Aug 31, 2015


I had no knowledge of you prior to this post, Jeff, but I must admit that I have harbored a bit of a love affair with your Company, Linkedin.  

I love the "thumbs up," the endorsements, the comments, the posts, — the sheer fun of connecting with people with whom I'd worked — or with whom I'd like to work.  

It is kind of like Hinge -- but kinder, more business-like, and there is no sex involved (to my knowledge.)

Recently I've felt jilted.

Have you noticed that there is NO easy way to get help from a person who works at Linkedin?  Specifically, there is no clearly-indicated CUSTOMER SERVICE CONTACT NUMBER on Linkedin's site?  

After holding for a virtual rep, a virtual voice told me that I might get a return call in 24-28 hours.  

Jeff,  imagine waiting for your Hinge date in a bar -- for two solid 24-hour days.  (And they didn't show up.  Could take you off your hinges.)

Jeff:  Consider Customer Service! 

As I remember, my beloved Linkedin promises a certain number of "qualified" candidates if one posts a job within a specific timeframe.

I had posted a job on Linkedin for a person with an advanced degree in Pyschology or  Social Work.  After one week, I got a handful of responses...none with degrees or qualifications of any relevance.  (Although one applicant had been at Whole Foods.)  

So I tried to call/chat/link/connect to anyone at Linkedin to see what happened. 

In frustration, I called the  only "sales representative phone number" anywhere on your site -- you know, the number for the top .0001% of your clients… the number you get if you are planning to buy a solid gold membership  at Linkedin? (I believe it also comes with NetJets membership).  

Using that number, I spoke to the entire baby book of millennial names:  Allie, Apple, Brooklyn, Brittny, Detroit, Lindsey, Pear, Madison, Tiffany (ok, some of those I made up), on several separate days.  Each time, the sales reps were polite, but  I was told that they did not have customer service for a "person like me." 

Not wanting to take this personally, I'll assume they were referring to my Linkedin Status.

I asked for their supervisor.  Not there.  (Vacation?  Sauna?  Volleyball?  Day Trading?) 

I asked for the manager.  In a meeting.  (Two separate days.  Two separate requests.  Two times in a meeting…..They meet a lot, I guess.  Hey, they should try using Linkedin inmail!).  

Everyone  with whom I spoke said...

"YOU should tell JEFF that Linkedin needs some customer support."  

Hmmm.  So, I'm telling you, Jeff.  

After my third call,  (three time's the charm, I suppose), I got the newbie in the department (two days on the job).  She took pity on me and promised that a person with two years experience (greatest tenure ever!) would call me back.  

(I worried that it could be a trick — disconnecting and then "losing" the number, seems to be less a trick than a tactic for Linkedin.) 

MIRACLE! The sky parted, the stars aligned and 30 minutes after the newbie spoke with me, a voice came down from above.  Well, actually the voice came from the phone.     

Taylor ScottoManager of  (… well, I'm not sure of his exact title), listened to me.  He looked at the post.  He looked at the candidates.  He calmed me down (not easy!).  He said he "cared" about providing good service —  and then he said he would call me back.   

I was doubtful (see "tactic" above), but I still have that "thing" for Linkedin — and I'm an optimistic type.  

Behold, Taylor enabled his virtual masters to understand the concept of customer service.  Taylor Scotto moved heaven, earth, Pluto (even though it is no longer a planet) and several asteroids — and got me a refund.  

Note to Jeff Weiner:  

Taylor should be promoted to VP, Customer Service, in order to provide SERVICE to your premium clients (heck, why not provide a little service to allyour clients?).  

We LITTLE Linkers drive your business, too.  

I'd be willing to bet that your revenues would rise, as well.

Time for a Quantum Leap from 2008 attitudes to 2015 realities!

QUANTUM LEAP: 2008 to 2015! 

Aug 15, 2015


My colleague, Marilyn Tullius, Opportunity Strategist/Advocator, replied to a recent post about disrespect for applicants with the following example...

"I consulted to a CMO applicant who was approaching the end of an extensive interviewing and vetting process. He was requested to provide two-paragraph responses to 13 questions. Tucked in at No. 9 was: "What would your strategy for the company be?" Consider that six competing applicants might respond to this question. Doesn't that resemble a qualitative survey designed to yield of the best thinking in that niche market? NDA's notwithstanding."

What are the ethics of using an applicant's intellectual property without payment?  Is it respectful of the individual?  

 Hmm….Perhaps that was an isolated case…?

Then I spoke with an executive who was  surprised  when the company executive team wanted to lay off an IT employee without providing a small layoff package.  The employee had moved thousands of miles from home for the job.  And, one year later — through no fault of his own — he was told that the company had misjudged the needs of the position.  He was no longer a "right fit."

Good bye, no severance, and good luck in the search for a new position!  (Is that respect?)

Hmm….Maybe two isolated cases…?  

Then, I thought about the rise of GLASSDOOR —an online site where prospects and  employees are "yelping" their concerns about disrespectful treatment at an ever increasing rate!  Concerns:  Not a good hiring process!  No stable careers!  No — or minuscule pay --increases! No respect for their work, their personal life…, etc!  

How does this jive with The Fed announcement in the papers that in 2015 we are blessed with a "fully employed" workplace and a "war for talent."  

My opinion?   Sure we are respectful of talent in some instances, but in most…not so much. 

We have programmers, software engineers, and others who are being fought over and fawned over, and others who are treated like they are … fungible.   

Companies are inadvertently violating THEIR OWN values by acting like some prospects and employees are not "valued team members." 

Time for a quantum leap from 2008 when there was an employment glut to 2015 with "full" employment.  Time to respect ALL prospects and employees. Heck, It just makes a good sense.     


DISRUPT these Hiring Practices NOW!

This is a call for a revolution in hiring practices -- a complete disruption of a set of systems/practices that DO NOT work for applicants or for companies.  


 Let's disrupt the following hiring systems and practices:    

1.  Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that collect data that is never used. The ATS becomes a gate rather than a portal for new applicants.  

2.  Applicant Tracking Systems that require the "salary history"  before an application can be completed.  Why?  This weeds out candidates who may be great for the job, and will be eager to trade off cash for other incentives.

3.  Radio Silence.  Some companies DO NOT provide feedback to applicants.  Not even if the job is closed.  Pity the poor applicant who is waiting for an update! 

4.  Posting GHOST jobs.  Posting jobs that don't exist is a waste of applicants' time and energy.   And it may subvert human resources policy, as when a person tells an internal applicant "You've got the job... we just have to post for 48 hours -- but don't worry, no one else will be considered!"   

5.  Interviewing with EVERYONE in the department.   Often people who are tangential to the position interview the applicant.   Why? 

6.  NO interview COORDINATION.  There are instances where a company has multiple people interview a candidate, but doesn't  bother to ask everyone who has participated for their feedback.  Too busy to coordinate?  Don't have hordes interviewing!

7.  Using INTELLIGENCE as the MAIN CRITERION for hire.   Intelligence is not that easily determined.  And intelligence takes many forms.  Are you sure you have the right questions, asked in the right ways to determine the intelligence of an applicant?

8.  MANDATING CULTURE FIT.   Know of a company who only wants to hire people  who "fit" their company culture.  Haven't they heard that cultural diversity yields a more innovative workplace?

9.  FIVE PAGE LISTS of "required" skills and experience. Or, FOUR page lists ... Or, THREE page lists... well you get the idea.  If you can't describe it in a page, you MAY NOT know what you want from the job or the applicant. 

If you know of a recruiting practice that needs disruption... ADD TO THIS LIST.   

Then let's get to work making the application process work for the applicant AND the company.