensures consistency across the platform. Not unlike when Facebook will start selling products you’ve mentioned to a friend over WhatsApp, this agile and intuitive algorithm has been present since my first day on LinkedIn. Of course, I’m talking about the ‘Hot Chick’ algorithm. While writing this I am concerned of the backlash from an outdated turn of phrase like ‘chick’ but I would ask you to refrain from canceling me and aim your frustration at whatever Saudi prince, Dubai playboy or lecherous hiring manager is jumping from pretty profile to pretty profile causing this pattern. Let’s not forget, the site clearly states “People Also Viewed” when I think Pervs would be more suitable. Go ahead try it now; search the name of any global recruitment agency, change location to Sydney, pick any nubile young consultant and be aghast at the bevy of beauties that have been viewed in the same…session. Occupation tentatively ties them, most are in some aspect of recruitment but in this instance; health, engineering, analytics and data, etc. Industries that are quite different however there is a similar profile theme; none of them would look out of place on a float, donning a sash accompanied by an equally attractive corn-fed quarterback. To play devil’s advocate, perhaps someone was looking for an all-rounder to cover a number of specialisms. However, if that was the case you would expect at least one recipient of the coveted ‘best personality’ award in high school to appear among the searches. Worryingly, I tried this same experiment on any cute boys from the same office, and most didn’t have a People Also Viewed feature. The reason behind this? Probably less nefarious and more sleazy but it’s puzzled me for years!

People buy from people, it’s something I was told a long time ago and it’s been said numerous times in these blogs. The more we can relate and identify with a person the more we trust them. For some soulless corporations that trust can easily be parlayed into some serious cash money! Or it can be used to project an image of a company in a ‘totes chill’ kind of way when in reality the only LOL you’ll get is when you ask for your birthday off. We’ve seen it recently in our little market; press releases about being people-focused while simultaneously sacking staff. In reality, these little snippets will most likely be used as another avenue to showcase a job using a backdrop of scenic Aotearoa or whatever stock photo suits. I’d love to end this blog with a pithy quote but news has just come through that Liverpool have won their first Premier League title in 30 years and I’m finding it increasingly hard to concentrate, enjoy your day everyone! YNWA 😁

This blog originally featured on the Rice Consulting Whiteboard

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