Home > Recruitment Technology > Are The Most Connected on LinkedIn More Concerned With Quantity or Quality Connections ?

Are The Most Connected on LinkedIn More Concerned With Quantity or Quality Connections ?

For the past year I have been evaulating how some of my fellow recruiters utilize LinkedIn.  Some users believe that being an Open Networker on LinkedIn that extends and accepts all invitations is the right way to build a massive network.  Others only connect to and accept invitations that involve individuals they have some connection with.

Yesterday I read an interview in the Delta Sky Magazine with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner where he was asked about his network.  One of the questions  he was asked was, “Do you accept any requests from users on the site?”  He says,  “I have just north of 800 connections. I only accept invitations based on whether I’ve met the person, and have a trusted relationship, which I would recommend to all of our members-to make sure they are accepting invitations from members that will increase the value of their network.”

I have received countless requests from people who I’ve never met in areas of the world and/or industries that I will never be involved with.  So the question is, what value is gained by reaching out to or accepting requests from those who don’t know me or have an interest in my skills or networking with me?

About 4 months ago I was doing an in depth SAP search for one of my clients.  I have 2 people in my network who reached out to me in the last 3 years whom I did not know.  They both were working at a company I had recruited for extensively in years past, specifically for SAP requirements.  I accepted their invitations thinking that these relationships could be mutually beneficial.  Since then I have attempted to contact them on no less than 6 occasions in the 3 years we’ve been connected, with no response.  These 2 individuals are Open Networkers with at least 3000 people in their 1st line network.

So the question is, are these people really interested in networking or just gathering connections?  One example of someone who seems to be genuinely invested in networking  was mentioned in the article ” Top 25 Most Connected Recruiters on Linked” by Glen Cathey.  If you look at #24 on the list, you will see Joseph Brown.  He has 14,000 connections and has always been open to connecting me with people in his network.  Although I must tell you, in my experience he is a rarity.

If you have 1000’s of connections and don’t know most of them, why give them the impression you are interested in networking with them if you have no intention to do so.

So, before you accept or a LinkedIn request, remember the advice of LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.  Accept invitations that will increase the value of your network.


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  1. April 5, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Ken & Steven I tend to agree. I have several LION’s in my first level and for the most part they are tough to get to assist you. A couple of exceptions Neal Schaffer (http://bit.ly/b1By3v) Author of Windmill Networking, speaker, and all around great guy. And Jim Dodgen of ECS http://bit.ly/b0XMNn is another that is there to assist. I am just north of 300 first levels and I know 90% of those people personally. I do not accept invitations to join someone network without first have a 1 on 1 conversation. If I need help I want to know everyone in my network is there to help. And the reverse is also true, if someone in my network needs assistance they know I am there to assist.

    To me it is more about helping others than getting help myself.

    • Ken Horst
      April 12, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      Glen, Sorry for the delay in responding. I agree with you on all accounts. Also, the only time I tend to shy away from helping is if someone is asking me to connect them with a current client I am engaged with. Other than that, helping others is the meaning of networking in my eyes.

      Thanks again for your comments and support.

      Steve

  2. Joseph Mullin
    April 5, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I will not link up with open networkers because I know i will be lost in their sea of contacts. I also believe they do not value their contacts that they just want bragging rights about the size of their database of contacts. How can they know you or differentiate you from the thousands of other contacts?

    My other pet peeve on LinkedIn is when someone want to connect with you that they use the generic invitation line supplied by LinkedIn. This does not tell me who you are or why you think we should be connected. I will look at their profile and usually archive the invitation or send them a message on my thoughts.

    • Ken Horst
      April 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm

      Joseph,

      I agree with you on both areas. I will only send a generic invite after I’ve talked to someone and let them know I’ll be sending them an invite. A personal original invite shows interest, care, and creativity.

      Thanks for your comments and support.

      Steve

  3. April 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I am an independent technology recruiter in the Twin Cities (Mpls/St Paul) with over 11,000 connections. I am an Open Networker and belong to several groups of Open Networkers. I don’t need to be a close friend of a candidate to place them. On the other hand, I also don’t brag about my number of connections on my LinkedIn profile like they are some measure of my worth. I would love to have everyone of the 60 million LinkedIn members in my network, but only because it will further my business objectives, placing more candidates.

    In addition, I facilitate a networking group at my church for the unemployed. I will accept invitations from any of them and forward any introduction request they route through me. I also give presentations to similar groups of unemployed on the basics of using LinkedIn for job search. I have earned tens of thousands of dollars placing unemployed individuals who I did not know prior to connecting on LinkedIn. I’m happy and they’re happy. I do not understand why LinkedIn continues to try to mandate what my personal networking philosophy should be.

    • Ken Horst
      April 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm

      Lonny,

      In my eyes you are in the same boat as Joe Brown. I have heard from countless people that you go out of your way to help anyone who asks for your help and expertise.

      Thanks for your comments and support in the Minneapolis market.

      Steve

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