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I was in a meeting with a client recently and a member of the team was really keen on creating groups – almost one for every day of the week.

Groups – 1.6 million of them on LinkedIn. Most (in my opinion) are pants (technical term) and offer no real value. Some are locked to recruiters because of previous rabid-dog like behaviours. Others are run by recruiters who thought that they would be a silver bullet to success. I rarely see groups run by recruiters that seem to offer value. The ones that I have seen I have a huge amount of respect for; I know how much effort and time they take and applaud the recruiter who has the bandwidth in their day and the strategic head to make it work, however this is rare.

I have written a few ten commandment posts in my time (read them here), and wanted to write one about my views on groups. So here goes – my ten commandments for using LinkedIn groups:

1. Don’t publish jobs unless “allowed” to, and if you do, publish them in the right place (less spraying and praying, more tactical manoeuvres).

2. Read the rules and respect them. If there aren’t any, check out the behaviour of the group and emulate it. You can only be a bull in a china shop if the group is called something like “China Shop group for Bulls”.

3. Make friends with the owner and managers – they are your best asset in the group – just like a host at a live networking event – they know everyone and can recommend you/introduce you. Don’t underestimate their influence.

4. Only join groups if you are clear what you need – really think about this. Do you really go out on a Saturday with no strategy? (Actually, thinking about it, don’t go there! I know I am walking on thin ice here – I have been to a few recruitment night outs in my time!)

5. Don’t be a groupie (see previous blog).

6. Take part! Standing outside looking in offers no value and is akin to being a peeping Tom.

7. Be active: mine it, speak in it, like stuff, share content, show your face, follow people. This could take 1 minute per week – no excuses!

8. But don’t get too noisy either. If it’s just you speaking, others get lazy/bored/switch off.

9. Get out if there’s no value – so you’re in a nightclub and the music’s crap, the clientele not “up your street” and you’re being hit on by Shrek… get out and find something more appropriate.

And the most important:

10. Only create one yourself if you have the time to manage it and you know what you want from it (and what you want from it is what your members are prepared to give you!).

Appreciate that not everyone is looking for a job (some stats state that only 21% of people are) – be creative and smart. Walking into a club and asking everyone to dance may work for you on a Friday night, but you need a better tactic online when the audience is sober and probably more discerning.


The UK Recruiter for publishing this.

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